The message from scientists on #Colorado’s lack of snow so far: Don’t panic — Colorado Public Radio #snowpack #ENSO

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map December 7, 2021 via the NRCS.

From Colorado Public Radio (Corey H. Jones):

Last week, a blizzard warning was issued for the mountains — of Hawaii. But as the tropical state dealt with flooding and high winds, Colorado has been pretty bone-dry. Denver has set a modern-day record and gone nearly 230 days without any measurable accumulation. Fortunately, it seems like that record’s days are numbered with a winter storm expected later this week.

After nearly two weeks of mostly dry conditions, snow fell in the high country last night [December 6-7, 2021]…

What do we know about the potential for snow?

The reality is there’s no way to tell what’s in store for the rest of the season. Meteorologists aren’t able to forecast conditions month-to-month, however they do know we are experiencing a La Niña winter.

“That generally favors above-average snowfall for the northwest, from Idaho to British Columbia,” [Joel] Gratz said. “But La Niña doesn’t help or hurt us in Colorado much.”

That’s because we’re on the edge of that climate pattern. Big snowstorms along the Front Range — especially in the spring — are not common with La Niña. Gratz said those are more frequent during El Niño seasons.

But the state is also contending with the effects of climate change.

“While we will still get these winter storm patterns and we will still get snow and cold, we are just getting an increasing frequency of these warm anomalies as well,” assistant state climatologist Becky Bolinger told Colorado Matters.

The good news is there’s still plenty of time for Colorado to catch up. Our state usually sees its deepest snowpack in April.

Leave a Reply