Colorado, Wyoming pasted by late season snow (PHOTOS)


About 5 inches of snow accumulated in Louisville, Colorado outside Boulder. Snow fell almost continuously for 24 hours. (Bob Henson)

From a few inches in Denver to a few feet in some surrounding peaks, a significant late spring snowstorm has turned the clock back to winter in the Rockies.

Snowfall totals in Colorado and southern Wyoming were highly variable and elevation-dependent.  Some high-end totals reached 24-36 inches or more.  Here’s a map of 48-hour totals from the National Weather Service:


48-hour snowfall totals in Colorado and southern Wyoming

Links: Text list of totals from Colorado | Zoomable map of snowfall totals

The National Weather Service forecast office in Cheyenne offers this commentary:

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME IMPRESSIVE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FROM THIS STORM…WITH SEVERAL LOCATIONS OUTSIDE THE MOUNTAINS REPORTING 1 TO 2 FEET OF SNOW AND THE SNOTEL SITES IN THE MOUNTAINS ESTIMATING 2 TO 4 FEET OF SNOW.

Cheyenne picked up 10.5 inches of snow Sunday, the most on record so late in the season according to The Weather Channel.

The snow in Denver – on the order of 3 to 5 inches – is frustrating for those ready for spring, but not all that unusual. The Mile High City averages close to an inch of snow in May and has received accumulating snow into June.  Reports the Denver Post:

The average date for the last snowfall in Denver is May 5, but snow was recorded on May 14 in 2004, May 13 in 2010, May 12 in 2005 and May 11 in 2008, according to the National Weather Service.

The latest snowfall on record was June 12, 1947, but in 2007 snow fell on June 8. Snowfall was recorded in Denver on May 11 in 2008 and 2005.

Boulder picked up 6.7 inches (1.91 inches liquid equivalent, 1.1 inches as snow) according to Matt Kelsch, its cooperative weather observer, with 12-20 inches in the surrounding foothills.

The storm system responsible for this storm marches into the Plains today, setting off the risk of some severe storms.  By late week, it will reach the East Coast and likely bring heavy rains.

Related: Spring weather update: Snow in Colorado, tornadoes in Nebraska and thunderstorms for lots of states

Here’s a round-up of Colorado snow photos from social media:

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Jason Samenow · May 12, 2014