Snow in Denver: Expectations vs. Reality

Snow in Denver

Snow in Denver: Expectations vs. Reality

It has almost been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic had the world put to a stop. As mentioned by, most of the businesses were closed, and people locked in their homes in fear that the virus takes them by the neck.

Everything was a disaster, but on the brighter side of the picture, the numbers are now decreasing and life is slowly going back to normal although not completely. Stores are now open with stricter safety precautions, but it’s better than nothing at all.

Forget about the summer, spring, and fall that fell into the hands of the quarantine season, and start looking forward to the winter season and new year with high hopes instead.

However, to all the snow lovers in Colorado expecting an exciting snowy season this year, do bear in mind that the upcoming winter reality might be a bit different from what we expect.

Winter in 2020

It is impossible to have a sure say on the events for this year’s winter, or in any year and season for that matter. What we do know, though, is that our expanding drought needs moist and rainy days. Predicting snow days, however, is possible. Unfortunately, weather patterns suggest a long and dry winter for 2020.

Weather prediction is done by analyzing the water temperatures of the Pacific Ocean which leads to a climate pattern we call the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

The ENSO has three phases:

El Nino – warm temperatures

Neutral – average temperatures and

La Nina – cold temperatures

We are in the La Nina phase, which means that warm surface water is pushed westward from South America and replaced by cold waters by South America’s coast. Rain clouds form over warm water, which means more rain for places like Indonesia, and less rain for South America leading to a dry season.

La Nina Phases Over the Years

La Nina years differ though, and there is no definite prediction as to how this year’s La Nina will affect Denver. With these patterns, however, we can form generalizations.

Let’s take a look at the previous La Nina winters in Denver:

2016-2017: 21.8 inches of snow, second-lowest snowfall recorded in the city

2018-2019: 25.7 inches of snow, fifth-lowest snowfall recorded in the city

These are only 2 of the 22 previous La Nina years, and 18 out of 22 of them had lower snowfall than Denver’s average of 56 inches on a normal winter season. This makes it clear that there’s an extremely high percentage of low snowfall during La Nina winters and hints at the possibility of a dry winter for Denver this year as well.

Despite that, this still does not guarantee that this year would be the same as the others so don’t get your hopes down too low!

Farmer’s Almanac Prediction

In contrast to this prediction, the Farmer’s Almanac, a source of time-tested and approved weather information and predictions using their prognosticator, analyzing the planetary position, the moon, and sunspot activities since 1818, says that this year would be a snowy winter for Denver.

Denver is even in for a big storm this November and a series of storms in February. Although there are times the Farmer’s Almanac’s predictions are on point, please remember these are still considered as guesses with no scientific explanation, thus cannot be considered a meteorological forecast.


Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with hoping for the best. Still, be alert and take in as much information as you could without expecting too much, given that this year’s ender might turn out to turn a completely different direction than what we want and hope for.

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