Denver is well on its way to breaking its own record for earliest snowfall in June.
Snowfall already has begun for the season. As of 8:30 a.m. today, the National Weather Service in Boulder said 0.4 inches of snow had fallen at Denver International Airport.
With more significant snow already fallen, the mark for the earliest recorded snowfall is expected to fall Friday. The earliest first snow record in Denver’s history, according to NWS data, was set on June 13, 1872.
So far, Colorado has recorded more than 170 inches of snow this year.
“Temperatures are trending toward neutral, bringing a little bit of snow to us, but also bringing a lot of rain to us,” said Kyle Fredin, NWS meteorologist.
The NWS reports that that Denver’s daily record for rain and snowfall is 52.1 inches, set on Feb. 6, 1997.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, NWS data showed wet snow was falling northeast of Boulder, meteorologist Elliott Davis said.
While December- or January-like precipitation has been beneficial in the drought-ridden area, according to NWS data, the snow could be harmful to landscapes and crops if some of it mixes into the air.
“Rooting animals could be eliminated or pregnant goats could give birth to calves,” Fredin said.
The bigger risk, Davis said, is while spreading the snow, farmers could lose their crop-heavy soil when it freezes into a solid block.
Many in the state are drawing groundwater for irrigation after drought-stricken crops failed, Davis said.
But the hope is the storm comes and it comes fast. If not, the Colorado drought could turn into a dust bowl.
“That will probably start growing in July. That’s when you get really bad snowpack,” Davis said.