A pedestrian walks across a ice-covered street after a spring storm swept over the region and left at least six inches of snow in its wake Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Winter weather has stretched across much of the United States this April, with widespread cold spells and snow. One city in particular had just enough late-season snow to make this winter one for the record books.
Earlier this week, Arctic air targeted the center of the country, spreading cold across dozens of states. According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger, "The arrival of an unseasonably cold mass, coupled with some energy in the atmosphere, is what sparked the late-season snow showers and squalls."
Over the course of several days, snow piled up in across the Rockies, northern Plains and interior Northeast. Whiteout conditions in Wisconsin cause a deadly pile-up on I-41 involving nearly 50 vehicles.
Farther west, the city of Denver was blasted with cold and several rounds of snow.
Accumulating April snow began in the Mile High City back on April 15 and, in three days, totaled just shy of 7 inches.
Another round of snow returned on Monday and Tuesday. Locations outside of Denver reported another 6 inches of snow, while Denver International Airport reported 3.1 inches.
A blast of cold also gripped the region at midweek, adding to the wintry feel. Tuesday's high temperature of just 33 degrees Fahrenheit was well below the 66-degree average high for April 20 in the Mile High City. Highs in the lower 30s and low temperatures plummeting into the teens paved the way for one last push of snow on Wednesday.
Snow drapes over blossoms on a tree after a spring storm swept over the region and left at least six inches of snow in its wake Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Denver. Temperatures are predicted to reach into the upper 30s Tuesday as the city prepares for yet another storm packing snow on Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver International Airport recorded another 2.6 inches of snow from the storm, pushing the seasonal total to 80.2 inches. That far exceeds the 30-year average for snowfall in Denver, which is 56.5 inches.
This year's 80-plus inches of snow not only eclipses the 1991-1992 seasonal snow total of 79 inches but also makes the 2020-2021 season the snowiest in the city since the 1983-1984 season when Denver tallied 80.9 inches, according to NWS records.
This last blast of snow was also particularly timely for Major League Baseball scheduled on the same day.
The Colorado Rockies hosted the Houston Astros on Wednesday and played through temperatures in the upper 20s and and lower 30s as well as snow.
Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron stands in the cold and snow while manning his position in the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Denver. The Rockies won 6-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The few fans who braved the brutal conditions were heavily bundled up, photos showed.
As is common for late spring in Denver, temperatures will rise and fall noticeably for the final week of April, peaking in the middle 70s Sunday afternoon then diving down into the 30s at night next week.
With the final week of April now in sight, it is possible that even more snow could fall in Denver before this snow season officially ends. The city averages 1.1 inches of snow during the month of May, and a total of 3.9 inches fell in the city just two years ago during the fifth month of the year. However, opportunities for more snow will dwindle as May progresses.
If another 1.4 inches of snow were to fall in Denver this season, it would surpass not only the 1983-1984 snow season's total but also the snow season prior when 7.6 inches of snow fell in the May of 1983. That amount of additional snow would make the 2020-2021 season the snowiest on record since 1979-1980 when 85.5 inches of snow fell.
As it stands on April 23, this snow season is the eighteenth snowiest for Denver, since record keeping began in 1882. The all-time record snowfall season was in 1908-1909 when 118.7 inches -- nearly 10 feet -- was reported.
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