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Finally! Denver’s nearly-historic snow drought likely to end later this week

That same storm brings near-record warmth and rain to our area Saturday

Nearly historic snow drought in Denver, Colorado

ROANOKE, Va. – We don’t often write about weather in other parts of the country, but when we do - it’s because a) it’s remarkable and/or b) it will eventually affect our weather in southwest and central Virginia.

Denver, Colorado, a city that averages 56″ of snow per year, has gone 230 days without measurable snow (0.1″ or more). The longest snow drought on record in the Mile High City is 232 days set back in 1887.

That drought could end later this week, however, as a storm system dumps snow on the Rockies between Thursday and Friday.

Snow accumulation forecast in the Western U.S. through Friday, 12/10/2021

Snow in the Rockies in December isn’t uncommon. However, this storm system will have some less-than-common impacts as it moves farther to the east.

The counter-clockwise wind around storm systems in the Northern Hemisphere means that this will start pumping unseasonably warm, humid air into the Tennessee River Valley and Mid-South Friday into late Friday night.

That’s where there’s the chance for severe thunderstorms.

Severe weather outlook for Friday, 12/10/2021

As this storm moves farther east, it will continue to pump unseasonably warm air into southwest and central Virginia. This leads to near-record warmth in our area late Saturday morning and early Saturday afternoon.

Near-record warmth forecast in our area Saturday, 12/11/2021

Shortly thereafter, this storm will have enough life left to push some rain (possibly with some rumbles of thunder) through our area.

Rain increases from west to east Saturday afternoon

Once it passes, the northwest wind behind it picks up and drops temperatures into Sunday.

Temperatures briefly cool off Sunday, 12/12/2021

Don’t get used to that, though. Long-range outlooks show a high likelihood of above average temperatures and below average precipitation through at least next week.

Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlooks from 12/13 to 12/17/2021

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.