BOULDER, Colo. –
Thursday’s spring storm didn’t rival the March blizzard of 2003, but it did break a snow-total record for the date in Boulder and pile up more powder than any other storm this season, according to a local meteorologist.
By 6 p.m. Thursday, more than 16 inches had accumulated in Boulder, and the snow was continuing to fall, said Matt Kelsch, with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Before Thursday, the season’s biggest snowfall was 9.3 inches on Dec. 9.
“This is the biggest storm we’ve had this year, by far” — and the largest since the December 2006 blizzard, Kelsch said.
The record for March 26 was 6.8 inches in 2001.
“We’ve already exceeded that,” Kelsch said at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Still, he said, the storm — which started early Thursday and was expected to quit early this morning — doesn’t come close to rivaling the biggest March storms in Boulder history.
The biggest one came 39 years ago, when 26 inches fell on Boulder during a two-day span, Kelsch said. That blizzard started March 29, and Kelsch said more than 18 inches of the storm’s total snow fell the following day.
Nearly 57 inches of snow fell that March, in 1970, according to Kelsch.
“We won’t even threaten that record,” he said.
More fresh in people’s minds might be the 22.5 inches of snow that accumulated in March 2003. While Thursday’s storm came closer to that mark and dumped a lot of snow quickly, Kelsch said, it tapered out too soon.
“This one was more intense and a lot faster,” he said.
Spring blizzards are common in Colorado, he said, because moisture from the Gulf of Mexico starts to make its way north.
“In the middle of the winter, less moisture gets into Colorado,” he said, making for drier and calmer Januarys and Februarys. “March does get 20-inch storms.”