Boulder’s snowiest month of the year lived up to its historical reputation, with a total of 16.3 inches dropping on the city during March.
That’s just a few billion flakes, give-or-take, above the 30-year historical average for the month in the city, which is 15.9 inches.
The March liquid precipitation total for Boulder was 2.88 inches, beating the recent historical average of 2.05 inches by a healthy margin, according to Boulder meteorologist Matt Kelsch.
In Longmont, snow for the month totaled a more modest 6.3 inches, according to Longmont weather observer Gregory Byrd, short of the city’s past 30-year average of 8.3 inches. He said the biggest snowfall was the 5 inches that fell March 19. Liquid precipitation for the month was 1.69 inches.
The area’s snow was a bittersweet sight to area skiers, with the Eldora resort west of Boulder closing for the season March 20, due to concerns over the coronavirus. It was a tough ending to a season that had started with such promise, healthy autumn snow having permitted Eldora’s earliest opening in 22 years.
Even recreating in the high country by cross country skis or snowshoes is more difficult under Gov. Jared Polis’s statewide order for people to stay at home, and his urging people to get their recreation in their immediate neighborhoods to the greatest extent possible.
Those new to the Front Range might be surprised to know that not only does snow typically continue well into springtime, but that April is historically the third-snowiest month of the year. February holds down second place behind March, with 15.0 inches as the average across the years 1991-2020.
Kelsch said the April 1990-2019average for Boulder is 13.6 inches of snow, and 3.03 inches of liquid precipitation.
“You can see February is ahead of other months, and if you consider it has fewer days, it really is as snowy as March in these last 30 years,” Kelsch wrote in an email. “But it wasn’t that way in any previous 30-year period.”
Byrd said Longmont’s 30-year average for April is 4.4 inches of snow.
March ambled out like the proverbial lamb Tuesday under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, but the area is looking at the likelihood of a bit more snow on the near horizon.
Thursday’s forecast shows a 60% chance of rain and snow showers between 9 a.m. and noon, with snow showers after noon. There is a 70% chance of snow showers Thursday night before midnight, with the low tumbling down to about 26 degrees.
Conditions should moderate by the weekend, with Saturday mostly sunny and a high about 57, and Palm Sunday still sunny and warming to a high of about 62 degrees.
Boulder’s average snowfall by month, 1991-2020, by inches
*These monthly averages are for the 30-year period running from 1990 to 2019
Source: Boulder meteorologist Matt Kelsch