Sunday, April 19, 2009

Colorado Snow Photo Tour

OSNW3 made an amazing radar loop of the storm from start to finish -- it not only shows the "fire hose" of moisture out of the Gulf Coast and into the central part of the country -- but also the very large scope of this April spring storm.

Click here to view that radar loop.

We basically didn't see the sun along the Front Range of Colorado from when it set on Thursday night until it rose on Sunday morning. That is extremely rare for this part of the country.

Here are a few pictures of the creek behind my house and how it was filling up quickly from all the precipitation.

Typically this is just a little meandering creek just a few feet wide.

To give you an idea of the water that was in this snow, I walked down to get the mail on Saturday and one of my neighbors had not cleared their snow yet.

Look at the water that was pooling beneath the snow at their end of their driveway. It is the area of snow that has a brownish/yellowish tint to it.

While I was shoveling, I took a picture to show you how dense the snow was -- which illustrates the water content.

Ricker, you are right -- this was the most dense, water-logged snows I think I have ever seen. Without seeing data, just knowing my experience from shoveling both storms, I'd say there was even more water in this one than in the March 2003 blizzard -- although that storm did dump a whole lot more snow in terms of inches.

Literally, the bottom layer of the snow was sitting on top of liquid water, and the snow almost sat off the ground a little at times. It was a perfect snow to make an ice fort, which I know some area families did -- there is a picture of one of the local ABC station website, along with hundreds of other snow event scenes.

Gardenbuzzy in Alabama, welcome to CoCoRaHS!! If Fort Collins wasn't so far away from me, I'd take you up on the snow removal offer!! ;-)

Click here for more pictures courtesy of KMGH-TV.

In the pictures below you can see what I was talking about above with the snow almost sitting above the ground on top of water.

Also, when you would shovel the snow would break off into compact, water-logged snow balls -- making each load with the shovel at least 50 to 75 pounds. It was literally back-breaking!

Finally, here is a shot once the driveway was finished being cleared and then one of my little girl, Lucy Lu, begging me to open the door and let her come inside!

In the driveway shot, you can see how deep the snow (mostly slush really) was in the road.

Although area travel wasn't completely stopped in the Denver metro area, it was tough on side streets that didn't get plowed due to the depth of the slush.

And when a car would pass you -- oh my goodness -- I was on I-70 in the right lane and a car passed me in the center lane. He kicked so much water back onto my windshield that my wipers wouldn't even clear it so I could see.

This went on for like a quarter-mile and when I slowed down he did too. (not purposely I don't think) He was just slowing since he encountered a huge area of standing slush/water.

But I temporarily went into a panic because I thought oh my gosh I cannot see where I am going I am going to wreck. Luckily I didn't, but when I did get far enough behind him that he wasn't throwing that volume of water at me, I was driving half on the shoulder and half in my lane -- so imagine if that happened to someone driving in the center lane and they temporarily lost control -- it could have caused a nasty wreck.

The storm did cause some area power outages and some trees did fall around the Denver metro area -- mostly on the south and west sides of town where more snow fell.

And in the foothills it was 30-60 inches of snow, many locations from Evergreen to Conifer to Pine and Bailey lost power for 15 or more hours.

There was a snow slide on Berthoud Pass that buried two cars full of people on Friday night, but thankfully, no one was injured and the cars were able to keep traveling once dug out.

Interstate 70 was closed from Golden to Vail on Friday night, keeping hundreds in area shelters until late Saturday morning.

Here is a list of area snow totals from the April Storm.


  1. Thanks for the enlightening and in depth detail of this entry, Chris!

    Is Denver one of the cities that receive the most sunshine in the 48? A handful of overcast days would seem drawn out if that's the case. I can easily say that I've never experienced so much snow with such a water content. Thanks for posting the photos!

    Jefferson & Gilpin county seemed the most unfortunate/fortunate (however you look at it) as I saw reports varying from 20" to 50"... *sheesh*

  2. Chris - your April snow looks exactly like our January snow in Western WA. Now you know why heavy snows here are so miserable to manage, but oh so beautiful to play in! :)

  3. A couple of weeks ago on our NWS site one of the weather historical facts was a snow in TX that totaled 25" but never exceded a depth of 4" because it was melting as fast as it fell. Question: as a CoCoRahs observer how does one get a measurement of such a snow?