January 2022 has featured a series of small to moderate snowfalls in the Colorado Front Range Mountains and Foothills that have resulted in a consistent and at times deep snow cover. This ordinarily would not be too astounding except that January is normally our driest month of the year, averaging only 13 inches of snow. Instead, this year, our total January snowfall is 33.8 inches, which is well above normal. Here are all the January snowfalls from my 12 years of records:
Amazingly, we are really close to normal now for the 2021-2022 snow season:
From July 1 through January 31st, our average snowfall is 53.4 inches and our median snowfall is 49.45. Our 49.5 inches of snowfall for the 2021-2022 season is 93% of normal and is right on the median. We are even ahead of last season when we ended up with nearly 190 inches.
As can happen in La Nina winters, particularly in the middle of the cold season, the western ridge can shift to the west allowing colder air and storms to penetrate into the central and southern Rockies. These are not the block buster storms we can see in the fall and spring, but they add up. Here is a look back at the storms we saw in January:
Again, these are not big snowfalls, but we normally do not get big storms in January.
Statewide, most of the mountainous areas are enjoying an above normal snowpack. This has not eradicated our drought, but it is helping:
There is a tendency for the Colorado Front Range mountains to see drier autumns and springs but wetter winters during La Ninas. We’ll see how the spring of 2022 pans out, but at least we are back on track in terms of snowfall for the moment.