Worst Snow Storms in Denver’s History

Worst Snow Storms in Denver’s History

It’s interesting when the Midwest shuts down over a few inches of freezing rain, you know what Denver natives call that? Just a regular spring day. Or how about when Californians are complaining about cold temperatures in the 40s? GET SOME REAL PROBLEMS. We see negative temperatures in Denver in November and that’s just the beginning of our winter season. Our freezes have been known to last through parts of April. Even though cold weather is nothing to many natives of Denver and it hardly shuts the city down, there have been some massive storms that have shocked even the oldest Denver native.

December 1913

Chances are that nobody who was in this storm is still around to tell about it. A whopping 45.7 inches fell on the city. It started the first week of December and there weren’t nearly as many methods as coping with the snowfall back then as we have now so cleanup took a lot longer. Snow removal was largely taken care of by buggies carting loads of snow to common snow dumping grounds.

December 1982

In 1982 Denver definitely had a white Christmas. Nearly two feet of snow fell from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. The snow forced people to get creative when it came to transportation and many residents busted out their skis and snowshoes in order to navigate around town.

October 1997

Although this blizzard didn’t produce snow accumulation numbers upwards of 30 inches, it was still quite the storm. The National Weather Service has described this storm as one of the worst and deadliest blizzards of the decade. Wind chills during that storm were as high as 60 miles per hour which made for temperatures as low as 40 below zero. Hundreds of travelers were stranded due to the number of highways that shut down during this storm. There was zero visibility so anyone who happened to be traveling during this time ended up stranded. Denver International Airport also saw a slew of delays, which resulted in 4,000 passengers having to camp out at the airport.

March 2003

There are certainly still survivors from 10 years ago who remember this one. Who would have thought that blizzards would strike in March? Colorado natives should be used to Colorado weather doing whatever it feels like no matter what time of year. This snowstorm was the biggest one since the whopper of 1913. It poured 31.8 inches on Denver and was one of the most expensive storms for the city to clean up. Total costs from cleanup expenses and insurance claims were $33.6 million.

So there you have it, the four snowstorms that have left the biggest impression on the Mile High City. Who knows, maybe this year will produce another massive winter storm that leaves the city shut down and can give us all a way to remember the great winter of 2013.


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