WeatherWeather Science


Seasonal snowfall looking "good" for parts of Southern Colorado

Seasonal Snowfall -- 2022/23
Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 20:38:40-05

Fresh snow around Christmas and another fresh coast of snow during the first of the year has parts of Southern Colorado looking much whiter this year compared to the same time last year.

But not all parts of Southern Colorado have seen a snowy start to the season.

Where things are looking good so far this season is the Pikes Peak Region.

Seasonal Snowfall -- 2022/23
Here's a look at seasonal snowfall averages-to-date for Colorado Springs & Pueblo

Here we've collected almost 13" of snow at the Colorado Springs Airport, a surplus of 1.4" compared to the latest 30-year average.

For Pueblo, it's been a different story, only collecting 6" of snow so far this season at the airport.

Blame it on warmer air or fewer storms, but that's a deficit of more than 5", or just about 54% of average.

2022-23 seasonal snowfall compared to last season and the 30-year average

For both cities for the 2022-23 season, we are doing better than this time last year.

There's many ways to look at the data, but in the Springs for example, we didn't see our first snowfall last season until New Year's Eve (2021).

After the latest first snowfall on record at COS, we came out above normal in the Springs, and just below average in Pueblo.

La Niña Precipitation

With La Niña still a factor this winter, there's a higher chance of drier than normal conditions for Southern Colorado and the southern U.S.

At the same time, La Niña does offer the Pacific Northwest and northern U.S. a better chance of wetter than normal conditions.

In Colorado, weather conditions during La Niña can vary quite a bit from one end of our state to the next.

Typical La Niña impacts for the state of Colorado

As you can see, northwestern Colorado tends to lean towards above average precipitation while southeastern Colorado's weather tends to be less active.

It's important to note that not all La Niña's or El Niño's are alike, and in some cases, the script can be flipped from what's considered to be the "norm".

The current La Niña cycle has been very wet and snowy for California.

As we look ahead to January...that trend is likely to continue for the Golden State.

In Southern Colorado, we're looking at near average snowfall for the month ahead.

The January Precipitation Outlook for Colorado, per the Climate Prediction Center

For Denver and Fort Collins, as well as the high country, more abundant snowfall certainly looks possible.

In spite of the trends that I just shared with you for this year, climatologically speaking, January in Southern Colorado can also be quite snowy.

On average, it's the third snowiest month of the year for Colorado Springs, and the snowiest for the Steel City.

However with La Niña still at play, we'll have to wait and see what happens this year...