*This contest is now closed to entries. Keep an eye out as we’ll be doing more contests in the future*

We provide a brief climatology for late-season snowfall in Boulder and then pose the question…”How much more snowfall will Boulder see in the 2016-17 snow season?” Submit your guess for a chance at several prizes. Those who get closest to the exact amount win. Read on for all the details.

The last 67 years of spring snow…

April and May are the two wettest and gloomiest months of the year for northern Colorado. In fact, nearly a third of our annual precipitation falls during these two months alone. This is a result of the brief but vital overlap between a favorable storm track and increased atmospheric moisture content. Occasionally, a little bit of cold air lingering from the winter season can fold into the mix, producing heavy spring snow for the Foothills, and even the Plains. Last April, we got to use the orange coloration on our snowfall forecast map, the only time we have ever done so, predicting an unthinkable 30 to 50″ of snow! Just about anything can happen this time of year, including severe storms, flooding, and crippling snow storms.

RELATED POST:
Forecast Review: Up to four feet of April snow falls on the Front Range

Let’s briefly review some statistics of Boulder’s late-season snowfall. Hopefully this will give you some context for your contest entry to follow. 

The chart below shows the date of Boulder’s last measurable snowfall for each year dating back to 1950 (blue snowflake icons). By measurable, we mean that officially 0.1″ or more of snow was recorded. As is often the case late in the snow season, a few flakes mix in with rain, or flurries briefly fly, but never stick on the ground. These are instances where a trace of snow has occurred, but wasn’t measurable. Trace snow amounts are not included in this graph and won’t factor into the contest at all.

Last_Measurable_Snow_Chart

The date of Boulder’s last accumulating snowfall varies from mid-March to early June (yes, it has snowed in June before!). The median date is still more than two weeks away on April 26th. The latest date ever, June 3rd, confirms for us that snow is still possible in Boulder for EIGHT more weeks!

How about a few percentiles for the gamblers out there? The odds of our last measurable snowfall occurring on or before…

  • April 3: 10%
  • April 17th: 25%
  • April 26th: 50%
  • May 5th: 75%
  • May 16th: 90%

As you can see, there’s still a fairly high chance, at least according to climatology, that our final snowfall is still ahead of us…somewhere around 85% probability as of today (April 7th). This is promising news! Even considering the 11.5″ of slop that fell in Boulder earlier this week, we’re sitting at just 57″ of snow this season, more than 20″ below normal.

RELATED POST:
Storm Recap: From 70's to a blizzard in the blink of an eye

Contest specifics and prizes

Similar to our last contest, we’re creating a community poll for guesses as to HOW MUCH MORE TOTAL SNOW Boulder will see in the 2016-2017 winter season. Those who come closest to the actual amount will be the winners. For verification, we’ll go off the official Boulder climate station located at the NIST building in south Boulder (FYI, they follow UTC time for date cut-offs).

To help, we created the below graph…which is very relevant to this contest. Shown is the total amount of snowfall that fell each year on and after April 12th (the start of this contest). We’ll leave it at that. Interpret and/or use it as you see fit…

Late_season_BouldeR_Snow_Chart

For prizes, we’re giving away BoulderCAST Premium subscriptions. As a reminder, BoulderCAST Premium members receive our daily forecast discussion every morning at 5AM, have full-access to the 24-hour version of our nowcasts and our extended ski forecasts, gain early viewing of select content, can request custom forecasts, and have the ability to chat in real-time with other members and the BoulderCAST team on the site. Read our announcement post for more information.

The prizes for the contest are as follows:

  • 1st place: 6-month subscription to BoulderCAST Premium
  • 2nd  place: 3-month subscription to BoulderCAST Premium
  • 3rd – 5th places: 1-month subscription to BoulderCAST Premium
  • All other places: Virtual “pat on the back”

In the event that multiple participants select the same amount, the tie-breaker of last measurable snowfall date will be used. *NOTE: You must guess a snowfall amount GREATER THAN ZERO and a date April 12th or LATER*

RELATED POST:
Better late than never: A recap of the seaon's first snow

To get things  started, here are the snowfall amounts that some of the BoulderCAST Team have placed their bets on:

  • Ben: 2.2″ (Tie-breaker: April 25)
  • Andy: 4.0″ (Tie-breaker: April 22)
  • Keah: 4.0″ (Tie-breaker: May 1)
  • Joseph: 7.3″ (Tie-breaker: May 8)

Enter your NAME, EMAIL, and guesses for AMOUNT of additional snowfall from April 12th onward and a guess for the DATE of our last measurable snowfall in the form below. The deadline for entries is April 11th at 11:59 PM Mountain Time. Please only one entry per person.

As an added bonus, if you’re already a Premium subscriber and you’re one of the winners, your prize will be doubled! All the more reason to get ready for severe weather season and sign up now!

Prizes and recognition will be awarded on or around June 1st.

LiveCAST_Premium_Learn_More

BOULDERCAST 2017 SPRING SNOW CONTEST ENTRY FORM

*This contest is now closed to entries and this form has been removed*

*We respect your privacy. Your email will not be used for anything more than to contact you in case of meteorological victory.*

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Ben Castellani

Ben grew up in western Pennsylvania and holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in meteorology. He currently works on a programming language tailored for scientists at Harris Geospatial Solutions in Boulder.

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