Spatial snowfall distributions in winter storms in Colorado

TitleSpatial snowfall distributions in winter storms in Colorado
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1994
AuthorsTollerud, E. I., Mahoney J. L., and Collander R. S.
Conference Name62nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 62nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1994
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSante Fe, New Mexico
KeywordsColorado Springs, Denver, Snowfall patterns

Snowfall data from storms in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, are used to confirm the finding from previous studies that snowstorms in Denver are characteristically distinct from snowstorms in Colorado Springs. From analyses of storms in these two cities during the period 1972 to 1992, storm-total snowfall at the sites is found to be inversely related; that is, heavy snowfall at Denver is usually associated with relatively light snowfall at Colorado Springs, and vice versa. Hourly liquid precipitation data from a set of several stations in Colorado are totaled over the lifetime of 17 major storms in Denver and 11 in Colorado Springs. Plots of these totals demonstrate that precipitation during major Denver storms is concentrated on the eastern plains of Colorado, while precipitation during major Colorado Springs storms shows large amounts west of the continental Divide. These spatial distributions are compared to composite maps of storm circulation produced by Mahoney et al (1994), which exhibit strong low-level cyclogenesis in the lee of the Rocky Mountains in the Denver storms and low-level cyclogenesis west of the mountains in the Colorado Springs storms.