Late May snow pastes Colorado 24 hours after 90-degree heat

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Memorial Day weekend is just a week away, but it looks like Christmas in many parts of Colorado. A late winter storm dumped as much as 20 inches of snow in the Centennial State.

More than 100,000 customers are in the dark because of the heft of the wet snow, which weighed down trees — already green with leaves — and power lines. The greatest concentration of outages focused on the south and west sides of Denver in Jefferson and Denver counties, where nearly 80,000 customers were without electricity, according to PowerOutage.US.

The pasty snow, most of which fell late Friday into early Saturday, came just 24 hours after temperatures soared to nearly 90 degrees. In Denver, it was 87 Thursday afternoon before temperatures crashed to 33 — a 54-degree change.

Denver received about 2 inches of snow. According to Chris Bianchi, a meteorologist for Denver’s CBS television affiliate 9 News, the storm tied as the ninth-latest on record to produce at least an inch in the city. The average last inch of snow, he tweeted, occurs on April 22. The city’s latest big snowstorm on record occurred on May 26-27 in 1950, when 10.7 inches fell.

Heavier amounts fell to the north and west of the Mile High City, including a little more than 8 inches in Boulder. Heavy snow also fell on the north and west sides of Colorado Springs.

Some of the snowfall totals from Colorado include:

  • 20 inches — 19 miles west-southwest of Cripple Creek
  • 19 inches — Palmer Lake
  • 16 inches — Woodland Park
  • 14 inches — Cascade
  • 13 inches — 4 miles east-northeast of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs
  • 10 inches — 4 miles northeast of Nederland
  • 9.5 inches — Beulah
  • 8 inches — Fountain

Heavy snow also blanketed parts of southern Wyoming, where up to 18 inches was reported.

While some of the snowfall lingered in Colorado on Saturday morning, much of the accumulation had ended, as snow has difficulty sticking due to high sun angle at this time of year. Roads and travel were not heavily affected because a lot of the snow melted on paved surfaces.

The powerful cold front responsible for the temperature drop that facilitated the snowfall plowed eastward Friday, triggering severe thunderstorms that spawned a deadly tornado in Gaylord, Mich.

Two dead, 44 injured in unusual northern Michigan tornado

The same front could bring strong to severe storms from Texas to Maine on Saturday and from Virginia to Maine on Sunday before moving off the East Coast.

Areas ahead of the front, mainly along the East Coast, face record heat Saturday and possibly Sunday before much cooler weather arrives early next week.

Below are some social media images of the snowfall.





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