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May Day Becomes A Snow Day For Colorado

Jim Hill

It’s May 1 – and what better way to welcome the month than with a spring snowstorm?

A cold front moved in late Tuesday, bringing rain and snow to the Front Range and northern mountains.

"The heaviest snow was up to the north last night,” says National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kalina. “There was a band up north, toward the Fort Collins-Loveland area. Fort Collins had about 9 inches of snow overnight. Loveland had 13 inches, and Estes Park had 13 also."

The Denver Post has a few snow totals this morning, including 18 inches for Cameron Pass and 14 up on Trail Ridge.

As a result, schools in the Thompson and Poudre districts were closed Wednesday, and Estes Park has delayed the opening of administrative buildings until noon.

There have been a few power outages reported in Northern Colorado, including the KUNC main transmitter site, resulting in 91.5fm being off the air. Poudre Valley REA customers can check outages with this handy map. Update 4:05 p.m. - Power has been restored to KUNC's transmitter and 91.5fm is once again back on the air.

All morning, reports and pictures of heavy snow, slick roads, and breaking tree branches have flooded social media.

And maybe a complaint or two.

So how strange is a May snowstorm for Northern Colorado? Jim Kalina isn’t all that surprised.

"They’re not too common, but they’re not too unusual either," Kalina says. "We’ve had several snows during the month of May. The heaviest we’ve ever had in May was 11.5 inches in one day – that was May 5, 1917. So… it’s been a while."

More recently, Kalina says a few May storms dumped snow on the Front Range in the 1980s, including 7.1 inches May 17, 1983.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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