No more snow? Not so fast, experts say
Although Grand Junction hasn’t seen more than a trace of snowfall since Feb. 4, it may not be time to put the snow pants and boots away just yet.
Measurable snowfall is not in the near-term forecast for the valley but a few flakes may arrive along with rain early this morning, according to Mike Meyers, science and operations officer for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. Great chances of any precipitation besides rain are not in the forecast for the rest of this spring but Meyers said Grand Junction residents shouldn’t count on being flake-free until fall.
“Looking out into April, chances decrease but there is still a chance” of snow, he said. “We had about four inches last year in the middle of April so there’s definitely a chance, but nothing in the short-term.”
So far, Grand Junction has already had an above-average winter for precipitation. Between early December and late March, the city got 25.7 inches of snow.
The average snowfall over that period in Grand Junction is 17.6 inches.
There’s still time for that accumulation to grow. The average monthly snowfall in Grand Junction is nine-tenths of an inch in April and one-tenth of an inch in May.
May 11 is the latest spring date the city has ever had measurable snow, according to National Weather Service Data Acquisition Program Manager John Kyle.
That record was set back in 1946, when two-tenths of an inch of snow fell in Grand Junction, along with 4.1 inches of rain.
Kyle said he would imagine the odds of snow this May are slim given that average but “I would say climatologically speaking (snow) will probably happen” in April.
Snow is almost certainly not out of the forecast yet for Grand Mesa. Kyle said March and April are the number one and number two months, respectively, for snow accumulations at higher elevations in the intermountain western Rockies.
Powderhorn Ski Resort on the mesa has a mid-mountain base of 68 inches, according to the resort’s online snow report. Powderhorn plans to close for the season Sunday but may opt to open Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday certain weekends after the official closing date.
While skiers can rejoice, allergy sufferers face a mixed bag with an earlier-than-usual allergy season fueled by above-freezing temperatures and little precipitation (just nine one-hundreths of an inch in March as of Wednesday) to dissipate airborne irritants.
The most recent Mesa County allergen sampling, taken Sunday, listed weed pollen counts in the low range and tree pollen counts in the high range.
Still, tree pollen counts are lower than usual for this time of year because this is typically peak time for tree pollen but that peak arrived earlier this month due to the quicker onset of the season this year.