Snow is not all that unusual in the mountains of the Western United States in late May. However, snow to low elevations is a more rare occurrence.
A series of cold Low-pressure systems have been marching across the West since this past weekend. These Lows have brought unusually cold air inland, producing measurable snowfall in the Town of Jackson, Wyoming and to many areas of Colorado.
Jackson’s official climate station reported one inch of snow on Monday morning May 20th, 2019. That is the first time in Jackson’s history that measurable snowfall has been recorded on that date.
That’s not to say it hasn’t happened, as missing observations, or snow that melts before it gets measured and recorded are quite possible.
Other dates with measurable snowfall in late May in Jackson include:
1 inch on May 22nd, 1966 (53 years ago).
2 inches on May 30th, 1978 (4 years ago).
3 inches, on May 21st, 1931 (88 years ago).
On May 21st, 2019 Denver experienced its biggest snow in 44 years, with 3.4 inches recorded in a 24-hour period. That is the most snow in one day in late May, since May 29th, 1975 when Denver recorded 5.6 inches of snow.
Denver also tied a record cold low temperature on May 21st, 2019 with a reading of 31 degrees F.
Even more impressive is that the high temperature only made it to 39 degrees F. That is the coldest May 21st in 128 years! The old record cold high temperature for May 21st was 40 degrees, set way back in in 1891.
Post by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey