Denver’s largest January snowstorm since 1992 could’ve been a lot worse

Almost 8 inches were measured at Denver International Airport.

A driver creeps up a hill in Montclair. Jan. 18, 2023.

A driver creeps up a hill in Montclair. Jan. 18, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The snow that fell overnight registered at 7.7 inches at Denver International Airport — where the city’s official measurements are taken —  making it Denver’s largest January snowstorm since 1992, according to the National Weather Service.

But it could have been a lot worse. A last-minute shift in the weather pattern pushed the storm’s path farther northeast, missing a bulk of the metro area, said Jim Kalina, a forecaster with NWS.

“It is less than we were expecting, but the airport still caught some,” Kalina said.

Forecasts earlier in the week predicted up to a foot of snow for the city.

That didn’t pan out, though. Aurora only got about 5 inches and Commerce City got about a half inch more. Areas east of I-25 saw even less.

Snow is expected to keep falling through the afternoon Wednesday until about 4 p.m., but it won’t add up to much. Areas east of Interstate 25 could get between 2 to 4 inches more during the day.

The NWS also forecasts heavy winds between 16 to 20 mph. The high today is about 29 degrees.

Still, the snow caused a lot of closures today.

Denver city government will be closed Wednesday, with the exception of emergency services and others, including trash and recycling, 311 and emergency shelters.

The McNichols Civic Center Building, which has been activated as an overnight shelter for Wednesday and Thursday, will remain open. The city’s rec centers are not operating as warming centers Wednesday.

Denver Public Schools campuses and offices are also closed. It’s an actual snow day, meaning no class, but if snowy conditions stretch into Thursday, the district said it will move to remote learning for that day.

All schools at Denver’s Auraria Campus are closed.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is closed as well.

This article has been updated to clarify that it’s the largest January snowstorm since 1992.

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