As Denver residents waited for the snowstorm, pretty much everyone had an opinion about the hype, as demonstrated by our post spotlighting an F-bombing hot mic 9News video about complaining viewers. But while the blizzard reached Colorado's urban corridor a day or more later than originally anticipated, it packed a considerable punch once it finally arrived.
In posts on Twitter, the debate over whether weather prognosticators blew their predictions, nailed them or landed somewhere in the middle continues to rage, even as the weather system that wreaked so much havoc on the area heads east.
No question, the advance hype was early and excessive. Take this headline from the boldly named AccuWeather site, as published on Thursday, March 11, when the leading edge of the storm was supposed to reach the metro area: "Denver could get one of its biggest snowstorms since 1885."
That same day, Governor Jared Polis held a press conference during which he announced that search-and-rescue efforts by the Colorado National Guard would be authorized through the state's emergency operation center beginning at noon Friday, March 12. But few flakes fell that day in metro Denver and beyond — just raindrops. And on the morning of Saturday, March 13, the amount of precipitation was hardly historic, prompting tweets like these:
Colorado was slated to get snow last night and a big ass blizzard throughout the weekend. Well folks, Mama’s wrong again. pic.twitter.com/rvVFDcBaec— Tyler Divido (@tyler_divido14) March 13, 2021
We were supposed to have the worst snow storm in Colorado history since like 1856 or something this weekend and there is less than an inch of snow currently— Shelbs (@shelbyyy2) March 14, 2021
Weather people look really stupid when things get predicted that never happen. See also: "huge" #colorado snowstorm. Seriously, do better. You're wrong more thsn right. @NWS @NWSSPC @NWSBoulder - no snow, no wind. pic.twitter.com/LPH9b7CkDC— Sara Conrad. (@SaraCsit) March 13, 2021
An acquaintance and long-time DEN resident recently posted: "Well I'm talking Colorado. This kind of weather is perfectly normal. Also, for the record, we're now days into supposed snowpocalypse and not only is there no snow, there is barely any precipitation at all."— Paul Hsieh (@PaulHsieh) March 13, 2021
#Snowpocalypse2021 #Denver #Xylia is a dud! Storm was "supposed" to hang out in SE #Colorado dumping snow over the front range/mountains. Storm's actually in NE Colorado, why are WX forecasters still insisting this is going to happen?— CotonClone (@snowcoton) March 13, 2021
All the doppler numbers in the world won't save Denver meteorologists from being wrong about a snow storm, yet again.— Marcelo Duran (@guyincognito) March 14, 2021
The question in #Denver today is where is the #Snowpocalypse2021 and how will the news media spin it while lying straight to our face and to the world?— Just Amy (@AmytotheO) March 13, 2021
Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping for snow (and CO weather is totally bananas), but their inability to laugh and say oops!...
During the afternoon of March 13, however, snowfall began to pick up in most parts of Denver and north along Interstate 25 to the Wyoming border and beyond. The snow continued to fall through that night and for much of Sunday, March 14, and substantial winds made things that much more miserable. Denver International Airport, where the city's official totals are calculated, currently registers just over 27 inches of snow; the place shut down last night.
While this amount doesn't best Colorado's biggest snowfalls going back to the nineteenth century, it's good enough for fourth place in Denver's recorded history.
Granted, the snow amounts vary widely across metro Denver. In the Ken Caryl Ranch area of Jefferson County, where I live, we collected between eight and eleven inches of snow. But plenty of other spots are looking at two feet, and the tonnage was enough to prompt some rare social media acknowledgements that weathercasters were closer to the mark than it initially seemed.
Not everyone agrees, however:
We got SNOW! Giving grace to the forecasters. We didn't get it yesterday but we got it today! Also let's retire the word "Snowpocalypse." Stay safe out there Colorado! @KyleClark @9NEWS @MattMakens #snow #Denver pic.twitter.com/DTHVpdaFmz— Najah Lightfoot (@NajahLightfoot) March 14, 2021
Colorado tryna exaggerate the amount of snow cause they were wrong about how much was coming— KING JUICE 2.5™ (@ChamGoesHam) March 14, 2021
I’m confused, we have 16” (and counting) of heavy wet snow in Denver and Blizzard warning. does this mean the forecasters got it right?— Aaron Smith (@aaronc_smith) March 14, 2021
Yesterday CO-Twitter was screaming about them missing it. So now I’m sure CO-Twitter will acknowledge they should have waited before tweeting?
Seriously can’t the weather forecasters handle some constant negative comments from me? I enjoy shitting on everything. What’s the problem?— NOTJamesMerillat (@MerillatNot) March 14, 2021
I find it funny that @9NEWS does a story with “shovel guy” the reason he tweeted what he tweeted, was because the “Weather Guessers” TOLD EVERYONE that the snow was going to start at 7:00pm on Friday. They were wrong and they’ll be wrong again. Welcome to Colorado. No biggie— Carmen Costa (@Carmensinging) March 15, 2021
Not by forecasters! But yeah, tons of hype that wasn't fully realized, I think, because the storm just went a touch too far north for Denver proper to get hammered. Fort Collins northward all getting major snow.— Eric Jensen (@moonlitbotanist) March 14, 2021
It was such a fun and exciting week leading up to #Snowmageddon2021 today here in Denver, CO. Thanks for never being right and never being wrong @BianchiWeather @BrendansWeather @NWSBoulder @coloradowx @weather5280 @theWXwoman @KylieBearseWX— Cody Waterman (@CodyRWaterman) March 15, 2021
Excellent work @denversnow
The mainstream media wants you to believe there were three bigger snow storms in Colorado history.— Godzillionaire (@Systemskates) March 15, 2021
Anyone on here in Denver who was making fun of the "wrong" snow forecast at this time yesterday is welcome to come to my house to shovel the lack of snow off my driveway and sidewalks.— Kevin Scharfenberg (@wxkev) March 14, 2021
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