National Snow & Ice - December 2006
NCDC added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.
The two satellite-derived animations above show the daily snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere (left map) and North America (right map) throughout December 2006. By clicking on the images, the advance of sea-ice across Hudson Bay and parts of the Arctic can be seen through the month as well as the snowstorm across the Plains and Great Lakes in early December, the Rockies blizzard on December 20-21 and another snowstorm in the Rockies and High Plains on December 29-31.
More information on significant winter weather and other hazards can be found on NCDC's Hazards page.
The map to the left depicts the snowfall totals for the blizzard which affected primarily the front-range of the Colorado Rockies on December 20-21, 2006. Some of the largest snowfall totals during this event ranged from 21 inches (53.3 cm) in Fort Collins to 42 inches (106.7 cm) at Conifer, southwest of Denver. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Boulder measured 19 inches (48.3 cm) of snowfall. This blizzard forced the closure of interstates, businesses, schools and airports stranding thousands of holiday travelers. Denver International Airport closed on the 19th, leaving about 5000 air travelers stranded in the terminals until the weather cleared. Blowing and drifting snows, creating drifts up to 5 feet (152 cm) deep, prevented the airport from reopening until the 22nd. For the month, Denver received 29.4 inches (74.7 cm) of snowfall: the 3rd snowiest December on record (1882-2006). The holiday 2006 blizzard was also the 7th largest for Denver since 1946.
Other notable snowfall accumulations in other states, as seen in the map to the left, include: Cheyenne, WY with 13.6 inches (34.5 cm), Scottsbluff, NE with 10.0 inches (25.4 cm) and Bridgeport, NE with 17.5 inches (44.5 cm). More information on December severe winter weather can also be found on NCDC's Hazards page.