National Snow and Ice - December 2006

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.

Colorado Blizzard Snow Totals - December 2006
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Image courtesy of the

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.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Snow and Ice for December 2006, published online January 2007, retrieved on August 22, 2019 from