A massive storm dropped feet of snow across Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska over the weekend, knocking out power for tens of thousands of customers and grinding air and ground transportation to a halt. Cheyenne, Wyo., saw nearly 26 inches by noon Sunday, breaking its record for two-day snowfall, and Denver saw its fourth-most snow since 1881 — more than 27 inches at Denver International Airport, and approximately two corgis in Lincoln Park. In Aspen Park, nearly 20 inches of snow fell in just four hours. Human-caused climate change increases air and sea surface temperatures, creating more favorable conditions for extreme precipitations events.
Unlike the massive blackouts in Texas last month which caused catastrophic failures across the grid and gas system, the outages caused by the wet, heavy snow are primarily caused by downed transmission lines and power is expected to be restored much more quickly. The storm will not be sufficient to alleviate the drought affecting nearly all of the state. (Denver Post, Washington Post $, New York Times $; Drought: Denver Post; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)