Summer Snowfall


Robyn Leland

The iconic Flatirons typically look this frozen in December. Boulder residents are marveling at this sight early this year.

Front Range communities were covered with four inches of snow on Tuesday night, causing tree breakages and power outages in Boulder. Temperatures plummeted to 32 degrees Fahrenheit this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, despite highs in the 90s just 24 hours earlier.

Snow-heavied branches fell from high treetops, creating debris and hazards. (Halie Leland)

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, is the earliest Boulder has seen snow, beating the snowfall of Sept. 12, 1974, and it may have come at a rather helpful time. With the Cameron Peak and Williams Fork Fires ablaze, many citizens hope the snow will help clear smoke and minimize the already devastating flames. The Cameron Peak Fire has burned hundreds of homes and has been officially named the fifth-largest in the history of Colorado. Senior Lauren Leland states, “These fires are causing a lot of harm and I hope this snow will help.” 

But the fire is not the only force damaging trees. The snowfall has caused tree breakage throughout the city and residents have been warned to stay away from the creek path as clean up efforts continue. 

Snow-covered trees have also been causing issues for Xcel Energy’s department of the Boulder Region. On Monday, Sept. 9, 2020, at 2:35 p.m., multiple outages were documented as affecting 2,327 customers in Boulder. For some Boulder households, more than four outages occurred between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday, one of which lasted around five hours.

Broom-whacking became a common method of preventing tree-induced home damage. (Halie Leland)

These outages come at an inconvenient time for the school community as it adjusts to online learning. Many students were unable to attend class Wednesday due to the loss of internet connection and electricity. Boulder High teacher Ms. Roberta Spray explains the challenges these home-learning inconveniences present: “Today’s power outages at first threw me for a loop, but then I realized that since I record classes, students will still have access to the material covered in class…I also had to be forgiving of my strict deadlines since students would not necessarily be able to upload their assignments without internet access.” The AP World History teacher also expressed her gratitude towards persevering students saying: “I was very impressed with students who went out of their way to email me using their phones, upload using their phones and the Schoology app, or went to a friend’s house and uploaded their assignments. This was all amazing thinking and perseverance on the part of my students, whom I could not do without during these challenging times.”