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An outdoor graduation to remember, the 'SNOW-mencement' of 2019

Sunday, May 9th 2021, 6:05 am - On this day in weather history, it snowed during the University of Colorado's graduation.

Listen to The Weather Network's This Day in Weather History podcast on this topic, here.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.


On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the University of Colorado’s graduating class received their diploma and a snowstorm during the spring commencement.

The ceremony was quickly dubbed "snow-mencement." Approximately 8,600 degrees were given out as Boulder, Colo. hovered around -1°C. On May 9 it's usually 21°C in Boulder.

Boulder usually gets 245 sunny days per year and around one snowy day in May.

Photo by Patrick Campbell, University of Colorado Boulder Courtesy of Patrick Campbell, University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado’s class of 2019 leaned into the snow and arrived dressed to impress. Some graduates sported ski goggles and snow boots and others took a snugglier approach and fashioned animal-themed onesies.


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An estimated 20,000 people attended the event which was held at Folsom Field, the school’s football stadium. The field and chairs were covered in snow.

Snowball fights ensued.

Photo by Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado Boulder Courtesy of Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder has received some significant May snowfalls in the past. On May 9, 1943, it received half a foot of snow (about 15 cm). The city's largest May snowfall record occurred on May 5, 1917, with a whopping 36 cm of the white fluffy stuff.

Photo by Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado Boulder Courtesy of Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado Boulder

To learn more about the University of Colorado's "snow-mencement," listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Subscribe to 'This Day in Weather History': Apple Podcasts | Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Spotify | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio | Overcast'

Thumbnail: Boulder, Colorado. Courtesy of Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado Boulder

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