If you go to the FAA’s website, you’ll see a dreaded black dot under the Denver airport. That means that the airport has been officially closed as of 245p Mountain Time. They are unable to clear the runways fast enough.
If you’d like to see actual conditions at the Denver Airport, you can go to the National Weather Service’s weather page where they have the METAR. The acronym apparently stands for something in French, but it’s basically the aviation weather report.
Right now, the Denver METAR shows this:
KDEN 202131Z 34028G34KT 1/4SM R35L/1400V1800FT +SN BLSN FZFG VV002 M04/M06 A2984 RMK AO2 P0000 $
For those who don’t speak airline/weather dork, it basically means this:
- KDEN – The four letter ICAO airport code for Denver’s Airport
- 202131Z –
The report came at 20:21:31 zulu time (GMT)The report came on the 20th day of the month at 21:31 Zulu time which is usually equal to GMT
- 34028G34KT – Winds are 28 knots gusting to 34 knots and they’re coming from 340 degrees (north northwest)
- 1/4SM – Visibility is 1/4 of a statute mile
- R35L/1400V1800FT – Runway Visual Range (RVR) – so on runway 35L, you can see between 1,400 and 1,800 feet ahead of you depending upon where you are on the runway
- +SN BLSN FZFG – Snow, Blowing Snow, and Freezing Fog
- VV002 – Since you’re in the fog, there is no real ceiling, but you can only see 200 ft above your head
- M04/M06 – Temperature is -4C and the dewpoint is -6C
- A2984 – That’s the barometric pressure
The rest of it doesn’t really matter, but you get the point. This is some horrendous weather. BTW, for a full tutorial on how to read METAR, here’s a great resource from Weather Underground.