May 10 to May 16: This week in Denver weather history
As we move further into spring we begin to less winter-like weather and more spring weather. In looking at Denver weather history we can see that transition with more mentions of severe rains, flooding, tornadoes and other spring and summer-like severe weather.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1979…4.3 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 8th. Most of the snowfall…2.3 inches…occurred on the 9th. High temperature of only 35 degrees on the 9th equaled the record low maximum for the date.
In 1889…heavy rainfall totaled 2.15 inches in downtown Denver. The cold rain was mixed with snow at times overnight. Temperatures on the 10th ranged from a high of 38 degrees to a low of 32 degrees with north winds sustained to 22 mph.
In 2003…a late spring snowstorm hammered the mountains… Eastern foothills…and urban corridor. The heaviest snowfall occurred north of interstate 70. The heavy wet snow caused damage to trees throughout metro Denver and downed power lines. About 40 thousand people along the urban corridor were without power. Storm total snowfall amounts included: 11.5 inches in Louisville… 8 inches in Boulder and Broomfield; 7 inches in Thornton…Broomfield…at Denver International Airport… And at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport; and 6 inches 4 miles east of Denver. Snowfall ranged from 4 to 9 inches across extreme southern weld County. In the foothills…15 inches of snow fell near Jamestown…9 inches at Rollinsville and Rawah…with 8 inches at Chief Hosa and atop Lookout Mountain. The snow was accompanied by thunder on the afternoon of the 9th at Denver International Airport where west winds gusted to 25 mph on the 9th and north winds gusted to 22 mph on the 10th.
In 1875…a windstorm sand-blasted the city from 10:00 am until midnight. Northwest winds sustained to 60 mph brought clouds of sand…which caused high damage to unfinished buildings.
In 1912…a vigorous cold front produced strong north winds and rain. North winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. Rainfall totaled 1.10 inch.
In 1935…no precipitation occurred…making this one of only two days without precipitation during the entire month. The other day was the 21st. Precipitation totaled 4.95 inches for the month.
In 1956…northwest winds gusted to 53 mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust.
In 1974…strong winds caused 30 thousand dollars in damage to a building under construction in Lakewood. Microburst winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988…lightning struck a house in Boulder…setting it afire. The house…valued at 170 thousand dollars…was a total loss.
In 1989…golf ball size hail fell over southeast Denver near the junction of I-25 and I-225. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell over southeast Aurora. Only 3/8 inch hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991…high winds up to 63 mph raked the eastern foothills. Winds estimated to 50 mph tore a roof from a home in Lafayette. A tower at Jefferson County stadium in west metro Denver was blown over by the high winds. No injuries were reported. Southeast winds gusting to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing dust. The temperature climbed to a high of 86 degrees… Equaling the record maximum for the date.
In 2005…severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 2 inches in diameter in and near Longmont.
In 1918…post-frontal snowfall totaled 4.7 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 19 mph on the 10th.
In 1923…winds were strong and gusty on both days. Northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 44 mph on the 10th. North winds were sustained to 39 mph with gusts to 46 mph behind an apparent cold front on the 11th.
In 2011…a spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to the Front Range foothills and palmer divide. Storm totals included: 18 inches…4 miles south-southeast of Pinecliffe; 16 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 15 inches…4 miles west-southwest of Eldorado Springs; 13 inches at Gold Hill…12 inches… 4 miles west-southwest of Conifer and 4 miles northwest of Elizabeth; 11.5 inches…6 miles southwest of Evergreen and 4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 11 inches…3 miles east of Jamestown and 10.5 inches…3 miles east of Franktown and 3 miles south of Golden and 10 inches…10 miles north of Elizabeth. At Denver International Airport… 1 inch of snowfall was observed.
In 1879…an apparent cold front during the afternoon produced sustained north winds as high as 60 mph and great clouds of blowing dust. The dust filled the air until the thunderstorm rain began…which produced 1.46 inches of rainfall. The rain ended during the evening.
In 1900…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph.
In 1958…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1963…south-southwest winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton Airport. Winds May have been stronger over west Denver where some buildings were damaged.
In 1998…large hail fell over south metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter was measured in Parker with 1 inch hail recorded in Littleton and 4 miles south of Lakewood in Jefferson County. Hail to 3/4 inch diameter was measured in Douglas County…11 miles west- northwest of Parker.
In 2014…a strong storm system moved from southwest Colorado and produced heavy snow in and near the Front Range foothills and metro Denver. The snow was heaviest in the foothills where up to 2 1/2 feet of snow was observed. In the foothills… Storm totals included: 30 inches near Pinecliffe; 29 inches… 8 miles northeast of Four Corners; 28 inches near Pingree Park; 27 inches near Allenspark; 20.5 inches near Idaho Springs; 19.5 inches at Gold Hill; 19 inches near Genesee; 18 inches near Blackhawk; 17 inches at Aspen Springs; 16.5 inches near Ward; 13.5 inches at bergen park; with 11 inches at Evergreen. Along the urban corridor and Palmer Divide…storm totals included: 10.5 inches at Eldorado Springs; 10 inches at Ken Caryl; 9 inches at Superior; 8 inches near Morrison; 7.5 inches in Broomfield and Highlands Ranch; 7 inches in Denver… Near Franktown…Golden… Lakewood and Highlands Ranch; 6 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster… 7 miles south of Lyons and near Parker; with 5.5 inches at Aurora. At Denver International Airport…1.1 inches of snowfall was observed… Along with 0.9 inches of water.
In 1875…two forest fires on the eastern slope of the foothills were visible from the city.
In 1904…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.
In 1950…brilliant and complete primary and secondary rainbows arching across the sky were observed from Stapleton Airport.
In 1951…a wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.
In 1984…winds gusted to 69 mph in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1987…a small weak tornado touched down for about 2 minutes in southeast Denver. The twister hit a car dealership…blowing about a dozen windows out of cars and shattering four skylights on the building. Some tin roofing was blown off a patio a block and a half away. The tornado also downed a power pole. Damage at the dealership was estimated at 10 thousand dollars. A man was slightly injured by lightning in northwest Aurora.
In 1995…several funnel clouds were sighted near Parker. One of the funnels produced a short-lived debris cloud on the ground in an open field. No damage was reported.
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