Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedTue, 21-Oct-2014 3:30pm MDT 


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Winter weather – What does that weather warning mean?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 5:47am MDT
You have seen and heard the warnings but do you know what they really mean?

You have seen and heard the warnings but do you know what they really mean?

We all are familiar with the crawls on the TV screen or the announcements on the radio for winter weather advisories such as Winter Storm Watch, Blizzard Warning, Freeze Warning and more. But, how many of us really know what those mean? There is very specific criteria the National Weather Service follows in issuing these watches and warnings and there are important differences between all of them.

In this second in a series on Winter Weather Preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com helps you understand what all of these mean so you can be better prepared.

600 AM TUE OCT 21 2014

From the National Weather Service:

What does that warning mean?

Winter is just around the corner. When a warning is issued will you know what it means and will you know how to respond?   During this Colorado Winter Weather Preparedness Week please become familiar with our list of potentially life-saving winter weather products.

» Click here to read the rest of Winter weather – What does that weather warning mean?

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Unseasonably warm temps again today, slight chance for storms later

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 5:46am MDT

Once again Thornton will see high temperatures climb well above normal Tuesday.  However moisture and a passing cold front moving in later in the day will bring a slight and quick change to the pattern.

Look for mostly sunny skies to start things off with cloud cover increasing as the day progresses.  By late this afternoon it will be partly sunny.

The clouds aren’t expected to do much to hold back the mercury as we still expect to see highs in the mid-70s.

By the early evening, there is a slight chance for some scattered thunderstorms and showers.  Limited activity will continue to be possible through tonight and much of tomorrow.

Keep an eye out for any storms with our live radar here.

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Winter travel safety – Ensure you and your vehicle are ready

Monday, October 20th, 2014 6:20am MDT
Are you and your vehicle ready for the winter weather ahead?

Are you and your vehicle ready for the winter weather ahead?

Before hitting the road, Coloradans need to ensure that they and their vehicles are prepared should inclement weather strike.

ThorntonWeather.com presents the first in a series from the National Weather Service (NWS) as part of Winter Weather Preparedness Week has declared by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.  Check back throughout the week for more winter preparedness stories.

Today’s message from the NWS highlights the importance of having a proper emergency kit in your vehicle and should the worst-case scenario occur where you get stuck, what you should do to survive.

601 AM MDT MON OCT 20 2014

Winter Travel Safety

Winter Weather Preparedness Week continues through Saturday, October 26th as proclaimed by Governor John Hickenlooper. Before winter weather arrives in earnest it is highly recommended that you prepare your car or truck for winter travel.

A well equipped vehicle has adequate tires, tire chains, tow rope, sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, tool kit, windshield scraper and brush, battery cables, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or sleeping bags, extra clothing, candles, water-proof matches, high calorie packaged food for quick energy and an empty can to melt snow for drinking.

The best way to prevent treacherous winter travel is to avoid it.  This can be done by staying informed about the current weather and road conditions as well as the latest weather forecasts. Information on road conditions in Colorado is available on the web at www.cotrip.org or by dialing toll free 1-877-315-7623.  When calling from anywhere in Colorado dialing 511 will also access the Colorado road reports. In addition, a new and free smartphone application, CDOT Mobile, provides road conditions for the I-70 mountain corridor and will eventually include other roads in Colorado. Road conditions for neighboring states can also be obtained on a link from www.cotrip.org.

If you should become stranded during a winter storm stay with your vehicle and do not panic. If accompanied by others take turns sleeping. Run the motor every hour for about ten minutes to maintain warmth but keep windows open a little to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked. Keep the car visible with brightly colored cloths tied to the side view mirrors, door handles or external antenna. Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers.

In the mountains avalanches become a possibility in the winter especially below steep slopes. Avalanches occasionally come down across roads with little or no warning. However, avalanche control work is performed on many avalanche prone roads in Colorado making the roads safer to travel. Caution is advised when traveling along avalanche prone roads, especially during and shortly after a heavy snowstorm or during periods of rapid snowmelt.

Very strong downslope winds occur at times mainly along the Front Range of Colorado. These Chinook and Bora winds can have gusts exceeding 100 mph. Persons traveling in light weight or high profile vehicles should avoid travel during these strong wind events especially on north-south oriented roads.

Roads which appear to be clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice commonly known as black ice. This nearly invisible ice layer can cause you to rapidly lose control of your vehicle. Black ice is most common during the nighttime hours.  If you detect black ice you should reduce your speed.

When braking on icy and snow-packed roads it is recommended that you apply steady pressure to the pedal just to the point of brake lock-up allowing plenty of extra stopping distance. For those without anti-lock brakes another suggestion is to gently tap on the brake pedal several times just prior to applying steady pressure.

Jim Pringle
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
NOAA National Weather Service
Grand Junction CO

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More of the same: Thornton’s Monday continues mild, dry weather

Monday, October 20th, 2014 5:26am MDT

We are running out of ways to say, “the weather will be unseasonably warm and dry” but given the forecast for today and the week ahead, we better break out the thesaurus.

Monday looks much like the weather this past weekend.  Sunny skies will be above with perhaps just a few clouds later.  Temperatures will be climbing to a high around 75 degrees, right about 10 degrees above normal.

Looking ahead at the rest of your week, unseasonably warm weather is expected for every day except Wednesday when a cold front will keep things closer to average.

See the image for your weather outlook for today and visit our main page for current conditions, news and more.

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Colorado Winter Weather Preparedness Week introduction

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 4:07am MDT
Don't be caught off guard by winter weather!  Remember the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982?  Be prepared!

Don’t be caught off guard by winter weather! Remember the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982? Be prepared!

Winter weather in Colorado can be an inconvenience but more than that it can be deadly.  Emergency preparedness for major winter storms – as well as for other types of severe weather – is an important part of living in a state where conditions can change wildly from one moment to the next.

To help raise awareness of the need to be prepared for these occasions, the week of October 19th to October 27th has been proclaimed Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado.

The National Weather Service will be issuing Public Information Statements each day this week to highlight the dangers of winter weather and how best to be prepared.  ThorntonWeather.com will be posting these important messages here to help you be prepared.  Please take the time to read and heed these messages – your life and the lives of your loved ones could depend on it.

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From the National Weather Service:

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service
Grand Junction CO

..Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado…

The week of October 19th through October 25th is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado. This is an excellent time for all individuals, families, businesses, schools, and media outlets to review their winter storm preparedness plans. It is especially important for all new arrivals to the state to become familiar with the National Weather Service watch and warning definitions, as well as winter safety procedures.

» Click here to read the rest of Colorado Winter Weather Preparedness Week introduction

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October 19 to October 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 4:06am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

October 19 to October 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

As we enter the latter half of October, wintry weather stands a better chance of occurring. Our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows many snowy events including a record-setting storm in 1997 that dumped nearly 22 inches on the Mile High City.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1908…a moist…heavy…wet snowfall totaled 13.0 inches in downtown Denver over the 3 days. Rain from early morning on the 17th changed to snow by late afternoon and continued through the late morning of the 19th. Due to temperatures in the 30’s and melting…the most snow on the ground was only 5.0 inches at 6:00 pm on the 18th. Northwest to northeast winds were sustained between 12 and 20 mph during the storm. Precipitation totaled 1.82 inches.


In 2003…an extended warm spell resulted in 5 new temperature records. The high temperature of 84 degrees on the 18th equaled the record high for the date. High temperatures of 86 degrees on the 19th…83 degrees on the 21st…and 84 degrees on the 22nd were record highs for the dates. Low temperature of 49 degrees on the 23rd was a record high minimum for the date. Low temperatures during the period were in the 40’s and lower 50’s.


In 1887…northwest winds sustained to 42 mph were recorded in the city.

In 1982…3 to 6 inches of snow fell over northwest metro Denver…including Boulder. Only 1.2 inches of snowfall were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 35 mph. This was the first measurable snowfall of the season.


In 1990…an early winter storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged from 4 to 8 inches in the foothills above 6500 feet elevation…4 to 7 inches in the Castle Rock area…and 2 to 5 inches across most of metro Denver and Boulder. Snowfall totaled 3.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusting to 48 mph kicked up some blowing dust shortly after a cold frontal passage on the 19th. However… Temperatures were warm enough to keep most roadways wet and slushy at lower elevations.


In 1906…heavy snowfall totaled 22.7 inches in the city over the 5 days. Rain changed to snow on the evening of the 19th…and snow continued through the late afternoon of the 23rd. The heaviest amount of snowfall…16.0 inches…fell from 8:00 pm on the 20th to 8:00 pm on the 22nd. The most snow on the ground was 13.3 inches on the evening of the 23rd. This was the first snow of the season and the only snow of the month. Winds during the storm were from the north at sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph each day. Temperatures during the storm were generally in the 20’s.


In 1878…between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm wind speeds averaged 48 mph with a maximum 1 minute sustained velocity to 96 mph at both 3:27 pm and 3:48 pm in downtown Denver. This is the highest sustained wind speed ever recorded in the city.

In 1986…a rare late October thunderstorm produced 3/4 inch diameter hail at Centennial Airport. Hail piled up 2 1/2 inches deep…causing some street flooding in south metro Denver.


In 2007…a storm system brought heavy snow to the southern Denver suburbs as well as the Palmer Divide south of Denver. Storm totals included: 7.5 inches near Castle Rock…Lone Tree and Greenwood Village…with 6.5 inches at Elizabeth. Snow drifts up to 2 feet deep were observed 6 miles south-southwest of Elizabeth. In the Denver Stapleton area…2.0 inches of snow was observed.

In 2009…heavy snow developed along the palmer divide south and southeast of Denver as a storm system tracked across southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Storm totals included: 15 inches…15 miles north of Elizabeth…9 inches…5 miles south-southwest of Arapahoe Park; 8 inches in Highlands Ranch…5 miles south- southeast of Sedalia; 6.5 inches…8 miles southwest of Bennett and 6 inches in Parker. At Denver International… Only 1.5 inches of snowfall was observed.

» Click here to read the rest of October 19 to October 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

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October 2014 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 7:20pm MDT
October 1, 2014 - Sunrise at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. (Ed Dalton)

October 1, 2014 – Sunrise at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. (Ed Dalton)

October in Thornton can bring a wide variety of weather conditions, perfect for the photographer in all of us.

The month brings the changing of the colors at Colorado’s lower elevations and it is also is typically when we see our first freeze and first snow.  Couple those facts with our usual widely varying landscapes and wildlife and we have a month that is sure to bring in plenty of photo opportunities.

  • Slideshow updated October 15, 2014
  • To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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Dry, overall seasonal weekend ahead for Thornton

Friday, October 17th, 2014 5:21am MDT

With high pressure starting to build, the weather this weekend will be rather pleasant and seasonal for this time of year.

Friday will be the coolest day of the three day period but temperatures will still be close to normal.  Look for mostly sunny skies above as we head for a high temperature around 63 degrees.

Saturday will warm up a bit with temperatures a couple of degrees above average.  With mostly sunny skies look for high temperatures around 67 degrees.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the weekend with highs pushing up to right around the 70 degree mark.  If you’re heading to the Broncos game against the 49ers Sunday evening, weather conditions look to be quite pleasant and it should be a near perfect fall evening for football.

The image has your weekend weather outlook and http://www.thorntonweather.com/ has current conditions, the latest news and more.

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Cold front to cool things down some but temps remain unseasonably warm

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 5:14am MDT

This morning a cold front worked its way onto the Colorado Front Range.  While it will cool things down considerably from yesterday’s record-setting warmth, we will still enjoy an unseasonably mild day.

Look for partly sunny skies to be above throughout.  Early this morning winds were a bit gusty as the front moved through but they will settle down during the daytime hours.  High temperatures today will be in the low 70s, well above the average for the date of 65 degrees.

Get a look at current conditions, latest news and more at http://www.thorntonweather.com/.

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Denver sets record high temperature for October 15

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 4:08pm MDT

Record setting high temperatures in Thornton.As expected, temperatures in the Mile High City today were unseasonably warm and climbed to record-setting levels.  However, while Denver broke a high temperature record, Thornton fell quite a ways short.

Out at Denver International Airport, the mercury topped out at 83 degrees.  This bested the previous record high for the date of 82 degrees set in 2011 and previous years.

Here in Thornton, the cloud cover arrived earlier than the airport and impacted our readings.  We saw a maximum today of 77.9 degrees.

Across the board, temperature readings in the metro area were well above the average high of 66 degrees for the date.

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