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Calm, mild conditions for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 6:43am MDT

Drier air is moving in and while there will be some cloud cover, conditions should be mild and calm.

Look for partly to mostly sunny skies throughout the day today.  Temperatures will be topping out right around the 80 degree mark here in Thornton.  At this time, it looks like shower and thunderstorm activity will be confined to the high country and far northeastern corner of the state.

See the image for today’s outlook and get the latest conditions here: http://www.thorntonweather.com/live-weather-2.php

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Arrival of fall in Thornton brings unsettled day of weather

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 6:01am MDT

The autumnal equinox occurs this evening at 8:29pm in Thornton.  In the hours before the change of seasons we will have seasonal temperatures but with a good bit of cloud cover and a good chance for showers.

Look for mostly cloudy skies above throughout the day today.  Some light, scattered showers will be possible this morning with heavier showers initially staying in the high country.

Activity is expected to become more widespread this afternoon.  Some of the storms could deliver brief, heavy rain and gusty winds.  The strongest storms are expected to be east of the Denver metro area.

Looking at the rest of the workweek, drier conditions and above normal temperatures should be the general rule into Friday.

See the image for today’s weather outlook and keep an eye out for the showers with our live radar here.

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September 2014 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 5:05am MDT
September 3, 2014 - A pastel colored sunset in Thornton. (Michelle Jones)

September 3, 2014 – A pastel colored sunset in Thornton. (Michelle Jones)

The month of September is typically one of the more pleasant months in Colorado.  Temperatures are usually comfortable and there is not normally a lot of weather drama.  That however does not mean there aren’t plenty of photo opportunities.

Wildlife is still quite active along the Front Range and flowers will hold on to their petals for at least the first part of the month.  Then of course there is the weather which you never know what to expect.  Thunderstorms, heavy rain, and even snow are a possibility.

  • Slideshow updated September 22, 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.

Click the play button below and sit back and enjoy the images.

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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September 21 to September 27: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 6:45pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

September 21 to September 27: This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at this week in Denver weather history is somewhat shorter than normal owing to the fact that this time of year is usually relatively quiet. However, what is notable are some significant snowstorms, including one as recently as 1995.

From the National Weather Service:

20-21

In 1963…heavy rain and hail caused local flooding in southeast Denver. Thunderstorm rainfall was only 0.60 inch at Stapleton Airport on the 20th.

In 1983…the cold front on the 19th brought an unusually cold air mass into metro Denver for so early in the season. The temperature dipped to a daily record minimum of 28 degrees on both days.

In 1995…a vigorous late summer storm brought the season’s first heavy snow to portions of metro Denver. Millions of trees were damaged and power lines downed as 4 to 8 inches of heavy wet snow settled on fully leafed trees in the Boulder and Denver areas. Branches snapped and trees split under the weight of heavy snow…downing power lines. Firefighters responded to numerous transformer fires. Around 100 thousand people were left without electricity in Boulder and Denver areas alone. It took over a week to fully restore power to some areas. Insurance claims were estimated to be around 6 million dollars to homes in metro Denver and about 500 thousand dollars in damage to automobiles. It was estimated that about 80 percent of 125 million dollars’ worth of city owned trees in Denver were damaged. Snowfall totaled 7.4 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where the greatest depth of snow on the ground was only 4 inches due to melting. Temperature records were set on the 21st when the thermometer dipped to a record low reading of 27 degrees and climbed to a high of only 36 degrees… Setting a record low maximum for the date. North winds gusted to 29 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

20-22

In 1902…a thunderstorm on the 20th…in advance of an apparent cold front…produced rain…hail…and northwest winds to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph. Widespread rain developed behind the cold front and totaled 3.21 inches from the evening of the 20th through the early afternoon of the 22nd. The 2.70 inches of precipitation recorded from 800 pm on the 20th to 800 pm on the 21st is the greatest 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the month of September. The temperature dipped from a high of 80 degrees on the 20th to a high of only 51 degrees on the 21st.

21

In 1951…4.2 inches of snow fell at Stapleton Airport… Where northeast winds gusted to 27 mph. This was the first snowfall of the season in Denver…marking the end of the second shortest snow-free period on record…109 days…from June 4th through September 20th. A trace of snow fell on June 3rd.

In 1984…thunderstorm winds gusted to 56 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1992…the only precipitation of the month at Stapleton International Airport…0.01 inch of rain…fell from a brief shower around daybreak.

In 2009…an early season storm brought moderate to heavy snow to the foothills of Clear Creek…Jefferson and Park counties…west and southwest of Denver. A trained spotter…4 miles west-northwest of Conifer…was the big winner with 14 inches of snow. Storm totals elsewhere generally ranged from 5 to 10 inches.

21-22

In 1870…strong winds occurred in the foothills and in Boulder and Denver.

In 1895…rain changed to snow overnight and totaled 11.4 inches in downtown Denver. This was the first snowfall of the season and the second heaviest first snowfall of the season on record. North winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 21st.

22

In 1913…a thunderstorm produced northwest winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 44 mph.

In 1946…a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver. This marked the start of the longest snow season on record… 263 days through June 11…1947…when a trace of snow also fell.

23

In 1873…north to northwest winds blowing almost a gale spread clouds of dust and sand into the city during the afternoon and evening. From the roof of the weather observer’s building…houses a few hundred yards away were not visible and not even the sky could be seen through the clouds of sand. The wind reached sustained speeds of 35 mph…but only 28 mph was registered for any one hour.

In 1977…wind gusts from 50 to 80 mph were reported along the foothills. A northwest wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

23-24

In 2000…the first snowstorm of the season brought heavy snow to areas in and near the foothills. While the heaviest snow fell north of metro Denver…6 inches were measured in Boulder…4 inches at both Castle Rock and Morrison…but only 0.2 inch at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where most of the precipitation fell as rain. At Denver International Airport where drizzle and rain fell on the 23rd… Snowfall during the early morning of the 24th was estimated at 2.1 inches due to melting. The foothills west of Denver received more snow with 10 inches measured at Conifer…9 inches 11 miles southwest of Morrison… 8 inches atop Crow Hill…7 inches at Chief Hosa…and 5 inches at Ralston Reservoir.

24

In 1901…northwest winds were sustained to 50 mph with gusts as high as 57 mph in the city.

In 1932…thunderstorm rainfall of only 0.11 inch was the only measurable precipitation for the month that year in the city.

In 1986…a very strong wind storm roared across metro Denver. Boulder was hit hardest. Winds peaked to 131 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This is thought to be the highest wind gust ever recorded in Boulder during September. A wind gust to 118 mph was clocked on Davidson Mesa and to 92 mph near Niwot. Gusts of 70 to 80 mph were common over all of Boulder where an estimated 70 to 90 large trees were uprooted. About a dozen of them hit cars. Two walls of a building under construction were toppled and solar panels were blown off a house. Traffic lights and power lines were downed. Damage to power equipment alone was estimated at 100 thousand dollars. Wind gusts to 87 mph at Jefferson County Airport damaged two planes. A woman was seriously injured in Boulder. She suffered a fractured skull when struck by a falling tree limb. Trees were also downed in Louisville and Lafayette. West wind gusts to 45 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

25

In 1873…a fire was sighted in the woods near Platte Canyon… Probably caused by high winds blowing sparks among the timber.

In 1896…an apparent cold front produced northeast sustained winds to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1910…a thunderstorm produced sustained north winds to 51 mph. This was the highest recorded wind speed in the city in September at the time.

In 1936…a vigorous cold front produced a deadly dust storm in the city. North winds sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 38 mph produced much blowing dense dust…greatly restricting the visibility. The temperature plunged from a high of 84 degrees to a low of 38 degrees by midnight. The weather observer described the event with the following. “at 6:00 pm the temperature was 82 degrees and the wind velocity was only 4 mph; but with the wind shifting to the north and the barometer rising quite rapidly…the temperature fell sharply. By 6:30 pm…the wind velocity increased rapidly and by 7:00 pm had reached a maximum sustained velocity of 36 mph…bringing with it clouds of dust which had been picked up by gale force winds in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado…covering the city. The visibility was generally reduced to about 1/4 mile; however…the whirling of the dust down the streets and alleys…the visibility was at times somewhat less. Airplanes were grounded…traffic was halted at times…and homes filled with dust. The strong winds damaged electric power and telephone lines…leaving homes in darkness for a few hours in the city and for 18 hours in suburban towns and putting 2500 telephones out of service because of broken lines. An electric lineman was killed while repairing damage by the high winds. The dust storm was followed by rain that began falling at 10:55 pm…which turned to snow during the early morning hours of the 26th. A major snow storm followed on the 27th through the 29th.”

In 1999…high winds developed in the foothills of Boulder County. Winds gusted to 90 mph at Wondervu.

» Click here to read the rest of September 21 to September 27: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Best drives near the Colorado Front Range for viewing fall foliage

Friday, September 19th, 2014 9:02am MDT
The leaves in the high country are changing and certainly give meaning to the moniker 'Colorful Colorado.'  (ThorntonWeather.com)

The leaves in the high country are changing and certainly give meaning to the moniker ‘Colorful Colorado.’ (ThorntonWeather.com)

This time of year many folks head to the hills west of Denver in search of gold – fall foliage gold.

This year the changing of the colors seems to be occurring a bit earlier than normal and the last half of September should provide some great opportunities.

Where to go?  Below are five of ThorntonWeather.com’s favorite ones near Denver.  After that, we will tell you where you can find a great website that provides regular updates on viewing conditions.

I-70 Corridor – If you’re looking for the easiest route, then this one is for you.  Simply head west on I-70 about 110 miles to Avon.  Between Vail and Avon, both sides of I-70 are lined beautifully with aspen.

Rocky Mountain National Park – One of the most popular summer destinations in the state is of course also a prime spot to view aspen in all their glory.  Once in the park on Trail Ridge Road, head toward Bear Lake.  Glacier Gorge Junction provides a beautiful spot and you of course also get to enjoy all the splendor that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer.

Peak to Peak Highway – This little road trip can be a dual purpose trip – gambling and fall foliage viewing!  Take U.S. 6 through Clear Creek Canyon and then 119 through Blackhawk and Central Center.  You can of course stop there if your wallet is fat enough and donate some money to the casinos.  From there continue on 119 toward Nederland.  Take highway 72 toward Ward and Allenspark.  There you will find more golden aspen than you can imagine, all with the Continental Divide nearby.

Poudre Valley Canyon -  Heading north on I-25 take Colorado 14 west and into Poudre Canyon and Roosevelt National Forest.  As you continue west you will come very near timberline as you come to Cameron Pass.  Amazing views abound!

Guanella Pass – This is a nice, relatively short drive from Denver.  From C470 take 85 through Bailey and Conifer, a nice drive unto itself.  When you come to the town of Grant, take the Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway north to Georgetown.  The air is pretty thin along the way as you climb in excess of 11,500 views through the Pike and Arapahoe National Forests.  Fair warning – about 10 miles of the road is gravel but it is well maintained.

A couple other possibilities further from the Front Range:

Leadville / Aspen – From Denver take I-70 west to Copper Mountain and then Colorado 91 south over Freemont Pass to Leadville. Along the way there are plenty of viewing opportunities and Leadville is a nice little town to make a stop. From here you can take Highway 24 north back through Minturn and Vail. To extend the drive, take Highway 24 south to Colorado 82 and head toward Aspen. You can stop by the Maroon Bells in White River National Forest to view some of the most photographed mountains in Colorado.

Cottonwood Pass – From Denver take Highway 285 to Buena Vista. Head west on Main Street for seven miles then west on County Road 344 / Colorado 82. From there you start the climb up Cottonwood Pass with absolutely stunning views from the top. If you are up for it, you can continue down the west side of the pass into the Taylor Park area. Be forewarned though that the western half of the pass is unpaved and twisty.

If you do head out, be sure to send us your pictures for inclusion in our monthly photo slideshows!

For more information:

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Another warm one Friday, cooler weather Saturday and Sunday

Friday, September 19th, 2014 5:50am MDT

Thornton will have one more day with unseasonably warm temperatures on Friday.  Temperatures will return to near normal areas for this weekend and into next week.

For today look for mostly sunny skies above as we head for a high temperature in the upper 80s.  There is just the slightest chance for some gusty thunderstorms in the evening.

Saturday cools down and sees the mercury top out at near normal levels.  By late evening and into Saturday there will be a chance for thunderstorms.

Sunday looks to be a bit unsettled.  Temperatures will be in the mid-70s and we have a chance for thunderstorm activity through the day.

See the image for your weekend weather outlook and of course head to http://www.thorntonweather.com/ for the latest.

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September 14 to September 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 7:29am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

September 14 to September 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

Snow and cold? Temperatures well into the 90s? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? Hail? Must be September in Colorado.

From the National Weather Service:

14

In 1912…snow fell for most of the day…but melted as it fell. Precipitation from melted snow was 0.46 inch. Some sleet was also observed. Total precipitation was 0.61 inch. North winds were sustained to 15 mph with gusts to 17 mph.

In 1934…a moderate dust storm blew into the city at 4:15 pm. North winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 44 mph. By 5:25 pm the winds had decreased and the storm had ended. A trace of rain fell during the evening.

In 1976…a tornado touched down just west of I-25 between Arapahoe Road and Dry Creek road…tearing the roof from a house. Nearby…a high tension wire fell on a house causing damage…and lightning ripped a hole in the side of a house. Three tornadoes were observed just east of Stapleton International Airport and northeast of Buckley Field. No damage was reported. Dime to quarter size hail fell in northeast Denver with only 1/4 inch hail at Stapleton International Airport. The Colorado state patrol reported golf ball size hail 4 miles west of Franktown. A funnel cloud was sighted 4 miles north of Franktown.

In 1983…a thunderstorm produced winds gusts as high as 56 mph across metro Denver along with thick blowing dust. Power was knocked out in many locations. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 49 mph briefly reduced the visibility to 2 miles in blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…a 54-year-old woman was struck by lightning near Franktown…as she was preparing an outdoor barbeque. The woman was knocked unconscious…but received only minor injuries. Thunderstorms over southern Jefferson County dumped heavy rain in the Buffalo Creek area. Some minor roads were washed out by flash flooding…but no other damage was reported. Hail ranging in size from 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2006…a microburst from a thunderstorm produced sustained winds to 40 mph with gusts to 53 mph at Denver International Airport.

15

In 1921…rainfall of 0.02 inch was the only measurable precipitation of the month.

In 1976…the public reported a funnel cloud and golf ball size hail east of Parker.

15-17

In 2000…unusually hot weather for so late in the season occurred when temperatures climbed into the 90′s setting daily record maximum temperatures on each of the 3 days. The high temperature was 92 degrees on the 15th and 95 degrees on both the 16th and 17th.

15-19

In 1906…rain on 5 consecutive days totaled 1.61 inches. A thunderstorm occurred on the 17th. High temperatures ranged from 48 degrees on the 16th to 65 degrees on the 15th. Low temperatures were in the lower to mid 40′s.

16

In 1874…a blast of west winds caused minor injuries during working hours in Boulder. In Denver…the winds veered suddenly from the southwest to the northwest around noon and increased to a maximum sustained speed of 49 mph behind an apparent cold front. The winds remained strong and backed to the west for the remainder of the afternoon.

In 2000…the record high temperature of 95 degrees at Denver International Airport established or equaled 3 different record extremes: the high temperature broke the previous record high for the day of 92 degrees set over a century ago in 1895; it marked the warmest that it has been so late in September; it also marked the 60th day during the warm season that the temperature had reached 90 degrees or more…equaling the record first set on September 29…1994.

In 2006…strong bora winds behind a pacific cold front raked the eastern slopes of the mountains and metro Denver during the afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…a severe thunderstorm produced a peak wind gust of 67 mph…about one mile east of Bennett. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust of 48 mph was observed.

16-19

In 1971…a record breaking early fall snow storm caused extensive damage to trees and utility lines. The heavy wet snow occurred with little wind…but caused record breaking cold temperatures for so early in the season. Snowfall totaled 15.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport with most of the snowfall…12.0 inches…occurring on the 17th. This was the heaviest first snow of the season. The maximum snow depth on the ground was 13 inches. Record low temperatures were set on three consecutive days: 31 degrees on the 17th…23 degrees on the 18th…and 20 degrees on the 19th…which was also a new all-time record minimum for the month at that time. Record low maximum temperatures were set on 4 consecutive days: 48 degrees on the 16th…35 degrees on the 17th…40 degrees on the 18th… And 42 degrees on the 19th.

17

In 1873…brisk west to northwest winds at different times during the day…generally in sudden gusts…spread a good deal of dust into the city.

In 1953…strong winds caused thousands of dollars in damage to Boulder. The winds blew for most of the day with great gustiness…and a freak twister was reported during the afternoon. Damage was minor. A thunderstorm wind gust to 40 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1992…a tornado touched down briefly near Bennett. No damage was reported.

In 1993…severe thunderstorms rumbled across northern portions of metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 3/4 inches in diameter fell in Brighton. Dime size hail damaged several roofs of residences in Lafayette.

In 2000…for the second day in a row…the high temperature of 95 degrees at Denver International Airport broke three record temperature extremes: the high temperature broke the previous record for the day of 94 degrees set in 1895; it marked the warmest it has been for so late in the season; it also marked the 61st day in the year that the temperature had equaled or exceeded 90 degrees…eclipsing the record equaled the previous day and first set on September 29… 1994.

18

In 1901…northeast winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 50 mph behind an apparent cold front.

In 1948…the low temperature cooled to only 69 degrees…the all-time record high minimum for the month.

In 1988…a strong cold front blasted metro Denver with high winds. Gusts reached 82 mph in Longmont and 81 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield where the winds flipped over and destroyed a small airplane. Wind gusts to 60 mph were recorded in Boulder and Wheat Ridge. West wind gusts to 54 mph were clocked at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds downed trees and power lines and damaged homes and cars. A Longmont man was slightly injured…when a tree fell on top of his car.

In 1990…a slow moving thunderstorm over southwest metro Denver spawned an ominous looking funnel cloud near the intersection of Sheridan Blvd. and U.S. Highway 285. The funnel cloud nearly touched down a few times before lifting back into the main cloud. No damage was reported. Pea to marble size hail and 3/4 inch of rain fell over central and northeast Denver. Numerous streets and underpasses became flooded on Denver’s south side when the heavy runoff backed up storm sewers. Thunderstorm rainfall totaled 1.02 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…a severe thunderstorm rolled through southeast metro Denver. Dime size hail was reported in many areas. Straight-line winds from the thunderstorm…measured by a weather spotter at 70 mph…tore the roof off 6 apartments of an apartment complex in Aurora. Heavy rain which accompanied the winds caused major damage to the apartments as well as the contents. Many trees…fences… And power poles were knocked down by the strong winds. Heavy rain flooded roadways in Denver and Aurora. Thunderstorm rainfall totaled 1.08 inches and north winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to as low as 1/4 mile in heavy rain.

In 1996…a late summer snowstorm struck the northern mountains and Front Range eastern foothills. Golden Gate Canyon received 6 inches of new snow with 5 inches reported at both Nederland and Blackhawk. Thunderstorms produced heavy rain across metro Denver…which was mixed with snow by late evening. Rainfall totaled 0.83 inch at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport and 1.22 inches at Denver International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 39 mph.

» Click here to read the rest of September 14 to September 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

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One more? Thornton may record late-season 90 degree day Thursday

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 5:28am MDT

We thought we were done with the 90 degree days earlier this month but that just may not be the case.  High pressure above is going to lead to another unseasonably warm day and may allow us to hit the mark one more time.

Like yesterday, mostly sunny skies will be above with a bit of an increase in cloud cover in the afternoon and evening.  Conditions will be dry as we head for a forecasted high temperature right at 90 degrees.

The record for the date is 93 degree set in 1895 and it appears that shouldn’t be in jeopardy here in Thornton (although DIA may get that warm).

While there may be some groaning about the heat, bear in mind that thus far Thornton has recorded only 29 days with high temperatures at or above 90 degrees.  That is a good ways less than the 40 days the Mile High City typically sees in a year.

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Wednesday brings virtual repeat of previous day’s weather

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 5:49am MDT

Very little change in Thornton’s weather forecast for today.  Lots of sun and unseasonably warm temperatures are on tap as a ridge of high pressure remains in place.

The day starts out mostly sunny and will remain so throughout; perhaps a few more clouds this afternoon.  Temperatures will be similar to yesterday with a high hitting the upper 80s, well above the normal for the date of 78 degrees.

Looking ahead, tomorrow looks almost identical to today.  Friday cools a bit with a slight chance for thunderstorms.  Storm chances increase some over the weekend and temperatures should drop to near normal.

The image has your forecast for today. Keep an eye on the rising mercury here: http://www.thorntonweather.com/live-weather-2.php

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Terrific Tuesday weather on tap for Thornton

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 5:30am MDT

The weather forecast for Thornton today is really quite simple.  If you like sun, dry conditions and unseasonably warm temperatures, this is the day for you.

We will start out with sunny skies above and then just a bit of increased cover this afternoon.  Winds will be light throughout the day.  Temperatures will be climbing to a high of around 87 degrees, well above the normal for the date of 79 degrees.

Similarly warm temperatures will be with us through Friday.

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