March 29 to April 4: This week in Denver weather history
This week in Denver weather history is notable for the variety of conditions that can be experienced this time of year. From hurricane force winds and heavy snow to more typical spring severe weather like tornadoes, all can be experienced this time of year.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1948…high winds raked Boulder. A wind gust to 75 mph was recorded at Valmont. Sustained winds in excess of 35 mph were estimated in Boulder. Minor damage was reported.
In 1961…heavy snowfall totaled 9.5 inches at Stapleton Airport over the 3 day period. Most of the snow…5.3 inches…fell on the 28th. Winds were generally light and gusted to only 22 mph from the north.
In 1891…rain changed to snow and totaled 9.7 inches in the city. Northeast winds were sustained to 12 mph with gusts to 28 mph on the 28th.
In 1910…a strong cold front brought much wind…rain…and and snow to the city. Rain on the 28th changed to snow early on the 29th. Snowfall totaled only 2.8 inches…but north winds were sustained to 50 mph on the 29th. Precipitation from the storm totaled 0.96 inch.
In 1994…moist upslope winds combined with an upper level system to dump 5 to 7 inches of snow along the eastern foothills and across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 6.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph. Thirteen inches of new snow were measured at the Eldora ski area west of Boulder.
In 1949…a major winter storm dumped 11.3 inches of snow over downtown Denver. Snowfall totaled 10.4 inches at Stapleton Airport. North to northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph.
In 1985…a slow moving snow storm moved across the state. Denver received only 4.0 inches of snowfall with amounts in the foothills totaling 1 to 2 feet. Still…this was enough snow in Denver to cause flight delays of up to 6 hours at Stapleton International Airport on the night of the 29th. East winds gusted to 28 mph on the 28th.
In 1887…west winds sustained to 44 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 62 degrees.
In 1921…post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 52 mph.
In 1925…southeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 48 mph. These were the strongest winds of the month that year. The winds warmed the temperature to a high of 72 degrees.
In 1934…a construction worker was killed by lightning as he walked with a shovel on his shoulder along Cherry Creek in the city. The thunderstorm produced light rain.
In 1967…a southwest wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. The warm Chinook winds warmed the temperature to 79 degrees equaling the record for the date.
In 1979…a tornado touched down 4 miles southwest of Parker… But caused no reported damage.
In 1998…four children attending a birthday party in Denver were injured when an apparent dry microburst produced a sudden strong wind gust which blew an inflatable playhouse they were occupying into a neighbor’s yard. The playhouse scraped the roof of the host’s two-story house…then landed in the adjoining yard. The children were treated for minor head injuries and cuts.
In 1938…overnight heavy snowfall was 6.3 inches over downtown Denver.
In 1982…strong winds buffeted metro Denver…breaking windows and damaging roofs. Wind gusts to 90 mph were recorded in Boulder and 51 mph at Stapleton Airport. The strong winds flattened a condominium under construction in Lakewood.
In 1991…1 to 6 inches of snow fell across metro Denver with the heaviest snow confined to the foothills. Six inches of snow was recorded at South Platte in the foothills southwest of Denver and 3 inches at Castle Rock. Snowfall totaled only 0.7 inch at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 29th.
In 1970…snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Heavy snow accumulation in Boulder on the 29th caused the collapse of a carport at an apartment building…damaging 11 automobiles. Northeast winds gusted to 24 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1895…rain changed to sleet…then snow…and totaled 8.0 inches in downtown Denver. Strong post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 61 mph. Temperatures hovered around 30 degrees all day.
In 1968…microburst winds associated with virga and brief light rain gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1983…winds gusted to 82 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph in the foothills. Minor damage occurred at a construction site and to some homes in Boulder. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1896…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 26 mph.
In 1897…rain changed to snow during the early morning of the 30th and totaled 6.2 inches before ending during the late morning of the 31st. Northwest winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph.
In 1929…heavy snowfall of 7.0 inches was recorded over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 30th.
In 1953…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 23 mph.
In 1955…a vigorous cold front produced north winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph at Stapleton Airport. Rain and snow showers and blowing dust accompanied the front. Snowfall totaled only 0.1 inch at Stapleton Airport on the 31st.
In 1988…snow began falling on the afternoon of the 30th and continued through the 31st…burying metro Denver. Twelve to 18 inches of snow fell in the foothills to the west of Denver and Boulder with 6 to 12 inches across the rest of metro Denver. The storm disrupted aircraft operations at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 7.1 inches and north winds gusting to 32 mph reduced the visibility to less than 1/4 mile at times…causing air traffic delays of 2 to 3 hours.
In 2000…heavy snow once again developed over the foothills and the higher terrain to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totals from the storm included: 16 inches atop Squaw Mountain…15 inches near Rollinsville…13 inches near Evergreen…12 inches near Morrison…11 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…10 inches near Blackhawk and in Eldorado Springs…9 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch and larkspur… And 8 inches near Elizabeth. Snowfall totaled only 4.1 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 30th.
In 2005…a strong spring storm intensified over the eastern plains of Colorado and produced near-blizzard conditions to the east and southeast of Denver overnight. North to northwest winds from 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph produced extensive blowing snow and caused near zero visibilities at times and snow drifts from 2 to 4 feet in depth. Snowfall amounts included: 12 inches near Bennett…8 inches around Castle Rock… 7 inches near Sedalia…and 6 inches near Parker. Only 0.3 inch of snow was reported at Denver Stapleton. At Denver International Airport…north winds gusted to 37 mph on the 30th and 36 mph on the 31st.
In 2014…on the evening of the 30th…high based showers and thunderstorms produced microburst winds over northern Jefferson…eastern Boulder and southwest weld counties. Peak wind reports included: 77 mph at white ranch open space; 72 mph…2 miles north of Longmont; 67 mph near Erie and firestone; 60 mph near mead and 59 mph…5 miles northwest of Henderson; with 53 mph at Denver International Airport. The wind downed power lines in Weld County which sparked a small fire. High winds then developed in the Front Range foothills and urban corridor through the morning of the 31st. Peak wind gusts included: 98 mph near gold hill; 77 mph near Eldorado Springs; 61 mph at Centennial Airport; 59 mph at Buckley Air Force Base; with 44 mph at Denver International Airport.
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