June 9 to June 15: This Week in Denver Weather History
June means severe weather in Colorado and our look back at this week showcases that fact. Numerous, historical events have occurred during this week in the past including the disastrous Hayman fire and the infamous 1988 Denver tornadoes.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1979…rain…at times with thunder on the 7th…fell almost continuously through the morning of the 9th. Rainfall totaled 2.28 inches at Stapleton International Airport over the 3 days. High temperature of only 49 degrees on the 8th was a record low maximum for the date.
In 1900…an apparent cold front produced north winds to 42 mph with gusts to 47 mph.
In 1923…heavy rainfall totaled 2.18 inches in downtown Denver…where northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph. Heavy rain also fell in Boulder…causing flooding on Boulder and south Boulder creeks.
In 1939…post-frontal sustained northwest winds to 35 mph produced some blowing dust…which reduced the visibility to one mile at times during the afternoon. Dusty conditions prevailed into the early evening. The airport station reported a maximum wind of 56 mph. A few minor injuries and some damage resulted. A few trees were uprooted…some fruit was blown from trees…and a section of power lines was blown down.
In 1959…dry thunderstorm winds…estimated to near 70 mph… Toppled a 40-foot-high poplar tree…which was 4 to 5 inches in diameter…near Cherry Creek dam. The Colorado state patrol reported a possible tornado 1 mile south of the dam.
In 1960…strong gusty winds tore the roofs from 2 patios in Aurora. One of the roofs was blown over a house and landed on a car damaging its top. A house trailer was also overturned. Other minor damage was reported to roofs… Windows…and trees in Aurora. A thunderstorm wind gust to 43 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.
In 1963…golf ball size hail fell at Cheery Creek Reservoir.
In 1967…a small tornado damaged trees and a dwelling in south Denver. The storm touched down at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Harrison Street and moved northeast to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Albion Street. Damage included 3 small roofs removed…15-20 large trees uprooted…one car overturned and thrown against a house… Plus other minor damage. A funnel cloud reported at the same time 10 miles north of Denver possibly touched ground. Later…funnel clouds were reported 12 miles south-southeast of Stapleton International Airport…10 miles southwest…and 5 miles north. A tornado was sighted 3 1/2 miles east of Stapleton International Airport by weather bureau personnel for a duration of 5 minutes. Heavy rain and some hail fell over much of the area.
In 1974…the start of the shortest seasonal snow free period on record…94 days…occurred with the last snow of the season…a trace…on the 8th. The first snow of the next season occurred on September 11th when a trace of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport. A funnel cloud was observed just east of Aurora and a small funnel was sighted just northeast of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1985…a thunderstorm wind gust to 62 mph was reported at Golden Gate Canyon in the foothills west of Denver.
In 1986…a thunderstorm…which dumped heavy rain and caused some street flooding across north metro Denver…produced a small tornado 5 miles east of Brighton. No damage was reported.
In 1987…strong thunderstorm wind gusts in Conifer destroyed a porch on a house; the wind gust apparently picked up the porch and dropped it on a man…killing him. The wind also damaged the roof of the house and a nearby barn. The same thunderstorm spawned a tornado…which touched down briefly just south of Lakewood. No damage was reported. Up to 3 inches of rain fell in a short time 8 miles southwest of Littleton. A few businesses in Englewood suffered minor water damage. A tornado was sighted between Watkins and Bennett. It was on the ground for 15 minutes. A weak tornado also touched down 4 miles southwest of Castle Rock. The twister tossed an aluminum shed into the air and carried it about 100 feet. A funnel cloud was sighted 15 miles east-northeast of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988…golf ball size hail fell in Conifer along with 1.30 inches of rain. Three miles north of Louisville…1.10 inches of rain fell in 20 minutes. Ping pong ball size hail was measured in Arvada.
In 1990…3/4 inch hail fell in Castle Rock.
In 1991…hail two inches in diameter fell near Evergreen. Hail to 1 inch diameter fell in Lakewood where a funnel cloud was also sighted. One inch diameter hail was also reported in Aurora.
In 2002…high temperatures…low relative humidities…and strong gusty winds allowed the Hayman wildfire…located in the foothills to the southwest of Denver…to become the largest wildfire in the state’s history. Although the fire was initially started by a U.S. Forest Service employee…the ongoing drought and dry conditions allowed the fire to spread rapidly out of control. The wildfire consumed nearly 138 thousand acres of forest land and 133 homes before it could be contained and finally extinguished on June 30th. About 1800 households had to be evacuated during the blaze. Southwest winds aloft swept the smoke plume directly over metro Denver…creating poor air quality and blocking the sun. Much of metro Denver choked on smoke with the southern suburbs receiving the most. Smoke and ash restricted surface visibilities to a mile or less at times in the Denver and Castle Rock areas and to 2 miles at Denver International Airport.
In 2003…thunderstorm winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport. The storm produced only a trace of rain.
In 2004…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across portions of metro Denver for the second day in a row. The most extensive damage occurred across southern sections of metro Denver in Aurora…Lakewood…Littleton…and south Denver. The combined damage to homes and vehicles…not including commercial buildings…was estimated at 146.5 million dollars…making the event the 4th costliest insurance disaster in the state’s history. Hail as large as 2 1/4 inches in diameter fell near southern Aurora with hail to 1 3/4 inches in the city of Denver and in Lakewood. Hail to 1 1/2 inches fell near Morrison with 1 inch hail measured in Thornton…near Buckley Air Force Base…and near Roggen. Hail to 3/4 inch diameter fell in Littleton and near Conifer. A small tornado touched down near Bennett…but did no damage.
In 1864…high water from melting snow combined with heavy rains over the upper reaches of the South Platte River forced the river over its banks and caused flooding of low lying areas along the river in the city. The amount of rainfall in the mountains and in the city is unknown.
» Click here to read the rest of June 9 to June 15: This Week in Denver Weather History