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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedSat, 27-May-2017 7:40am MDT 
 

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Thornton’s Memorial Day weekend starts stormy, will end pleasant

Friday, May 26th, 2017 5:18am MDT

We’re going to see a little bit of everything this weekend. Things start out with the potential for some severe storms, move to rain on Saturday but then straighten up with pleasant conditions Sunday and Monday.

For today a trough begins working it through mixing things up. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be above throughout the day as temperatures top out around the 70 degree mark. The biggest concern is going to be the threat of thunderstorms this afternoon and less so the evening and overnight hours. Right now it appears the main focus of these storms will be to our south and east but we can’t rule out severe activity in our area. Strong winds, heavy rain, hail and an isolated tornado will all be possible.

Tonight we’ll see a good dose of clouds and lows in the mid to upper 40s.

Tomorrow a good bit of moisture will be above leading to cloudy skies and some light showers throughout the day. Best chances for precipitation will come in the afternoon, perhaps accompanied by a bit of thunder.

Overnight Saturday activity will ease, skies will clear and temperatures will dip to the low to mid-40s.

Sunday we will dry out nicely. Mostly sunny skies will be above and conditions will be calm. Highs will top out near 70 degrees.

For the Memorial Day holiday, it again looks to be a pleasant day with mostly sunny skies and temperatures close to normal. There is just a slight chance for a thunderstorm late in the day.

Have a great weekend and please, take time to remember what Memorial Day is about. Take the time to pay homage to the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this great nation. We are forever in their debt!

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May 21 to May 27: This week in Denver weather history

Friday, May 26th, 2017 3:27am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

May 21 to May 27: This week in Denver weather history

If history is a teacher, our look back at this week in Denver weather history should provide great instruction on the dangers severe weather presents in our history. It was eight years ago this week that the infamous Windsor tornado tore through the area killing one man and damaging hundreds of homes.

From the National Weather Service:

20-21

In 1891…heavy rain was mixed with snow at times and totaled 2.02 inches in the city. Snowfall was 1.0 inch. Northeast winds gusted to 28 mph on the 20th.

20-22

In 1959…a three-day rain caused some flooding in metro Denver where rain totaled 1.68 inches at Stapleton Airport. Showers…accompanied by hail near Brighton…caused some damage to truck crops. Heavy snow in the foothills caused damage to power and telephone lines.

20-27

In 2002…lightning sparked a wildfire near Deckers. Extremely dry conditions and very strong winds the following day allowed the fire…known as the Schoonover…to consume 3850 acres before it could be contained. Thirteen structures were destroyed…including 4 homes…resulting in 2.2 million dollars in damage.

21

In 1874…an extensive fire at Central City in the mountains to the west of Denver produced large columns of smoke that were visible from the city. In the afternoon…the smoke and fire produced a dark inky black convective cloud…which spread over the city and produced brief strong and gusty winds along with a few sprinkles of rain.

In 1880…west winds increased to a sustained velocity of 40 mph during the afternoon.

In 1893…north winds were sustained to 48 mph.

In 1914…a severe thunderstorm was attended by hail…excessive rainfall which totaled 1.94 inches…and an unusual amount of vivid lightning. The heavy rainfall of 0.83 inch in 15 minutes produced flooding…which caused considerable damage to bottom lands in eastern and southern parts of the city. Many garden tracts and cellars were flooded. Southwest winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 34 mph.

In 1935…no precipitation occurred…making this one of only two days without precipitation during the entire month. The other day was the 10th. Precipitation totaled 4.95 inches for the month.

In 1952…a tornado produced a high column of dust and dirt over northwest Denver. No damage was reported.

In 1988…a microburst wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2002…very strong winds occurred over metro Denver and northeastern Colorado as a developing surface low pressure center intensified. Trees and branches snapped…downing power lines across parts of metro Denver. About 20 thousand residents lost electricity. The strong winds produced much blowing dust and dirt especially to the northeast of metro Denver. Winds gusted to 61 mph at Parker. South winds gusted to 58 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2006…a large dust devil formed near Quincy Reservoir in south Aurora. The tall column resembling a tornado or smoke plume extended upward into small high-based cumulus clouds and was visible for miles across southern Aurora and eastern centennial. No damage was reported.

In 2014…severe thunderstorms occurred in and around metro Denver. The storms produced large hail…from quarter to golfball size. Frontier Airlines canceled 16 flights…when several planes sustained hail damage. Forty flights at Denver International Airport were either delayed or canceled. Some homes in Green Valley Ranch…east of Denver… were damaged by hail. Several vehicles were also damaged. Five short lived tornadoes touched down near Bennett and Byers but no damage was reported. The storms also produced heavy rain and strong damaging winds. The wind downed trees and power lines east of Denver. The heavy rain and hail…up to 6 inches deep in spots…caused street flooding around the metro area. The hailstorm at Dicks Sporting Goods Park knocked out power to the stadium where the 4A and 5A girls soccer championship games were about to be played. The inclement weather snarled traffic on Interstate 70…Pena Boulevard… U.S. 85 and elsewhere due to the flooded roads. In some areas…snow plows were called out to clear the hail. Parts of Tower Road and Peoria Street…and other roads in Commerce City… were closed through the late evening hours…because of standing water. Several vehicles stalled in standing water where water pooled in the underpasses. At Denver International Airport…1.2 inches of water was observed…along with a wind gust to 42 mph from the northwest.

21-22

In 1878…overnight heavy rains of cloudburst intensity on the Palmer Divide to the south of the city caused flash flooding on Cherry Creek in Denver…which resulted in 2 deaths. A wall of water swept through the city between 2:00 am and 3:00 am on the morning of the 22nd. The flood was so sudden and unexpected that homes along the creek in the city were submerged in water knee deep before the slumbering occupants knew anything about it. By daybreak the banks on both sides of the creek were lined by residents viewing the destruction caused by the raging waters in such a short time. Seven bridges across the creek were destroyed in the city. Damage to private and city property was estimated between 30 and 50 thousand dollars. Quite a number of cattle and sheep were killed along the reach of the creek. Only 0.01 inch of rain fell in the city on the 21st with a trace of rain on the 22nd. Flash flooding also occurred on Kiowa Creek near Bennett on the night of the 21st when the flood waters washed out the Kansas Pacific Railroad bridge. An east bound freight train plunged into the turbulent waters killing the three crewmen. The locomotive was completely buried in the sand and never found to this day!

21-23

In 1876…snow changed to heavy rain over the city…resulting in widespread flooding along Cherry Creek and the South Platte River…nearly as great as the flash flood of May 19-20…1864. However…damage was greater because the city had grown much larger and there were more bridges for the flood waters to destroy. Precipitation in the city totaled 6.70 inches from 10:00 pm on the 21st through 3:00 am on the 23rd. The greatest precipitation ever recorded in Denver in 24 hours…6.53 inches…occurred on the 21st and 22nd. Small buildings and bridges along Cherry Creek were washed away by the flood waters. Bridges over the South Platte River were damaged. The city irrigation ditch was damaged and rendered unfit for service. Strong winds at speeds of 30 to 40 mph drove the heavy rain through brick walls 12 to 16 inches thick. Many sheep and cattle were either killed by lightning or drowned…including some 100 head of cattle in Jefferson County alone. There was immense damage to railroad tracks…especially the Kansas Pacific line to the east of the city. The Colorado central suffered estimated damage of 10 to 15 thousand dollars. In addition…the heavy rain caused extensive flooding on Soda and Bear Creeks in the foothills. Flooding along Boulder Creek inundated farm and pasture land in the Boulder Valley and damaged a few bridges. Rail travel had to be suspended in the area for several days.

22

In 1876…the most precipitation in Denver on any calendar day…6.50 inches…occurred.

In 1901…northeast winds were sustained to 41 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

In 1903…west winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 55 mph from an apparent microburst…which produced a trace of rain.

In 1976…the public reported 3/4 inch diameter hail and wind gusts to 53 mph near Littleton.

In 1987…golf ball size hail fell in the Lorretto Heights area of south metro Denver.

In 1991…a tornado touched down briefly in Castle Rock. No injuries were reported.

In 1993…an off duty national weather service employee reported hail up to golf ball size just west of the city of Denver in Jefferson County. Thunderstorm wind gusts reached 58 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…a severe thunderstorm pummeled northwest and northern sections of metro Denver with large hail ranging in size from 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter. The cities of Arvada and Westminster were the hardest hit. The insurance industry estimated 60 million dollars in damage to homes and personal property and 62 million dollars in damage to automobiles…for a total of 122 million dollars in insured losses. This estimate also included the cities of Golden… Thornton…and wheat ridge. This was the fourth worst hailstorm to hit metro Denver in the last 10 years.

In 1998…large hail fell across north metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter was measured in Broomfield and Hudson. Hail to 1 1/4 inches fell in Roggen. Hail to 1 inch fell in Brighton…near Keenesburg… In Watkins…and in the city of Denver. Lightning ignited a house fire in Ft. Lupton. A warehouse worker in Denver was injured when he was knocked off a loading dock by a lightning bolt. The bolt skipped off a nearby radio tower and struck him in the arm. He was treated for numbness in his right arm and released.

In 1999…severe thunderstorms produced 7/8 inch diameter hail over the city of Denver…with one inch diameter hail reported in Aurora…and 3/4 inch hail near Watkins.

In 2006…a lightning strike sparked a fire and damaged the roof of a recreation center in Evergreen. The fire spread into some brush and consumed about one quarter acre before it was extinguished. Severe thunderstorms produced strong wind gusts across portions of metro Denver. Winds gusted to 72 mph in Georgetown…62 mph near Parker and Bennett… 60 mph in Castle Rock…and 59 mph in Longmont. The winds caused no reportable damage. A thunderstorm produced southwest wind gusts to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2008…a powerful tornado swept north-northwestward across Weld County…carving a path of destruction nearly 39 miles in length. The tornado…up to one-mile wide at times… Initially touched down northeast of Platteville and finally lifted 6 miles west-northwest of wellington. A tornado assessment in the aftermath of the tornado revealed extensive areas of damage. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale… There were pockets of ef3 damage near the Missile Silo Park campground and to businesses and a home in eastern Windsor. Farmers reported extensive damage to crops and irrigation equipment. There was one fatality and 78 injuries… Ranging from broken bones to minor cuts and lacerations. One man was killed when he tried to escape a trailer park in his motor home. Tractor trailers were flipped along U.S. Highway 85…and over 200 power poles were snapped or blown down. Approximately 60000 people were left without electricity. The tornado overturned 15 railroad cars and destroyed a lumber car. The tornado also flattened the main feedlot in Windsor and destroyed a dairy barn. Most of the 400 cows were killed in the tornado or destroyed later. The thunderstorm also produced hail up to the size of baseballs. Another tornado from a separate thunderstorm… Rated an ef1…briefly touched down near Dacono and destroyed 5 buildings. The tornado overturned a five-wheel trailer and injured a man sitting inside. Preliminary estimates from FEMA indicated 850 homes were damaged…and nearly 300 homes were significantly damaged or destroyed. The Poudre Valley Rural Electric Associated reported $1 million of damage to electric transmission lines. Privately insured damages totaled $147 million…making it the state’s 4th costliest disaster. Large hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter…was reported in the vicinities of Golden and Longmont.

In 2014…a severe thunderstorm Denver area produced nickel to quarter size hail in parts of west Denver and near Bennett. Locally heavy rainfall produced some minor street flooding in parts of metro Denver. The heavy rainfall produced localized flash flooding near Bennett. Rainfall totaled 0.54 inches at Denver International Airport.

22-23

In 1933…high winds and gales overnight caused considerable damage in and near the city. Much greenhouse glass was broken…which caused damage to sheltered plants. Great numbers of plants growing in the open were damaged or killed by wind-driven sand and soil. Fields were eroded by the wind and a few trees were uprooted. West winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts as high as 65 mph in downtown Denver on the 22nd.

» Click here to read the rest of May 21 to May 27: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s Thursday to bring seasonal conditions, chance for storms

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 5:12am MDT

With low pressure pushing through, the weather turns a bit unsettled today but much like what we expect this time of year. Temperatures will be a bit above normal and the afternoon brings chances for thunderstorms.

We start out with mostly sunny skies and will see much of the same for the morning hours with some varying degrees of cloudiness. The afternoon will see coverage increase. Temperatures start out mild this morning and then will work their way toward a high around 77 degrees. Average for the date is 75 degrees.

This afternoon will bring some thunderstorm and shower activity to the area with the most notable feature being some gusty winds. Best chances for activity for us will be between about 3:00pm and 8:00pm.

Tonight a few lingering showers may occur and temperatures will dip to lows in the mid to upper 40s.

You can keep an eye out for those storms with our radar here.

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Wednesday brings warmest temps of the week, lots of sun

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 5:14am MDT

High pressure has built over the region today and that will help usher in a very mild day. The calm, dry conditions though will not last long and unsettled conditions will return soon.

We start out today with sunny skies above and for the majority of the day, that will be rule. The afternoon may see a few clouds but nothing that will be intrusive. Temperatures will be climbing to a high in the low 70s, a good bit above the average for the date of 74 degrees.

Winds will be calm this morning and into the early afternoon but by mid to late afternoon they will become a bit breezy with gusts to 25mph or so being possible. Look for them to start to ease in the evening.

Looking ahead, a series of systems will bring back the unsettled, cooler pattern that has dominated us for the past week or so. With the exception of tomorrow, temperatures through the weekend look to be a bit below normal and each day will feature varying chances for showers and thunderstorms. Get more details in our extended forecast here.

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May 2017 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 3:28am MDT
Hail pounds north Denver in our first severe weather of the season on May 8, 2017. (Ed Dalton)

Hail pounds north Denver in our first severe weather of the season on May 8, 2017. (Ed Dalton)

Colorado’s famously highly variable weather seems to showcase itself during the month of May when a variety of weather conditions can be seen.  This provides a prime opportunity for photos of everything weather to flora to fauna.

The month of May can bring extremes.  Snow is not entirely uncommon during the month but more common is severe weather, particularly in the latter half of the month.  Thunderstorms become more frequent and their associated hazards – lightning, wind, hail and tornadoes – are usual visitors.  Providing additional subjects for pictures are the emerging spring flowers and our abundant wildlife.

  • Slideshow updated May 18, 2017. 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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Thornton’s Tuesday offers cool temperatures, breezy winds

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 5:20am MDT

In wake of yesterday’s disturbance that brought us some nice rain showers, we dry out today. However, cool temperatures will linger and much of the day will see some breezy winds.

Mostly sunny skies start things out today and we will see similar coverage throughout the day, perhaps a few more clouds later. Cool air remains entrenched along the Front Range and that means highs today will only be in the low to mid-60s.

Probably the most notable weather feature of the day will be the breezy winds. They will be picking up by mid to later morning then by noon and lasting through late afternoon gusts to 25mph or so will be seen.

Tonight, skies will clear and the mercury will dip to around 40 degrees.

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As one system moves out, another arrives keeping conditions unsettled Monday

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 5:14am MDT

The system that moved through last night brought us a respectable bit of rain. As that one moves out, another front will arrive later today bringing more of the same and keeping temperatures cool.

We start out the day with mostly sunny skies then will see gradually increasing cloud coverage starting by mid-morning. Temperatures will be similar to yesterday with highs topping out in the mid to upper 60s.

The next front arrives by mid to late afternoon and with it will come some gusty winds, showers and perhaps some thunder. Best chances for precipitation will come from about 5:00pm to 10:00pm then activity will taper off into the early morning hours.

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Storm system winds down, gradual warming & drying for the weekend

Friday, May 19th, 2017 5:15am MDT

Our late season snowstorm is slowly winding down and moving out. Friday will remain chilly and see some showers but the balance of the weekend will see things slowly get warmer and drier.

For today, the system and its effects will be slow to ease. Some light snow / rain showers will be possible through today and this evening but we aren’t expecting any appreciable accumulations. Temperatures will stay chilly today with highs only in the low 40s under cloudy skies.

Overnight tonight the precipitation should end by late evening and skies will begin to clear some. Lows will be dropping to right near freezing and that has prompted a Freeze Warning to be in effect from 2:00am to 9:00am Saturday.

Tomorrow will see dry conditions although we won’t be warming up particularly fast. Look for highs near 60 degrees under partly sunny skies.

Overnight Saturday into Sunday it will be dry with lows to around 40 degrees.

Another system will arrive Sunday and while it will be warmer, it will be a bit unsettled. Partly sunny skies will be above with high temperatures in the low to mid-60s. The afternoon and evening introduce more clouds and a chance for some showers and thunderstorms.

Have a great weekend!

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Weather forces cancellation of most Thorntonest events

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 2:22pm MDT

City of Thornton's ThorntonfestThe soaking, wet weather that began yesterday evening and is expected to run well into tomorrow has caused numerous event cancellations. Now it has claimed another victim – the City of Thornton’s annual Thorntonfest.

Having already received nearly 2 inches of rain in the past twelve hours the Margaret Carpenter Recreation Center fields are absolutely drenched.  Much more precipitation is on the way with no time for the fields to dry before Thorntonfest’s events were to start Saturday morning.

Mayor Heidi Williams announced on Facebook:

Unfortunately the weather has not cooperated with us and for the second time in 22 years, we are forced to cancel MOST of Thorntonfest due to saturated fields. There are 3 (possibly 4) components of the event that we are planning to move forward with:

  • The Cottonwood Classic 5K will go ahead as scheduled at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Thorncreek Crossing Shopping Center.
  • The Rocky Mountain Dock Dogs competition will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday/Sunday, May 20 & 21. It will be moved into the parking lot south of the Carpenter Park multipurpose fields.
  • The Battle of the Bands Competition will go ahead as scheduled in the Carpenter Park Amphitheater, with the bands performing from 10:20 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Canine Frisbee Competition hopes to go forward, as it is a regional competition and people are coming from out-of-state to participate. We are hoping to move them to Woodglen Park because it drains well. However, because the weather is supposed to continue through tomorrow, this decision won’t be made until Saturday morning.

The website will be updated with all of these changes, so the public will be advised to check the website if interested in any of these venues.

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Potent storm set to soak Thornton Thursday and Friday

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 5:28am MDT

And here you thought we were done with wintry weather? Not quite says Mother Nature. A strong system is set to deliver copious amounts of precipitation to the Front Range, some of which may fall as snow.

For the daytime hours today, look for pretty consistent conditions throughout. Skies will be cloudy and rain pretty consistent with the possibility of more than an inch of it falling in the daytime hours – this on top of the more than 3/4″ we have already received over the past 12 hours. Temperatures today will stay right in the mid to upper 30s.

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As temperatures cool tonight, that will begin to introduce the potential for some snow to mix in with the rain. Much of the snow that falls will melt as quickly as it hits the ground however we may see 1 to 3 inches of snowfall tonight through tomorrow with varying amounts actually sticking to the ground. There remains a good bit of uncertainty as to when (if) the snow level will drop enough to bring us the white stuff.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch that is in effect from 6:00pm this evening to 6:00pm Friday evening. With trees now having leafed out, any snow that does fall will have the potential to damage them and may lead to power outages.

With overnight lows tonight and tomorrow night expected to drop to right near freezing, sensitive plants should be covered or brought inside. Additionally, with this much precipitation, we can expect creeks, streams and rivers to swell.

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