Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedTue, 24-Jan-2017 12:20pm MST 


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Colder temperatures, scattered snow showers for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 5:11am MST

Unsettled weather on tap for us today as a low pressure system and cold front mix things up from the previous days’ warm conditions. We can expect below normal temperatures and some light snow for much of the day.

Mostly cloudy skies start things off and will continue throughout. Temperatures today will be topping out in the mid-30s. Breezy winds from about 11:00am through the evening will make it a bit uncomfortable outside.

In terms of snow, we really are not expecting much. A few flurries here and there will be possible throughout the day with the best chances occurring from about 8:00am through 1:00pm. Accumulations should be below an inch, possible a lot below.

All the latest on our Winter Weather Briefing Page.

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NOAA releases first images from new GOES satellite

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 9:46am MST
GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of the Earth on January 15. Like earlier GOES satellites, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration. (NOAA/NASA)

GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of the Earth on January 15. Like earlier GOES satellites, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration. (NOAA/NASA)

NOAA released the first images from their new GOES-16 satellite and to say they are stunning would be an understatement.  The new satellite, built in Colorado by Lockheed Martin, contains some of the highest resolution cameras and most advanced sensors in the world.

From NOAA:

Since the GOES-16 satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral on November 19, scientists, meteorologists and ordinary weather enthusiasts have anxiously waited for the first photos from NOAA’s newest weather satellite, GOES-16, formerly GOES-R.

The release of the first images today is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. It will be like high-definition from the heavens.

  • Scroll down to view all of the new images released by NOAA

The pictures from its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument, built by Harris Corporation, show a full-disc view of the Western Hemisphere in high detail — at four times the image resolution of existing GOES spacecraft. The higher resolution will allow forecasters to pinpoint the location of severe weather with greater accuracy. GOES-16 can provide a full image of Earth every 15 minutes and one of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and scans the Earth at five times the speed of NOAA’s current GOES imagers.

NOAA’s GOES-16, situated in geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, will boost the nation’s weather observation network and NOAA’s prediction capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.

“This is such an exciting day for NOAA! One of our GOES-16 scientists compared this to seeing a newborn baby’s first pictures — it’s that exciting for us,” said Stephen Volz Ph.D. director of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth. The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing life-saving forecasts.”

In May, NOAA will announce the planned location for GOES-16. By November 2017, GOES-16 will be operational as either GOES-East or GOES-West. Once operational, NOAA will use the satellite’s six new instruments to generate new or improved meteorological, solar, and space weather products.

Second satellite in GOES series already in development

Following on the heels of GOES-R will be, GOES-S, the second of four spacecraft in the series. GOES-S is undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin’s Corporation facility in Littleton, Colorado, where it was built. A full set of environmental, mechanical and electromagnetic testing will take about one year to complete. The GOES-S satellite will be moved into the other operational position as GOES-17 immediately after launch and initial checkout of the satellite, approximately nine months after GOES-16.

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January 2017 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 8:09am MST
Geese walk across a frozen Barr Lake with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the background. (Shawn Jones)

Geese walk across a frozen Barr Lake with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the background. (Shawn Jones)

As one of our coldest months, January can be a good month to hibernate inside and avoid the outdoors.  But, like any month in Colorado, photo opportunities abound as our monthly slideshow demonstrates.

Snow is not normally dominant in the month but when it does fall, it can create a beautiful blanket of white.  Throw in the amazing sunrises and sunsets we receive in the middle of winter as well as wildlife and a host of other subjects and the imagery can be quite beautiful and stunning.

  • Slideshow updated January 23, 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 workweek starts out mild, slight chance for showers

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 5:09am MST

We will enjoy our warmest day of the week on Monday. After that, a system brings a chance for showers this evening and tonight and cooler air will linger for the balance of the week.

For today we start out with mostly cloudy skies above and similar cloud coverage can be expected throughout the day. Temperatures will be climbing toward a high in the low to mid-50s, well above the average for the date of 44 degrees.

There will be a good deal of moisture aloft and some of that may infiltrate lower levels allowing just a slight chance for a sprinkle of rain from mid-afternoon through the evening. Overnight tonight and through tomorrow light snow will be possible but accumulations are expected to be minimal if any at all. Look for temperatures tonight to dip into the mid-20s.

Looking at the balance of the week, after tomorrow, we will be dry but cold air is expected to continue to move in from the northwest keeping highs in the 30s through Friday.

Have a great week!

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January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 3:10am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

Protracted cold spells, damaging and injuring winds and heavy snowfall mark our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1962…a protracted cold spell kept metro Denver in the deep freeze for more than a week. From the 15th thru the 23rd…low temperatures were zero or below for 9 consecutive days…but a daily record low was set only on the 22nd when the temperature dipped to 14 degrees below zero. A record low maximum for the date was also set on the 22nd when the temperature climbed to only 11 degrees. The coldest high temperature was 3 degrees above zero on the 21st…which did not break the record. The protracted cold was broken for only a few hours on the afternoon of the 20th when Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 38 degrees before another surge of cold arctic air plunged temperatures back into the deep freeze that evening. The severe cold caused much damage to water systems. A woman was frozen to death at Morrison. There were other deaths attributable to the weather…including traffic deaths and heart attacks from overexertion.


In 2005…a week of mid-winter unseasonably warm weather pushed high temperatures into the 60’s or more on all but one day. During the period…the highest temperature of 70 degrees on the 20th was a new record maximum for the date. Low temperatures remained above freezing on 4 of the days.


In 1937…a second incursion of cold arctic in less than two weeks kept temperatures in the deep freeze for three days… Even though only one temperature record was set during the period. Temperatures were below zero for an estimated 53 consecutive hours. The below zero period would have been longer had the temperatures on the 20th not climbed to a high of 1 degree after a low of 8 degrees below zero. On the 21st…the high temperature of 1 degree below zero was a record low maximum for the date. Low readings on both the 21st and 22nd were 9 degrees below zero.

In 1971…high winds raked Boulder. Wind gusts to 77 mph were recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Winds gusted to 83 mph in south Boulder and to 68 mph in downtown Boulder. Minor personal injuries occurred…and reported damage to structures totaled 15 thousand dollars. On the 21st…northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 69 degrees on the 20th…which equaled the record for the date.

In 1993…sporadic high winds along the east slopes of the Front Range during the early morning hours of the 20th moved onto the foothills and plains by the 22nd. Wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph were common. Some significant wind reports included 82 mph at Rollinsville and atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver…and 75 mph on Rocky Flats. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 35 mph on the 20th…44 mph on the 21st…and 55 mph on the 22nd.


In 1972…wind gusts to 74 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder…while in downtown Boulder wind gusts to 56 mph were measured. The strong winds overturned a plane at the Arapahoe County airport. A motorcyclist died of injuries when he was blown off a Boulder County road. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 21st.

In 1999…heavy snow developed across portions of metro Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8 inches in Golden Gate Canyon…Intercanyon…Rollinsville… And Parker; 7 inches at Aspen Springs…Gross Reservoir… Pine Junction…and 5 miles south of Sedalia; 6 inches at Highlands Ranch; and 5 inches at Eaglecrest…Eldorado Springs…and Louisville. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. On the 21st…north-northwest winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.


In 1899…a cold front produced northeast sustained winds to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.

In 1951…a heavy windstorm struck Boulder. Minor damage was reported. Strong post-frontal east winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1990…strong winds of 50 to 90 mph buffeted the foothills. No significant damage was reported. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1992…strong winds raked the eastern foothills with a wind gust to 58 mph recorded at Rocky Flats just northwest of Denver. West winds gusted to only 25 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This along with a trace of snow on the 1st was the only snow of the month…which equaled the record for the least snowiest January first set in 1934.


In 1982…wind gusts up to 101 mph were clocked at Wondervu. Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph were common along the Front Range foothills from Boulder north.


In 1948…the longest period of snowfall on record (92 hours and 3 minutes) occurred in downtown Denver where a total of 13.6 inches of snow fell. At Stapleton Airport…19.0 inches of snow fell…making it the heaviest snow in January and the 5th heaviest snow of record at that time. North winds were sustained to a velocity of 23 mph on the 25th…but generally the winds were light throughout the storm. The snow disrupted traffic…but street clearing was begun soon after it became apparent that the snow would be heavy. Over the 5 days…temperatures ranged from a high of 48 degrees on the 22nd to a low of 1 degree on the 26th. Most readings were in the teens and 20’s during the storm.


In 1872…a brisk northerly wind set in about noon…blew almost a gale about 6:00 pm…and continued brisk until night. A light snow commenced during the late afternoon and continued all night.

In 1886…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph in the city around sunrise. A cold wave accompanied the strong winds.

In 1897…a vigorous cold front produced northeast winds sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Temperatures plunged from a high of 59 degrees to a low of 11 degrees in the evening. The very cold temperatures persisted through the 28th.

In 1934…the date marked the last day of the longest period of consecutive days without measurable precipitation in the city. The 52 day period began on December 3…1933.

In 1988…one of the strongest windstorms in several years pounded the Front Range foothills from Colorado Springs north to the Wyoming border. The highest wind gust at lower elevations was 105 mph recorded at Table Mesa in Boulder. Other sections of Boulder recorded wind gusts of 80 to 90 mph. In Boulder…the high winds broke windows and damaged power lines and transformers. Power outages were widespread and traffic lights were downed. The winds blew down a partially constructed viaduct in east Boulder. Nine unanchored concrete girders…each weighing 45 tons…were blown off their supports. Cars were blown off I-70 near Morrison…and a tractor trailer and a mobile home were knocked over. In Lakewood…an electric company crewman was burned while replacing a power line. Wind gusts to 92 mph were clocked at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield before the site anemometer was blown down by the wind. The strong winds spread over all the metro area with a northwest wind gust to 52 mph recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1992…high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 63 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats northwest of Denver. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2002…low level upslope flow combined with an upper level jet stream created bands of heavy snow over portions of the Front Range foothills and metro Denver. The areas hardest hit were the foothills of Jefferson and Douglas counties and the I-25 corridor from the southern suburbs of Denver to around Castle Rock. Snow totals included: 9 inches at Intercanyon…Roxborough State Park…and near Sedalia; 8.5 inches atop Crow Hill and near Tiny Town; 8 inches at Ken Caryl and near Castle Rock; 7 inches in Lakewood; 6.5 inches at Littleton; and 6 inches in Castle Rock. Only 3.6 inches of snow were measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.


In 1921…heavy snowfall in downtown Denver totaled 8.0 inches overnight. Northwest winds were sustained to 22 mph with gusts to 25 mph on the 24th.

» Click here to read the rest of January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Record rainfall hits Southern California

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 2:16am MST

LOS ANGELES — The third in a series of powerful winter storms unleashed a deluge in Southern California on Sunday, flooding numerous roads and freeways, setting new rainfall records and stranding some in dangerously rising waters. Forecasters had predicted this storm would be the strongest in several years, and it didn’t disappoint. While earlier storms produced… » Click here to read the rest of Record rainfall hits Southern California

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Death Toll Climbs As Unusual Weather Hits Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Carolinas

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 12:15pm MST

Severe thunderstorms and tornados threatened Florida, Georgia and North Carolina Sunday night as heavy winds, large hail and rains hit the Southeast coast and killed at least 16 people. Residents were urged to seek safe shelter and listen to their radios for any emergency warnings. “There is a significant risk for large, long-tracked and extremely destructive… » Click here to read the rest of Death Toll Climbs As Unusual Weather Hits Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Carolinas

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Mother Nature can be a factor in Inauguration Day events and the swearing in of a new president

Friday, January 20th, 2017 8:01am MST
By far the most tragic inaugural weather was in 1841 when William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died a month later. Image courtesy the Library of Congress.

By far the most tragic inaugural weather was in 1841 when William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died a month later. Image courtesy the Library of Congress.

On a cold, wet and blustery day, the new President of the United States prepared to take office.  He rode a horse to and from the Capitol that day and spoke on the steps of the building for nearly two hours – all without an overcoat or so much as a hat.

William Henry Harrison’s refusal to acknowledge the realities of the harsh weather on March 4, 1841 would be his demise.  Our nation’s newest president would also have the shortest presidency, a mere 30 days, as he caught a chill that day which then turned to pneumonia and would claim his life.

Weather in the winter can be a wildcard to say the least and it has been a point of consternation for inauguration festivities.  In President Harrison’s day, we inaugurated our new leader in March but since 1937 Inauguration Day has been held on January 20th, a day which puts it right in the potentially coldest part of winter.

‘Normal’ weather for January 20th in Washington D.C. actually isn’t all that bad.  The city usually reaches a high temperature in the low 40’s.  At noon, the appointed time for the inaugural address, the normal temperature is 37 degrees with partly cloudy skies and a 10 mph wind.  According to the National Weather Service there is historically a 1 in 20 chance of snowfall on the date itself.  Not too bad at all.

Like President Harrison, some other presidents weren’t very lucky when it came to the weather on inauguration day.

100 years ago President William Howard Taft famously said, “I knew it would be a cold day when I made president,” and he was absolutely right.  On that March day ten inches of snow fell and wind downed trees and power poles as streets became clogged and trains stalled.  President Taft’s ceremony was moved indoors due to poor weather and historians consider the day the worst inaugural weather ever.

"President Ronald Reagan's swearing in was the coldest in history but there has been other notable weather on Inauguration Day. (White House)

“President Ronald Reagan’s swearing in was the coldest in history but there has been other notable weather on Inauguration Day. (White House)

President Taft had it rough but his inauguration wasn’t the coldest.  For his second inauguration President Ronald Reagan saw truly Arctic cold temperatures impact his ceremony.  At noon in 1985 it was a mere 7 degrees and the wind chill dropped that to between -10 and -20 degrees.  Like Taft, President Reagan’s inauguration was moved indoors.

In 1873 when Ulysses S. Grant prepared to take office for his second term, the temperature was a mere 16 degrees at noon.  The wind was so bad it made his inaugural address inaudible to everyone including those on the platform with him.

In 1961 on the eve of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, eight inches of snow fell causing the worst inaugural traffic jam as hundred of cars were stuck and thousands abandoned.  The temperature only reached 22 degrees that day and the new president was forced to cancel dinner plans as travel was so difficult.

As for rain, that too can intrude on one of our nation’s most revered occasions.  1.77 inches of rain fell on January 20, 1937 – a record for the date that still stands today.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rode in a convertible back to the White House after the inauguration which had a half-inch of water on the floor by the time he arrived.

How are things looking for Inauguration Day 2017 and President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in?  Rain looks to be a virtual certainty for much of the morning right through the swearing in at 12:00 noon EST / 10:00am MST.  The actual volume of precipitation though does not look like it will be all that great.  Temperatures will be topping out a bit warmer than normal for the date with an expected high of 48 degrees.  Click here for the latest forecast for Washington DC from the National Weather Service.

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Thornton’s weekend starts unsettled, will become calmer and seasonal

Friday, January 20th, 2017 5:20am MST

We are starting out the three-day period on Friday with a few raindrops and snowflakes. The system isn’t a big weather maker though and won’t last long. Afterwards we will see calmer, drier conditions for the rest of the weekend.

For today we start with some rain sprinkles and light snow. Very little, if any, accumulation is expected. Look for the showers to taper off by noon to be followed by some lightening of the cloud cover. Highs today will top out in the low to mid-40s followed by lows in the low 20s overnight.

Saturday offers cooler temperatures and a bit of cloud cover. We’ll start out mostly sunny but then see cloud cover build some leading to partly sunny skies for most of the day. Highs will be a bit cooler and top out in the low 40s. Overnight Saturday into Sunday the mercury will drop to the mid-20s.

We close out the weekend in fine fashion with the nicest day of weather for the period. There will be a healthy dose of sun and temperatures will be right near the average for the date of 44 degrees.

Have a great weekend!

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Another fine looking day in store Thursday

Thursday, January 19th, 2017 5:09am MST

If you liked yesterday’s weather then you will have no complaints about today either. We will be seeing nearly identical conditions with lots of sun and mild temperatures. This will however be followed by some snow potential Friday.

For today we start out with clear skies. A few clouds may arrive later in the day but nothing that will intrude. Temperatures will once again be climbing to the mid-50s with calm conditions.

Tonight a weak storm system will move through and unsettle things. We stand a chance for some light snow, primarily tomorrow morning after 3:00am. Only minimal accumulations are expected if any at all. More in the extended forecast here.

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