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Cooler temperatures, slight chance for showers start Thornton’s workweek

Monday, September 24th, 2018 5:08am MDT

The promised change in the hot weather of the past couple of weeks is here. The first of two cold fronts has arrived and a second comes through tonight.

For today, we will see some cloud cover above throughout the day with some clearing mid-day then more clouds later in the afternoon.

The colder air that has been ushered in will keep temperatures closer to normal with our high expected to reach the upper 70s.

The afternoon brings just a slight chance for a shower. If any do develop, they are not expected to amount to much.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows in the mid-40s. The second front will push through after dark and that will bring some breezy winds as we get close to midnight and lasting into the pre-dawn hours tomorrow.

Looking ahead, even cooler weather is expected for much of the rest of the week. Check out the extended weather forecast here.

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September 23 to September 29: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 3:35pm MDT
This week in Denver weather history

September 23 to September 29: This week in Denver weather history

While typically the last week of September is calm, that isn’t always the case. In our look back at this week in Denver weather history we see damaging wind, dangerous lightning and September’s biggest snowfall on record in the Mile High City.

From the National Weather Service:

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 » Click here to read the rest of September 23 to September 29: This week in Denver weather history

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September 2018 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 3:15pm MDT
Dramatic skies over Adams County start out the month of September. (Jessica Fey)

Dramatic skies over Adams County start out the month of September. (Jessica Fey)

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 23, 2018
  • 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 weekend weather to offer lots of sun, mild temperatures

Friday, September 21st, 2018 4:54am MDT

Fall officially begins tomorrow at 7:54pm and we have some darn nice weather to welcome the change of seasons. Friday will be cooler than we have seen of late, but near normal, then the weekend rebounds with above normal temps.

Sunny skies with only a few clouds here and there will be above Friday. Conditions will be calm other than some breezy winds in the late afternoon and evening. Highs today will top out in the mid to upper 70s, right near the average high of 76 for the date. Tonight, skies will be clear and temperatures on the cool-side with lows in the upper 40s.

Saturday sees the mercury rebound with highs in the mid-80s. Clear skies will be above and conditions calm and dry. Saturday night into Sunday morning, skies will be mostly clear with lows dipping to the lower 50s.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the three day period with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Lots of sun will be above and again conditions will be dry.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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Colorado fall colors 2018: When and where to go

Thursday, September 20th, 2018 3:08pm MDT
Rocky Mountain National Park is a prime spot for viewing the fall foliage. (Tony's Takes)

Rocky Mountain National Park is a prime spot for viewing the fall foliage. (Tony’s Takes)

This time of year many folks start thinking about heading to the hills west of Denver in search of gold – fall foliage gold.

Where to go?  Below are five of ThorntonWeather.com’s favorite ones near Denver – plus a few further out and some bonus ideas.  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 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.  Extend your viewing by taking Trail Ridge Road all the way through to the west side of the park and the Grand Lake and Granby area.

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 City.  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.

Colorado Fall Foliage - Average Date of Peak Aspen Colors. Click for larger view. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Colorado Fall Foliage – Average Date of Peak Aspen Colors. Click for larger view. (ThorntonWeather.com)

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.

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.  Editor’s note: The west side of Cottonwood Pass is closed until sometime this fall so that it can be paved.

Honorable mentions worth considering:

  • Boreas Pass between Breckenridge and Como (County Road 10)
  • Kenosha Pass on Highway 285 between Bailey and Fairplay
  • Independence Pass (Colorado 82 between Aspen and Twin Lakes)
  • Colorado 103 from Evergreen to Echo Lake. Throw in a drive up Mount Evans for a bonus.

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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The heat finally breaks as Thornton cools down quite a bit Thursday

Thursday, September 20th, 2018 5:12am MDT

The heat finally breaks as Thornton cools down quite a bit Thursday. Yesterday we never did get quite as hot as expected and put an end to that ridiculous 90+ degree streak with some nice rain. Today, we dry out and remain cooler (but still warmer than normal).

The day will start out with a good bit of cloud cover but we will see clearing throughout the day leading to mostly sunny skies for the afternoon.

Temperatures today will top out in the low 80s. Average for the date is 77 degrees so we will still be warmer than normal but that is far better than the recent heat.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear and lows could dip to the upper 40s.

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Wednesday starts unseasonably warm but cooler, wetter weather arrives by the end of the day

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 5:01am MDT

Finally a break! Today will still be quite warm but an approaching cold front that arrives later will offer cooler weather and a chance for showers.

The day starts out with mostly sunny skies but by mid-morning we will see a gradual increase in mid and upper level clouds.

Highs today will top out near the 90 degree mark in the early to mid-afternoon but, a cold front will then arrive and cool things down somewhat quickly through the evening.

Some scattered showers / thunderstorms will be possible from mid-afternoon into tonight with the best chances coming from about 6:00pm to 10:00pm. We don’t expect a lot of precipitation but we could finally see something that counts in the rain bucket.

Tonight, a few showers may linger overnight into the pre-dawn hours tomorrow. Overnight lows will be in the mid to upper 50s.

Looking ahead, cooler weather is expected through the weekend. See the extended forecast here.

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Another day with unseasonably warm, potentially record-setting temperatures Tuesday

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 4:20am MDT

Yup, yet another forecast where we could pretty much cut and paste the previous day’s forecast. Lots of sun will be above today (again) and temperatures will climb toward record highs (again).

We start out under sunny skies and then, much like yesterday, the afternoon will offer up a few clouds but nothing that will lead to precipitation.

The record high temperature in Denver for today’s date is 93 degrees and we are going to be pushing close to that mark. Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy with lows in the mid to upper 50s.

On the plus side, tomorrow we do expect to start to see things change. While Wednesday will also be unseasonably warm, it will be cooler than today and thanks to increased moisture and a cold front, we may see some precipitation.

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Thornton’s workweek continues the hot, dry weather of recent days

Monday, September 17th, 2018 4:53am MDT

No rest for the weary, at least not for the first half of this week. We will continue to see temperatures well above normal today and for the next few but relief does appear on the way later this week.

For today, sunny skies start things out then we should have a few clouds for much of the day although nothing that will do much to inhibit temperatures.

Highs today will once again climb into the 90s, far above the average high for today’s date of 78 degrees.

Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with a low around 60 degrees.

Looking ahead, tomorrow promises more of the same heat. A cold front is expected to arrive Wednesday and that will start us on a bit of a downward trend that should bring temps close to normal Thursday through the weekend. More in the extended weather forecast here.

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September 16 to September 22: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, September 16th, 2018 5:44am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

September 16 to September 22: This week in Denver weather history

Given our hot summer some may enjoy a look at what at times has been a cold and snowy week in Denver weather history. Not only one but two major snowstorms have occurred, both very damaging and both brought snowfall amounts we typically see in March, not September.

11-16

In 2013…a deep southerly flow over Colorado… Ahead of a nearly stationary low pressure system over the great basin… Pumped copious amounts of monsoonal moisture into the area. In addition…a weak stationary front stretched along the Front Range foothills and Palmer Divide.  This resulted in a prolonged period of moderate to heavy rain across the Front Range foothills…Palmer Divide…urban corridor. By the 14th…storm totals ranged from 6 to 18 inches… Highest in the foothills of Boulder County. The headwaters then moved down the South Platte River and caused widespread flooding with record flood stages at several locations as it made its way downstream.  The record high flood stages resulted in widespread flooding along the South Platte River basin. The flood damage encompassed 4500 square miles of the Front Range…left 7 dead… Forced thousands to evacuate…and destroyed thousands of homes and farms. Record amounts of rainfall generated flash floods that tore up roads and lines of communication… Leaving many stranded. Nearly 19000 homes were damaged… And over 1500 destroyed. Colorado department of transportation estimated at least 30 state highway bridges were destroyed and an additional 20 seriously damaged. Preliminary assessments of the state`s infrastructure showed damage of $40 million to roads and $112 million to bridges. Repair costs for state and county roads ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Miles of freight and passenger rail lines were washed out or submerged… Including a section servicing Amtrak`s iconic California Zephyr. The town of Lyons was isolated by the flooding of St. Vrain creek…and several earth dams along the Front Range burst or were over-topped. Floodwaters swept through Estes Park; damaged hundreds of buildings and destroyed large sections of U.S. 34 from Loveland and U.S. 36 from Lyons to Boulder. U.S. 34 suffered the most damage… With 85 percent of its roadway and bridges destroyed. In Weld County…about nearly two thousand gas wells were damaged and had to be closed off as the floodwaters inundated entire communities. Sewage treatment plants and other utilities were knocked out in a number of towns. Governor Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency on September 13th…in 11 counties across northeast Colorado including:  Adams…Arapahoe…Broomfield…Boulder…Denver…  Jefferson…Larimer…Logan…Morgan… Washington and Weld. By the 15th…federal emergency declarations covered those counties as well as Clear Creek County. Projected losses from the flooding statewide was nearly two billion dollars in property damage…according to Eqecat… A catastrophe modeling firm.  The damage was most severe in and around Lyons and Boulder.  More than 11 thousand people were evacuated…reportedly the largest since Hurricane Katrina. President Obama declared a state of emergency for Boulder and Larimer counties.  An additional 10 counties were added on the 16th and included: Adams… Arapahoe…Broomfield…Clear Creek…Denver…Jefferson…  Morgan…Logan… Washington and Weld counties. The president also declared a major disaster specifically for Boulder County.  There were six fatalities directly attributed to flash flooding. Two 19-yr old teenagers died on the 11th…after they were swept away by floodwaters after abandoning their car on Lindon Drive in Boulder. In Jamestown…a 72-yr old man was killed when the building he was in collapsed. An 80-yr old Lyons resident died in the early morning hours of the 12th…when his truck was swept into the St. Vrain River near his home. Later on the 12th…a 79-yr old Larimer County resident was killed when she was swept away while trying to climb to safety from her home in Cedar Point. A 61-yr old cedar point resident died when her home was swept down the Big Thompson River by the floodwaters. An 80-yr old Idaho Springs resident drowned in Clear Creek when the embankment he was standing on collapsed. In Boulder…some of the monthly records broken included: one-day all-time record: 9.08 inches which shattered the previous wettest day of 4.8 inches set on July 31… 1919; one-month record of 18.16 inches…which broke the previous all-time monthly record of 9.59 inches set in May of 1995; wettest September on record which broke the previous record of 5.5 inches set in September of 1940; one-year record of 34.15 inches broke the previous wettest year of 29.93 inches set in 1995. At Denver International Airport…the total precipitation for the month of September was 5.61 inches…which was 4.65 inches above the normal of 0.96 inches. This is the most precipitation ever recorded in Denver for the month of September. Daily precipitation records included 1.11 inches on the 12th and 2.01 inches on the 14th.

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.

18-19

In 1955…heavy rains caused flash flooding across portions of metro Denver. Rainfall totaled 1.71 inches at Stapleton Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of September 16 to September 22: This week in Denver weather history

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