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UpdatedSun, 24-Mar-2019 9:20pm MDT 
 

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Thornton’s January 2019 preview: Cold temps the norm, snow can be fleeting

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 4:07am MDT

Denver's January weather and climatology preview for 2013.As we begin the new year the winter chill begins to set in.  While January can see its share of extremes, the month historically sees stable temperatures and is usually relatively dry.

January ranks as the second coldest month in Denver next to December with average temperatures remaining virtually the same from the start to the end of the month.

In terms of snowfall, the month only ranks as the fourth snowiest and it is not uncommon for it to be quite dry.

What does January 2019 hold for us?  Follow the link to find out.

For the complete January preview including a look at historical averages and extremes, click here. 

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December 30 to January 5: This week in Denver weather history

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 9:14am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

December 30 to January 5: This week in Denver weather history

Cold, snow and wind are the dominant historical weather events for our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

25-31

In 1980…temperatures were unusually warm during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. High temperatures for the week ranged from the mid-50’s to the mid-70’s. Four temperature records were set. Record highs occurred on the 26th with 68 degrees…the 27th with 75 degrees…and the 30th with 71 degrees. A record high minimum temperature of 41 degrees occurred on the 27th.

29-30

In 1898…heavy snowfall totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 40 mph on the 29th.

In 1912…strong winds buffeted Boulder…causing hundreds of dollars damage. The winds were described as one of the most terrific in the history of the city.

In 1923…a cold wave caused temperatures to plunge 58 degrees in 24 hours. The temperature was 54 degrees at 2:00 pm on the 29th and only 4 degrees below zero at the same time on the 30th. The low temperature of 14 degrees on the 29th was the high temperature on the 30th. The low temperature on the 30th dipped to 10 degrees below zero. Light snowfall totaled only 0.7 inch. Northeast winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 29th.

In 2008…very strong Chinook winds blasted areas in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties. The wind blew down trees and power poles…downed electrical lines and fences…and damaged homes and vehicles. Scattered power outages were reported along the Front Range. In metropolitan Denver alone…24000 Xcel customers were affected by the outages. Four planed were damaged at the Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont…one was heavily damaged. Insurance companies estimated up to 7 million dollars in damage. Peak wind gusts included 87 mph at the national wind technology center…86 mph…2 miles north of Longmont; 77 mph at Erie…and 75 mph at Lafayette. On the 30th…a peak wind gust to 47 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport. .

30

In 1875…snow fell from the early morning into the early evening. While the amount of snowfall was not recorded… Precipitation from melted snow totaled 0.53 inch. Good sleighing was reported…so snowfall must have been 5 inches or more.

In 1895…northwest winds were sustained to 60 mph in the city.

In 1897…west winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees.

In 1912…west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 52 mph. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 50 degrees.

In 1928…snowfall was 0.1 inch in downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snow of the month…ranking the month the third least snowiest on record in the city.

In 1990…strong downslope winds buffeted the eastern foothills. Wind gusts to 91 mph were recorded atop Table Mesa in southwest Boulder…while a gust to 94 mph was clocked at Rollinsville. The high winds caused whiteout conditions due to blowing snow along some highways south and north of Boulder. The high winds downed power lines near the Rocky Flats plant south of Boulder.

In 1998…high winds continued to buffet areas in and near the foothills. Near Evergreen…a 100-foot-high blue spruce crashed down on the roof of a home…splitting the corrugated metal roof in half. Fortunately…the tree… Which measured 10 feet in circumference…only penetrated the home’s interior in a few places. Peak wind reports included: 90 mph at Wondervu…88 mph at the Rocky Flats test facility…83 mph near Conifer…and 82 mph atop Blue Mountain near Coal Creek Canyon. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Denver International Airport.

30-31

In 1886…heavy snow totaled 6.5 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…4.5 inches…fell on the 31st. North winds were sustained to 18 mph.

In 1928…snowfall of 0.6 inch was the only measurable snow of the month in the city.

In 1947…post-frontal heavy snow totaled 6.3 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 30th. North winds were sustained to 17 mph on the 30th.

In 1995…the foothills west of Denver received 5 to 9 inches of new snow…except for Bailey where 11 inches of snow were measured. No snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

31

In 1890…northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph behind an apparent cold front. A trace of sleet fell.

In 1899…northwest winds were sustained to 44 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 49 degrees.

In 1927…the temperature was below zero all day. The high temperature of 3 degrees below zero was a record low maximum for the date. The low temperature was 11 degrees below zero.

In 1970…warm Chinook winds whistled through Boulder. A wind gust to 92 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research…while at the National Bureau of Standards…winds peaked to 70 mph. Northwest winds gusting to 30 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…occasional high winds occurred northwest of Denver and in the foothills. A wind gust to 85 mph was recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Wind gusts to 86 mph occurred on Squaw Mountain with 75 mph recorded at Rollinsville. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2011…an intense and fast moving storm system…produced a powerful windstorm across the Front Range. In the mountains and foothills…several locations recorded wind gusts in excess of 100 mph. Numerous trees were knocked down throughout Arapahoe national forest. One man was killed when he was impaled by a falling tree limb while driving along U.S. Highway 36…north of Boulder. The strong winds produced extensive damage to fences and roofs… And also knocked down trees which resulted in power outages that affected 19 thousand residents along the Front Range. In the mountains and foothills…peak wind gusts included: 111 mph…3 miles south-southeast of Pinecliffe; 101 mph…1 mile west of Lyons; 94 mph atop Berthoud Pass; 86 mph…3 miles south of Golden; 84 mph… 4 miles northwest of Boulder; 81 mph in Boulder; 79 mph at Kenosha Pass…NCAR Mesa Lab and the junction of U.S. Highways 72 and 93; 77 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; and 76 mph…3 miles north-northwest of Morrison. Peak wind gusts for the urban corridor included: 80 mph…3 mile east of cedar point; 77 mph in north Longmont; 67 mph…10 miles east of Parker; 64 mph at Buckley AFB and Lakewood; 60 mph at Bennett and Front Range airport in Watkins; 59 mph at Denver International Airport and Deer Trail; 58 mph at Rocky Mountain Regional Airport in Broomfield and 2 miles north-northwest of Louisville.

31-1

In 1900…low temperatures dipped to 19 degrees below zero on both days to establish daily record minimum temperatures.

In 1975…only 4.2 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…while north of Denver a major blizzard raged. All roads north of Denver into Wyoming were closed when strong winds whipped snow into 5 to 6 foot drifts. North winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 31st…causing some blowing snow. Freezing drizzle also fell on the 31st.

In 1984…heavy snow fell in the foothills with 8 inches at Boulder and 6 inches in southern and western metro Denver. Only 1.5 inches of snow fell overnight at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…a New Year’s Eve snow storm dumped 2 to 8 inches of snow across northeastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 3.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport. The 1.9 inches of snow that fell on the 31st was the only measurable snowfall of the month.

In 2008…another brief period of high winds occurred in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties. In Nederland…the strong wind snapped a blue spruce which landed on a nearby propane tank. Some roofs in the immediate area were damaged and power lines were downed; which left 126 residences without electricity for six hours. Peak wind gusts included 90 mph at the national wind technology center…and 89 mph; 6 miles northwest of Boulder. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust of 23 mph was measured from the southwest.

» Click here to read the rest of December 30 to January 5: This week in Denver weather history

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Cold temperatures to linger through Thornton’s New Year’s Day

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 5:39am MDT

Our most recent storm system is working its way out. As it does, we will be left with some cloud cover and some very cold temperatures.

A few lingering flurries may be seen early but nothing that is going to amount to much. Any that do pop up should end soon after sunrise. Mostly cloudy skies will start us off then we will see some clearing through the day.

Temperatures start out extremely cold and while we will see some improvement, it will remain much colder than normal.

Tonight, skies will clear and temperatures will once again dip into the single digits.

On the plus side, warmer weather awaits us for the balance of the week with highs in the 50s arriving for the weekend. More in our extended weather forecast here.

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December 2018 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Monday, December 31st, 2018 6:55pm MDT
A beautiful sunset over downtown Denver to start the month of December. (Alisa H)

A beautiful sunset over downtown Denver to start the month of December. (Alisa H)

The month of December can offer everything from bone dry conditions to bone chilling cold and monstrous snowstorms.  The weather and wildlife all afford an abundance of photo opportunities as our December photo slideshow shows.

Leaves have fallen from trees now and the landscape can sometimes look quite stark.  However it only takes a quick shot of snow to change that picture greatly.  Throw in gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, plenty of wildlife big and small, kids playing and much more and the month can be quite colorful and eventful.

  • Slideshow updated December 31, 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 closes out 2018 with cold, blustery conditions, some light snow

Monday, December 31st, 2018 5:48am MDT

We waited until the last day of the month to receive measurable snow but it does appear it is going to happen. However, it won’t be much and the most notable feature is going to be the cold temps and wind.

Look for cloudy skies to be above throughout the day. Snow will start by sunrise or soon after and continue into the evening before beginning to taper off. We are going to be at the low end of any snowfall totals in the metro area, an inch or two seems likely. The potential, as always, is there for more but that would be an outlier.

The bigger part of the story is the temperatures which are going to drop throughout the day. We start out near 20 degrees but will be in the teens this afternoon and continue downward. Throw in cold, north winds and it is going to feel much colder with wind chill temps below zero.

Any lingering snow will end by midnight but temps will continue their downward trend with overnight lows near 0 degrees.

Be safe, stay warm and keep an eye on http://www.thorntonweather.com for the latest.

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A chilly start Friday will give way to a pleasant winter weekend in Thornton

Friday, December 28th, 2018 5:11am MDT

Our last weekend of 2018 does not look too bad at all. Cold air will linger today but then we will warm up nicely for Saturday and Sunday. After that though, our next storm system arrives and will bring a chance for snow.

For today, partly sunny skies will be above through the morning with some clearing possible in the afternoon. Overall conditions will be calm but chilly with highs only reaching the mid-20s. Tonight, cloud cover will decrease and temperatures will drop into the single digits.

Saturday will offer up lots of sun along the Front Range with few clouds to intrude. Highs will top out right near the 40 degree mark. Saturday night into Sunday mostly clear skies will be above with lows into the upper teens.

We close out the weekend on Sunday with a few clouds but should still manage to be mostly sunny. It will be the warmest day of the three day period with highs in the mid to upper 40s.

Beyond that, our next storm system is set to arrive sometime Sunday night. With it, temperatures will drop again and we, with any luck, will see some measurable snow Sunday night into Monday.

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Cold temperatures, breezy winds for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, December 27th, 2018 5:01am MDT

We once again received little more than a few snowflakes from yesterday’s passing storm. In its wake, cold temperatures will be in place with some breezy winds making it feel colder.

Mostly sunny skies will be above throughout the day with increasing clouds late. Temperatures will only top out near the freezing mark. Cold, north winds will pick up speed around late morning and last until after dark.

Tonight, cloud cover will increase and temperatures will drop with overnight lows around 10 degrees.

Live weather gauges here.

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

Thursday, December 27th, 2018 5:00am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

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

Christmas week has seen many notable weather events which are forever emblazoned on Coloradans’ memories. The holidays of course seem to heighten these memories but the events themselves are no less significant. There was of course the infamous Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982 and more recently in 2006, a storm hit just after the holiday that buried us in a blanket of white.

From the National Weather Service:

17-24

In 1924…a prolonged cold spell occurred after mild temperatures during the first half of the month. Most low temperatures dipped below zero with the coldest reading of 15 degrees below zero occurring on the 24th. The high temperature of only 5 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date.

18-24

In 1998…a vigorous cold front with north winds gusting as high as 38 mph at Denver International Airport on the 18th dropped temperatures from a high of 51 degrees to a low of just 6 degrees before midnight. The arctic air mass that settled over metro Denver produced intermittent light snow and a week-long protracted cold spell that caused low temperatures to plunge well below zero for 6 consecutive nights. The coldest temperature was 19 degrees below zero on the morning of the 22nd. High temperatures climbed only into the single digits on 4 consecutive days…from the 19th through the 22nd. At least 15 people…mostly homeless… Were treated for hypothermia at area hospitals. The bitter cold weather was responsible…either directly or indirectly… For at least 5 fatalities. Three of the victims died directly from exposure. The cold weather also caused intermittent power outages. Following the cold snap… Thawing water pipes cracked and burst in several homes and businesses…causing extensive damage. Only one temperature record was set. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 19th set a record low maximum for the date.

19-23

In 1990…a surge of very cold arctic air invaded metro Denver. Many temperature records were broken as the mercury remained at or below zero for 85.5 hours at Stapleton International Airport…making it the third longest period of subzero readings in 118 years of record keeping. On the morning of the 22nd…the mercury plunged to 25 degrees below zero…which equaled the all-time record low temperature for the month set on December 24…1876. In the foothills southwest of Denver at tiny town…the mercury plunged to 33 degrees below zero on the morning of the 21st. On the same morning at Castle Rock the temperature dipped to 26 degrees below zero. During the period…other daily temperature records were set at Denver…including: record low maximum of 3 degrees below zero on the 20th and a record low of 17 degrees below zero on the 23rd. The record low was equaled with 16 degrees below zero on the 20th and 21 degrees below zero on the 21st. Snowfall totaled 2.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport from the 19th through the 21st.

20-23

In 1918…light snowfall on each day totaled 12.0 inches over downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 16 mph on the 21st.

20-25

In 1983…an extremely bitter cold spell occurred. The temperature remained below zero for 115 hours in Denver… The longest sub-zero period on record. The mercury dipped to 21 degrees below zero on the 21st…the coldest recorded temperature in over 20 years. The cold was accompanied by winds that plunged chill factors to 50 to 70 degrees below zero. Two people froze to death in Denver; both were found outside dead of exposure. Numerous cases of frostbite were reported. Hundreds of water pipes broke from the intense cold…water mains and natural gas lines also fractured…and electricity consumption reached record levels. Light snow totaling 5.8 inches fell at times…and holiday traffic was delayed at Stapleton International Airport for several hours. Eight daily temperature records were set at the time. The all-time record low maximum temperature for the month of 8 degrees below zero on the 21st still stands today. Other temperature records still standing include record low maximum temperatures of 5 degrees below zero on both the 22nd and 23rd and 4 degrees below zero on the 24th.

21-23

In 1924…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches over downtown Denver. During the storm north to northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph. Temperatures were quite cold…ranging from a high of 24 degrees on the 21st to a low of 5 degrees below zero on the 23rd.

In 1964…high winds were recorded along the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 100 mph was registered at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. In Boulder… Where many thousands of dollars in damage occurred…warm Chinook winds gusted in excess of 45 mph downtown. A wind gust to 82 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Heavy damage to power lines…homes…and roads was reported at Evergreen…Golden… And Boulder. Several people were injured by wind-caused accidents. West winds gusted to 53 mph on the 22nd and to 51 mph on the 23rd at Stapleton International Airport where some blowing dust occurred. The Chinook winds warmed temperatures in Denver to highs of 68 degrees on the 22nd and 71 degrees on the 23rd.

22-23

In 1926…snow was heavy and totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph with gusts to 18 mph on the 23rd.

In 1979…heavy snow blanketed metro Denver. Total snowfall at Stapleton International Airport was 6.9 inches…and north winds gusted to 20 mph. Most of the snow…5.7 inches…fell on the 22nd.

In 1984…strong Chinook winds howled along the Front Range foothills. At Table Mesa in southwest Boulder…gusts reached 108 mph on the morning of the 23rd. Gusts to 79 mph were clocked in Golden Gate Canyon. Gusts to 94 mph were reported in east Boulder. The winds flattened a two floor cinder block building under construction in Boulder… Causing 75 thousand dollars damage. Flying debris from the building slightly injured a policeman. A chain link fence was blown down. Dozens of windows and roofs were damaged in Boulder…along with mobile homes and cars. Numerous trees and power lines were downed. A giant plastic bubble dome was blown apart and collapsed…causing at least 100 thousand dollars damage. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 23rd.

22-24

In 2009…a winter storm produced moderate to heavy snow across parts of the Front Range and adjacent plains. In the foothills…storm totals included: 11.5 inches near Eldorado Springs…10 inches…3 miles southeast of Pinecliffe; 9 inches at Genesee…2 miles southwest of Golden and Ken Caryl; 8 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown and White Ranch Open Space; 7 inches…4 miles east- northeast of Nederland. Across the urban corridor and adjacent plains…storm totals included: 9 inches…2 miles west of Parker; 8 inches at Watkins; 7 inches…2 miles west-southwest of byers…12 miles southwest of Buckley AFB and 3 miles northeast of Parker. At Denver International Airport…6.1 inches of snowfall was observed.

23

In 1915…apparent bora winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 58 mph. Snowfall was only 0.8 inch in the city.

In 1955…west-northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport. The downslope winds kept the low temperature from dipping below 50 degrees…the record highest minimum for the month.

In 1969…a strong wind gust did 4 thousand dollars in damage just west of Broomfield. Minor injuries also occurred.

In 1977…high winds occurred in Boulder with 90 mph recorded at several locations. A wind gust to 72 mph was reported at Lafayette. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…high winds were reported in the foothills west of Denver. At Rollinsville…a wind gust to 90 mph was measured. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2007…high winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties. Peak gusts included: 89 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 88 mph atop Niwot Ridge; 83 mph…4 miles east- northeast of Bergen Park; 80 mph…3 miles southeast of Jamestown. At Denver International Airport…east of the surface trough…southeast winds gusted to 28 mph.

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

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Wednesday brings chilly, blustery conditions, just a chance for some snow

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 5:02am MDT

The storm we had been hoping would bring some precipitation will arrive later today. However, it now appears to be headed too far south to do us much good.

The day starts with mostly clear skies but we will see a quick increase in cloud cover this morning. Partly clear skies will be the rule for most of the day.

Temperatures will be chilly with highs in the upper 30s. As the system passes, we will see wind speeds pick up by mid-afternoon and remain blustery through much of the night.

As for snow, we may see some from about 1:00pm through 10:00pm with the best chances coming in the early evening. Minimal accumulation, if any, is expected.

This system is proving to be a tough one to pin down though so with a bit of a shift in the track, we could see more.

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Thornton’s Christmas Day weather to offer seasonal temps, some cloud cover

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 6:32am MDT

You’ll have no weather issues making it to your destination for the holiday meal today. We will have dry, calm conditions with temps near normal.

We start out with a healthy bit of cloud cover. That will ease a bit leading to partly clear skies for the balance of the day. Temperatures will top out in the low to mid-40s. Overall conditions will be dry and calm.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with lows to the low 20s.

Merry Christmas to all!

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