Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedSat, 24-Jun-2017 9:35am MDT 


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National Weather Service 2017 storm spotter training dates

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 8:39am MDT

On June 3, 1981 a tornado struck Thornton in what is the worst twister to have struck the Denver metro area. Are you ready should disaster strike again? Image courtesy the City of Thornton archives.

Severe weather is a fact of life in Colorado – from blizzards to tornadoes we can and do see it all.  Each year the weather is responsible for claiming lives in our state and across the nation and the threat is very real.  Storm spotter training allows you to learn how to protect yourself and your family while providing a public service.

Education is key to knowing how to protect you and your family.  Whether you want to be an official storm spotter or maybe just want to learn more about severe weather, storm spotter training can provide you an incredible opportunity to learn.

The National Weather Service Denver / Boulder office has announced a series of Skywarn storm spotter training dates for Colorado for the 2017 season.

The storm spotter program is a nationwide program with more than 280,000 trained spotters.  These volunteers report weather hazards to their local National Weather Service office providing vital information when severe strikes.  Data from spotters include severe wind, rain, snow measurements, thunderstorms and hail and of course tornadoes.

Storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

By completing one of these training classes you can become an official storm spotter.  When severe weather strikes, you can report it by calling a special toll free number or submit your report via the National Weather Service’s website.

These are great sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the severe weather we experience in Colorado, whether you want to be an official spotter or not.  All training is free.  Topics include:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

To learn more about the program, see here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/awebphp/spotter.php

Below are the dates, times and locations announced thus far.  The embedded calendar should automatically update with new dates and changes but be sure to check the National Weather Service site for the latest.

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Thornton dries out during the day Monday then rain and possibly snow return

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 5:02am MDT

We ended up with a rather respectable little shower early this morning helping to bring some much-needed relief after weeks of dry conditions. Today we will dry out and enjoy a largely seasonal day but that will be short-lived as our next storm system arrives this evening and with it a chance for rain and snow.

We start out today with partly clear skies to be followed by some easing in the cloud cover this morning then coverage again will build. Temperatures will climb to a high close to the average for today’s date of 59 degrees. Winds will become a bit breezy out of the north this afternoon.

Late evening into the early morning hours, some rain showers may be seen with a bit of snow mixed in. A transition to all snow is expected in the early morning hours as temperatures drop. Snow is likely then until noon tomorrow after which we transition back to a rain / snow mix.

Thornton will be at the lower end of snowfall totals seen in the metro area but we may luck out with an inch or two between tonight and tomorrow evening.

Our Winter Weather Briefing Page has more.

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April 2 to April 8: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 6:12am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

April 2 to April 8: This week in Denver weather history

As we pointed out in our April weather preview, the month can bring just about any type of weather condition and we see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. From powerful, damaging winds to Arctic cold to heavy snowfall this has been an eventful week in the past.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1980…the second major blizzard in 5 days buried much of eastern Colorado under 6 to 12 inches of snow. Some drifts were up to 22 feet high. Hundreds of travelers were stranded. Over 3000 families were without power. Livestock losses were high. Metro Denver escaped the main brunt of this storm. At Stapleton International Airport…only 6.3 inches of snow fell over the 3-day period and north winds gusted to only 22 mph on the 1st.


In 1979…total snowfall of 6.6 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph on the 31st. The greatest accumulation of snow on the ground was 3 inches on the 1st.


In 1905…much rain and some snow occurred over the 5 days behind an apparent cold front. Precipitation totaled 2.00 inches. There was a thunderstorm on the 3rd. Snowfall totaled 3.0 inches on the 4th. North winds were sustained to 34 mph on the 1st and 2nd and to 30 mph on the 3rd. High temperatures during the period ranged from the upper 30’s to the lower 40’s. Low temperatures were in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.


In 1987…a vigorous cold front produced 2.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph. The temperature dropped from a maximum of 59 degrees at mid-morning to a low of 25 degrees at midnight.


In 1963…strong winds buffeted metro Denver…while wind- whipped fires consumed grassland on the plains. A child was injured by a windblown falling tree in Castle Rock. Southwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport… Causing some blowing dust. The worst fire storm burned over 25 thousand acres of grazing land in southern Weld County near Roggen northeast of Denver.

In 1984…a snowstorm with near-blizzard conditions over eastern Colorado closed many roads…including I-70 and I-76 east of Denver and I-25 between Denver and Colorado springs. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled only 2.5 inches…but north winds gusted to 45 mph on the 2nd.

In 1999…moist upslope conditions allowed heavy snow to develop in the Front Range foothills where snowfall totals included: 10 inches at Aspen Park and Evergreen; 9 inches at Turkey Creek; 8 inches at Idaho Springs and Genesee; 7 inches at Aspen Springs…Crow Hill…Intercanyon…and Lake George. In metro Denver snowfall totals included: 10 inches south of Sedalia; 8 inches in Littleton; 7 inches at Morrison; 6 inches at Highlands Ranch; and 4 to 5 inches in Northglenn…Parker and near Louisville. Snowfall totaled 4.7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.


In 1945…snow fell across metro Denver for a total of 51 consecutive hours. While the storm was not accompanied by excessive snow…the long duration made the event a heavy snow producer. Snowfall totaled 10.7 inches in downtown Denver with 9.5 inches recorded at Stapleton Airport. North winds were sustained to 21 mph on the 1st; otherwise winds were not strong. The air mass was very cold for April. The high temperatures of 26 on the 2nd and 17 on the 3rd were record low maximums for the dates. The latter was also a record low maximum for the month. Warm weather following the storm quickly melted the snow.

In 1973…heavy snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where 8.7 inches were measured. Snow began late on the 1st and continued through early morning on the 3rd. Thunder accompanied the snow during the late morning and afternoon of the 2nd. North winds gusted to 33 mph on the 2nd and 37 mph on the 3rd. Snow only accumulated to a depth of 5 inches on the ground due to melting.

In 1977 a foot of snow fell in Boulder and Broomfield. The Denver-Boulder turnpike was closed for an hour after numerous minor traffic accidents. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 4.7 inches and southeast winds gusted to 32 mph on the 2nd. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was only 3 inches due to melting.


In 1894…northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 48 mph. The warm Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 70 degrees.

In 1925…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph.

In 1957…a heavy snow storm dumped 17.3 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport. Strong gusty north winds to 31 mph reduced visibilities to 1/8 mile at times and created blizzard conditions. The 24-hour snowfall had been exceeded only twice in previous records…and the 24 hour precipitation of 2.05 inches was the third heaviest of previous record during April.

In 1959…a cold front produced strong gusty winds across metro Denver. North winds gusting to 50 and 60 mph caused some minor damage to power lines and signs and caused dust storms on the plains east of Denver. A wind gust to 49 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1966…northwest winds gusting to 52 mph produced blowing dust…which briefly reduced the visibility to 1 mile at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1975…the all-time lowest recorded temperature in April… 2 degrees below zero…occurred. This is also the latest below zero reading for the season.

In 1982…a strong windstorm struck all of metro Denver… Causing minor damage. Wind gusts to 127 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats south of Boulder…116 mph at Wondervu…100 mph at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield…and 56 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds whipped up blowing dust…briefly reducing the visibility to 3/4 mile.

In 1986…heavy thunderstorms produced wind gusts to about 70 mph in Boulder. A severe thunderstorm wind gust to 62 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds kicked up thick clouds of blowing dust severely restricting surface visibility.

In 1997…a pacific storm left heavy snow in the foothills with lesser amounts across the city. Snowfall totaled 12 inches near Blackhawk…11 inches at Golden Gate Canyon…10 inches at Conifer and Crow Hill…9 inches at Evergreen…5 inches at Sedalia…and 4 inches at Castle Rock and Morrison. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northwest winds gusted to 21 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1998…a major spring storm brought heavy snow to metro Denver and the foothills. Snowfall totals ranged from 12 to 22 inches in the foothills with 4 to 12 inches across metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 22.5 inches near conifer; 13 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 12 inches near Blackhawk…Eldora…and Genesee; 10 inches near Evergreen and Nederland; 9 inches in Lakewood; 8 inches in Broomfield and northwest Denver; and 7.0 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2002…snowfall was only a trace at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This was the only snowfall of the month…ranking the month…along with previous months… The 2nd least snowiest on record.


In 1955…strong west to southwest winds raked metro Denver on both days. Sustained winds as high as 37 mph with gusts to 60 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1974…a heavy snowfall of 6.7 inches was accompanied by northeast wind gusts to 33 mph which produced some blowing snow across metro Denver. Over eastern Colorado many highways and schools were closed due to near-blizzard conditions from the storm.

In 1986…the worst snow storm of the season blasted metro Denver. Heavy snow and high winds combined to close roads… Schools…and airports. Portions of all interstate highways out of Denver were closed at times. The snow came after an exceptionally mild late winter and early spring; trees and bushes had already bloomed and leafed out. The snow and wind snapped many of these…causing power outages. Total snowfall amounts in metro Denver ranged from 1 to 2 feet with 2 to 3 feet in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 12.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting to 39 mph reduced the visibility to 1/8 mile in snow and blowing snow. Most of the snow fell on the 3rd when temperatures hovered around 30 degrees for most of the day. The heavy snow halted traffic and closed businesses. A 59- year-old man was found dead from exposure in northwest Denver. The roof of a toy store in Northglenn collapsed. A 100 thousand square foot section of a greenhouse roof collapsed in Golden…destroying over a million dollars worth of plants.

In 2000…a combination of strong instability and moist upslope winds allowed for a heavy…wet spring snowstorm to develop in and near the Front Range foothills. The heaviest snow occurred in southern Jefferson County. Storm totals included: 14 inches near Conifer…12 inches near Evergreen and on Floyd Hill; 11 inches near Blackhawk…Morrison…and tiny town; 10 inches at Aspen Springs and Eldora Ski Area; 9 inches at Chief Hosa; and 8 inches at both Golden Gate Canyon and Rollinsville. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport on the 2nd.

In 2014…a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the Front Range Mountains…Foothills and Urban Corridor. Storm totals in the mountains and foothills included: 21.5 inches…8 miles north of Blackhawk; 15.5 inches near Rollinsville; 15 inches at Aspen Springs; 14.5 inches near Ward; 12 inches…6 miles southwest of Evergreen; 11 inches at Cabin Creek and 12 miles south-southwest of Georgetown; 10 inches at Winter Park; 8 inches near Conifer…Georgetown and Gross Reservoir; with 7.5 inches at Bailey and Intercanyon. In the Urban Corridor…storm totals included:  9.5 inches near Highlands Ranch…7 inches at Boulder… 6 inches near Castle Rock…with 5.5 inches at Lakewood and near Morrison. At Denver International Airport…3.4 inches of snowfall was observed.

» Click here to read the rest of April 2 to April 8: This week in Denver weather history

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Google introduces Google Wind, an extraordinary weather control product

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 1:14pm MDT

In what may mean an end to all those frustrating and dangerous weather conditions that plague the planet, today Google announced Google Wind, a ground-breaking weather control system.  Now in use in the Netherlands, the system has brought an end to the windy and cloudy conditions in that nation.  This will surely have an impact across the globe soon.

Happy April Fools’ Day.

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Thornton’s April 2017 weather preview: Anything is possible

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 7:01am MDT

Thornton's April weather previewApril marks a transition between winter and summer for most of the country but for Denver it is especially true as we can see a stunning variety of weather.

The proverbial April showers are certainly a possibility for Denver. Snow? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? You bet – all can happen!

For good measure throw in a chance for hail and even dust storms and April gives every type of weather condition you could like – or hate.

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Spring storm to bring significant changes to Thornton’s weather

Friday, March 31st, 2017 5:11am MDT

It has been a while since we have seen any snow, more than a month in fact, but Mother Nature is going to try to fix that over the next 36 hours. Models are however trending toward a less significant event than originally expected.

For today we start out with mostly cloudy skies and can expect that to fill in by late morning and be cloudy. Temperatures will be topping out in the low to mid-40s by early afternoon. Winds will become a bit breezy this afternoon through tonight.

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In terms of precipitation, some light sprinkles of rain will be possible through early to mid-afternoon. After that, coverage should increase falling initially as rain then mixing in a few snowflakes in the evening followed by a turn to all snow around midnight. Overnight temperatures will drop to near freezing.

Snow looks to continue until about 8:00am Saturday then as it warms move back to rain. By noon tomorrow precipitation will begin to ease up and late afternoon and the evening should only have a few sprinkles, maybe a few flakes of snow mixed in late.

As we mentioned, models are pointing to a more southward track for this system which means less of an impact than thought just 24 hours ago. Here in Thornton, we are likely looking at a total of 1 to 3 inches from the event. Areas to our south and west will get more.

Overnight Saturday the skies will begin to clear and temperatures will dip below freezing. Sunday rebounds nicely with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 50s.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye on http://www.thorntonweather.com/ for all the latest with the coming storm.

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Thornton’s Thursday brings the nicest weather of the week

Thursday, March 30th, 2017 6:09am MDT

Be sure to get out and enjoy the weather today as it is going to be the most pleasant day of the entire week. After today, unsettled conditions return and will bring cooler and wetter conditions.

For today we start out with mostly clear skies and that will be the general rule throughout other than a few more clouds later in the day. Temperatures will be warming to a very pleasant high of 66 degrees. Tonight temps dip to the mid to upper 30s and we stand a chance to see a few rain showers, mainly after midnight, as our next storm system begins to make itself felt.

As for what lies ahead after today, check out the extended forecast here.

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March 2017 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 11:06am MDT
Iridescent clouds make for a stunning scene at the end of the day on March 10, 2017. (Allan Jeffers)

Iridescent clouds make for a stunning scene at the end of the day on March 10, 2017. (Allan Jeffers)

The month of March is the start of meteorological spring and while conditions do begin warming, winter weather is certainly out of the question.  From hot to cold, snow to rain, the conditions can be very conducive to great pictures as we see in our slideshow.

March in Denver typically means frequent and rapid weather changes. The days grow longer and we start enjoying more sunshine and sometimes summer-like weather. However, on occasion arctic air masses can still force their way south into Colorado dropping temperatures quickly and markedly.

With the active wildlife, increased outdoor activities by us humans, and of course the weather, March imagery contains a wide variety of subjects and extremes.

  • Slideshow updated March 30, 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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Wednesday brings end to the rain, warmer temperatures

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 5:54am MDT

Following a respectable bit of rain overnight, showers are beginning to end and we will start to dry out by later this morning. The dry conditions will be short-lived though as our next storm system arrives on Friday.

This morning we will see some sprinkles continue until about 11:00am or so. By then we should see the cloud cover ease and by mid to late afternoon partly sunny skies return. Temperatures will be warming up to a high in the mid-50s, just a bit below normal.

Tomorrow we return to unseasonably warm temperatures with highs well into the 60s and dry conditions. Friday and Saturday see a return to unsettled condition bringing chances for rain and perhaps, finally, some snow. See our extended forecast for more.

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A damp Tuesday for Thornton as much-needed precipitation arrives

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 5:34am MDT

We had been hoping for some precipitation and we are certainly going to see it over the next 36 hours or so. Sprinkles start things off and it will be relatively quiet during the daytime but this evening and tonight we should receive a good soaking.

We start out the day with mostly cloudy skies and by mid-afternoon any sun should be pretty much done for the day. Temperatures will be on the cool side today with highs topping out around 50 degrees, about 8 degrees below normal.

As for the rain, sprinkles / light rain will be possible through the morning and first part of the afternoon. If we get enough daytime heating, a bit of thunder could be thrown into the mix this afternoon. By late afternoon and particularly this evening, we should see showers become widespread as deeper moisture arrives.

The rain will continue into the pre-dawn hours before starting to taper off. Overnight lows tonight will be in the mid-30s and winds will be a bit breezy. Right now we are not expecting to see any of this moisture fall as snow in our area, primarily due to a lack of cold air. There may be a few flakes that get mixed in though early tomorrow morning.

Have a great day!

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