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Recent News and Posts
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- April 2017 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow
- April 23 to April 29: This week in Denver weather history
- Thornton’s Thursday keeps things cool, cloudy and maybe a bit wet
- The sun and dry conditions return briefly on Wednesday
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- Weather conditions turn cooler, become unsettled for Tuesday
- Former Obama Official Says Bureaucrats Manipulate Climate Stats to Influence Policy
- Thornton to enjoy a mild Monday, by the end of the day, signs of change
- Severe Weather 101 – Severe Weather Awareness Week wrap up
We kick off what will be a week of unseasonably warm temperatures with a pleasant day today but with some cloud cover. As the week progresses though, more sun and warmer temperatures can be expected.
We start out the day with partly clear skies then should see the cloud cover ease some later in the morning into the afternoon. Temperatures today will be climbing to a high in the low 50s. Average for today’s date is 46 degrees.
Looking ahead, tomorrow will see similar temps but with more sun. Then, Wednesday through Friday will see the mercury climb into the 60s. Get more details in the extended forecast here.
Denver’s weather is often a story of extremes and even in what is historically a calm period like February, significant events can and do occur. From record-setting Arctic cold that sent temperatures to far below zero to powerful, damaging wind, this week in Denver weather history has been an eventful one.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1958…heavy snow fell across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport…where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph…6.7 inches of snowfall were measured.
In 1995…cold arctic air brought heavy snow to the foothills and western Denver suburbs. Golden measured 15 inches of snow with 14 inches in south Boulder. Locations in the foothills recorded between 10 and 15 inches of snow. Only 6.1 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 10th.
In 1905…an extremely cold arctic air mass moved over the city behind a cold front on the 10th and persisted through the morning of the 13th. North winds were sustained to 25 mph behind the front on the 10th dropping the temperature to a low of 2 degrees below zero…which was also the high reading on the 11th. Light snowfall totaled 3.0 inches overnight of the 10th into the 11th. The low temperature plunged to 19 degrees below zero on the 11th. Records were set on the 12th and 13th. The high temperature of only zero degrees on the 12th was a record low maximum for the date. The low readings of 21 degrees below zero on the 12th and 14 degrees below zero on the 13th were record minimum temperatures for those dates.
In 1899…the temperature plunged to lows of 20 degrees below zero on both days.
In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees on the 11th. An apparent cold front overnight produced 3.7 inches of snow and northeast winds gusting to 30 mph. The high temperature on the 12th was only 26 degrees.
In 1994…moist upslope winds and an upper level storm system produced heavy snow over western portions of metro Denver. Snowfall amounts totaled 10 inches in Golden and 8 inches at Strontia Springs Reservoir 15 miles southwest of Denver in the South Platte canyon. Snowfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled only 3.6 inches…but north winds gusting to 35 mph on the 11th produced occasional visibilities as low as 1/4 mile in heavy snowfall and blowing snow.
In 1903…west to northwest Chinook winds gusting to 34 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 50 degrees on the 11th… Before temperatures rapidly plunged to a low of 14 degrees behind a cold front. Light snow fell through the 13th and totaled 4.2 inches in the city…while temperatures ranged from a high of 14 degrees on the 12th to a low of 5 degrees below zero on the 13th.
In 1874…5 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. Melted snow resulted in 0.31 inch of precipitation.
In 1875…forest fires burned very brightly in the foothills to the west of Denver.
12-13 in 1915…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 13th.
In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 8.1 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 28 mph on the 12th.
In 1968…snowfall totaled 5.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 26 mph. Snow fell all day on the 12th and into the morning hours of the 13th.
In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills southwest of Denver. Conifer…Evergreen…Morrison…and north turkey creek received 6 to 8 inches of new snow overnight. Only 0.2 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 23 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.
In 1886…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph during the early morning hours…but winds were strong and gusty all day.
In 1918…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 44 mph. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees.
In 1988…high winds raked metro Denver. Boulder reported a wind gust to 67 mph with 63 mph at Lakewood and 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds toppled a tree onto a car in Aurora. Northwest winds gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.
In 2010…a peak wind gust to 89 mph was recorded in Boulder. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1895…a cold air mass settled over the city. High temperatures of only 4 degrees on the 13th and 8 degrees on the 14th were record low maximum temperatures for each day. Low temperatures were 6 degrees below zero on the 13th and 5 degrees below zero on the 14th…but were not records. Light snow totaled only 0.4 inch. Winds were light.
In 1960…snowfall totaled 6.1 inches and north-northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1967…high winds were widespread along the foothills where wind gusts of 60 to 90 mph were common. A wind gust to 108 mph was measured at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Sustained winds of 50 to 55 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph were recorded in downtown Boulder. An estimated 3 thousand dollars in damage occurred to mobile homes in Boulder. Power lines were downed over a wide area. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 32 mph on the 13th and southwest winds gusted to 48 mph on the 14th.
In 1972…winds gusted to 67 mph at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. Wind gusts to 49 mph were measured in downtown Boulder. West winds gusted to 26 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2001…heavy snow fell across metro Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8 inches at Evergreen; 7 inches atop Crow Hill and in Lakewood; 6 inches in Denver…doubleheader…Eldorado Springs… Morrison…and pine junction. Snowfall totaled 4.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 33 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.
In 1918…southwest winds were sustained to 41 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 46 mph.
In 1987…metro Denver received only 3 to 4 inches of snow… But the foothills west of Boulder received up to 11 inches of snow. Snowfall totaled 4.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph.
In 1988…winds gusted to 81 mph at Echo Lake.
In 2002…high winds developed in the Front Range foothills during the early morning hours. Winds gusted to 84 mph… 11 miles north of Central City. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1960…heavy snowfall totaled 6.1 inches at Stapleton Airport.
In 1965…5.4 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport behind a cold front. North-northeast winds gusted to 32 mph. Winds were strong and gusty all day and caused considerable blowing snow…contributing to hazardous driving conditions mainly to the east of Denver.
In 1984…a snow and wind storm howled across eastern Colorado closing I-70 east of Denver. This was the second blizzard in less than 4 days. Only 0.5 inch of new snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…but north winds gusted to 51 mph.
We knew it was going to be warm and windy today and boy was it! Downslope winds kept things warm in the early morning hours and it went up a good ways from there.
At 1:38pm the temperature at Denver International Airport where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken reached 80 degrees.
This easily bested the record high temperature for this date (71 degrees in 1951). More notably that also is the warmest temperature reading ever in February in Denver. The old warmest February reading of 77 degrees was recorded on February 4, 1890 and February 28, 2006.
Here in Thornton, we were a touch warmer than Denver with a high of 80.5 degrees at 1:22pm.
As for the wind, it kicked into high gear at around 2:00am. Our top gust of 48.3 mph occurred at 8:15am.
Only a select few have the privilege of viewing our planet from space so those of us more grounded live vicariously through the images they send back. Astronaut Shane Kimbrough gave us a look at a lit up Front Range from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne in an image he tweeted out.
All the major population centers are clearly visible. The nighttime lights of Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Cheyenne and even Fort Morgan out on the plains are all visible. The Denver / Boulder office of the National Weather Service tweeted out a copy of the image labeled with the cities to provide some context.
— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) February 9, 2017
Amazing view of the Urban Corridor from Astronaut Shane Kimbrough as the International Space Station passed overhead! City names overlayed. pic.twitter.com/Fdb2Qh5uqm
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) February 10, 2017
A bit of a mixed bag of weather for us over the three-day period. We will see potentially record-setting warmth today to be followed by cooler temperatures and chances for precipitation Saturday and Sunday.
For today, we start out extraordinarily warm due to those strong, warm downslope winds. That gives us a head start toward a forecast high of 74 degrees. The record high for today’s date is 71 degrees set in 1951 so it certainly is in jeopardy. The wind forecast is a bit tricky but we do expect it to settle down a bit but remain breezy. Overnight tonight it will be partly cloudy with temperature dropping to the low 40s.
A weak system moves through tomorrow and will impact the bulk of the weekend. Cloud cover will be increasing tomorrow and by the end of the day it will be mostly cloudy. Temperatures will remain above normal, although cooler than today, with highs in the mid-50s. We may see a few raindrops in the afternoon with rain becoming more likely in the evening. Saturday night / Sunday morning get colder with lows dropping to the mid-20s.
On Sunday the system works its way out but not until we see just a slight chance for a little bit of snow early in the morning. Then we should see skies gradually clear and we work toward a high in the mid-40s, right near normal.
Have a great weekend!
We are going to continue our unseasonably warm and dry weather with more of the same today. Winds will still be breezy but not near as much so as yesterday.
Mostly sunny skies start things off and you can expect similar sky conditions throughout the day. Temperatures are starting out a bit chilly but will warm quickly as we head toward a high in the upper 60s. The record high for today’s date is 73 (normal 45) so we will be close but should fall short of a record.
As for the winds, they will be out of the southwest at 15mph or so, gusting to 25 to 30mph at different times.
Overnight tonight the mercury will drop to the mid-40s under partly cloudy skies.
Thornton will enjoy another day with unseasonably warm temperatures. Enjoyment of that however will be significantly curtailed by strong winds for much of the day.
We start out the day with mostly sunny skies and will see more of the same throughout the day. The downslope winds have things starting mild this morning and will help push us toward a high in the upper 50s.
Wind speeds will increase this morning, peaking around noon with gusts to 45 mph being possible. After about 3:00pm or so we should start to see the wind ease and overnight they will be calm.
Tonight into tomorrow morning look for mostly clear skies as we dip toward a low of 33 degrees or so.