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Christmas Eve to offer temps a bit above normal, calm and dry conditions

Monday, December 24th, 2018 5:30am MDT

Monday will be day without any drama here in Thornton. Clouds will be easing and temps will be above normal.

The day starts with a good bit of cloud cover but will slowly ease throughout the day. Overall conditions will be calm and dry. Temperatures will top out around 47 degrees, about 5 degrees above normal for the date.

Tonight, Santa will not have any weather-related issues making his deliveries here on the Front Range. We will have a good bit of cloud cover though with lows to the low 20s.

Looking ahead… Christmas Day looks to be dry and calm, like today, but with temps closer to normal. As for the Wednesday snow, we do think we will be seeing some of the white stuff but right now, it does not appear to be anything significant. That is still 48 hours away though so it could change.

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Thornton’s weekend weather starts out mild, then will cool down

Friday, December 21st, 2018 4:58am MDT

A little bit of a mixed bag of weather over the three day period as a disturbance moves through. We start out unseasonably warm on Friday then see cooler temps, perhaps a touch of snow Saturday, then rebound nicely Sunday.

For today, high level moisture will bring some clouds but nothing too intrusive. Temperatures will be mild again with highs in the upper 50s.

Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above as the disturbance arrives. Some light snow may be possible in the pre-dawn hours through the first part of Saturday morning. Little to no accumulation is expected.

By mid-morning Saturday we will see clearing skies and conditions stabilize. Temperatures will be chilly though with highs only around 40 degrees.

Overnight Saturday into Sunday, mostly clear skies will be above with lows near 20 degrees.

Sunday looks to be a relatively pleasant day. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the mid to upper 40s.

As we have been discussing the last couple of days, primary focus remains on a storm system that may impact us Christmas night and next Wednesday. The potential is there for a healthy shot of snow so if you are traveling for the holiday during that period, you will want to stay aware and continue to monitor the forecasts.

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Thornton’s Thursday brings lots of sun, temps above normal

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 4:55am MDT

A pleasant day ahead for us and a fine way to close out astronomical fall. Temperatures will be a good bit warmer than normal with lots of sun and calm conditions.

The day starts with clear skies and there will be nary a cloud throughout the day. Winds will be light and out of the southwest, overall conditions calm. Temperatures will top out right near the 50 degree mark.

Tonight, skies remain mostly clear with lows dipping to the mid-20s.

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A windy Wednesday in store for Thornton

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 5:17am MDT

Batten down the hatches because it is going to blow today. A strong jet will be approaching and while we will remain unseasonably warm, it is going to be coupled with a good dose of wind.

The day starts out with mostly clear skies and we will see a few periods of clouds during the day but nothing overly intrusive. Temperatures will top out around 52 degrees, about 10 degrees above normal.

As for the wind, it is already quite breezy early this morning and speeds will be increasing as the morning progresses. Look for them to peak around noon with gusts to 45 mph or so then gradually decrease in the afternoon. By this evening, we should again see calm conditions.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear with lows to the mid-20s.

You can keep an eye on those wind speeds here.

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Astronomical winter arrives Friday, offers the shortest day of the year

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 11:16am MDT
The Winter Solstice

Winter officially begins at 9:28am MST on Thursday, December 21, 2017. (NOAA)

Astronomical winter arrives in Thornton Friday afternoon and with the solstice also comes the shortest day of the year.

Winter officially begins at 3:23pm MST on Friday, December 21.

The Winter Solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted at its furthest from the sun – 23.5 degrees away. This results in the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Here in Denver, with sunrise at 7:17am and sunset at 4:38pm, our day Friday will be 9 hours, 21 minutes and 16 seconds long.

The following day, Saturday, it will be one second longer and each day from now through to the Summer Solstice in June will get gradually longer as well.

While we have a short day today, it is nothing like what will be experienced in the Arctic Circle.  Areas north of there to the North Pole will have no direct sunlight at all.  Conversely, areas south of the Antarctic Circle toward the South Pole will have 24 hours of daylight and have a midnight sun.

Did you know that there is a difference between the astronomical seasons that we are discussing here and meteorological seasons?

Meteorological seasons differ slightly and are geared toward matching the calendar with the annual temperature cycle. This is done primarily for meteorological observing and forecasting and in many ways it is more logical than the astronomical seasons.

For the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological spring covers the months of March, April and May. Summer brings the hottest months of the year and so meteorological summer is June, July and August. Meteorological fall then is September, October and November followed by the coldest months of December, January and February as meteorological winter.

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Tuesday’s weather to offer mild temps, a healthy dose of sun

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 5:06am MDT

We will continue our mild, dry weather today. Expect to see temps well above normal and overall calm conditions.

The day starts out with some cloud cover but that will gradually ease through the morning leading to mostly sunny skies. We’ll see steady west winds throughout the day.

Highs today will top out in the mid-50s, well above the average high for the date of 42 degrees.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows near freezing. Winds will be picking up by midnight, giving a preview of what promises to be a windy Wednesday.

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Thornton’s workweek starts off with mild temps, increasing clouds

Monday, December 17th, 2018 5:22am MDT

The unseasonably warm temps of recent days will continue on Monday. We will, however, see some increased cloud cover.

The day starts out with clear skies then clouds will gradually increase through the day. By the end, look partly sunny skies. Winds will be light, conditions calm and dry. Highs today will again top out right near the 60 degree mark.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with lows right around freezing.

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December 16 to December 22: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, December 16th, 2018 6:22pm MDT
This week in Denver weather history

December 16 to December 22: This Week in Denver Weather History

Many notable high wind and heavy snow events appear on our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Perhaps the one most residents will remember is the 2006 pre-Christmas blizzard which buried Denver under a blanket of white that lasted until February.

From the National Weather Service:

15-16

In 1964…high winds raked metro Denver…causing considerable damage. Wind gusts to 81 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats northwest of Denver…94 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…48 mph in downtown Boulder…and 70 mph in Littleton. West wind gusts to 67 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport. A man working on construction in downtown Denver died from injuries after being struck by a 5-foot by 8-foot section of plank runway blown by the strong winds. Several people were blown down by the strong winds or hit by flying objects. Buildings… Roads…trees…and power equipment were damaged. Roads were closed east of Denver due to blowing dust.

In 1981…wind gusts to 60 mph were common in the foothills northwest of Denver. West wind gusts to 47 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 3 miles in blowing dust.

In 1996…strong pre-frontal winds developed in the foothills of Boulder County ahead of an arctic cold front that moved into northeastern Colorado late on the morning of the 16th. Wind gusts of 70 to 75 mph were clocked at Table Mesa in southwest Boulder.

16

In 1912…northwest winds were sustained to 44 mph with an extreme velocity of 45 mph.

In 1921…north winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 50 mph behind a vigorous cold front. Only a trace of snow fell.

In 1954…a vigorous cold front produced sustained north winds to 45 mph with gusts as high 54 mph. Visibility was reduced to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1955…sustained west winds to 44 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1994…a wind gust to 108 mph was recorded atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver with a gust to 92 mph in Rollinsville southwest of Boulder. West winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…a vigorous arctic cold front moved across metro Denver. Heavy snow and strong winds accompanied the front as near whiteout conditions in snow and blowing snow developed suddenly. Northerly winds gusted from 40 to 60 mph behind the front. Dozens of accidents occurred as roads and highways quickly turned to a glaze of ice. Snowfall amounts ranged from 4 to 6 inches across metro Denver and in the foothills. The exception was at Eldorado Springs south of Boulder where 8 inches of new snow were measured. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Officially…this was the only measurable snow of the month in Denver. At Denver International Airport…north winds gusted to 34 mph.

In 1999…another brief round of high winds developed in and near the foothills of Boulder County. Peak wind gusts included 83 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research near Boulder and 74 mph atop Niwot Ridge and at the national wind technology center on Rocky Flats south of Boulder. West winds gusted to only 33 mph at Denver International Airport where the temperature warmed to a high of 54 degrees.

In 2000…high winds in the mountains spread into the foothills west of Denver. Winds gusted to 87 mph at Georgetown Lake and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Winds gusted to 72 mph at the national wind technology center south of Boulder.

16-17

In 1908…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches in downtown Denver where north winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 17th. Temperatures were in the teens and 20’s.

In 1939…low temperatures of 49 degrees on the 16th and 43 degrees on the 17th were record high minimums for the dates. High temperatures of 65 on the 16th and 72 on the 17th were not records.

In 1980…Chinook winds blew through the night in Boulder with a peak reported gust to 75 mph. Northwest winds gusted to 30 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. The strong Chinook winds warmed temperatures to record daily highs of 70 degrees on the 16th and 73 degrees on the 17th.

In 2016…the presence of a warm and moist southwesterly flow aloft…overrunning an Arctic airmass with shallow post frontal upslope produced a band of very heavy snowfall across the Denver metro area. The enhanced band of heavy snow extended west into the Front Range mountains and foothills with snowfall rates up to 2 inches per hour. Multiple accidents occurred during the evening hours of the 16th as the snow quickly piled up. Three hundred flights were canceled at Denver International Airport as the winter storm moved through the Denver metro area early morning hours of the 17th. Storm totals in the Front Range mountains and foothills included: 16 inches at Loveland Ski Area; 12 inches near Conifer…11 inches at Winter Park Ski Area…10.5 inches at Bergen Park… 10 inches at Echo Lake…with 9.5 inches at Aspen Springs and Evergreen. In and around metro Denver…storm totals included: 11.5 inches in Wheat Ridge…11 inches in Arvada.. 9 inches near Morrison…8 inches at Denver International Airport…Denver/Stapleton…Marston Reservoir and Ralston Reservoir; 7.5 inches in Westminster; 6.5 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster; 6 inches in Aurora…5 miles west-northwest of Brighton…Englewood and near Louisville.

17

In 2000…high winds gusting from 60 to 74 mph howled across the northeast plains of Colorado. In Parker where winds gusted to 60 mph…a 20-foot by 40-foot piece of roof was ripped from a building. West winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver International Airport. This was the highest wind gust of the month at the airport. An intense…but very localized wind gust to 112 mph was measured near Georgetown lake in the foothills west of Denver.

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

In 1901…north winds were sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 58 mph behind an apparent cold front.

In 1973…a brief blizzard dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 9.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting to 53 mph produced much blowing snow. The storm forced many schools and businesses to close.

In 1996…a homeless man in Denver was found unconscious in his car suffering from exposure. The man’s body temperature was only 85 degrees when he was discovered. He died several hours later. Early morning temperatures had dipped to 9 degrees below zero.

In 1999…high winds were reported for a brief time in the foothills. Winds gusted to 72 mph in Golden Gate Canyon and to 71 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the foothills southwest of Boulder. West winds gusted to only 39 mph at Denver International Airport where the temperature warmed to a high of 53 degrees.

In 2002…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This…along with the trace of snow on the 5th…was the only snow of the month…ranking the month the 2nd least snowiest on record.

18-19

In 2012…a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the mountains and foothills west of metropolitan Denver and blizzard conditions to plains east of Denver metro area. The combination of snow and wind reportedly reduced visibility to just a few hundred feet at times…and resulted in several road closures including Interstate 70 east of Aurora. East of Denver gusty northerly winds ranged from 35 to 55 mph produced extensive blowing and drifting snow…ranging from 1 to 4 feet in depth. Storm totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches. In the mountain and foothills…the heaviest snowfall occurred along and north of I-70 and included: 12 inches at Genesee…9 inches near Eldorado Springs; 8.5 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…8 inches near Evergreen…with 6 inches at Eldora Ski Area…Idaho Springs…Gross Reservoir and Nederland. At Denver International Airport…1.7 inches of snowfall was observed. In addition…a peak wind gust to 35 mph was observed from the north on the 19th.

» Click here to read the rest of December 16 to December 22: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Unseasonably warm temperatures, calm and dry conditions for Thornton’s weekend

Friday, December 14th, 2018 4:56am MDT

The month started out on the cold side but now we are entering a period of much warmer temperatures. Above normal readings will be seen not only this weekend but through next week as well.

For today, sunny skies will be above throughout. Highs today will top out in the low to mid-50s, well above the average high for the date of 42 degrees. Tonight, mostly clear skies will be above with clouds increasing before dawn. Lows will dip to the mid-20s.

Saturday will see warmer temperatures but with more clouds. Partly sunny skies will be above as we see highs in the mid-60s. Saturday night into Sunday morning, mostly clear skies will be above with lows again in the mid-20s.

The weekend closes out quite nicely on Sunday with sunny skies returning. Highs will be in the mid-50s.

Hopefully you can get out and enjoy this nice weather!

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Thornton’s Thursday to offer lots of sun, temps near normal

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 4:54am MDT

A calmer day of weather for us as winds finally will subside. In their place we will have sunny skies and temps right where you would expect for this time of year.

A few clouds may be around early but those will soon move out leaving us sunny skies for most of the day. Winds may be a bit breezy in the pre-dawn hour but then quickly settle down and become calm. Highs today will top out close to the average high for the date of 42 degrees.

Tonight, mostly clear skies will be above with lows in the low 20s.

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