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February 26 to March 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, February 26th, 2017 6:18pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

February 26 to March 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

In the past week Denver has seen its fair share of wind and snow and looking back at this week in Denver weather history, we see both are common conditions.

From the National Weather Service:

22-29

In 1960…heavy snowfall of 6.1 inches at Stapleton Airport on the 22nd and 23rd marked the beginning of a protracted cold spell which lasted until the end of the month. The cloudy… Cold weather was accompanied by occasional light snow or flurries and fog. New record low temperatures for the dates were set on the 24th thru the 29th with the lowest temperature of 11 degrees below zero on the 28th. The seven consecutive days of low temperatures of zero or below had been exceeded in duration only 4 times previously. New low maximum temperatures for the dates were set on the 23rd… 24th…and the 26th thru the 29th with the lowest maximum temperature of 8 degrees recorded on the 26th.

25-26

In 1971…a wind gust to 100 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The cold west winds gusted to 53 mph in downtown Boulder. No damage was reported. Northwest winds gusted to 31 mph on the 25th and to 38 mph on the 26th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…a heavy snow storm left 1 to 2 feet of new snow in the foothills west of Denver. I-70 was closed…stranding skiers returning from the mountains. Most had to spend several hours in Idaho Springs. The snow spread over metro Denver with 9 inches at Littleton…Castle Rock…and Boulder and up to 5 inches in Aurora and Denver. Snowfall totaled only 3.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph.

26

In 1884…heavy snowfall totaled 6.0 inches in downtown Denver.

In 1908…a duststorm occurred in the city during the afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained from 14 to 24 mph.

In 1918…pre-frontal Chinook winds from the southwest… Sustained to 43 mph with a maximum velocity to 52 mph… Warmed temperatures to a high of 62 degrees.

In 1954…strong Chinook winds gusting to 52 mph during the morning warmed the temperature in Denver to a balmy 65 degrees by early afternoon. A vigorous Canadian cold front during the late afternoon produced north winds at sustained speeds of 52 mph with gusts as high as 65 mph and billows of blowing dust…which reduced the visibility to as low as 1 mile at Stapleton Airport. Showers left half an inch of snow on the ground as the temperature dipped to a low of 27 degrees before midnight.

In 1989…a brief rain shower produced a microburst wind gust to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1997…snowfall totaled 4 to 6 inches in and near the foothills. Only 0.8 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 29 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2013…a storm system produced heavy snow in the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 12 inches near Black Mountain and Pine Junction…10 inches near Conifer and Nederland; 9 inches…12 miles northwest of Golden; 8 inches near Evergreen…with 6 inches near Eldorado Springs. Snow and blowing snow produced blizzard conditions along and south of the Interstate 70 corridor…just east of Denver.  Storm totals generally ranged from 3 to 7 inches. North winds of 25 to 30 mph were reported with gusts around 40 mph. Roads became impassable as snow and blowing snow produced 3 to 4 ft snow drifts. Interstate 70 was closed from Aurora to the Kansas state line. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 31 mph was reported along with 1.0 inch of snow.

26-27

In 1893…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.7 inches…fell on the 27th. Northeast winds were sustained to 18 mph with gusts to 30 mph behind an apparent cold front.

In 1939…heavy snowfall of 8.1 inches was the heaviest of the month in downtown Denver. North winds sustained to 21 mph on the 26th and to 28 mph on the 27th caused much drifting. The greatest snow depth on the ground was 7.8 inches at noon on the 27th.

In 1987…a snowstorm dropped 4 to 8 inches of snow across metro Denver…causing flight delays at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 3.8 inches and north winds gusted to 24 mph. Both I-70 and I-25 were closed for a time to the east and south of Denver.

27

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 58 mph.

In 1902…northwest winds were sustained to 50 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. The high temperature was 44 degrees.

In 1918…a post-frontal heavy snow storm developed over downtown Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.4 inches and north winds were sustained to 30 mph with a maximum velocity to 32 mph.

In 1963…west winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1974…a wind gust to 99 mph was recorded in Boulder. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2009…a strong wind gusts blew a trailer in the path of two vehicles along State Highway 36…between Boulder and Lyons. The two vehicles were in the northbound lane when a wind gust blew a fifth-wheel trailer into their path… As it approached from the opposite lane. The trailer left the road surface…and collided with the top left side of the first car; causing extensive damage. A van following the first vehicle then struck the trailer. The driver of the van suffered facial injuries.

27-28

In 1918…heavy snowfall totaled 9.6 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…8.4 inches…fell on the 27th.

In 1931…a major winter storm dumped 12.0 inches of heavy snowfall over downtown Denver. This is the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded during the month of February. North winds gusted to 18 mph on the 28th.

In 2006…a warm spell resulted in 3 temperature records. The high temperature of 73 degrees on the 27th equaled the record high for the date. High temperature of 77 degrees on the 28th was a record high for the date and equaled the all time record high temperature for February first set on February 4…1890.

28

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 54 mph with gusts to 65 mph. The winds warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees. This was the second consecutive day of strong winds in the city.

In 1958…at Stapleton Airport…snowfall totaled 5.3 inches and northeast winds gusted to 24 mph.

» Click here to read the rest of February 26 to March 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Thornton’s weekend to offer up chilly temperatures, calm conditions

Friday, February 24th, 2017 5:20am MDT

The storm system that brought our first snow in more than a month is very slowly working its way out. While we will see some lingering snow today, the rest of the weekend’s weather will be dry and calm, but chilly.

For today look for cloudy skies above and a few flurries of snow into this evening. No additional accumulation is expected however. Temperatures will be chilly with today’s high expected to only reach the mid to upper 20s. Overnight tonight we will see some clearing skies and that will lend itself to a cold night with lows into the low teens.

After a cold start Saturday, we will warm up however temps will remain below normal. Look for highs in the mid-30s under mostly sunny skies. Overall conditions will be calm. Another cold night follows with lows Saturday night into Sunday morning going into the teens.

On Sunday we see a day much like Saturday but with temperatures a few degrees warmer. Mostly sunny skies will be above as we head for a high near 40 degrees. Have a great weekend!

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Winter returns with colder temps, decent chances for snow

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 5:29am MDT

You knew that unseasonably warm weather we have enjoyed wasn’t going to last the entire month, right? A passing storm system is going to give us a dose of weather reality over the next 36 hours or so with wintry conditions.

For the most part we can expect mostly cloudy skies today with perhaps an occasional break here and there but those won’t last long. High temperatures will be nearly 30 degrees colder than what we have been seeing with today’s high forecast to top out in the mid-30s. Winds will be calm initially then increase by late morning / early afternoon. After that look for blustery winds from the northwest with gusts pushing close to 30mph.

In terms of snowfall, the morning may bring a few flakes but nothing that will amount to much. Best chances for snow come between this afternoon and midnight with total accumulations of a half inch to two inches through tomorrow morning being possible. Really not much of a storm system with the bulk of it passing to our north.

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A whopping seven Earth-size planets were just found orbiting a nearby star

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 12:26pm MDT

Three of them may be habitable NASA/JPL-Caltech Seven Earth-size exoplanets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1. Three orbit very close to the star and may be too hot to sustain liquid water on the surface; one may be too cold. But the three planets in the middle may be juuuust right. Planet-hunters are always on the lookout for… » Click here to read the rest of A whopping seven Earth-size planets were just found orbiting a nearby star

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Wednesday cools some, still remains unseasonably warm

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 5:24am MDT

Following on our fourth record-setting day of the month yesterday, today offers cooler temperatures however the mercury will still be well above normal. The stage is set though for a turn toward colder weather and possibly some snow Thursday and Friday.

For today we start out with clear skies then will see a gradual increase in cloud cover as the day progresses. Overall mostly sunny skies will be overhead though. Winds will be lighter today although just a bit breezy at times. Temperatures will be topping out in the mid-60s. The average high temperature for the date is 48 degrees.

Looking ahead, a trough will be moving through and while the center of the low pressure should be to our north, we will be feeling the impacts. Below normal temperatures can be expected over the coming days, primarily from mid-day tomorrow through Friday morning. More details in our extended forecast.

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Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 7:29pm MDT

Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs. “So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry,… » Click here to read the rest of Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

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Another record falls: Denver sets fourth high temperature record for the month

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 5:22pm MDT

Record High TemperaturesFive days after the last one and for the fourth time this month, Denver set a daily high temperature record today.

Per the National Weather Service, the high temperature at Denver International Airport topped out at 73 degrees today.  This tops the previous record high temperature for today’s day of 71 degrees last set in 1995.

Here in Thornton, we were actually a bit warmer with a high of 74 degrees.

This follows on three previous daily record high temperatures this month:

  • February 10: 80 degrees (old 71 degrees in 1951)
  • February 15: 67 degrees (old 66 degrees in 1986)
  • February 16: 75 degrees (old 70 degrees in 1970)

The 80 degree reading on February 10 was also the warmest mercury reading on history in Denver.  The old warmest February reading of 77 degrees was recorded on February 4, 1890 and February 28, 2006.

We look to be done with the record-setting temperatures for the foreseeable future however.  Following another mild day tomorrow, we will turn colder for the balance of the week as a trough digs in pulling colder air in from the north. Check out our extended forecast for details.

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February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 4:26pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

Damaging winds are not uncommon along the Colorado Front Range, particularly this time of year when strong Bora and Chinook winds can rage. We see a number of such events in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Also making an appearance are a number of notable snow and cold events.

From the National Weather Service:

17-19

In 2006…a cold spell resulted in 4 temperature records. Low temperatures of 10 degrees below zero on the 17th… 13 degrees below zero on the 18th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 19th were record minimums for those dates. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date. Light snow fell on the 17th…but totaled less than half an inch at Denver International Airport.

18-19

In 1954…a vigorous cold front produced north winds gusting to 56 mph and a trace of snowfall at Stapleton Airport on the 18th. Strong and gusty winds to 55 mph persisted through the next day and caused some blowing dust.

In 1955…a storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport where north winds sustained to 28 mph produced some blowing snow…snowfall totaled 8.8 inches.

18-20

In 1913…post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.9 inches in downtown Denver over the 3 days. Most of the snow fell on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 24 mph on the 18th.

In 1924…light snowfall totaled 4.6 inches over the 3 days. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month. High temperatures plunged from 45 degrees on the 18th to 17 degrees on the 20th. Low temperatures dipped from 31 degrees on the 18th to only 8 degrees on the 20th. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

In 1953…a major blizzard dumped 10.6 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 44 mph frequently reduced visibilities to 1/4 mile in blowing snow during the day of the 19th. The strong winds caused much drifting snow…making accurate snowfall measurements almost impossible. Precipitation from the storm totaled 1.13 inches. The 1.01 inches of precipitation on the 19th was the greatest calendar day and 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the city during the month of February.

In 1987…large amounts of new snow fell in the Front Range foothills. The foothills received 10 to 20 inches of new snow with 4 to 8 inches on the adjacent plains. On the 19th…flight delays occurred at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.2 inches and east winds gusted to only 18 mph on the 19th. Schools were closed in the foothills above Boulder.

19

In 1899…northwest winds sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees… The highest reading of the month that year.

In 1980…high winds were reported in Boulder. Sustained speeds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 85 mph were measured. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…Chinook winds continued to buffet the eastern foothills. Winds gusting from 60 to 75 mph were common in the foothills. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…high winds gusting from 70 to 75 mph were reported atop Table Mesa near Boulder. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…this was the last day of 61 consecutive days with snow cover of 1 inch or more in Denver. This second longest period of snow cover on record began with the blizzard on December 20-21…2006…when 20.7 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where official snow measurements were taken. Additional snowfall during December…January…and February prolonged the event. Snow depth on the ground was measured to the nearest inch once daily at 6:00 am MST.

19-20

In 1937…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 8.4 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.6 inches…fell on the 20th when north winds were sustained to 16 mph with gusts to 18 mph. The temperature dipped to a low of 9 degrees on the 20th.

In 1939…post-frontal snowfall totaled 5.4 inches in the city. The snow covered streets and highways with a coating of ice as the temperature fell from 36 degrees at 2:00 pm on the 19th to a low of 4 degrees at 3:00 am on the 20th. Many motorists were marooned for several hours. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

19-21

In 1971…heavy snowfall totaled 9.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to only 16 mph. Most of the snow occurred on the 19th and 20th. The 24 hour snowfall of 8.2 inches was the greatest in February since 1953.

20

In 1937…6.6 inches of heavy snow fell in downtown Denver.

In 1976…a cold front produced north wind gusts to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.7 inches. North winds at sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts persisted throughout the day…producing much blowing snow. East of the city…winds gusting 40 to 80 mph caused blizzard conditions and produced drifts 2 to 4 feet high.

In 1981…a vigorous cold front at midday produced strong northeast winds at 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph and billows of blowing dust reducing the visibility to 3 miles during the afternoon. Even stronger winds from the north at 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph in snow and blowing snow reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile during the evening. Snowfall totaled only 2.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

20-21

In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 16 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 15 inches at South Turkey Creek; 14 inches at Conifer and Morrison; and 11 inches at Blackhawk…Evergreen…and Intercanyon. Only 1.0 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

In 2014…high winds occurred in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson Counties. Peak wind reports included: 93 mph near Gold Hill; 89 mph at NCAR Mesa Lab; 83 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 76 mph…in Boulder…4 miles east-northeast of Nederland and the Junction of Colorado Highways 72 and 93; and 75 mph at Lyons. Scattered electrical outages were reported in Boulder…Denver and Littleton…which affected 3400 Xcel Energy customers.  At Denver International Airport…a peak wind of 50 mph was observed from the west on the 21st.

21

In 1901…northwest winds sustained to 43 mph with gusts to 46 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees.

In 1935…strong west to northwest winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 34 mph produced considerable blowing dust. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees.

In 1967…west winds gusting to 53 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty all day.

In 1988…high winds were reported along the foothills with 90 mph in east Boulder where the winds knocked out a few street and traffic lights. The strong winds whipped a grass and timber fire in Boulder canyon. The fire threatened some homes for a time…but was extinguished before causing any significant property damage. West winds gusting to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature to a high of 63 degrees.

21-22

In 1909…a major storm dumped 12.9 inches of heavy snowfall over the city. North winds were sustained to 37 mph on the 22nd. Temperatures during the storm hovered in the 20’s.

22

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 61 degrees.

In 1910…a cold front caused a remarkably sharp drop in temperature from 43 degrees at 3:00 am to only 3 degrees at 8:30 am. These were the high and low temperatures for the day. Early west winds switched to northeast behind the front.

In 1927…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with a measured maximum velocity to 60 mph.

In 1954…strong and gusty west winds persisted throughout the day. The highest wind gust recorded at Stapleton Airport was 58 mph.

In 1960…snowfall totaled 5.9 inches…producing near-blizzard conditions in snow and blowing snow at Stapleton Airport where northeast wind gusts to 40 mph reduced visibility to 1/2 mile.

In 1986…high winds occurred in the foothills. Wind gusts of 65 to 70 mph were reported at Golden Gate Canyon…and a peak gust of 83 mph was recorded at Echo Lake. Northwest winds gusted to only 29 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…a wind gust to 83 mph was recorded in Boulder with 80 mph clocked at Rollinsville. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…wind gusts to 63 mph were reported in western Elbert County. Southwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1999…strong post-frontal…Bora winds developed over the foothills and spread over the northeast plains. Peak wind gusts included: 87 mph at Golden Gate Canyon; 84 mph at Wondervu; 80 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab; 75 mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility; 74 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield; 72 mph at the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder; and 60 mph at Bennett. West to northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…thunder was heard across much of metro Denver. Thunderstorms over southwest metro Denver produced 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter hail at Pinehurst Country Club. A thunderstorm at Denver International Airport produced wind gusts to 34 mph. This was only the 6th time since 1891 that thunder had been reported in February.

» Click here to read the rest of February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Very mild temps, gusty winds Tuesday; Red Flag Warning in effect

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 5:16am MDT

Thornton is set to see a record-setting high temperature today with lots of sun. Unfortunately, low humidity and strong winds are also going to bring dangerous fire weather conditions.

We start out with clear skies this morning and other than a few high clouds, it will remain mostly clear for the day. The record high for today’s date is 71 degrees last set in 1995 and we expect to top that mark by a few degrees.

A strong pressure gradient is going to bring gusty downslope winds throughout the day with them peaking around noon. Gusts to 35+ mph will be possible.

The wind, low humidity and dry fuels has prompted a Red Flag Warning to be issued that will be in effect from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Recent days have already seen some fires escalate quickly and today’s winds are going to make any such fire grow that much quicker. Extreme caution should be the rule out there. Read the full text of the warning here.

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Presidents’ Day to offer up mild temps, lots of sun, some breezy winds

Monday, February 20th, 2017 5:18am MDT

And the unseasonably warm weather just keeps on going. In fact, it looks to continue through today and the first half of the workweek.

For today we start out with mostly clear skies and should have sunny skies above for more of the day. There will be a few high clouds but nothing that will really intrude. Winds will be a bit breezy and out of the west early this morning and again in the afternoon. As far as temperatures go, we will be warming to a high in the mid-60s, again well above the average for the date of 47 degrees.

Tuesday and Wednesday will continue the warm weather with another high temp record possible tomorrow. We then expect things to change and cool down for the latter half of the week.

Here’s a little bit of interesting information about the holiday we call “Presidents’ Day.” Did you know there is no such holiday, at least by that name? Officially, the federal holiday is called Washington’s Birthday, in honor of our first president. While there have been efforts to rename it, none have been successful. At the state level, here in Colorado, the holiday is officially designated Washington-Lincoln Day, throwing our 16th president into the mix.

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