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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedMon, 24-Jul-2017 6:40am MDT 
 

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Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado gets started

Sunday, April 16th, 2017 6:00am MDT

In 1981 a tornado ripped through Thornton and caused major damage. Last year, funnel clouds were spotted across much of the area. Image courtesy City of Thornton archives.

As is customary, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has declared this coming week Severe Weather Awareness Week.  This is an opportunity for the public to get reacquainted with the dangers severe weather presents in Colorado.

Tornadoes, lightning, hail, severe wind and flooding are very real hazards that Coloradans face every year during severe weather season.  It is important that you know what to do to protect you and your family.

Just eight years ago in what was Denver’s weather story of the year, we suffered through a period of unusually severe weather including a tornado that ripped through the Southlands Mall.

Nine years ago on May 22nd an EF3 tornado raced north through Weld and Larimer counties resulting in one fatality near Windsor and causing several injuries and destroyed or heavily damaged hundreds of homes.

And of course in 1981 Thornton was the site of the worst tornado to ever strike the Denver metro area.

Tornadoes may get all the press but other severe weather can be damaging and deadly.

Just four years ago, late summer flooding caused millions of dollars of damage across northeastern Colorado.  It was 40 years ago that thunderstorms brought a raging torrent of water down the Big Thompson and caused one of Colorado’s worst natural disasters.  Six years ago hail struck the Thornton area causing damage to homes and vehicles.

In conjunction with the National Weather Service’s statements on Severe Weather Awareness Week, ThorntonWeather.com will be publishing our Severe Weather 101 series.  Each day this week a weather hazard will be discussed in depth and we will outline protective measures you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.  Please be sure to check back every day to read these important message.

» Click here to read the rest of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado gets started

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Warm and dry the key weather words for Thornton’s weekend

Friday, April 14th, 2017 5:05am MDT

We are set to enjoy a pleasant three-day period with mercury readings above normal throughout. Friday will be the warmest day and while it will be cooler Saturday and Sunday, it will still be unseasonably warm.

For today we start out the day with clear skies then will see a few clouds by mid to late morning. Temperatures are going to once again climb to the mid to upper 70s. We do see just the slightest chance for a shower / thunderstorm this evening but most likely the action will be north of us. Overnight tonight skies will be mostly clear with lows dropping to the low 40s.

Tomorrow offers up similar sky conditions as we start clear then see some clouds later in the day. It will be a good bit cooler with highs in the upper 60s. That is still well above the average of 61 degrees. Saturday night clouds will linger and temperatures overnight will fall to close to the 40 degree mark.

On Easter Sunday we close things out in fine fashion. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs topping out in the low 70s. Mostly cloudy skies can be expected overnight Sunday into early Monday morning with lows in the mid-40s.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday brings very mild temps, some breezy winds

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 4:56am MDT

There is little change in today’s weather forecast for Thornton from what we have been experiencing. Temperatures will be a bit warmer and there will be lots of sun but we do throw in some breezy winds as well.

We start out with mostly clear skies and the sun will remain dominant today other than a few clouds in the afternoon. Cool early morning mercury readings will start to climb with sunrise and head us toward a high in the upper 70s. Winds will be calm initially then from about mid-afternoon through the evening breezy winds out of the south can be expected.

Overnight tonight look for partly cloudy skies and lows in the mid-40s.

Live gauges here.

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A calm, mild day for Thornton’s Wednesday

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 5:05am MDT

These are the kind of days we love about Colorado. Lots of sun, calm conditions and very pleasant temperatures for us today.

We start out with mostly clear skies and will see sunny skies above throughout the day. Perhaps a few clouds as we approach the evening. Winds will be calm, conditions dry. After starting out a touch chilly, we will steadily warm up and head toward a high in the low 70s.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows into the low 40s.

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Thornton’s Tuesday to feature mild temps, calm and dry conditions

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 5:25am MDT

A good looking spring day ahead for us. Temperatures will be a good bit above normal and while clouds will increase a bit, they won’t have a big effect.

We start out the day today with clear skies. Moisture aloft will be increasing and that in turn will lead to a few more clouds as the day progresses. Winds will be light and out of the south, conditions dry.

Look for the mercury to climb to within a degree or two of the 70 degree mark. Average for today’s date is 60 degrees.

We’ll continue to enjoy unseasonably warm weather through the weekend.

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Monday brings a pleasant, spring day to Thornton

Monday, April 10th, 2017 5:01am MDT

‘Seasonal’ will be operative word for the weather that starts our workweek. Temperatures will be right near normal and there will be plenty of sun up above.

We start out the day on the cold side with morning lows near freezing but will see a gradual warmup that leads to high temperatures right near the 60 degree average for the date. Above look for clear skies to start off then maybe just a few clouds this afternoon but nothing intrusive. Winds have remained a bit breezy overnight but will settle down this morning.

Looking ahead at the rest of the week, look for dry conditions and temperatures above normal. More details in the extended forecast here.

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April 9 to April 15: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, April 9th, 2017 12:29pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

April 9 to April 15 – This week in Denver weather history

April can be a very eventful weather month and we see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Particularly notable are many major snow events including two in recent history – one in 2001 and another in 2005.

From the National Weather Service:

7-9

In 1913…heavy snowfall totaled 10.9 inches in downtown Denver behind a cold front. Most of the snow fell on the 8th. Northeast winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 9th.

In 1935…moderate dust blew into the city around 9:00 pm on the 7th and persisted until early afternoon on the 9th. Southeast winds were sustained to around 20 mph on the 7th and 8th. Winds shifting to the west at sustained speeds to 20 mph cleared the dust from the air on the 9th.

7-12

In 1959…snow falling over a 5-day period totaled 20 to 30 inches just east of the mountains…while over the plains blizzard conditions closed schools and blocked highways. The second big storm in two weeks dumped 16.4 inches of snowfall on Stapleton Airport with the most…11.6 inches… Occurring on the 8th. East winds gusted to 37 mph on the 9th. Temperatures dipped into the single digits on the mornings of the 7th and 12th when 7 degrees were registered. Low temperature records for the dates were set on the 9th…10th…and 12th. The cold temperatures caused streets to glaze with ice…resulting in the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a car in Denver. Three people died from heart attacks while shoveling the heavy… Wet snow.

8-9

In 2013…heavy snow developed in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide as an upper level trough made its way across southern Colorado. Snowfall was enhanced locally with the presence of an upper level jet. Storm totals included: 23 inches near Eldorado Springs…18 inches just west of Boulder…16.5 inches near Orodell…15 inches…4 miles west-northwest of Boulder; 13 inches at Gold Hill; 12 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder…11 inches in Ken Caryl; 8.5 inches near Morrison; 8 inches at Genesee and Roxborough Park; 7.5 inches near Arapahoe Park; with 6.5 inches at Denver International Airport.

8-10

In 1999…a windstorm caused 20 million dollars in damage along the Front Range urban corridor from Fort Collins south to pueblo and to the east over the plains…making the storm equal to the costliest windstorm ever…which occurred in Boulder on January 17…1982. In metro Denver… Several homes were damaged as shingles were blown off roofs. Large pieces of a roof torn off a strip mall in Lakewood damaged several cars in a parking lot. Most of the damage to homes consisted of broken fences…awnings…doors…and windows. Scores of automobiles suffered broken or cracked windshields and paint damage from flying debris. Multiple accidents were triggered as several tractor-trailer rigs were blown on their sides by the strong cross-winds. Blowing dust and dirt caused near zero visibilities at times. Both I-25 and I-76 were closed north and northeast of Denver. State Highway 93 was closed between Golden and Boulder. Several trees…power poles…and power lines were downed…causing a number of outages as well as sparking a few small grass fires. Highest wind gusts reached 112 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the continental divide west of Boulder…102 mph at Wondervu…100 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab in Boulder…98 mph at the national wind technology center near Broomfield…96 mph on Rocky Flats…92 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder…and 90 mph at Highlands Ranch in southwest metro Denver. Winds gusted to 48 mph at Denver International Airport.

9

In 1950…strong southwest winds gusting to 58 mph reduced the visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport. Scattered minor wind damage…consisting of falling tree branches and damage to signs…occurred across metro Denver.

In 1989…6 to 12 inches of snow fell at many locations in the Front Range foothills. Boulder received 6 to 8 inches. Five inches (5.0 inches) of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…causing 2 hour flight delays. I-25 south of Denver was closed for 4 hours due to a 100- car traffic pileup. North winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the maximum snow depth on the ground was only 3 inches due to melting.

9-10

In 1900…rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 6.8 inches in downtown Denver overnight. A thunderstorm occurred on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 32 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 10th. Precipitation totaled 1.39 inches.

In 1933…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 9.4 inches in downtown Denver. East winds were sustained to 21 mph with gusts to 22 mph on the 9th.

In 1944…7.0 inches of snow fell on downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 9th.

In 1977…the two warmest days of the month resulted in two temperature records being set. High temperature of 81 degrees on the 9th set a new record maximum for the date. High temperature of 80 degrees on the 10th equaled the record maximum for the date. The unusually warm weather for so early in April produced a late afternoon thunderstorm on the 10th.

In 1993…strong downslope winds occurred along the Front Range. While the strongest winds were in the foothills north of Denver…wind gusts to 69 mph were recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2004…a spring storm brought heavy snow to metro Denver. The heaviest snow fell in the foothills and over and near higher terrain. Snowfall totals included: 20 inches near Jamestown; 18 inches atop gold hill; 17 inches near Evergreen; 15 inches at Nederland and Eldora; 13 inches at Blackhawk; 11 inches at Aspen Springs; 9 inches in Louisville; 8 inches at Ken Caryl; 6 inches at Niwot… Near Sedalia…and in Thornton; 5 inches in Lakewood… Lyons…and Westminster. Snowfall was 4.4 inches at Denver Stapleton. Northwest winds gusted to 21 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2008…a very moist storm brought heavy snow to parts of the Front Range foothills. Storm totals included: 12.5 inches at Aspen Springs…11 inches…4 miles west- southwest of conifer; with 10.5 inches…3 miles north of central city and 6 miles southwest of Evergreen. Lesser amounts of 5 to 9 inches were observed elsewhere. North winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th…and 1.8 inches of snow fell at the former Stapleton International Airport.

9-11 » Click here to read the rest of April 9 to April 15: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend starts mild and dry, will end cooler, windier

Friday, April 7th, 2017 5:18am MDT

The three-day period features a little bit of a mixed bag. We start off with two days of unseasonably warm weather to be followed by a more seasonal (and windy) day to close out the weekend.

For today, those heading to the Colorado Rockies’ home opener will be very happy with the weather that starts off the baseball season. Mostly sunny skies will be above throughout the day and temperatures will be heading toward a high in the mid-70s. It will become breezy this afternoon then settle down in the evening.

Tonight partly clear skies will be above with lows dipping to the mid-40s.

Saturday’s weather looks to be quite a bit like todays but with just a bit thicker cloud cover. It should still be mostly sunny and temperatures once again will climb to the mid-70s. Just like today, some breezy winds can be expected in the afternoon and evening.

A storm system passing to our north will make itself felt overnight Saturday and into Sunday. Lows Saturday night will dip to around 40 degrees.

Sunday morning there is a slight chance for a sprinkle of rain. Overall partly sunny skies will be above on the last day of the weekend and temperatures will top out in the mid-50s. It will also be a good bit windier for much of the day.

Have a great weekend!

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March 2017 weather recap: An extraordinarily warm month for Thornton

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 6:03am MDT

March 2017 was anything but typical for the Colorado Front Range.  Temperatures were well above normal and perhaps most notably, no measurable snow was recorded – a rarity for March.

Warm and windy weather dominated our weather for the first three weeks of the month.  While only one record temperature was recorded, the overall warmth led to Denver seeing its third warmest March on record.  The last week of the month finally brought about change resulting in cooler temperatures and some much-needed precipitation.

Thornton’s overall average temperature for March was 48.3 degrees.  Out at DIA where the Mile High City’s official temperature measurements are taken, it was slightly cooler with an average of 47.9 degrees.  Both were far above the long-term March average of 40.4 degrees.

Temperatures in Thornton ranged from a high of 81.7 degrees on both the 18th and 19th.  Our coldest reading of the month came on the first of the month with a low of 16.8 degrees.  Denver saw its warmest temperature of 81 degrees on the 18th and its low of 14 on the first.

In terms of precipitation, Denver averages 0.92 inches during the month of March. Both Thornton and Denver were right near that average with 0.93 and 0.90 inches recorded in their respective rain buckets.

Snow was one thing that was severely lacking.  Denver only recorded a trace and Thornton had no measurable snowfall during the month of March.  As one of our snowiest months, Denver averages 10.7 inches of snow during March so we were far off the mark this year.  This is only the third time in record Denver weather history that so little snow has been recorded.

Top 10 least snowiest Marches in Denver:

  • Trace: 2017, 2012, 1995
  • 0.3 inches: 1883
  • 0.4 inches: 1911
  • 0.5 inches: 1885
  • 1.1 inches: 1887
  • 1.8 inches: 2004
  • 2 inches: 1882
  • 2.1 inches: 1982

Click here to view Thornton’s March 2017 climate report.

Thornton, Colorado's March 2017 Temperature Summary.

Thornton, Colorado’s March 2017 Temperature Summary.

Thornton, Colorlado's March 2017 Precipitation Summary.

Thornton, Colorlado’s March 2017 Precipitation Summary.

From the National Weather Service:

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
244 AM MDT SAT APR 1 2017

...................................

...THE DENVER CO CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2017...

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1872 TO 2017

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH              84   03/26/1971
 LOW              -11   03/28/1886
HIGHEST            81   03/18        84      -3       74  03/11
LOWEST             14   03/01       -11      25       10  03/24
AVG. MAXIMUM     64.0              54.4     9.6     54.9
AVG. MINIMUM     31.9              26.4     5.5     28.3
MEAN             47.9              40.4     7.5     41.6
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32      0               1.9    -1.9        1
DAYS MIN <= 32     16              23.6    -7.6       21
DAYS MIN <= 0 0 0.1 -0.1 0 
PRECIPITATION (INCHES) 
RECORD
 MAXIMUM 4.56 1983
 MINIMUM 0.03 2012 
TOTALS 0.90 0.92 -0.02 0.90 
DAILY AVG. 0.03 0.03 0.00 0.03 
DAYS >= .01         6               5.9     0.1        9
DAYS >= .10         3               2.4     0.6        2
DAYS >= .50         0               0.3    -0.3        0
DAYS >= 1.00        0               0.1    -0.1        0
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    0.45   03/24 TO 03/24           03/23 TO 03/23
                                                          03/23 TO 03/23
                                                          03/23 TO 03/23
 STORM TOTAL       MM                                 MM
 (MM/DD(HH))            MM                    03/23(00) TO 03/23(00)
                                                 03/23(00) TO 03/23(00)3
                                                 03/23(00) TO 03/23(00)3

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
 TOTAL             MM   5
TOTALS              T              10.7

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL     523               763    -240      716
 SINCE 7/1       4325              5202    -877     4704
COOLING TOTAL       0                 0       0        0
 SINCE 1/1          0                 0       0        0

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST                        10/07
LATEST                          05/05
....................................................

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              12.0
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   3/241
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    46/290    DATE  03/07
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    60/290    DATE  03/07

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.60
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            3
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             22
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY          6

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     43

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM              0     MIXED PRECIP               1
HEAVY RAIN                0     RAIN                       4
LIGHT RAIN                8     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                0     SNOW                       5
LIGHT SNOW                5     SLEET                      0
FOG                       6     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      2
HAZE                      2

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.
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Thornton’s Thursday to offer pleasant, mild conditions

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 5:03am MDT

A very simple weather forecast for us today with a healthy dose of sun above and temperatures running a bit above normal. Even warmer conditions lie in wait for Friday and Saturday.

For today we start out with mostly clear skies and similar cloud coverage will be above throughout the day with just a bit of an increase late. Winds will be light and out of the south. We start out kind of chilly in the morning but then will steadily warm up as we head for a high temperature in the mid-60s.

Looking ahead, dry conditions will remain through Saturday with highs in the low to mid-70s being on tap tomorrow and Saturday.

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