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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedThu, 20-Sep-2018 5:30am MDT 
 

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Unseasonably warm temperatures, dry conditions for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, May 24th, 2018 5:38am MDT

A day much like the last couple but without the chance for thunderstorms and temperatures a touch warmer.

We start out under sunny skies today then the afternoon brings a few clouds into the mix. However, with little moisture to work with, we don’t expect to see any storms in our area. Temperatures are going to climb today heading toward a high in the mid-80s.

Tonight, skies remain partly clear with lows around 53 degrees.

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Wednesday brings unseasonably warm temperatures, slight chance for storms

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 5:03am MDT

Thornton’s weather today looks a good bit like yesterday. Temperatures will again be warmer than normal and we see another chance for late afternoon thunderstorms.

We start out under sunny skies and while we may see a few clouds, particularly in the afternoon, they won’t be too intrusive. Temperatures will warm steadily this morning and head toward an afternoon high of around 83 degrees, almost 10 degrees above normal.

Late afternoon into evening brings us another chance for a few thunderstorms to move through. However, the air is looking to be a bit drier so chances are decreased.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows in the low to mid-50s.

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Above normal temperatures, slight chance for PM thunderstorms Tuesday

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 4:58am MDT

A relatively normal day of weather for Thornton for the time of year. Temperatures will be mild, a good bit above normal, and we stand a slight chance for an afternoon and evening thunderstorm.

The day starts with mostly sunny skies and they will stick with us this morning then we see a bit of an increase in cloud cover in the afternoon. Highs will top out right near the 80 degree mark. The afternoon may bring a few scattered thunderstorms to the area.

Tonight, after any evening storms clear out, mostly clear skies will be above. Lows tonight will be in the low to mid-50s.

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Thornton’s workweek starts with a largely seasonal day, typical chance for storms

Monday, May 21st, 2018 5:02am MDT

The cool, damp weather of the past weekend has moved out and this week we see drier, warmer conditions. Today starts things off with temps a bit above normal and the standard chance of thunderstorms we expect this time of year.

The day starts out mostly clear with a few spots of patchy fog. Mostly sunny skies will be with us this morning then a bit of an increase in cloud cover in the afternoon. After sunrise, temperatures will rise steadily toward high in the upper 70s. There will be a slight chance for some isolated thunderstorm activity from about 2:00pm through much of the evening.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows to the low 50s.

For a look at the rest of the week, see the extended weather forecast here.

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May 20 to May 26: This week in Denver weather history

Monday, May 21st, 2018 4:39am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

May 20 to May 26: This week in Denver weather history

If history is a teacher, our look back at this week in Denver weather history should provide great instruction on the dangers severe weather presents in our history. It was eight years ago this week that the infamous Windsor tornado tore through the area killing one man and damaging hundreds of homes.

From the National Weather Service:

18-20

In 1915…3.9 inches of snow fell in the city. The estimated amount of snow that melted as it fell was 6.2 inches which would have totaled an estimated 10.1 inches of snowfall. Precipitation totaled 1.03 inches. North winds were sustained to 32 mph on the 18th. Low temperatures dipped to 25 degrees on both the 18th and 20th…establishing record minimums for both dates.

In 1988…prolonged heavy rainfall drenched metro Denver. The event began when heavy thunderstorms on the 18th caused some street flooding and power outages…followed by steady rain on the 19th and 20th. Rain amounts across metro Denver totaled 3 to 4 inches. Rainfall totaled 3.71 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph on the 20th. Four to eight inches of snow fell in the foothills above 7 thousand feet.

19-20

In 1864…a devastating major flash flood occurred on the normally dry and sandy Cherry Creek in Denver. The flood was caused by heavy thunderstorm rainfall and hail over the palmer ridge to the south of the city in both the Cherry Creek and Plum Creek basins. Nineteen deaths occurred along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek in Denver. The torrent swept cattle and sheep along with large trees and houses before it washing out several bridges…and moving large structures from their foundations. All city records were destroyed when city hall washed away. The Rocky Mountain News building…built on stilts in the middle of the creek…was totally destroyed by the raging waters…which were as deep as 5 feet on the morning of the 20th. Once the flood waters receded…much sand and gravel was left behind. Property damage from the flood was estimated at nearly one million dollars. This was the first major flood of record in the city.

20

In 1874…after a light late afternoon shower…3 rainbows were visible in the eastern sky. The two upper bows were of the usual colors. The lower bow had a deep violet center with a faint yellow and white rim.

In 1892…apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph. A trace of snow was the last snowfall of the season.

In 1899…snow pellets from 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter fell from a thundershower during the late afternoon. West winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph.

In 1904…southeast winds were sustained to 40 mph with an extreme velocity of 42 mph produced by a thunderstorm.

In 1961…a tornado tore through central Douglas County…1 1/2 miles north of Castle Rock. The storm struck 2 ranches and the property of a drilling company. A car on the highway was lifted off the road and slammed into a truck…injuring the two occupants.

In 1983…heavy rain fell in Aurora with 1.00 to 1.50 inches of precipitation. Local flooding occurred in Lakewood.

In 1990…1 inch diameter hail fell at Buckley Field in Aurora. Minor damage was reported to autos…buildings and signs.

In 1995…hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell near Bennett where a funnel cloud was sighted.

In 2001…damaging winds developed behind a vigorous cold front that moved south from Wyoming into metro Denver. High winds…gusting to 58 mph at Denver International Airport…downed trees and power lines and kicked up blowing dust…dirt…and debris…reducing the visibility to near zero at times. The poor visibility caused a multi-vehicle accident along U.S. Highway 85 north of Fort Lupton. Six people were treated for minor injuries. Several vehicles… Including semi-trailers…were blown off I-70 east of Denver. About 32 thousand Xcel energy customers in metro Denver were without electricity for up to 2 hours. At least a dozen incoming flights at Denver International Airport were diverted to other airports. All departing flights were grounded for at least an hour. At southwest plaza…shoppers were evacuated as rocks holding a tarp on a portion of a roof under repair toppled into the mall. After the passage of the cold front…temperatures plunged from the lower 70’s to the mid 30’s in one hour as light snow developed. Heavy snow developed in the foothills during the evening. Peak wind reports included 68 mph near Parker and 63 mph near Sedalia. Snowfall totals included: 7 inches near Blackhawk… At Ken Caryl Ranch…and near Sedalia; 6 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…at Eldorado Springs…and atop Lookout Mountain; 5 inches at Chief Hosa…in Louisville…Rollinsville…and wheat ridge; and 4 inches in Aurora…Bailey…Parker…Castle Rock and near Morrison. Low temperature of 31 degrees during the early morning of the 21st equaled the record low for the date last set in 1931.

In 2004…severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 1.25 inches near Ft. Lupton and hail to 1.50 inches 10 miles north of Ft. Lupton.

In 2014…severe thunderstorm produced hail… from 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter…across parts of Aurora…Denver… Englewood and Lakewood.

20-21

In 1891…heavy rain was mixed with snow at times and totaled 2.02 inches in the city. Snowfall was 1.0 inch. Northeast winds gusted to 28 mph on the 20th.

20-22

In 1959…a three-day rain caused some flooding in metro Denver where rain totaled 1.68 inches at Stapleton Airport. Showers…accompanied by hail near Brighton…caused some damage to truck crops. Heavy snow in the foothills caused damage to power and telephone lines.

20-27

In 2002…lightning sparked a wildfire near Deckers. Extremely dry conditions and very strong winds the following day allowed the fire…known as the Schoonover…to consume 3850 acres before it could be contained. Thirteen structures were destroyed…including 4 homes…resulting in 2.2 million dollars in damage.

21

In 1874…an extensive fire at Central City in the mountains to the west of Denver produced large columns of smoke that were visible from the city. In the afternoon…the smoke and fire produced a dark inky black convective cloud…which spread over the city and produced brief strong and gusty winds along with a few sprinkles of rain.

In 1880…west winds increased to a sustained velocity of 40 mph during the afternoon.

In 1893…north winds were sustained to 48 mph.

In 1914…a severe thunderstorm was attended by hail…excessive rainfall which totaled 1.94 inches…and an unusual amount of vivid lightning. The heavy rainfall of 0.83 inch in 15 minutes produced flooding…which caused considerable damage to bottom lands in eastern and southern parts of the city. Many garden tracts and cellars were flooded. Southwest winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 34 mph.

In 1935…no precipitation occurred…making this one of only two days without precipitation during the entire month. The other day was the 10th. Precipitation totaled 4.95 inches for the month.

In 1952…a tornado produced a high column of dust and dirt over northwest Denver. No damage was reported.

In 1988…a microburst wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2002…very strong winds occurred over metro Denver and northeastern Colorado as a developing surface low pressure center intensified. Trees and branches snapped…downing power lines across parts of metro Denver. About 20 thousand residents lost electricity. The strong winds produced much blowing dust and dirt especially to the northeast of metro Denver. Winds gusted to 61 mph at Parker. South winds gusted to 58 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2006…a large dust devil formed near Quincy Reservoir in south Aurora. The tall column resembling a tornado or smoke plume extended upward into small high-based cumulus clouds and was visible for miles across southern Aurora and eastern centennial. No damage was reported.

In 2014…severe thunderstorms occurred in and around metro Denver. The storms produced large hail…from quarter to golfball size. Frontier Airlines canceled 16 flights…when several planes sustained hail damage. Forty flights at Denver International Airport were either delayed or canceled. Some homes in Green Valley Ranch…east of Denver… were damaged by hail. Several vehicles were also damaged. Five short lived tornadoes touched down near Bennett and Byers but no damage was reported. The storms also produced heavy rain and strong damaging winds. The wind downed trees and power lines east of Denver. The heavy rain and hail…up to 6 inches deep in spots…caused street flooding around the metro area. The hailstorm at Dicks Sporting Goods Park knocked out power to the stadium where the 4A and 5A girls soccer championship games were about to be played. The inclement weather snarled traffic on Interstate 70…Pena Boulevard… U.S. 85 and elsewhere due to the flooded roads. In some areas…snow plows were called out to clear the hail. Parts of Tower Road and Peoria Street…and other roads in Commerce City… were closed through the late evening hours…because of standing water. Several vehicles stalled in standing water where water pooled in the underpasses. At Denver International Airport…1.2 inches of water was observed…along with a wind gust to 42 mph from the northwest.

21-22

In 1878…overnight heavy rains of cloudburst intensity on the Palmer Divide to the south of the city caused flash flooding on Cherry Creek in Denver…which resulted in 2 deaths. A wall of water swept through the city between 2:00 am and 3:00 am on the morning of the 22nd. The flood was so sudden and unexpected that homes along the creek in the city were submerged in water knee deep before the slumbering occupants knew anything about it. By daybreak the banks on both sides of the creek were lined by residents viewing the destruction caused by the raging waters in such a short time. Seven bridges across the creek were destroyed in the city. Damage to private and city property was estimated between 30 and 50 thousand dollars. Quite a number of cattle and sheep were killed along the reach of the creek. Only 0.01 inch of rain fell in the city on the 21st with a trace of rain on the 22nd. Flash flooding also occurred on Kiowa Creek near Bennett on the night of the 21st when the flood waters washed out the Kansas Pacific Railroad bridge. An east bound freight train plunged into the turbulent waters killing the three crewmen. The locomotive was completely buried in the sand and never found to this day!

» Click here to read the rest of May 20 to May 26: This week in Denver weather history

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Weather forces cancellation of Thorntonfest for second year in a row

Friday, May 18th, 2018 10:47am MDT

Mother Nature seems to have a grudge against the City of Thornton’s annual spring festival.  With thunderstorms arriving tonight and heavy rain expected through Saturday, most of the events have been cancelled.

The city made the announcement on their Festivals and Events Facebook page this morning.

This is the third time in the 22 year history of the event it has been cancelled due top weather. In 2011, two days prior to the event, heavy rain and hail flooded the multi-purpose fields. Last year, heavy rains leading up to the event soaked the fields and the city couldn’t risk the damage.

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Cooler, wetter weather conditions for Thornton’s weekend

Friday, May 18th, 2018 5:17am MDT

Remnants from storms northeast of us have pushed into our area and coupled with a couple of disturbances, we will see a pretty notable swing in our weather. Friday will bring some thunderstorms and showers to be followed by what looks to be quite a wet Saturday.

For today, partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies will be above. Winds will be a bit breezy, particularly in the late afternoon and tonight. The morning should remain dry then we see chances for showers and thunderstorms increasing, particularly from mid to late afternoon through the evening. Some of these may bring some heavy rain, possibly hail although the severe threat should be mostly east of us. Highs today today should reach the upper 60s as long as the clouds don’t cool us too much. Tonight, lows dip to the mid to upper 40s with some shower activity.

Saturday, unfortunately, looks like it will be wet and dreary. Cloudy skies will be above with showers likely throughout the day. Some of these could become a bit heavy at times, particularly the morning. High temperatures tomorrow will only be in the low to mid-50s. Saturday night, shower chances begin to diminish with lows dipping to around 40 degrees.

Sunday stages a little bit of a rebound. Skies will remain mostly cloudy with highs in the low to mid-60s. There will continue to be a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms.

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Lots of sun, temperatures well above normal for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, May 17th, 2018 4:59am MDT

A very summer-like day ahead for us today. The mercury is going to climb to over 10 degrees above normal and we will see plenty of sun.

The day starts out with sunny skies for much of the morning then a few clouds arrive for the afternoon. Thunderstorm activity, right now, looks like it will stay to our east and northeast.

We start out the morning quite mild then will see temps climb steadily toward an afternoon high in the low to mid-80s, well above the average high for the date of 72 degrees.

Tonight, skies remain partly cloudy will overnight lows in the low 50s.

Previewing Friday and the weekend… Tomorrow will see temps return close to normal and introduce a good chance for thunderstorms. Rain overnight will continue off and on through much of Saturday then we will start drying out Sunday. More in the extended weather forecast here.

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May 13 to May 19: This week in Denver weather history

Thursday, May 17th, 2018 3:03am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

May 13 to May 19: This week in Denver weather history

As we get further into spring the chances for severe weather increase greatly across northeastern Colorado and that is seen in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. We also note the dangers this weather presents as we see events where the weather injured and even killed Coloradans.

From the National Weather Service:

12-13

In 1907…the temperature warmed to a high of 73 degrees on the 12th…before a cold front produced a thunderstorm… Northeast winds sustained to 40 mph…and rain changing to light snow overnight. Snowfall totaled only 2 inches…but the high temperature on the 13th was only 39 degrees.

In 1961…a storm that covered metro Denver with rain and snow started as thunderstorms on the evening of the 12th. Hail to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was reported 10 miles northwest of Stapleton Airport. Rain continued overnight and changed to snow on the 13th. Snowfall totaled 6.4 inches and precipitation (rain and melted snow) 1.96 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph. The rain and heavy wet snow caused icing damage to utility lines. Heavy snow occurred in the foothills.

In 1982…a major storm dumped 1.50 to 3.50 inches of rain across northeast Colorado and deposited prodigious amounts of snow in the foothills. Coal Creek Canyon southwest of Boulder was buried under 46 inches of snow with 39 inches at Nederland. The heavy wet snow downed many power lines in the foothills. In Thornton…the roof of a school was damaged by water from the heavy rain. At Stapleton International Airport…1.49 inches of rain were measured over the two day period. The heavy rain ended a severe and prolonged drought.

In 2004…a winter storm produced heavy snow in excess of a foot in the foothills above 6 thousand feet while heavy rain fell across the city. The heaviest snow occurred in the high country of Boulder County. Storm total snowfall was 14.5 inches near Jamestown. Rainfall totaled 0.81 inch at Denver International Airport with 0.94 inch recorded at Denver Stapleton. A trace of snow was recorded at both locations. East winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver International Airport on the 12th.

13

In 1905…a thunderstorm produced hail during the late afternoon. Precipitation totaled 0.57 inch.

13-14

In 1912…heavy snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over the city. Most of the snow…9.9 inches…fell on the 13th…which was the greatest 24 hour snowfall in May at the time. This was the last snowfall of the season. The low temperature dipped to 27 degrees on the morning of the 14th.

In 1989…a spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the foothills. Metro Denver was soaked with 1 to 2 inches of rain. Rainfall totaled 1.26 inches at Stapleton International Airport. In the foothills…Echo Lake received 20 inches of snow. A 30-ton Boulder slid onto I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel…closing the freeway for 2 hours.

14

In 1910…a thunderstorm produced strong winds during the afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.

In 1913…light moist snow and light hail fell during short intervals…although no thunder was heard. The trace of snowfall was the only snow of the month. Precipitation… Mostly rain…totaled 0.44 inch.

In 1984…a pilot reported a tornado 16 miles east of Stapleton International Airport. No damage was reported. A thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…lightning struck a home in Evergreen…setting it afire.

In 1992…strong thunderstorm winds of unknown velocity… Knocked over and damaged the infield tote board at Arapahoe Park Racetrack just southeast of Aurora. Damage was estimated at 200 thousand dollars. No injuries were reported. Lightning started two house fires…causing 35 hundred dollars in damage in Adams County just 9 miles north-northwest of Denver.

In 1994…a sudden wind gust…estimated at 40 mph…blew a portion of the roof off a shopping center in Lafayette. The roof also damaged two parked cars in an adjacent lot.

In 2001…a construction worker in Castle Rock received minor injuries when lightning struck close-by.

In 2002…a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…severe thunderstorms producing large hail…very heavy rain…and tornadoes impacted the urban corridor and adjacent plains. Heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm caused flooding along a small tributary draining into the South Platte River. The incident took place at 13th and Decatur St….near Invesco Field. The floodwaters inundated the bike trail adjacent to the creek. A woman with her child sought refuge under a bridge and became trapped by the high water. The woman slipped and the stroller containing the child was swept into the swift current. The child drowned. Rainfall totaled 0.42 inches at Denver International Airport. Elsewhere…golf ball hail was reported near Hudson. Hail…up to one inch in diameter…was observed in Boulder and Lyons. Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 70 mph were reported near Buckley Air Force Base…with a peak wind gust to 37 mph observed at Denver International Airport. A small tornado touched down near Ft. Lupton but did no damage.

14-15

In 1977…high winds up to 100 mph felled hundreds of trees in Gilpin County and caused extensive damage to telephone and power lines. Lumber and steel tanks were blown around in Boulder canyon. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 15th.

14-18

In 1996…a period of unusually warm weather resulted in 4 record maximum temperatures in 5 days. The record high temperatures were 87 degrees on the 14th…89 degrees on the 15th…and 93 degrees on both the 16th and 18th. The temperature climbed to only 81 degrees on the 17th which was not a record.

15

In 1894…southwest winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

In 1910…an apparent cold front produced sustained northeast winds to 48 mph.

In 1986…a thunderstorm dumped an inch of rain in an hour over the eastern part of Aurora. Total rainfall from the storm was 1.62 inches.

In 1989…a 47 year old man…a Lakewood police officer…was struck and injured by lightning. Small hail piled up 3 to 4 inches deep near Golden. There was reported street flooding from heavy thunderstorm rains over western metro Denver. Rainfall totaled 0.76 inch at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…a thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 69 mph at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Thunderstorm winds gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing dust.

In 1991…a funnel cloud was sighted near Morrison. Later… Hail up to 2 inches deep covered U.S. Highway 285 at South Turkey Creek Road in west metro Denver. Baseball size hail was reported on the east side of Littleton. Dime size hail was reported in Boulder.

In 1993…lightning started a fire which damaged a home in Boulder. No one was injured.

In 1997…a wind gust to 58 mph was recorded at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. A street sign was blown down at the Havana Street exit along I-70.

In 1999…lightning ignited a small fire in a 3-story structure in sunshine canyon above Boulder. The fire was quickly extinguished and caused only minor damage.

In 2003…thunderstorms produced very heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding in the foothills of central Boulder County. Rainfall ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in less than 2 hours. Water ranging in depth from 6 to 9 inches covered State Highway 119 in Boulder Canyon. Dirt and rocks also washed over the roadway. Some basements were flooded in the sugarloaf area. Rockslides were also reported at Boulder falls…Lefthand Canyon…and Fourmile Canyon.

15-16

In 1957…heavy snowfall totaled 8.8 inches at Stapleton Airport. The greatest amount on the ground was 3 inches.

In 1986…a spring storm dumped 1 to 2 inches of rain over metro Denver…but 2.71 inches fell at Buckley Field in Aurora. Rainfall only totaled 0.84 inch at Stapleton International Airport. Snow fell in the foothills with 7 inches recorded in Coal Creek Canyon southwest of Boulder.

16

In 1875…a heavy hail storm turned into heavy rain during the afternoon. Rainfall totaled 0.86 inch in just 37 minutes…while the temperature dropped 22 degrees in 22 minutes. Precipitation totaled 0.90 inch.

In 1894…west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 56 mph.

In 1949…a tornado was observed for 16 minutes…20 miles to the southeast of Stapleton Airport. The tornado moved 5 miles to the northeast before dissipating. No damage was reported.

In 1963…intense lightning started several forest fires in the foothills southwest of Denver near Deckers and Cheeseman Lake. Little precipitation fell from the storms to alleviate the unusual dry conditions so early in the season.

In 1978…thunderstorm winds caused damage in southeast Aurora. Winds of 60 to 80 mph blew down numerous fences and damaged several homes under construction. High winds tore docks loose at Cheery Creek Reservoir…sinking 3 or 4 boats and damaging about 15 others. At Stapleton International Airport where winds gusted to 60 mph…a 727 jet suffered 15 hundred dollars damage when wind toppled a runway light onto it. The public reported an unconfirmed tornado 7 miles south-southwest of Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…a line of thunderstorms moving across metro Denver uprooted a large ash tree…which fell and blocked the outside doors to a Denver elementary school…briefly trapping the students inside. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 69 mph were reported at Jefferson County Airport. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…two tornadoes touched down briefly in Castle Rock… But no injuries or damage were recorded. Heavy thunderstorm rains of 0.50 to 1.10 inches in a couple of hours caused Lena Gulch near Golden to flood. No damage was reported.

In 1996…dry microburst winds of unknown strength overturned a trailer and damaged storage sheds in Strasburg east of Denver.

» Click here to read the rest of May 13 to May 19: This week in Denver weather history

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Above normal temps, lots of sun, calm conditions for Wednesday

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 6:21am MDT

A very pleasant spring day ahead for Thornton.

We start out with sunny skies and will have plenty of blue above throughout the day. The afternoon may bring a few clouds but nothing too intrusive. Winds will be light and out of the southwest initially shifting to the southeast in the afternoon and evening. Temperatures will climb steadily toward a high mark reading of around 81 degrees, about 10 degrees above normal.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows dipping to around 50 degrees.

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