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April 14 to April 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, April 14th, 2019 5:59am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

April 14 to April 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

Springtime in Colorado can certainly be pleasant but it can also bring an amazing array of interesting weather. Our look back at this week contains everything from snowstorms and damaging wind to severe thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes.

From the National Weather Service:

10-14

In 1927…post-frontal rain on the 10th changed to snow on the 11th and continued through the 14th. Snowfall totaled 8.5 inches from precipitation of 1.28 inches. North winds were sustained to 26 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 13th.

12-14

In 1933…heavy snowfall of 5.6 inches occurred in downtown Denver on the 12th and 13th behind a vigorous cold front… Which presented an awe-inspiring spectacle as it approached the station during the late afternoon of the 12th. Brilliant white wind-torn cumulus clouds were sandwiched by a brownish- tan dust cloud at the surface and dark blue cumulus clouds above. The dust cloud storm rapidly enveloped the station with northeast winds sustained to 38 mph and gusts to 44 mph producing much blowing dust…which was accompanied by rapidly falling temperatures and rising pressure. Moist snowfall started in about an hour and continued to midday on the 13th. Record low temperatures of 17 and 15 degrees occurred on the 13th and 14th respectively. The high temperature of only 27 degrees on the 13th was a record low maximum for the date.

12-15

In 1927…snowfall totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 14th. Northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph during the storm.

13-14

In 1968…high winds struck Boulder. Sustained winds of 50 mph with gusts as high as 102 mph were recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research…while in downtown Boulder winds peaked to 73 mph. The winds damaged a building under construction and some homes in south Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 13th.

In 1996…a potent spring storm strengthened just east of Denver. Blizzard conditions developed over eastern Adams and eastern Arapahoe counties. Strong northerly winds ranging from 25 to 50 mph…cold temperatures…and heavy snowfall combined to create very hazardous conditions. The strong winds whipped snow in drifts 3 to 4 feet high. High winds and heavy wet snow downed power lines and caused traffic accidents. Some roads were closed. Snowfall totaled 15 inches at Strasburg…while only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.

In 2011…a potent spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to Front Range mountains and foothills. Storm totals included: 16.5 inches near Blackhawk; 16 inches at Nederland; 15.5 inches at Coal Creek Canyon and 5 miles northeast of Ward; 15 inches at Allenspark; 12.5 inches… 5 miles northwest of Idaho Springs; 12 inches at Echo Mountain ski area; and 10.5 inches near Georgetown.

13-15

In 1945…heavy snowfall totaled 9.8 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…4.8 inches…fell on the 14th. Snow fell for a total of 53 consecutive hours. This was the second big snow in less than 2 weeks. The air mass was very cold for April. High temperatures of 21 degrees on the 14th and 32 degrees on the 15th were record low maximums for those dates.

13-17

In 2001…a huge dust storm over southern and Inner Mongolia during April 3rd through the 6th lifted desert dust into the jet stream. This dust cloud moved over metro Denver on the 13th and persisted through the 17th. The cloud created widespread haze…giving the sky a milkish cast due to the scattering of incoming solar radiation.

14

In 1872…high winds damaged buildings in the city. At 9:00 am west winds commenced to blow a perfect gale… Averaging 40 mph sustained until 9:00 pm.

In 1904…west winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 74 degrees.

In 1918…a thunderstorm produced hail that covered the ground to a depth of 1/2 inch. The stones varied in size from small shot to a cherry stone. Rain and melted hail totaled 0.70 inch. There was no reported damage.

In 1935…northeast winds sustained to 30 mph caused a dust storm across the city. The visibility was greatly reduced by blowing dense dust.

In 1970…strong winds caused mostly light but widespread damage to trees…roofs…power lines…and other property across the northeastern Colorado plains. Wind gusts of 45 to 60 mph were common. Southwest wind gusts to 44 mph occurred at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1995…high winds spread from the foothills onto the plains. West winds gusted between 70 and 90 mph in the foothills and 50 to 70 mph on the plains. West winds were clocked to 51 mph at Denver International Airport. Most of the significant wind damage occurred north and east of metro Denver.

14-15

In 1873…north winds blew a gale during the afternoon on both days. Winds were brisk throughout each day.

In 1902…snowfall totaled 6.0 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow melted as it fell. Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph.

In 1910…strong winds occurred on both days. Northeast winds were sustained to 52 mph on the 14th. North winds were sustained to 44 mph on the 15th.

In 1921…heavy snowfall and strong winds produced near- blizzard conditions in the city. Snowfall totaled 10.0 inches. Strong north winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 54 mph on the 15th produced drifts to several feet in depth. The heavy wet snow caused extensive damage to trees…utility poles…and buildings. Precipitation from the storm was 1.73 inches. Very heavy snow also fell in the foothills. At silver lake…in the mountains west of Boulder…95 inches of snow fell in 32.5 hours on the 14th and 15th.

In 1935…dense dust…apparently behind a dry cold front… Enveloped the city at 1:00 pm on the 14th and persisted through the night. The dust blew into the city on northeast winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 32 mph. By mid-morning on the 15th…the dust had become light and continued as such into the evening. North winds were sustained to only 13 mph on the 15th.

In 1999…a spring storm dumped heavy snow over portions of metro Denver. Nearly 2 feet of snow fell in the foothills with half a foot to a foot over western and southern suburbs. The heavy snow alleviated drought conditions and associated high fire danger that prevailed during much of the winter season. Snowfall totals included: 22 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…20 inches at Wondervu…19 inches at Genesee…17 inches near Evergreen and Nederland and at Idaho Springs and tiny town…14 inches at Georgetown…13 inches at Morrison…10 inches near Sedalia…9 inches in south Boulder… 8 inches at Highlands Ranch and Wheat Ridge…and 7 inches at Littleton and Parker. Only 3.4 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North- northwest winds gusted to 41 mph on the 15th at Denver International Airport.

15

In 1874…light snow developed around daybreak and became moderate to heavy by mid-morning and continued into the early evening. While most of the snow melted as it fell… Total precipitation from the melted snow was 0.95 inch. This would make the estimated snowfall nearly 10 inches.

In 1963…high winds were widespread across metro Denver. West winds gusted to 63 mph in Denver at Stapleton Airport with sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts to 70 mph in downtown Boulder. The winds caused extensive damage to buildings and other property. Visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1998…another spring storm brought heavy snow to the foothills. Thirty to 40 vehicles were involved in accidents along I-70 near Georgetown. The combination of poor visibilities…slick roads…and careless drivers led to the multi-car pileups. Only minor injuries were reported. The accidents forced the closure of all of I-70’s eastbound lanes. Snowfall totals included 12 inches at Genesee and 10 inches at Aspen Springs…Chief Hosa…Georgetown…near Morrison…and on North Turkey Creek. Only 0.1 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. East winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2002…unseasonable warm weather resulted in two records being broken. The high temperature of 84 degrees was a record maximum for the date. The low temperature of 57 degrees was a record high minimum for the date.

15-16

In 1900…heavy rainfall totaled 2.33 inches. A trace of snow was mixed with the rain at times.

In 1950…thunderstorms and heavy rain behind a cold front produced 2.13 inches of rain in 24 hours at Stapleton Airport.

In 2003…a fast moving pacific storm system moved across Colorado allowing strong winds to develop over the eastern foothills and metro Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 59 mph at Denver International Airport late in the evening of the 15th.

In 2016…1.22 inches of precipitation was measured at Denver International Airport which was the greatest daily amount for the month.

15-17

In 1922…heavy snowfall totaled 9.0 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.0 inches…fell on the 16th. This was the third major snow storm in a week. Northwest winds were sustained to 43 mph with gusts to 47 mph on the 15th.

In 2016…a powerful spring snowstorm brought heavy…wet snow to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals generally ranged from 2 to 4 feet in the foothills with 1 to 2 feet in the mountain west of Denver and along the Palmer Divide. Along the I-25 Corridor storm totals ranged from 6 to 20 inches…with highest amounts across the western and southern suburbs. Some of those totals included: 16 inches in Aurora and Superior; 15 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder; 14.5 inches in Broomfield; 13.5 inches in Westminster; officially 12.1 inches at Denver International Airport; 12 inches in Louisville; 11.5 inches in Arvada; 11 inches near Englewood; 10.5 inches near Wheat Ridge. At Denver International Airport…there were 852 flight cancellations… most of which occurred on the 16th. The heavy wet snowfall broke trees limbs and caused scattered power outages. Over five thousand customers were without power on the 16th…and over two thousand on the 17th. Xcel Energy brought in extra crews from surrounding states to help restore power and minimize outage times through the storm. Numerous but mostly temporary road closures from 1 to 5 hours occurred throughout the storm. This included portions of I-70 east and west of Denver…Highway 103 from Idaho Springs to Evergreen and Highway 119 through Black Hawk.

16

In 1960…a wind storm struck all of metro Denver. Estimated wind gusts up to 80 mph were registered in Boulder. At Stapleton Airport sustained west-northwest winds over 50 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph produced some blowing dust. The high winds damaged buildings…power and telephone lines…and signs. Five people were injured in metro Denver as a result of the wind storm. Blowing dust reduced visibility at times. The winds were strong and gusty for most of the day.

» Click here to read the rest of April 14 to April 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Thornton’s weekend will start chilly with some snow, ends with sun and seasonal temps

Friday, April 12th, 2019 5:03am MDT

A bit of a mixed bag of weather for the three day period. Unsettled, cool conditions will be with us Friday and Saturday then Sunday rebounds and will offer the nicest day of the period.

For today, mostly cloudy skies will be above throughout the day. Highs will only be around 40 degrees. By mid to late afternoon, scattered, light showers will develop, initially as rain then changing to snow. Light accumulations may be seen overnight.

Cloudy skies will be above tonight with lows in the mid-20s.

Saturday morning may continue to see some light precipitation in the form of a wintry mix of drizzle and snow. That should end by about noon then we will dry out. Mostly cloudy skies will be above with highs in the mid-40s.

Overnight Saturday into Sunday morning, mostly cloudy skies will be above initially then will begin to clear after midnight. Lows will be around 30 degrees.

Sunday finally sees the weather straighten out. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the low to mid-60s.

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2018 – 2019 seasonal snowfall numbers continue to improve

Thursday, April 11th, 2019 10:18am MDT
Thornton, Colorado seasonal snowfall totals as of April 11, 2019. Click for larger image. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado seasonal snowfall totals as of April 11, 2019. Click for larger image. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton hasn’t had any truly big time snows this year but we have managed a number of respectable ones and that shows in our seasonal snow totals.

As of today, Thornton has received 49.1 inches of snow for the season. That is just slightly below our running 13 year seasonal average of 53.1 inches.

As for Denver, officially, the Mile High City has recorded 43.2 inches thus far this season as measured at DIA. The all-time seasonal average snowfall for Denver is 57.1 inches (55.3 inches 30 year average) so there is still ground to make up there to get near average.

With half of April and all of May to go, there’s still plenty of time to add to those numbers.

In case you were wondering… The average date of Denver’s last snowfall is April 27th. The latest? June 12, 1947 when a trace was recorded. The latest measurable snowfall was 0.4 inches on June 1, 2919.

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As Thornton’s latest snowstorm moves out, temps remain chilly Thursday

Thursday, April 11th, 2019 5:10am MDT

A nice snowstorm yesterday but certainly not on par with the previous one. We did receive 4.8 inches of snow on the grass while much of what hit the streets melted. Today, we dry out but temps remain cold and we will see some breezy winds.

Cloudy skies start us off and the balance of the day will be mostly cloudy to cloudy. Snow should be done by about 7:00am or soon after.

Temperatures will top out around the 40 degree mark. Winds will be a bit breezy from late morning into the late afternoon so it will feel colder than that.

We may see a few flakes of snow in the late afternoon and early evening but no accumulation is expected.

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

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April 7 to April 13: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 5:40am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

April 7 to April 13: This Week in Denver Weather History

While the calendar may say spring, wintry weather can and often does appear and many times it has a big impact. We clearly see this in our look back at this week in weather history where wind and snow make many appearances.

From the National Weather Service:

4-7

In 1909…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow on the afternoon of the 4th and continued through mid-morning of the 7th. Total snowfall was 18.7 inches…but most of the snow…14.0 inches…fell from 6:00 pm on the 4th to 6:00 pm on the 5th. North to northeast winds were sustained to 32 mph on the 4th and to 30 mph on the 7th. Total precipitation from the storm was 1.78 inches.

5-7

In 1916…rain changed to snow behind a cold front on the 5th and totaled 4.5 inches in the city. A thunderstorm produced snow on the 6th. North winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 7th.

6-7

In 1872…rain changed to snow overnight. Snow with high north winds continued all day on the 7th. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 0.50 inch. Due to problems on the lines…the morning weather report was not sent by telegraph until 3:10 pm and the midnight report was not sent at all.

In 1957…heavy snowfall totaled 6.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 46 mph. This was the second heavy snow event in less than 4 days.

In 1969…winds gusting as high as 50 to 60 mph caused only light damage along the eastern foothills. The strong winds contributed to the spread of a forest fire near Boulder. Sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts to 53 mph were recorded in Boulder. Southwest winds gusted to 38 mph on the 6th and 44 mph on the 7th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1980…high winds howled along the foothills each day. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded in Lakewood. The strong winds blew a camper top off a pickup truck in Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 41 mph on both days.

In 1998…a spring storm brought a mix of snow and thunder to metro Denver…the foothills…and Palmer Divide. Conifer and Elizabeth both measured 4 inches of new snow. On the 6th…only 0.1 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where thunder was heard on both days. Precipitation totaled 0.60 inch at Denver International Airport where west winds gusted to 43 mph on the 6th.

6-8

In 1973…a major spring snow storm dumped 11.6 inches of snowfall over metro Denver. North wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph produced some blowing snow. Most of the heavy wet snow… 10.1 inches…fell on the 7th when temperatures remained in the 20’s. Snow accumulated on the ground to a maximum depth of 9 inches. Low temperature of 5 degrees on the 8th was a new record minimum for the date and the lowest for so late in the season.

7

In 1906…north winds were sustained to 48 mph in the city.

In 1958…strong south winds blew most of the day across metro Denver. A wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1962…strong gusty winds associated with a cold front caused considerable damage to power lines…signs… Buildings…and trees across metro Denver. In Boulder…an outdoor movie screen…valued at 10 thousand dollars…was wrecked. In Denver…a youth was injured when a car was blown off a jack…pinning him underneath. Wind gusts to 61 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where visibility was reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at Stapleton Airport.

In 1971…wind gusts to 69 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. In downtown Boulder…winds peaked to 54 mph. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…high winds occurred in the foothills west of Denver. At Nederland west of Boulder…high winds damaged roofs… Toppled trees…and caused power outages. Winds estimated as high as 90 mph in Georgetown overturned campers and even semi-trailers on I-70 and damaged road signs. Three trailer homes were blown off their foundations and a 50-foot tree toppled onto the roof of a home…causing considerable damage. Winds reached 94 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

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.

» Click here to read the rest of April 7 to April 13: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Significant snowstorm barrels down on Thornton, conditions to deteriorate throughout the day

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 5:05am MDT

From the warm yesterday to the storm today. We’ll be following yesterday’s summer-like weather with a winter storm that is going to have a significant impact with snow and wind by the end of the day today.

We start out with partly clear skies but cloud cover will be increasing quickly and we will be entirely cloudy by noon. Wind speeds will similarly be increasing through the morning and early afternoon. By this evenings, gusts in excess of 40 mph are expected.

A few light rain showers may be seen this morning to be followed by a quick transition to snow by about 2:00pm. Moderate snowfall will then be seen through about midnight before tapering off and ending tomorrow morning.

The timing of the snow and wind is going to likely lead to a messy PM commute and conditions soon after will become difficult. Areas to our east on the plains are going to be impacted more than us.

However, here in Thornton, we’ll still get our share of excitement. Look for 3 to 5 inches total accumulation. Should banding develop or this system sit over one spot longer than expected, those totals could go up considerably.

A Blizzard Warning will kick in at noon and run through noon tomorrow.

Our Winter Weather Briefing Page is your one stop shop for everything.

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Near record-setting warmth Tuesday in Thornton but winter weather returns Wednesday

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 5:00am MDT

Springtime in Colorado can bring with it wildly varying #weather over a short period of time and such will be the case over the next 48 hours. Today we will see unseasonably warm temperatures while a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the storm set to arrive tomorrow.

For today, partly sunny skies will be above throughout the day. Those clouds won’t do much to inhibit the temperatures with highs expected to be close to the 80 degree mark. The record high in Denver for today’s date is 81 degrees (1977) and we could beat that.

Tonight, mostly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the mid-40s.

The coming storm will arrive late tomorrow morning. Early on we could see a high near 50 but then temperatures will be downhill for the balance of the day.

Light rain will be possible in the morning becoming heavier after noon. A transition to snow will then occur as temperatures drop in the afternoon, potentially leading to a messy PM commute.

Moderate snowfall may then be seen from the evening until midnight before tapering off. Total accumulations for us could be in the 3 to 5 inch range. Coupled with the snow will be strong winds creating blowing snow and making it miserable outside.

As usual, what sort of snowfall and impact we realize from the storm will greatly depend on track and timing. A shift in the track or a later or earlier transition to snow could make a big difference.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch that will be in effect from noon Wednesday to noon Thursday. Read the complete text of the watch here.

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Thornton’s workweek starts off unseasonably warm, cooler and wetter weather lie ahead

Monday, April 8th, 2019 5:04am MDT

We start off with dry conditions and temps much warmer than normal today and tomorrow. Wednesday, things turn colder and much more unsettled with even a couple chances of snow.

For today, look for mostly clear skies to be above with a few more clouds in the afternoon. High temperatures today will top out in the mid-70s, about 15 degrees above normal.

Tonight, we’ll have a good bit of cloud cover above with lows in the mid-40s.

Tuesday is going to be the warmest day of the week with mercury readings coming close to the record high of 81 degrees for the date.

Then, a relatively strong storm system arrives late Wednesday. Cooler temps, rain and perhaps snow Wednesday night will be on tap. Right now, it looks like the most significant impact will be to our east but this system will bear watching as it gets closer. Colder than normal temps will be on tap Thursday and Friday with another chance for snow Friday.

Get more details in the extended weather forecast here.

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Unseasonably warm temperatures, relatively calm conditions for Thornton’s weekend

Friday, April 5th, 2019 4:52am MDT

A pretty nice looking three-day period ahead for us. Temperatures will be mild and, for the most part, it will lack any drama.

For Friday, there is a good bit of moisture aloft so partly sunny skies will be above throughout the day. Temperatures will be quite mild with highs in the upper 60s. At this time, it looks like any shower activity will be south of us. Tonight, mostly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the low 40s.

Saturday, we will continue to have a good bit of cloud cover above. Highs will be in the mid-60s and we do have a chance to see some scattered rain showers in the afternoon into the evening. Saturday night into Sunday morning, lows will be near 40 degrees.

Sunday will see a healthy dose of sun with sunny to mostly sunny skies above. Highs will be in the mid-60s and we will be dry.

Have a great weekend!

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Unseasonably warm temperatures, a good dose of sun for Thursday

Thursday, April 4th, 2019 4:52am MDT

Thornton will enjoy a very nice spring day today. Temperatures will be above normal and we’ll couple that with mostly sunny skies for most of the day.

Mostly clear skies start us off then we see a bit of an increase in cloud cover by mid-day. By sunset, partly clear skies will be above. Temperatures will top out in the mid to upper 60s.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with lows in the low 40s.

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