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June 25 to July 1: This week in Denver weather history

Thursday, June 29th, 2017 3:27am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

June 25 to July 1: This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at this week in Denver weather history certainly has plenty of the usual suspects related to severe weather. Most notable however are the many occurrences of lightning strikes and the effects they can have from sparking fires to causing significant injury and death.

From the National Weather Service:

22-26

In 2012…the maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees for five consecutive days. Two of the high temperatures on the 25th and 26th peaked at 105 degrees…which set the all time record for the month of June and tied the all time maximum temperature for Denver.

25

In 1873…forest fires produced a great deal of smoke in the mountains to the southwest of the city.

In 1958…an unusually cold day for summer set two temperature records for the date. Under cloudy skies with occasional drizzle…a record low maximum temperature of 55 degrees was established along with a record minimum temperature of 42 degrees.

In 1959…a waitress…working at a kitchen sink… Was injured by a bolt of lightning…which struck the rear of a tavern in Denver. She was hospitalized.

In 1971…a tornado touched down briefly at a high school football field in Brighton…but caused no damage.

In 1981…3/4 inch hail pelted Wheat Ridge and hail to 1 1/4 inches fell in Louisville. A brief funnel cloud was sighted by national weather service personnel 4 miles east of Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…a bolt of lightning struck a cabin in the foothills west of Denver. The resulting fire totally destroyed the cabin.

In 1987…golf ball size hail fell near Bennett.

In 1988…a tornado touched down 1 mile south of Watkins and was on the ground for 4 minutes. Another tornado was spotted just southeast of Barr Lake and was on the ground for 5 minutes. No damage was reported from either tornado. Lightning struck two rock climbers near Eldorado Springs. A 25-year-old man was killed…and a 21-year-old man suffered extensive injuries. Thunderstorm winds knocked over two elm trees near downtown Denver. One fell on a house destroying most of it. A nearby building was unroofed…and two cars were damaged. A truck that had been severely damaged by one of the Denver tornadoes 10 days before was hit again. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 51 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees… Setting a new record for the date.

In 1997…one inch diameter hail fell in Arvada and 1 1/2 inch hail in Boulder. Hail as large as 3/4 inches fell in Denver…Louisville…Westminster… And near Broomfield.

In 1999…thunderstorm winds gusted to 58 mph near Fort Lupton toppling an oil rig. A 37-year-old man was killed when he fell 55 feet from the derrick of the rig.

In 2001…four golfers and one construction worker received minor injuries from a nearby lightning strike on the Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.

In 2002…hail to 1 inch in diameter was measured in greenwood village.

In 2005…hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell near Bennett and Roggen. A thunderstorm wind gust to 61 mph was recorded near Golden.

In 2009…lightning struck the Darlington Prismatic Electric Fountain in City Park`s lake. The damage was estimated to be approximately $25000.

In 2010…wind gusts associated with a dry microburst downed several trees in the vicinity of 14th and federal…and near Bayaud St. and Clarkson St. in Denver. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 45 mph was observed from the southwest.

25-26

In 1969…high winds raked Boulder causing one fatality and some injuries. One man was injured by a falling tree limb. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder… Sustained winds of 55 to 60 mph with wind gusts to 123 mph were recorded. In downtown Boulder…winds averaged 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Widespread minor damage occurred… Especially in the Table Mesa area of south Boulder. Much tree damage occurred in the older areas of Boulder where several trees were uprooted. A mobile home was overturned by the winds. At Stapleton Airport…west winds gusted to 43 mph on the 25th and 37 mph on the 26th.

In 1975…strong winds damaged utility lines…buildings… Vehicles…trees… And power lines in Boulder and other communities to the north of Boulder. Microburst winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 25th.

In 1983…heavy rain fell in the foothills west of Denver with 1.50 inches in 30 minutes at Intercanyon. Heavy rain continued over metro Denver on the 26th with two-day storm totals at many locations ranging from 1.00 to 2.50 inches. Rainfall totaled 1.37 inches at Stapleton International Airport on the 26th.

In 1985…one to two inches of rain fell over metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…rainfall totaled 0.93 inches…thunderstorm winds gusted to 44 mph… And 7/10 inch hail was measured. The air mass was unusually cold for the season…and snow fell in the foothills above 8 thousand feet. The high temperature of only 63 degrees on the 26th equaled the record low maximum reading for the date.

 

26

In 1873…there was a great deal of smoke from a large forest fire in the mountains to the southwest of the city and a smaller fire directly to the west.

In 1874…fires at timberline to the west were visible from the city. New and extensive fires were continually started from south to northwest along the ridge line. Carelessness of tourists was the apparent cause of the fires. Large and valuable tracts of timber had already been destroyed.

In 1890…the only thunderstorm of the month produced a trace of rain. A trace of rain also fell on 7 other days. This was the only precipitation recorded during the month… Making it the driest June on record.

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1971…a microburst wind gust to 58 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. Dust devils were sighted.

In 1980…strong gusty thunderstorm winds damaged several mobile homes in Thornton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…hail piled up 1 1/2 inches deep in Golden Gate Canyon and covered roadways an inch deep in Evergreen.

In 1988…a tornado touched down 2 miles north of Watkins. It was on the ground for 15 minutes and did no reported damage.

In 1989…two inch diameter hail fell at Kassler…1 inch hail at Louviers…and 1 1/2 inch hail at tiny town.

In 1991…high winds…not associated with thunderstorms… Damaged a home in the Green Mountain area. The strong winds picked up a heavy metal and glass table on the deck of a house and threw it into the house. The table was destroyed and the house received considerable damage.

In 1992…3/4 inch diameter hail fell in south Aurora and near Buckley Air National Guard base. Golf ball size hail was reported in Parker.

In 1994…the all-time highest recorded temperature in June and the second highest temperature ever recorded in Denver… 104 degrees occurred. This was the hottest day in Denver since August 8…1878…when the temperature reached 105 degrees.

In 2005…strong thunderstorm winds gusting to 58 mph damaged a garage and some nearby trees near Fort Lupton. Winds also gusted to 58 mph near Watkins. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 60 mph near Roggen. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured in southwest Aurora.

In 2009…severe thunderstorms moving through Denver and the surrounding metro area produced intense thunderstorm winds. At Denver International Airport…a wind gust blew a luggage car into a southwest airlines airplane causing some damage. Peak wind gusts included: 68 mph at Denver International Airport…4 miles west of rocky mountain metropolitan airport and 12.5 miles north of Lowry AFB; 64 mph near Arvada and Parker; and 60 mph in Aurora/cherry.

26-27

In 1965…wind gusts to 38 mph were recorded in downtown Boulder…causing widespread minor damage. A microburst wind gust to 41 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

27

In 1873…Pikes Peak was hidden from view by smoke from forest fires in the mountains to the southwest of the city.

In 1927…the temperature cooled to a low of only 72 degrees… The all-time record high minimum for the month.

In 1980…lightning injured 4 people on a baseball diamond in Broomfield. The bolt seriously injured the pitcher while also striking (out) the batter…catcher and second baseman.

In 1987…a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…the temperature reached a high of 102 degrees… Setting a new record maximum for the date.

In 1993…thunderstorm winds gusted to 60 mph across parts of metro Denver. A wind gust to 50 mph blew over a 30-foot canvas tent at an amusement park southeast of Denver. Fifteen people…mostly children…were injured. Microburst wind gusts to 33 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2002…heavy rain…up to 3/4 inch…fell across sections of the Hayman burn area near Cheeseman Reservoir. Several forest service roads were washed out and many culverts were plugged by debris.

In 2004…heavy rain producing thunderstorms caused rock and mud slides across the overland fire burn area in Jamestown. An estimated 50 tons of sand…dirt…rock…and ash slid into town…filling a culvert under main street. The slide covered 150 to 225 feet of main street. The flood was produced by half an inch of rain in 30 minutes. A deluge of very heavy rainfall from nearly stationary thunderstorms caused flooding and flash flooding problems over parts of Jefferson and Douglas counties. An automated rain gage in Golden measured 3.60 inches of rainfall in one hour. Numerous homes were flooded in Golden…including one that was 146 years old. The home was listed as a complete loss. State Highway 93 had to be closed from the Pine Ridge subdivision to the Golden Gate Canyon Road. At the height of the storm…about 4 feet of water covered State Highway 93 through Golden… Forcing its temporary closure. Several intersections were also flooded and impassable. Rock and mud slides were reported in Golden Gate Canyon state park. At the Deer Creek Golf Course at Colorado 470 and Kipling…the greens were completely inundated by floodwaters. Some backyards near the golf course were partially washed out. In Douglas County…water up to a foot deep covered the roadways in Roxborough State Park. The Waterton Canyon Road also had to be closed due to high water.

In 2010…a severe thunderstorm produced hail up to 1 inch in diameter near Strasburg. Hail up to 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in Aurora and Buckley Air Field.

» Click here to read the rest of June 25 to July 1: This week in Denver weather history

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Over 800 Earthquakes Recorded at Yellowstone Volcano

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 6:06pm MDT

Over 800 earthquakes have now been recorded at Yellowstone supervolcano over the last two weeks, with the ongoing swarm taking place on the western edge of the National Park. But there is virtually no risk of the volcano erupting, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) currently lists the volcano alert level as normal and the aviation… » Click here to read the rest of Over 800 Earthquakes Recorded at Yellowstone Volcano

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Wednesday brings seasonal temps, chance for thunderstorms

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 4:59am MDT

With the passage of a cold front last night, we see temperatures start to cool to near normal levels. The afternoon and evening will bring some isolated thunderstorm activity.

We start out the day under sunny skies then will see a few clouds as the day progresses. Temperatures will be heading toward a high right near the average for today’s date of 87 degrees.

With some instability and moisture, isolated thunderstorms will be possible from mid to late afternoon into the evening. Best chances will be to our east but we could see some gusty winds, rain, perhaps even some hail should a storm cell appear in our area.

Tonight, we will cool down nicely with lows in the mid to upper 50s.

Keep an eye out for the possible storms with our interactive radar here.

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Hot and breezy weather conditions for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 5:05am MDT

The heat is on – but only briefly. We will see our hottest day of the week but thankfully it will be short-lived as more seasonal temperatures will return for the balance of the week.

For today we start with mostly sunny skies and while there will be an increase in clouds later, there will still be plenty of sun. Winds will initially be calm but then by early to mid-afternoon speeds will be increasing. Look for those breezy conditions to last into the early evening.

The main story for today will be the temperatures. As the sun begins its morning climb the mercury will quickly rise and be on their way to highs in the mid to upper 90s.

Tonight look for partially clear skies with lows around 60 degrees.

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Thornton’s workweek starts with sun, seasonal temperatures

Monday, June 26th, 2017 5:09am MDT

Monday brings a day lacking of weather drama and temperatures right near average. We will see one hot day tomorrow but then the mercury will settle down and see more typical readings for the rest of the week.

For today we start out with sunny skies and will enjoy those through most of the morning. The afternoon will bring a few clouds but nothing too intrusive. Temperatures today will be topping out right near the average for the date of 86 degrees.

Looking ahead at the rest of your week, high pressure is going to reign tomorrow and that is going to bring our hottest day of the week with highs in the mid-90s. Thankfully the heat will be short-lived though and the balance of the week will see highs in the 80s. Get more details in our extended weather forecast here.

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Lightning and wildfires – Hand in hand hazards

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 5:51am MDT

Wildfires and lightning go hand in hand as half of Colorado’s blazes are ignited by lightning.

Wildfires are not strictly a weather-related threat.  The weather does however play a significant role in starting fires and in the ability of firefighters to battle them.

From the National Weather Service:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
500 PM MDT SAT JUNE 27 2015

Colorado Lightning Safety Week concludes today…with wildfires being the final topic.

During the past week we have presented lightning information and safety rules.  Although wildfires are not an actual weather phenomenon…wildfires are directly related to lightning and other weather elements.

Normally…the wildfire threat in Colorado increases significantly after the middle of June and usually peaks in early July…and remains high through august and early September.  Colorado averages about 2500 wildfires each year.

About half of all forest fires in Colorado are ignited by lightning. Additionally…many rangeland and wheat field fires are caused by lightning. Many of these lightning caused wildfires occur in the absence of rain and are the result of what is referred to as dry thunderstorms.

Lightning is often accompanied by strong winds from thunderstorms. These winds can quickly turn smoldering organic material into a raging fire.  Thunderstorm winds tend to be erratic in direction and speed…posing one of the greatest dangers for firefighters.

Lightning that strikes the ground is usually divided into two categories…negative and positive strikes… Depending on the ionic source region of the thunderstorm.  The negative strikes are far more common than positive strikes.  The positive strikes are more intense and have a longer duration than the negative strikes and are more likely to ignite a fire.  Lightning detection technology provides land managers and weather forecasters with the ability to identify the general location and charge category of each lightning strike.

National Weather Service forecasters help land managers and firefighters by producing fire weather zone forecasts on a daily basis.  Spot fire weather forecasts are also provided for those who work on prescribed burns or specific wildfires.  Forecasters also issue red flag warnings for use by land managers when the combination of dry vegetation and critical weather conditions will result in a high potential for the development and spread of

Wildfires.  Land managers…in turn… Typically inform the general public of the fire danger in national parks…forests… And other public lands.

During periods of extreme fire danger in forests and rangelands…

  • You should avoid being in areas where you might become trapped by a wildfire.
  • You should avoid the use of matches or anything else which could ignite a fire.
  • Make sure that hot parts of motorized equipment…such as mufflers…are not allowed to come in contact with dry grasses or other potentially flammable material.
  • If you become trapped or cut off by a wildfire seek shelter in areas with little or no fuel…such as rock slide areas or lakes.

For more information on wildfires and fire safety…please check out the following web addresses…

Lightning Safety and Wildfire Awareness Series:

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Relief from the heat as Thornton’s weekend ushers in cooler temperatures

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 5:02am MDT

With a reinforcing cold front set to descend on Colorado, we see a big change in temperatures Friday and for the weekend. Friday will seem almost cool as compared to recent days then the weekend will be quite comfortable.

For today we start out with a good bit of cloud cover but should see some clearing late in the day. A few showers of rain and breezy winds will be possible during the morning hours, mainly early. Temperatures today will be topping out in the mid to upper 60s, well below the average of 85 degrees.

Saturday and Sunday look to be virtual clones of each other. We will enjoy mostly sunny skies on both days and both should also see high temperatures in the mid-70s. Have a great weekend!

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When lightning strikes – Rendering aid and the lasting effects of a strike

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 5:00am MDT
Lightning strike (NOAA)

Responding quickly to lightning strike victims is key to helping them survive. (NOAA)

Knowing what to do when lightning strikes someone is critical to helping them survive.  As with many serious injuries, immediate action must be taken.  After the event, lightning strike victims oftentimes face a number of health and mental challenges.

From the National Weather Service:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER CO
600 AM MDT FRI Jun 23 2017

Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week continues through tomorrow. Today we discuss lightning medical issues for survivors.

The facts about lightning strike victims:

In Colorado, nearly a half million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes are documented each year. With millions of visitors and extensive outdoor activities, it is not surprising that, each year on average, three people are killed by lightning in the state of Colorado while 13 are injured. Last year, two people were killed by lightning in the Centennial State while seven were injured.

While any lightning fatality is tragic, injuries caused by lightning can be devastating to both the victim and the family. For those who have a family member or relative that suffers a significant disability from lightning, life changes forever. In addition to the physical pain and mental anguish suffered by the victim and their family, the incident may lead to a loss of income for all involved as medical expenses can drain the family’s financial resources.

If someone is struck by lightning, it is critically important that they receive the appropriate medical attention immediately. Some deaths can be prevented if the victims are attended to promptly. Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. First, check to see that the victim is breathing and has a pulse, and start cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, if needed. Then have someone dial 911. If possible, move the victim to a safer place. Do not let the rescuers become lightning victims. Lightning can strike the same place twice.

Lightning strike victims may face many mental challenges that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. When the brain is affected by a lightning strike, the person often has difficulty with many of the mental processes that most people take for granted. The person may suffer from short-term memory loss, and may have difficulty remembering new information and accessing old information. Victims may often find it very difficult to carry on more than one task at a time, and may be easily distracted. Their personality may change and they may become easily irritated.

Lightning strike victims often become easily fatigued and may become exhausted after only a few hours of work. This may be because mental tasks that were once automatic may now require intense concentration to accomplish. Although some victims may sleep excessively at first, after a few weeks many find it difficult to sleep more than two or three hours at a time.

Another common long-term problem for survivors is pain.

Medically, pain is difficult to quantify. Lightning strike victims often suffer irreparable nerve damage that causes intense pain that affects the ability to function. Many survivors complain of chronic headaches, some of which are very intense and debilitating.

Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors International is a support group for individuals and families that are struggling with life after a lightning injury. Helpful information is available at their web address: www.lightning-strike.org

In addition, NOAA’s lightning website contains abundant information on lightning safety and can be found at: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

Lightning information specific for the State of Colorado can be found at: www.weather.gov/pub/lightning

The lightning topic for tomorrow will be lightning caused fires.

Lightning Safety and Wildfire Awareness Series:

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Thornton’s Thursday brings cooler temps, chance for storms

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 5:10am MDT

Following a couple of days of extraordinary heat, we start to see a break today. Temperatures will still be above normal but not by a lot and we run a chance of seeing thunderstorms this afternoon, evening and tonight.

We start out the day under mostly sunny skies that will be with us till mid-morning or so. After that, look for the cloud cover to slowly increase leading to only partly sunny skies by late afternoon. In terms of temperatures, a front will push through later giving a much-needed break from the heat of previous days. Highs will top out in the upper 80s, still above normal but much more tolerable. The front will also bring us some breezy winds starting by late morning.

It appears the atmosphere is primed with a good bit of instability and this will give us the potential for thunderstorms beginning in the afternoon and lasting until after dark. Best chances will come after 6:00pm. Some of these will be capable of generating large hail, damaging wind and brief, heavy rain. Keep an eye on the storms with our radar here.

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Indoor lightning safety – Staying safe in your home or office

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 4:00am MDT

Lightning can cause injury and even death indoors. (Wikipedia)

Certainly the dangers of lightning are most prevalent outdoors and being indoors is the safest place to be when thunder is heard. Even inside your home or business lightning can be damaging and cause significant injury.

From the National Weather Service:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GOODLAND KS
600 AM MDT THU JUN 22 2017

Statistics tell us that we are much less likely to become a lightning strike victim if we are inside a substantial structure such as a home or office building. In 2016, thirty eight people in the United States were killed by lightning, and all of these fatalities occurred outdoors. While nearly all people who are injured or killed by lightning were outdoors, a small percentage of people are injured by lightning while indoors. Therefore, it is important to discuss lightning safety while indoors.

The dangerous electrical current associated with a lightning strike typically enters a structure through wires, cables or pipes that connect to the building from the outside. Lightning can also directly enter into a structure through an open window, door or garage door. Once in a structure, the dangerous current can travel through the electrical, phone, cable and plumbing systems and through metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

Corded electronic devices are the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. These include personal computer keyboards, game consoles, and corded phones. Other injuries have occurred when people were close by to televisions which connect to an outside cable or satellite system. Open windows, doors and garage doors allow for a direct strike to enter a home, so make sure all windows and doors are closed when lightning is occurring. Never watch a lightning storm from a porch or open garage door. There are several You-Tube videos that show people being injured by lightning while they were recording lightning from their porch or open garage door.

It is very important to stay away from any plumbing when lightning is occurring outside. This includes sinks, bathtubs and showers. When lightning is occurring, do not hand wash dishes, do not give kids a bath, and do not take a shower. It is best to wait to do laundry until after the storm goes by as washers and dryers are connected to both the electrical and plumbing systems.

People have also been injured while leaning and standing near concrete in their homes and offices. This is due to metal rebar which is in the concrete, and this metal acts as a conductor when lightning hits the building.

A house or other substantial building offers the best protection from lightning. In contrast, many small shelters such as bullpens, picnic shelters, sheds or tents (no matter what the size) offer no protection from lightning, and should be avoided at all cost.

Here is a summary of lightning safety tips for inside the home:

1. Avoid corded electronics and electrical equipment.
2. Avoid contact with plumbing, such as taking a shower, bathing, hand washing dishes or doing laundry.
3. Stay away from windows, doors, garages and porches.
4. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
5. If a substantial building is not nearby, an enclosed car or truck offers excellent protection from lightning.

Below are a couple of web sites that contain additional lightning information:

NOAA’s lightning website which contains abundant information on lightning safety can be found at: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

Lightning information specific for the State of Colorado can be found at: www.weather.gov/pub/lightning

The lightning topic for tomorrow will be lightning medical issues for survivors.

Lightning Safety and Wildfire Awareness Series:

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