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UpdatedWed, 26-Apr-2017 9:25pm MDT 
 

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Winter Storm Warning issued as wintry blast set to bring cold, snow to Thornton

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 5:27am MDT

Our first winter storm of 2017 is pushing closer at this time and will deliver a rather potent blast of cold and snow. Temperatures will be plunging and a good dose of the white stuff can be expected prompting a Winter Storm Warning to be issued.

We will have cloudy skies throughout the day and into tonight. Temperatures are starting out close to the single digits in the pre-dawn hours and will only be warming up to the low 20s. Overnight the mercury will dive heading toward a low near zero, possible a degree or two below.

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Some light snow flurries are already being seen and we will see similar, light activity through the morning. Beginning at about 1:00pm snowfall should increase and then really get started around 5:00pm. Look for it to continue into tomorrow morning before easing late Thursday morning and ending in the evening.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect from 2:00pm today to 11:00am tomorrow. The service warns that travel conditions will become hazardous, particularly tonight and into tomorrow morning. They are calling for 8 to 12 inches in the Denver metro area. We certainly do see the potential for those kind of numbers with total snowfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches certainly likely for Thornton, perhaps more depending on where the bands of snow setup.

Our Winter Weather Briefing page has everything you need to know.

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Thornton’s Tuesday begins first in series of sub-freezing days

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 5:24am MDT

The first batch of cold air has made its way into the area and will lead to a cold day Tuesday. That however is only the start as successive reinforcing rounds of cold air will send the mercury even colder in the coming days.

For today we start off with a few flurries being seen in the area although most activity is north of us. This may continue for a the first part of the morning but little / no accumulation is expected. Partly clear skies start things off then we will see some of a break in the cloud coverage for the middle part of the day followed by more clouds later. Temperatures today are going to remain cold with highs only expected to reach the upper 20s.

Looking ahead, as we said, even colder temperatures lie in wait. Overnight lows for the next four nights are expected to dip to the single digits. Daytime highs over the same period will remain below freezing with Thursday possibly only reaching up to the teens. Our best chances for snow come late in the day tomorrow into Thursday morning. Exactly how much is tough to say as systems that are this cold can see widely varying totals but 3 to 5 inches does seem possible.

Bundle up and keep an eye on our main page for the latest.

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Thornton’s January 2017 preview: Usually a relatively cold, dry month

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 5:01am MDT

Denver's January weather and climatology preview for 2013.As we begin the new year the winter chill begins to set in.  While January can see its share of extremes, the month historically sees stable temperatures and is usually relatively dry.

January ranks as the second coldest month in Denver next to December with average temperatures remaining virtually the same from the start to the end of the month.

In terms of snowfall, the month only ranks as the fourth snowiest and it is not uncommon for it to be quite dry.

What does January 2017 hold for us?  Follow the link to find out.

For the complete January preview including a look at historical averages and extremes, click here. 

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One more seasonal day Monday before the Arctic cold returns

Monday, January 2nd, 2017 5:23am MDT

Thornton will see a relatively warm day today but with some clouds and breezy winds. That story takes a backseat though to the coming weather pattern which will see us get much colder for the balance of the week.

For today we start with mostly sunny skies to be followed by some high clouds increasing as the day progresses. Winds will initially be light then increase in speeds by late morning into this evening. Gusts to 25mph or so will be possible. In terms of temperatures, we should see highs climb to the mid to upper 40s.

Overnight tonight we will be dipping into the teens and stand just the slightest chance to see a few flakes of snow from about 10:00pm into tomorrow morning. No accumulation is expected.

On Tuesday we begin to feel the effects of the approaching cold with the bulk of it to arrive Wednesday and Thursday. Right now it looks like highs tomorrow and Wednesday will be in the mid-20s followed by low 20s Thursday but the potential is there for it to be even colder. Overnight lows in the period will dip to the single digits. For snow, our best chances come Wednesday into Thursday when we may see a few inches. For now, enjoy your last seasonal day for the week and keep an eye on our main page for all the latest.

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January 1 to January 7: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, January 1st, 2017 4:00am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

January 1 to January 7: This Week in Denver Weather History

One of our coldest and driest months, January is not normally known for its weather extremes. However just like any in Colorado, significant events can occur as we see in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

31-1

In 1900…low temperatures dipped to 19 degrees below zero on both days to establish daily record minimum temperatures.

In 1975…only 4.2 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…while north of Denver a major blizzard raged. All roads north of Denver into Wyoming were closed when strong winds whipped snow into 5 to 6 foot drifts. North winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 31st…causing some blowing snow. Freezing drizzle also fell on the 31st.

In 1984…heavy snow fell in the foothills with 8 inches at Boulder and 6 inches in southern and western metro Denver. Only 1.5 inches of snow fell overnight at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…a New Year’s Eve snow storm dumped 2 to 8 inches of snow across northeastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 3.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport. The 1.9 inches of snow that fell on the 31st was the only measurable snowfall of the month.

In 2008…another brief period of high winds occurred in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties. In Nederland…the strong wind snapped a blue spruce which landed on a nearby propane tank. Some roofs in the immediate area were damaged and power lines were downed; which left 126 residences without electricity for six hours. Peak wind gusts included 90 mph at the national wind technology center…and 89 mph; 6 miles northwest of Boulder. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust of 23 mph was measured from the southwest.

31-6

In 1973…the 31st marked the start of a protracted cold spell that extended into January of 1974 when temperatures dipped below zero on 7 consecutive days. Record daily minimum readings occurred on the 3rd and 5th when the temperature plunged to 17 degrees below zero on both days. A record low daily maximum temperature of only 4 degrees occurred on the 5th.

31-7

In 1941…a protracted cold spell through January 7…1942… Produced below zero low temperatures on 7 of the 8 days. A low temperature of 2 degrees on the 3rd prevented a string of 8 days below zero. The coldest days during the period were the 1st with a high of 2 degrees and a low of 9 degrees below zero…the 4th with a high of 2 degrees and a low of 11 degrees below zero…and the 5th with a high of 26 degrees and a low of 12 degrees below zero.

1

In 1875…the temperature fell 27 degrees between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The high for the day was 43 degrees…and the low was 8 degrees. Occasional snow flurries fell during the day…but not enough to cover the ground.

In 1885…dense smoke choked the skies over downtown Denver until midday.

In 1910…a rare trace of light rain fell during the morning.

In 1911…post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 40 mph. Only a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver.

In 1952…snowfall of 0.03 inch was the only measurable snowfall of the month and resulted in 0.01 inch of melted snow…the only precipitation of the month.

In 1956…west-northwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1996…the first snow storm of the new year dumped more than a foot of snow in the Front Range foothills with 4 to 9 inches across the western and southern sections of metro Denver. Snow totals included: 14 inches at conifer; 11 inches at Evergreen; and 10 inches at Eldora Ski Resort… West of Boulder. Snowfall totaled only 1.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North- northeast winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2003…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This…along with a trace of snow on the 22nd…was the only snow of the month…which equaled the 1934 record for the least snowiest January.

1-2

In 1896…warm Chinook winds on the 1st became cold bora winds on the 2nd. Southwest winds sustained to 60 mph with gusts as high as 66 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees on the 1st. Northwest winds sustained to 54 mph with gusts to 60 mph resulted in snowfall of 0.3 inch and a high temperature of only 31 degrees on the 2nd.

1-5

In 1940…the first days of the month were characterized by a mixture of drizzle…light snow…and fog. Fog occurred on each day. On the 4th and 5th considerable glazing resulted from freezing drizzle. All objects were coated with a glaze on the windward side. This resulted in very slippery streets…which caused several minor traffic accidents. The glaze was not heavy enough to damage wires and cables.

2

In 1972…strong northwest Chinook winds in advance of a cold front gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport and caused temperatures to warm to a high of 55 degrees.

In 1986…high winds occurred along the Front Range foothills. The strongest recorded gust was 82 mph in the Table Mesa area of Boulder. Other places in Boulder reported gusts from 68 to 80 mph. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…high winds between 60 and 70 mph were recorded in Boulder and along the eastern foothills. No damage was reported. West winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

2-3

In 1971…a major storm dumped a total of 8.4 inches of snow at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 23 mph.

In 1972…a strong cold front late on the 2nd produced north wind gusts to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport. Snow…heavy at times on the 3rd…totaled 6.4 inches as temperatures hovered only in the single digits.

In 2000…heavy snow fell over the higher terrain of the palmer divide to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 7 inches 5 miles southwest of Sedalia. Only 1.5 inches of snowfall were measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

2-4

In 1949…the worst blizzard in many years struck metro Denver and all of northern Colorado. The storm produced blizzard conditions with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph all day on the 3rd when temperatures were only in the single digits. This resulted in extremely cold wind chill temperatures of 40 to 55 degrees below zero. Stapleton Airport received 13.3 inches of snow from the storm… While downtown Denver received 11.8 inches. The snow fell for 51 consecutive hours downtown. Numerous lives were lost…and livestock losses were high across the northeastern plains of Colorado where extensive airlift operations were needed to bring supplies and food to isolated communities.

2-5

In 1959…very cold temperatures…to near zero and below…caused power and gas lines…water pipes…and automatic sprinkler systems to break. In Boulder… Merchandise and furnishings were water damaged when pipes burst in a department store…flooding three floors. The temperature was below zero for 38 consecutive hours at Stapleton Airport on the 2nd…3rd…and 4th and plunged to a low of 13 degrees below zero on the 4th.

3

In 1874…heavy snowfall totaled 6 inches with 5 inches falling in 3 hours. Melted snow totaled 0.40 inches of precipitation. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph.

In 1887…west winds were sustained to 44 mph in the city.

In 1913…northwest Chinook winds sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 52 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees. The low temperature was only 40 degrees.

In 1951…northwest winds gusted to 56 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1967…a strong Chinook wind reached 90 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. In downtown Boulder winds only gusted to 35 mph. Northwest winds gusting to 49 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…winds gusted to 63 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and reached 73 mph at Echo Lake in the foothills west of Denver. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1994…high winds raked the eastern foothills. Wind gusts to 99 mph were recorded on Squaw Mountain…south of Idaho Springs…and gusts to 85 mph occurred at the Rocky Flats facility in northwest Jefferson County. Northwest winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport. No significant damage was reported.

In 1996…very strong Chinook winds gusting to 104 mph blasted the Front Range foothills and portions of metro Denver. Three people were injured in separate incidents. One man was injured when strong crosswinds toppled his moving van into oncoming traffic along Colorado 93 south of Boulder. Two other people received minor injuries from flying debris. At the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility…eleven hazardous waste storage facilities received at least 100 thousand dollars in damage. In addition…several power lines were downed leaving 3 thousand homes and stores without power. Hundreds of car windows were shattered…and several signs were toppled from buildings. Some of the strongest wind gusts included: 104 mph at Boulder Municipal Airport…98 mph in south Boulder…96 mph at Jefferson County Airport…94 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research southwest of Boulder…91 mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility…and 90 mph at Wondervu southwest of Boulder. West-northwest winds gusted to only 39 mph at Denver International Airport where the Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 52 degrees.

In 2004…bands of heavy snow fell across metro Denver. Snowfall totals included 6.5 inches in Broomfield and 6 inches in Westminster…Arvada…and near Hudson. Only 0.5 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. More snow fell in the foothills with 9 inches recorded near Jamestown. Southeast winds gusted to 25 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2006…locally high winds developed in northern Jefferson County over and near Rocky Flats. Peak wind gusts from 75 to 91 mph were recorded during the afternoon. A semi-trailer truck was blown onto its side on State Highway 93 atop Rocky Flats. Strong winds also spread across metro Denver. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of January 1 to January 7: This Week in Denver Weather History

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December 2016 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Saturday, December 31st, 2016 6:37pm MDT
Winter's light on McKay Lake in Broomfield. (David Canfield)

Winter’s light on McKay Lake in Broomfield. (David Canfield)

The month of December can offer everything from bone dry conditions to bone chilling cold and monstrous snowstorms.  The weather and wildlife all afford an abundance of photo opportunities as our December photo slideshow shows.

Leaves have fallen from trees now and the landscape can sometimes look quite stark.  However it only takes a quick shot of snow to change that picture greatly.  Throw in gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, plenty of wildlife big and small, kids playing and much more and the month can be quite colorful and eventful.

  • Slideshow updated December 31, 2016
  • To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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Thornton’s weekend weather to bring varying temperatures, dry conditions

Friday, December 30th, 2016 5:30am MDT

The three day period will see some ups and down with the mercury as we start mild, cool down quite a bit, then warm up some. Overall conditions will be dry and calm.

For Friday we start out with clear skies to be followed by some increase in cloud cover later in the day. Temperatures will be heading toward a high near the 60 degree mark, well above normal.

A cold front arrives tonight and that is the cause for the increase in clouds and will serve to make Saturday cooler. Look for highs tomorrow around 40 degrees.

With the front gone, Sunday recovers nicely with mostly sunny skies and temperatures just a bit above normal.

All in all, not too bad of a weekend ahead.

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Lots of sun, seasonal temperatures for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, December 29th, 2016 5:05am MDT

We are going to enjoy a very pleasant winter day today. Temperatures will be a bit above normal and there will be lots of that beautiful, blue Colorado sky to see.

We start out the day quite cold having dipped into the teens in the pre-dawn hours. Once the sun arrives we will gradually warm up and head toward our high today in the mid-40s. Skies are going to be sunny with just a few clouds later. Conditions will be calm and winds light.

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Wednesday brings wind to Thornton, temps above normal

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 5:05am MDT

The wind that started yesterday evening and continued overnight will take a brief break for a period this morning. That respite will be short-lived and this afternoon will see things start blowing again.

We start out the day with mostly sunny skies and should see similar sky conditions above throughout. The warming, downslope wind kept temperatures very mild overnight and as a result, the morning temps in the forecast below may be a good bit off. We are assuming the winds will ease early allowing things to cool but they may not do so soon enough to make the mercury dip so far.

Later, look for temperatures today to top out near the 50 degree mark, perhaps warmer depending on the wind’s effect. As for that wind, it should ease for a period this morning then start picking back up by mid to late morning, peaking by mid-afternoon. Late evening should see it finally ease up.

Keep an eye on the temperature and wind speeds here.

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Thornton’s Tuesday offers mild temps, a few more clouds

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 5:12am MDT

If you’re back to work like a lot of people today, you will find you are missing out on a very nice day outside. Those of you with the day off, well, be sure to get outside and enjoy it!

We start out the day with clear skies then will see some high-level clouds build through the morning. Even with those clouds, mostly sunny skies will be the rule. Winds should be relatively calm for us today, initially out of the southwest, shifting to out of the northwest this afternoon. Temperatures will be climbing to a high in the low to mid-50s, about 10 degrees above average.

Have a great day today!

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