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Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado gets started

Sunday, April 11th, 2021 5:45am MDT

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

As is customary as we get further into spring, this coming week has been proclaimed Severe Weather Awareness Week.  This is an opportunity for the public to get reacquainted with the dangers severe weather presents in Colorado.

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

Just 12 years ago in what was Denver’s weather story of the year, we suffered through a period of unusually severe weather including a tornado that ripped through the Southlands Mall.

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

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

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

Just eight years ago, late summer flooding caused millions of dollars of damage across northeastern Colorado.  It was 45 years ago that thunderstorms brought a raging torrent of water down the Big Thompson and caused one of Colorado’s worst natural disasters.  Eleven years ago hail struck the Thornton area causing damage to homes and vehicles.

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

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

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April 11 to April 17: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, April 11th, 2021 5:30am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

We are far from finished with winter weather as is clearly shown in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.  There are many occurrences of snowstorms wreaking havoc in the Mile High City.  One such notable event was just five years ago when 1 to 2.5 feet of snow was dumped on the Front Range.

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.

9-11

In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 9.4 inches at Stapleton Airport.  The storm was accompanied by strong northeast winds gusting to 43 mph.

In 1953…heavy snowfall occurred at Stapleton Airport where 7.9 inches of snow were measured.  North winds gusted to 29 mph.

In 1994…6 to 14 inches of heavy snow buried much of eastern Colorado…closing many schools and I-70 from east of Denver to the Kansas border.  Rain changed to snow on the 9th…and snow continued through the 11th.  Snowfall totaled 5.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport…but maximum snow depth on the ground was only 3 inches on the 10th due to melting.  East winds gusted to 26 mph on the 9th.

In 1995…a major spring storm dumped 8 to 16 inches of snow in the foothills west of Denver.  Snowfall totaled 8.3 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…but most of the snow melted as it fell with the maximum snow depth on the ground of only 2 inches.  Five-to 6-inch snow accumulations occurred over southern portions of metro Denver and eastward onto the plains.  Northeast winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.  I-70 was closed for several hours east of Watkins to the Kansas border due to drifting snow and near whiteout conditions.  High temperature of only 29 degrees on the 10th was a record low maximum for the date.

9-12

In 1901…rain changed to snow and totaled 10.8 inches in downtown Denver over the 4 days.  Northeast winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 31 mph on the 11th. Temperatures hovered in the 30’s.

10-11

In 1979…a heavy snow storm produced near-blizzard conditions across eastern Colorado with 10 to 20 inches in the foothills and 4 to 8 inches over the plains.  Winds to 35 mph combined with the snow to produce drifts at least 3 feet deep…closing many roads and causing power outages. Travel was interrupted south of Denver when the storm closed both I-25 and State Highway 83.  Snowfall totaled only 3.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted 37 mph…causing some blowing snow on the 11th.

In 2001…a potent spring storm dumped heavy snow over metro Denver and the adjacent foothills…while a blizzard roared across the plains to the east of Denver.  Snowfall amounts ranged up to a foot and a half across metro Denver and in the foothills.  North to northwest winds at sustained speeds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph piled the snow into drifts of 3 to 6 feet deep.  I-25 southbound was closed at lincoln avenue.  I-70 to the east was closed at gun club road.  The combination of heavy wet snow and damaging winds resulted in widespread electrical outages. Denver International Airport was completely shut down for the first time in its brief 6-year history.  Power surges and outages crippled the airport’s massive computer systems. The airport was closed at 5:00 am and did not re-open until mid-afternoon on the 11th.  The power outages resulted in businesses and schools closing.  Over all of northeastern Colorado…there were 220 thousand customers without power… The worst outage in Xcel energy’s history.  Repairs totaled 1.6 million dollars.  Across metro Denver…snow totals included:  18 inches in southeast Aurora…16 inches at centennial airport and Parker…14 inches at Broomfield… 13 inches in Louisville…12 inches at Lakewood and Morrison… 11 inches at Ken Caryl and Thornton…10 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport and in Wheat Ridge…9 inches in Westminster…and 8 inches in Littleton. Thunderstorms preceded the start of the snow on the afternoon of the 10th and were embedded in the snow storm during the early morning hours of the 11th at Denver International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 60 mph on the 11th.  Snow storm totals in the foothills included:  17 inches at Genesee…16 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Intercanyon…13 inches in Coal Creek Canyon and near Evergreen…11 inches at Aspen Springs and Chief Hosa…10 inches at Blackhawk…and 9 inches atop Crow Hill.

In 2005…a strong spring storm produced blizzard conditions in areas to the east of Denver and south of I-76 and near- blizzard conditions across metro Denver.  The combination of heavy snow and strong winds forced the closure of Denver International Airport…stranding thousands of travelers. Long stretches of I-25…I-70…and I-76 were also closed due to extensive blowing and drifting snow.  Snow amounts ranged from 1 to 2.5 feet in and near the eastern foothills and over the Palmer Divide.  Drifts were 2 to 5 feet in depth.  Downed power lines caused scattered electrical outages.  Storm total snowfall amounts in and near the foothills included:  31 inches near Conifer; 27.5 inches in Aspen Springs; 25.5 inches near Sedalia and Blackhawk; 25 inches near Bergen Park and around Genesee; 24.5 inches at Pine Junction and Roxborough park; 24 inches southwest of Boulder; 23.5 inches at Ken Caryl; 23 inches atop Crow Hill and near Larkspur…Evergreen…and Nederland; 21 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 18 inches at Eldorado Springs and near Castle Rock; 17 inches near Chatfield Reservoir and Perry Park; and 16 inches near Jamestown.  Across the city storm total snow amounts were:  22.5 inches in Aurora; 22 inches at Bennett; 20 inches near Arapahoe park and in centennial… Littleton…and south Denver; 17.5 inches near Bennett; 16 inches in Thornton; 15 inches in Lakewood; 14.5 inches in wheat ridge and near Englewood; 14 inches at Lone Rree and in Arvada; and 9.9 inches at Denver Stapleton.  North winds were sustained from 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.

10-12

In 1997…a pacific storm produced heavy snow on the 10th and the 11th in and near the foothills with 6 to 8 inches at Louisville and turkey creek canyon…5 inches at Morrison… And only 3.5 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.  Northeast winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver International Airport.  The storm also brought unseasonably cold weather with 5 new temperature records equaled or broken.  Record low temperatures of 8 and 6 occurred on the 11th and 12th.  Record low maximum temperatures of 20…19…and 30 occurred on the 10th…11th… And 12th respectively.  This was also only the second time on record that the temperature had failed to reach the freezing mark for 3 consecutive days in April.

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.

11

In 1954…strong and gusty southeast winds blew all day. Winds as high as 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1966…a tornado was sighted in an open area of southeast Denver.  Slight wind damage in the area was not directly attributable to the tornado.  Later in the day…a pilot reported a funnel cloud 10 miles southwest of Denver. Hail to 1/2 inch in diameter fell at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…strong Chinook winds gusted to 72 mph at Rocky Flats south of Boulder; speeds reached 70 mph in both Lakewood and Boulder.  At Stapleton International Airport… Northwest wind gusts to 52 mph were recorded.

In 2004…an afternoon cold front produced north winds sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 53 mph at Denver International Airport.  Light snowfall was 1.1 inches at Denver Stapleton through the evening.

11-12

In 1876…heavy snow began during the late afternoon of the 11th and continued through the night.  Light snow ended around mid-morning of the 12th.  The amount of snow was not measured…but precipitation totaled 0.70 inch…which would be around 7 inches of estimated snowfall.  Strong winds accompanied the heavy snowfall.

In 1896…post-frontal light rain changed to light snow overnight…but totaled only a trace.  Northeast winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts as high as 62 mph on the 12th.

In 1991…a strong pacific storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver with amounts of 6 to 15 inches at lower elevations and up to almost 2 feet in the foothills west of Denver.  Snowfall reports included:  21 inches at Idaho Springs…19 inches at Aspen Springs…15 inches in Arvada… 14 inches at Rollinsville…10 inches in Boulder…8 inches in Aurora…and 7.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 24 mph on the 11th.

12

In 1906…north winds were sustained to 52 mph in the city.

In 1916…post-frontal north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph.  Light rain also occurred.

In 1964…strong gusty winds raked metro Denver.  Wind gusts estimated to 60 mph or higher caused widespread damage to buildings and power lines.  Blowing dust closed some roads. A wind gust to 46 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1967…microburst winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…wind gusts to 60 mph were reported in and near the foothills.  Wind gusts to 44 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1987…snow fell over metro Denver…causing traffic tie-ups on the roads and at Stapleton International Airport where some flights were delayed for 90 minutes.  I-25 south of Denver was closed for a time due to numerous traffic accidents.  While only 4.2 inches of snow fell in Denver… Foothills to the southwest received 6 to 12 inches of snow. North winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the maximum snow depth on the ground was only 2 inches due to melting.

12-13

In 1922…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow…which totaled 7.0 inches in downtown Denver.  This was the second snow in 3 days.  North winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 31 mph on the 12th.

In 1993…heavy snow occurred in the foothills northwest of Denver with 21 inches recorded at the Eldora Ski Area. Only 1.9 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 32 mph on the 13th. Most of the precipitation from the storm fell as rain across the city with 0.62 inch of precipitation measured at Stapleton International Airport.

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

In 1873…heavy snow started with fresh and brisk north winds around 9:00 am…and continued heavy until 2:00 pm and lightly until 7:00 pm.  Temperatures were below freezing for most of the day…but the snow melted almost as fast as it fell.  Precipitation from the melted snow totaled 0.70 inches.  This would be around 7.0 inches of estimated snowfall.

In 1912…a severe wind and dust storm struck the city. West winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph.

In 1967…a late season snow storm affected areas along the eastern foothills from Denver south.  Snowfall between 2 and 3 feet closed I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs. In Denver…snowfall was only 3.6 inches…but precipitation from the storm totaled 3.25 inches…the greatest 24-hour precipitation ever recorded during the month of April. North winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport.  Temperatures across the city were in the 30’s most of the day.

In 1974…a major spring snow storm dumped 8.5 inches of heavy wet snow at Stapleton International Airport where north wind gusts to 38 mph produced some blowing snow.  The storm caused minor damage to public utilities.

In 1986…strong winds howled across metro Denver.  Boulder reported a peak gust of 79 mph.  Wind gusts of 55 to 60 mph were common across all of metro Denver.  There were power outages.  The wind toppled a brick wall under construction in Arvada…and also damaged luxury sky boxes under construction atop mile high stadium in Denver.  Road signs in Arvada were damaged.  West winds gusted to 56 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2014…a storm system brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 13 inches near Conifer; 12.5 inches near Ward; 11.5 inches near Nederland; 10 inches near Allenspark…Golden and Gold Hill; with 8.5 inches at Roxborough State Park.

» Click here to read the rest of April 11 to April 17: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend to offer some unsettled conditions, some pleasant ones

Friday, April 9th, 2021 5:08am MDT

A little bit of a mixed bag of weather for us over the three-day period. We will have two days of cool temps and breezy winds broken up in the middle by a pleasant, spring day.

For Friday, the early morning might bring a few drops of rain / flakes of snow but that is pretty unlikely. We will see clouds increase this morning leading to mostly / partly sunny skies. Highs will top out in the mid to upper 50s. The biggest story will be very breezy conditions that will be with us throughout the day. Tonight, winds will settle, skies will clear and lows will drop to around freezing.

Saturday looks to be the most pleasant day of the weekend. Sunny skies will be above with temperatures pushing close to 70 degrees. Winds might be just a bit breezy in the afternoon. Saturday night into Sunday morning, skies will be mostly clear with lows in the mid-30s.

Sunday sees another weak system make itself felt. Mostly sunny skies will be above but again with some breezy winds through much of the day. Highs will be in the mid to upper 50s.

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Mild temperatures, some breezy winds for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, April 8th, 2021 5:10am MDT

A pretty decent day ahead for us. We will enjoy a good dose of sun and temps above normal although there will be some breezy winds.

Sunny to mostly sunny skies start us off and will be with us through the morning. The afternoon may bring a few clouds. High temperatures will top out about 10 degrees above normal and near 70 degrees. Winds will be light initially then come a bit breezy in the afternoon.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows near 40 degrees.

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Tuesday will bring temps a bit above normal along with some breezy winds

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 4:39am MDT

Following a nice batch of rain showers yesterday evening, we dry out and clear up today. Temperatures will comfortable but, unfortunately, coupled with breezy winds.

Partly clear skies start off with cloud cover easing through the morning. The afternoon will see a few more clouds build then decrease again in the evening. High temperatures today will top out in the low 60s.

The most notable weather feature today will be breezy winds that will be increasing this morning, topping out around 3:00pm and then settling down in the late afternoon and evening.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows in the mid-30s.

Keep an eye on the wind speeds with our live weather gauges here.

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Thornton’s weather turns cooler, becomes unsettled Tuesday

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 5:02am MDT

With the arrival of a cold front, our record-setting heat will subside and bring more seasonal type weather today. Temps cool to near normal levels and we expect some light showers later in the day.

Mostly sunny skies start us off with a slow increase in coverage this morning. Then, this afternoon, coverage becomes thicker leading to partly clear conditions. Winds will be light initially but be picking up speed by mid-morning and become breezy by noon and through the rest of the day. High temperatures today will reach the mid to upper 50s.

As for precipitation, after noon we stand see some light rain showers, perhaps even a bit of a rumble of thunder mixed in there. Best chances for rain come from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Some additional light precipitation may be seen through the evening and first half of tonight, perhaps even a dusting of snow late.

Skies will be partly clear overnight with lows around the freezing mark.

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One more very mild day Monday but with a good bit of cloud cover

Monday, April 5th, 2021 4:54am MDT

Hopefully you got outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather this past weekend. Today, we will continue with the mild temps but with more clouds.

The day starts off mostly sunny but cloud cover will increase soon after sunrise leading to partly sunny skies for most of the day. High temperatures will top out in the low 80s, well above the average high of 59 degrees for the date. Overall conditions will be calm and dry, perhaps with some breezy winds in the mid to late afternoon.

Tonight, lows will drop to the low 40s under partly clear skies.

Looking ahead at the rest of your workweek, things turn cooler and become unsettled tomorrow with a good chance for showers. Temperatures will be closer to normal Wednesday, we see a bump up Thursday, then Friday cool down again. Get more details in the extended forecast here.

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Denver sets record high temperature for April 4

Sunday, April 4th, 2021 7:26pm MDT

Record High Temperature

Following on yesterday’s record-tying mercury reading, Denver bested that with a record-setting high temperature today.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City’s official high temperature reached 80 degrees. This easily breaks the previous record high for April 4 of 76 degrees set in 1959.

Here in Thornton, we were even warmer with a high of 81 degrees.

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Thornton’s April 2021 weather preview: Winter, spring and summer all in one month

Sunday, April 4th, 2021 6:08am MDT

Thornton's April weather previewApril marks a transition between winter and summer for most of the country but for Denver it is especially true as we can see a stunning variety of weather.

The proverbial April showers are certainly a possibility for Denver. Snow? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? You bet – all can happen!

For good measure throw in a chance for hail and even dust storms and April gives every type of weather condition you could like – or hate.

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April 4 to April 10: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, April 4th, 2021 5:57am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

As we discussed in our April preview, the month is Denver’s third snowiest month behind March and November.  Our look back in Denver weather history for this week clearly shows that the month can bring not only snow, but lots of it.  If we look just at the last decade or so, we see significant snowstorms occurring in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2005.  Will that happen this year?  Also notable are damaging wind events including one in 1999 that caused $20 million in damage.

31-4

In 1905…much rain and some snow occurred over the 5 days behind an apparent cold front.  Precipitation totaled 2.00 inches.  There was a thunderstorm on the 3rd.  Snowfall totaled 3.0 inches on the 4th.  North winds were sustained to 34 mph on the 1st and 2nd and to 30 mph on the 3rd. High temperatures during the period ranged from the upper 30’s to the lower 40’s.  Low temperatures were in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.

2-4

In 1934…snowfall totaled 8.2 inches in downtown Denver from the afternoon of the 2nd through the early morning of the 4th.  Most of the snow…6.8 inches…fell on the 3rd. Rain changed to snow behind a strong cold front on the afternoon of the 2nd.  The cold front first appeared as a long-cigar shaped squall cloud to the north of the city. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 33 mph with gusts to 43 mph produced much blowing dust and an abrupt fall in temperature…from a high of 68 on the 2nd to a low of 22 on the 3rd.

In 1964…a major storm dumped 10.9 inches of heavy wet snow on Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 35 mph.  Most of the snow…10.0 inches…fell on the 3rd.

2-5

In 1918…snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 3rd and 4th.  Temperatures were in the 20’s and 30’s.  Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 2nd.

3-4

In 2017…a storm system brought a period of locally heavy snow to portions of the Front Range Foothills. The heaviest snowfall occurred in and near the foothills of Clear Creek… southern Boulder…northern Jefferson and Gilpin Counties. Storm totals included: 16 inches at Eldorado Springs…15 inches at Echo Lake…14 inches at St. Mary`s Glacier and Winter Park Ski Area…13.5 inches at Genesee…13 inches near Tiny Town…12.5 inches near Allenspark and Idaho Springs and 11 inches near Conifer. Across the rest of the Front Range mountains and foothills…the western suburbs of Denver and Boulder…storm totals ranged from 4 to 8 inches. At Denver Interational Airport…only 0.1 inch of snowfall was observed.

3-5

In 1996…the foothills west of Denver received 6 to 8 inches of new snow.  Only 0.8 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…along with some freezing drizzle on the 4th and 5th.  North-northeast winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport on the 3rd.

3-6

In 1898…snowfall totaled 8.7 inches in downtown Denver over the 4 days.  Northeast winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph on the 3rd.

In 1983…a prolonged heavy snow storm blanketed the area along with very cold temperatures.  The greatest amounts of snow fell in the foothills where 24 to 42 inches were measured.  A foot of snow fell in Boulder.  Snow fell for 50 consecutive hours at Stapleton International Airport on the 3rd through the 5th with a total snowfall of 8.8 inches and a maximum accumulation on the ground of 6 inches on the 5th.  In Denver…the mercury failed to rise above freezing for 3 consecutive days…on the 4th…5th…and 6th…for the first time ever in April.  Five daily temperature records were set from the 4th through the 6th. Record low temperatures of 12 degrees occurred on the 5th with 7 degrees on the 6th.  Record low maximum temperatures of 25 degrees occurred on the 4th…27 degrees on the 5th… And 28 degrees on the 6th.

4

In 1888…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph.

In 1915…Chinook winds from the northwest were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 43 mph.  The winds warmed the temperature from a low of 44 degrees to a high of 67 degrees.

In 1935…light dust enveloped the city during the day on southwest winds sustained to 23 mph with gusts to 27 mph.

In 1985…north winds gusted to 53 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to less than a mile by blowing dust and a snow shower.

In 1987…microburst winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1997…heavy snow developed over western portions of metro Denver and along the palmer divide.  As a strong surface low pressure system intensified over the plains…moist upslope flow developed across metro Denver producing strong north winds at 20 to 40 mph and some blowing snow. Snowfall totaled 12 inches at Conifer with 4 to 7 inches at Crow Hill…Evergreen…and Morrison.  Thunderstorm rain changed to snow across the city with 2.0 inches of snowfall measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 0.70 inch.  North-northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport.

4-5

In 1900…rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 7.8 inches in downtown Denver overnight.  A thunderstorm on the 4th produced hail.  Precipitation totaled 1.50 inches.

In 1911…north to northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph on the 4th and to 41 mph on the 5th.

In 2002…a whitish-colored haze engulfed metro Denver on both days.  The haze was the result of a huge wind storm that kicked up dust and sand from the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China during the latter half of March.  Westerly winds aloft transported the dust cloud across the Pacific Ocean and over the western United States…depositing some of it on Colorado.

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

In 1873…a heavy rain and hail shower in the afternoon changed to snow…and accumulated to 6 inches on the streets at 9:00 pm.  Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 0.56 inch.

In 1925…southeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 50 mph.  This was the strongest wind of the month that year.

In 1950…a well developed dust devil was observed 4 to 5 miles south-southwest of Stapleton Airport for about 8 minutes.

In 1977…the earliest date of the last freeze of the season occurred when the temperature dipped to a low of 31 degrees.

In 1988…a wind gust to 74 mph was recorded at Rollinsville. West winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…a heavy…wet snow fell in many areas in and along the Colorado Front Range.  Snowfall amounts of 4 to 7 inches were common around the Boulder area with lesser amounts elsewhere.  Only 2.0 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 28 mph.  Icy roads contributed to numerous fender-benders and a 20-vehicle pileup near the junction of I-70 and I-25 in the city.

In 2000…high winds developed in the Front Range foothills… From about I-70 northward.  Peak wind gusts included:  83 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…75 mph near Louisville…and 70 mph at the national wind technology center…south of Boulder.  West winds gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2005…a surface low pressure center deepened over eastern Colorado and produced damaging high winds across metro Denver.  The strong wind gusts ranging from 50 to 70 mph damaged roofs and fences.  Cross-winds blew several empty semi-trailers on their sides along I-70 and I-76 east of Denver.  Peak north wind gusts included:  60 mph near Bennett and Keenesburg…59 mph near Brighton…and 53 mph at Denver International Airport.  Over the palmer divide south of Denver…the high winds combined with heavy snow to produce blizzard conditions.  Snowfall accumulations ranged from 3 to 8 inches over eastern Douglas and western Elbert Counties.  Snowfall totals included:  8 inches at Sedalia…4 inches near Castle Rock…and 3.5 inches near Franktown.

5-6

In 1939…3.0 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver.  North winds were sustained to 34 mph on the 5th and to 26 mph on the 6th.  The strong winds caused considerable drifting of snow.  Several highways leading into the city were closed during the height of the storm due to poor visibility. Streets and highways became coated with ice in places. The temperature dipped to 11 degrees early on the 6th. This was the coldest reading of the month that year. Most vegetation was not far enough advanced to be injured by the cold temperatures…although a few buds froze on early shrubbery.

In 1949…strong winds in Boulder caused limited minor damage. West-northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph with some higher gusts at Stapleton Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of April 4 to April 10: This week in Denver weather history

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