Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedFri, 21-Oct-2016 12:25pm MDT 


ThorntonWeather.com on Twitter

ThorntonWeather.com on Facebook


Weather Geek Stuff - weathergeekstuff.com

Rocky Mountain Weather Network

Tony's Takes Photography


Recent News and Posts

Summer-like weather for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 5:15am MDT

Dry and very warm temperatures are going to be the main feature of today’s weather. Similar conditions will continue through the weekend and into next week.

Sunny skies kick things off today and while there may be a few clouds this afternoon, they won’t be amounting to much of an intrusion. Overall conditions will be calm and dry.

Temperatures will be warming up quickly and we can expect an afternoon high in the mid-80s.

With high pressure building over the region, we are going to have several days with above normal temperatures ahead. Tomorrow looks to be quite similar to today, Saturday cools a bit but temps remain at or just above normal then we should warm back to the 80s for Sunday and the first half of next week.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

May 2016 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 8:01am MDT
Springtime means not only is the weather active, so too is the wildlife. Great Horned Owl owlets in Thornton. (Shannon Dizmang)

Springtime means not only is the weather active, so too is the wildlife. Great Horned Owl owlets in Thornton. (Shannon Dizmang)

Colorado’s famously highly variable weather seems to showcase itself during the month of May when a variety of weather conditions can be seen.  This provides a prime opportunity for photos of everything weather to flora to fauna.

The month of May can bring extremes.  Snow is not entirely uncommon during the month but more common is severe weather, particularly in the latter half of the month.  Thunderstorms become more frequent and their associated hazards – lightning, wind, hail and tornadoes – are usual visitors.  Providing additional subjects for pictures are the emerging spring flowers and our abundant wildlife.

  • Slideshow updated May 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!

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Following a wet start, Wednesday warms up then a chance for storms later

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 5:07am MDT

Well that was a bit of a surprise. A moister than expected atmosphere coupled with instability brought widespread rain to the Front Range in the early morning hours. Thornton managed 1.24” from about 2:00am to 5:00am. Needless to say, you can turn off those sprinklers for a few days.

Showers will be moving off to the east this morning and the middle part of the day will be dry. Look for the sun to gradually appear with partly to mostly sunny skies at mid-day.

The afternoon brings more clouds and a chance to see thunderstorms and showers from about 2:00pm into the evening. Temperatures will be warming up to highs in the low 70s.

Warmer and drier weather conditions look to be the general rule starting tomorrow and lasting through the weekend. Check out the extended forecast here.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Thornton’s Tuesday brings cooler temps, scattered showers

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 5:03am MDT

With a cold front having pushed through overnight, our weather becomes a bit more unsettled today. Temperatures cool quite a bit and we see a good chance for showers and thunderstorms.

We start with mostly cloudy skies above and expect a relatively solid layer of stratus clouds to stick with us throughout the day. Temperatures will be topping out around 67 degrees, about 10 degrees below normal.

This morning some drizzle and light showers will be possible. Come the afternoon, as the atmosphere becomes a bit unstable, shower activity is expected to increase. There may be some thunderstorm activity along with that as well. Things should start drying out after midnight.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

May 29 to June 4: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, May 29th, 2016 6:40am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

May 29 to June 4: This week in Denver weather history

There are many notable events on our look back at the weather history books for this week but one in particular stands out. It was 30 years ago this week, on June 3, that the infamous Thornton tornado struck. This twister still stands as the most damaging tornado to have ever struck the Denver metro area.


In 1995…a cool period with light morning showers and moderate to heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms pushed rivers already swollen from mountain snow melt over their banks causing minor flooding. Streams and rivers such as the South Platte and Boulder creek flooded meadowlands…bike paths…roads near streams…and other low lying areas. No significant property damage was reported and crop damage was unknown. Rainfall totaled 1.79 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport and only 1.51 inches at Denver International Airport.


In 1934…the low temperature dipped to only 66 degrees…the all-time record highest minimum temperature for the month of May.

In 1958…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 56 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1964…heavy rain caused flooding in the Harvey Gulch area of southeast Denver. The high water damaged homes… Businesses…streets…and bridges. At Stapleton International Airport…1.33 inches of rain were measured with 1.76 inches total rainfall on the 29th and 30th. The heavy rain during the last week of the month was the first significant precipitation since April 3rd.

In 1967…3/4 to 1 inch diameter hail stones fell in the city of Denver…but caused no reported damage. Hail as large as 3/4 inch was measured at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1975…the heaviest last snowfall of the season occurred when 5.6 inches of snow were measured at Stapleton International Airport. Rain all day on the 28th changed to snow on the 29th and accumulated to a depth of 4 inches on the ground. Northwest winds gusted to 31 mph. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) on the 28th and 29th totaled 1.48 inches.

In 1982…one man was killed and two others injured by a lightning strike as they stood under a tree in the city of Denver’s Washington Park.

In 1987…7/8 inch diameter hail fell near Castle Rock.

In 1990…thunderstorms over metro Denver produced several small funnel clouds and two small tornadoes. The first tornado (f0) touched down in northwest Denver and caused roof damage to a house and snapped off the tops of several trees. A second tornado (f1) touched down in Northglenn and moved into Thornton damaging a group of self storage garages…several vehicles…a wooden fence…several trees… And the roof of an auto parts store. No injuries were reported. The storms also caused minor street flooding across northern and western sections of metro Denver. Rainfall totals ranged from 1 to 3 inches. Lightning started a small fire at a home in northwest Denver. The fire was confined to the front rooms and was quickly extinguished. Snow plows were used to clear 2 to 4 inches of pea to marble size hail from a stretch of U.S. Highway 285 in Turkey Creek Canyon. Lightning felled a tree in northeast Denver…while strong winds snapped off several large tree limbs in the same area. Thunderstorm rainfall totaled 0.82 inch at Stapleton International Airport where southwest winds gusted to 30 mph.

In 1991…lightning struck a 13 year old boy in a field in Fort Lupton. The boy was in critical condition in an area hospital for 2 days before recovering.

In 1995…lightning struck a soccer goal post and injured 6 adults viewing a soccer game in Arvada. Although no one received a direct hit from the lightning…all escaped with only minor injuries…except one woman who was hospitalized.

In 1996…large hail…3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter… Struck Lakewood and west Denver. Lightning sparked a small fire when it struck an oil storage tank 5 miles west of Brighton.

In 2001…lightning sparked a fire in an apartment complex in Aurora…forcing the evacuation of 24 units. Most of the fire damage was confined to the attic. Damage was estimated at 100 thousand dollars.

In 2004…a man and his son were struck by lightning while practicing on the driving range at the Meadows Golf Club in southwest metro Denver. The father was killed by the bolt…and his 16 year old son seriously injured. Three other people standing nearby received only minor injuries.

In 2010…hail up to 7/8 inch in diameter was reported in Broomfield.


In 1894…heavy rain combined with snowmelt runoff caused widespread flooding over the South Platte River basin. Rainfall was heaviest in the foothills where 5 to 8 inches were measured over the 4 days. Heavy rainfall west of Boulder flooded mining towns and damaged mining properties. In the canyons above Boulder…railroads and roads were washed out along with many bridges. The floodwaters spread into central Boulder and covered a wide area from University Hill north to near Mapleton Hill to a maximum depth of 8 feet. Many houses were swept away…and every bridge in Boulder was destroyed. A few people…trapped in their homes by the floodwaters… Had to be rescued. However…the gradual rise of the flood waters resulted in only one death. Boulder creek spread to a width of nearly one mile in the pasture land to the east of Boulder. Extensive flooding on left hand creek north of Boulder washed away railroad and wagon bridges. The heavy cloudbursts caused flooding on bear creek…which washed away bridges…railroad tracks…and structures and destroyed the canyon roadway. Morrison sustained the heaviest flood damage on bear creek. In Denver…rainfall totaled only 1.50 inches on the 30th and 31st…but the heavy rainfall on upstream tributaries of the South Platte River caused the river to rise as much as 10 feet above the low water mark in the city…which caused some flooding of pasture land downstream to a depth of 6 feet near Brighton.


In 1875…a windstorm lasting almost all day produced sustained winds to 42 mph.

In 1935…southeast winds sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 34 mph produced a moderate duststorm during the afternoon.

In 1938…heavy thunderstorm rain and hail pummeled downtown Denver during the evening hours. Rainfall accumulated to 1.63 inches. Hail accumulated to a depth of 18 inches.

In 1948…a localized thunderstorm caused flooding on sand creek in Aurora and northeast Denver. Rainfall was only 0.49 inch in downtown Denver where light hail also fell.

In 1963…a golfer died of injuries received when struck by lightning on a golf course southwest of Denver. A warehouse in Denver was damaged and its contents destroyed by a lightning-caused fire.

In 1967…up to 4.00 inches of rain in Lakewood and wheat ridge caused flooding of roads and basements. Water was several feet deep in some yards. Many streets were temporarily closed. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell in Wheat Ridge. Hail piled up to 2 feet deep in some low lying areas of east and southeast Denver. Snowplows were employed to remove the hail. Stapleton International Airport…where west winds gusted to 39 mph…received 1.51 inches of rain and hail…which forced the closure of the runways for an hour. Hail stones to 3/4 inch in diameter were measured at Buckley Field. A funnel cloud was sighted near south Wadsworth Blvd and Bear Creek. A tornado touched down briefly in the vicinity of 60th and 62nd avenues near north Washington Street. The storm uprooted trees and damaged one building. Doors were ripped from a business house…widely scattering irrigation pipe. In addition…a total of 3 funnel clouds were sighted in that area.

In 1970…hail up to 1 inch in diameter fell at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…a single thunderstorm crossed south metro Denver producing a funnel cloud 2 miles south of Arapahoe road and Broadway. The storm moved over Buckley Field producing a funnel cloud and 1/2 inch diameter hail. As the storm moved northeast of the city…a large tornado touched down near east 59th Ave and tower road and was on the ground for 20 minutes. It demolished a 60-foot-long cinderblock cow shed…tore a wall from a machinery shed…tore shingles off the roof of a farmhouse nearby…and felled 12 trees on one farm. A boy in a feed shed 20 feet from a destroyed building was not injured.

In 1977…3/4 to 1 inch diameter hail fell at or near Stapleton International Airport. One inch to baseball size hail fell in south Denver…damaging some homes and extensively damaging some airplanes at Arapahoe County airport…now centennial airport. Hail covered highways to a depth of 6 to 8 inches in south Denver.

In 1978…two funnel clouds were sighted 5 miles south of Stapleton International Airport. Hail up to 1 1/4 inches in diameter was reported in wheat ridge and northwest Denver. Only 1/2 inch diameter hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…golf ball size hail fell at the junction of I-25 and I-225. One inch diameter hail fell in Littleton.

In 1990…a line of severe thunderstorms crossed metro Denver… Producing wind gusts to 60 mph and scattered areas of pea to marble size hail. Small trees and branches were blown down by the strong thunderstorm winds…which also caused minor power outages across southern and eastern sections of metro Denver. The strong winds uprooted a 25- to 30-foot tree in the acres green subdivision of northern Douglas County. The tree blocked a busy street for several hours. A pilot reported hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter covering the ground near the north end of a runway at Stapleton International Airport. Heavy rain caused a rock and mud slide that partially closed the Boulder canyon highway 10 miles west of Boulder. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2001…lightning ignited a fire which destroyed a luxury home on bear mountain near Evergreen. Estimated damage was set at 1 million dollars.

In 2003…flash flooding occurred in the Hayman Fire burn area after as much as 1 inch of rain fell in 30 minutes. The heavy rainfall washed out many access roads and closed State Highway 67 between Deckers and west creek. A 3-foot wall of water ran down Fourmile Creek from the YMCA camp at Shady Brook…damaging one building in the camp and flooding roads. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell near Roggen in weld County.

In 2005…lightning struck as least 20 homes in Westminster. Only minor damage was reported. Severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 1.25 inches in and near Fort Lupton and hail to 3/4 inch near Indian Hills in Jefferson County.

In 2014…heavy rainfall…nearly 1.2 inches in 30 minutes… produced localized street flooding in Boulder. The heavy rain coupled with the already swollen creeks from the spring runoff along Boulder Creek resulted in the flooding. Street flooding was reported at 6th St and Canyon Blvd and at Baseline Road. Some cars were stranded in the high water in low lying areas and one person reported being trapped in his vehicle.


In 1935…heavy thunderstorm rains overnight caused flash flooding east of the city on both Kiowa and Bijou Creeks… Resulting in a total of 9 deaths. Most of the damage was on Kiowa Creek where there were more structures. The water rose rapidly during the storm…ripping houses and stores from their foundations and sweeping them downstream. Precipitation in Denver totaled only 0.01 inch. Hail fell in the city for a short time. The hail was very small and caused no damage.

In 1983…a late storm of rain and snow hit the Front Range. Over an inch of rain fell at some spots…and above 7 thousand feet…1 to 5 inches of snow whitened the ground. Some snowflakes even fell in the western suburbs of metro Denver on the night of the 30th.

In 2002…unseasonably warm weather at the end of the month resulted in 3 temperature records. High temperature of 91 degrees on the 30th equaled the record maximum for the date. Low temperature of 61 degrees on the 31st was a record high minimum for the date. High temperature of 93 degrees on the 31st was a record maximum for the date.

» Click here to read the rest of May 29 to June 4: This week in Denver weather history

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Following a damp Friday, Memorial Day weekend to warm up and dry out

Friday, May 27th, 2016 5:38am MDT

As our latest weather maker moves to the east, we will still feel some lingering effects today. However, in its wake, we will enjoy a largely pleasant and seasonal three-day weekend.

For Friday, cloudy to mostly cloudy skies will be above. Most of the rain has shifted to our east but some lingering sprinkles and showers will be possible into this evening. Temperatures will be cool with highs in the low 60s expected.

Saturday will see things brighten up and dry out. Mostly sunny skies start things off then a few more clouds arrive in the PM. Temperatures will be warming to the low 70s. The afternoon brings just a slight chance for thunderstorms.

On Sunday we see more of the same but with temperatures warming slightly. Mostly sunny skies will be above initially then the usual cloud buildup in the afternoon. Temperatures will top out in the mid-70s, right near average. PM thunderstorms will be a possibility.

Memorial Day closes out the long weekend with a day similar to Sunday. Temperatures remain right near normal and we see a chance for PM thunderstorms.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the warming weather. Most importantly, take time out to acknowledge the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation. They are the reason for Memorial Day and we are forever in their debt.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

National Weather Service rates damaging May 24 tornadoes

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 12:46pm MDT
Damage from a May 24, 2016 tornado is seen on a farm near Platner, Colorado. (National Weather Service)

Damage from a May 24, 2016 tornado is seen on a farm near Platner, Colorado. (National Weather Service)

The thunder rolled across eastern Colorado on Tuesday, May 24 – as did hail, wind and tornadoes.  Washington County saw the most intense activity with multiple twisters including one damaging tornado that has been rated an EF-1.

The National Weather Service sent survey teams to the area to evaluate the damage inflicted by Mother Nature.

They found two tornadoes of relatively weak EF-0 strength occurred near Akron.  Neither any caused damage.

Near Platner though, a more powerful tornado ripped through a farm at about 6:50pm that evening.  The twister lifted a pole barn, destroying it.  Debris was found one mile away.

Wind and hail ripped across an area six miles wide near Akron causing extensive damage.  Farm equipment was toppled and a barn heavily damaged by the wind while houses saw the siding punctured and windows broken from hail.

Below are images taken by the National Weather Service of the area.

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
1056 AM MDT THU MAY 26 2016


.OVERVIEW...A long-lived supercell thunderstorm moved across
eastern Colorado and produced two EF-1 tornadoes and two EF-0
tornadoes in Washington County on May 24, 2016. Widespread wind
and hail damage also occurred, with a swath of damage nearly 6
miles wide at some points east and northeast of Akron.

.Washington County tornado near Platner...

Rating:                 EF-1
Estimated peak wind:    86-110 mph
Path length /Statute/:  0.9 miles
Path width /Maximum/:   20 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start date:             May 24 2016
Start time:             650 PM MDT
Start location:         1 mile northeast of Platner / Washington County / CO
Start Lat/Lon:          40.1647 / -103.0467

End date:               May 24 2016
End time:               655 PM MDT
End location:           1 mile east of Platner / Washington County / CO
End_lat/lon:            40.155 / -103.0366

This tornado struck one farm, lofting and completely destroying
a pole shed, and also damaging trees. Power lines were snapped
just to the southeast of the farm.

.Washington County tornado near Yuma County line...

Rating:                 EF-1
Estimated peak wind:    110 mph
Path length /Statute/:  0.1 mile
Path width /Maximum/:   90 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start date:             May 24 2016
Start time:             715 PM MDT
Start location:         9 miles north/northwest of Yuma / Washington County / CO
Start Lat/Lon:          40.2350 / -102.7943

End date:               May 24 2016
End time:               716 PM MDT
End location:           9 miles north/northwest of Yuma / Washington County / CO
End_lat/lon:            40.2348 / -102.7936

This tornado struck one farm, destroying a pole shed. Slight roof damage
occurred to the house, along with some tree damage.

.Washington County tornado 1 mile Northeast of Akron...

Rating:                 EF-0
Estimated peak wind:    65-85 mph
Path length /Statute/:  0.0 miles
Path width /Maximum/:   10 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start date:             May 24 2016
Start time:             644 PM MDT
Start location:         1 mile southeast of Akron / Washington County / CO
Start Lat/Lon:          40.1490 / -103.1981

End date:               May 24 2016
End time:               644 PM MDT
End location:           1 mile southeast of Akron / Washington County / CO
End_lat/lon:            40.1490 / -103.1981

Brief touchdown with no damage.

.Washington County tornado 1 mile Southeast of Akron...

Rating:                 EF-0
Estimated peak wind:    65-85 mph
Path length /Statute/:  0.0 miles
Path width /Maximum/:   10 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start date:             May 24 2016
Start time:             647 PM MDT
Start location:         1 mile northeast of Akron / Washington County / CO
Start Lat/Lon:          40.1708 / -103.1959

End date:               May 24 2016
End time:               647 PM MDT
End location:           1 mile northeast of Akron / Washington County / CO
End_lat/lon:            40.1708 / -103.1959

Brief touchdown with no damage.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale Classifies
Tornadoes into the following categories.

EF0...Weak...... 65 to 85 mph
EF1...Weak...... 86 to 110 mph
EF2...Strong.... 111 to 135 mph
EF3...Strong.... 136 to 165 mph
EF4...Violent... 166 To 200 mph
EF5...Violent... >200 mph*

The information in this statement is PRELIMINARY and subject to
change pending final review of the events and publication in
NWS Storm Data.
Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Thursday brings cooler temps, showers and t-storms

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 5:11am MDT

An approaching low pressure system is going to push in unsettled weather conditions for the next couple of days. Below normal temperatures along with showers will be the main features.

We start out today with partly sunny skies and then will be seeing the cloud cover build as the day progresses. Temperatures today will be about 10 degrees below normal with a high of around 65 degrees.

A few sprinkles of rain will be possible this morning with showers become more common in the afternoon and widespread in the evening. Some thunderstorm type activity will be possible with periods of brief, heavy rain, possibly some hail and just the slightest tornado risk.

Keep an eye on the sky with our interactive radar here.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Near normal temps, drier conditions for Wednesday

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 5:16am MDT

A bit of a break in the storms for us today. Thornton will enjoy temperatures close to normal with plenty of sun and dry conditions.

We start out with clear skies that will be followed by a few clouds appearing through the day. Still should see mostly sunny skies overall. Winds will be light, initially out of the southwest then switching to come out of the north this afternoon. Temperatures will be climbing to a high around 73 degrees, just a couple shy of normal.

Cooler, stormier weather look to return tomorrow and Friday.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Tuesday brings temps a bit below normal, chance for thunderstorms

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 5:29am MDT

Today is offers weather conditions much like we saw yesterday. Temperatures will be a bit warmer though and while we expect most activity to be northeast of us, we can’t rule out thunderstorms, some possibly severe.

We start out today under mostly clear skies. The morning will bring some clouds with mostly to partly sunny skies for the balance of the day. Temperatures will be topping out right near 70 degrees with the actual high depending greatly on the amount of cloud cover we actually see.

Afternoon thunderstorms are going to be possible for us, primarily from about 1:00pm to 5:00pm. We are within the ‘marginal’ risk area from the SPC for severe activity but the worst of it should be to our northeast. Nevertheless, it would be wise to keep an eye on the sky this afternoon. Our Severe Weather Briefing Page will help you do that.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!