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Denver sets record low temperature for February 21

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 5:09am MDT

Record Cold TemperaturesIn the wake of our most recent storm system, we have seen some exceedingly cold temperatures and the proof is the mercury readings this morning that set a record.

Denver’s official low temperature, as measured at Denver International Airport, dropped to 7 degrees below 0 this morning.

This easily beats the record low temperature for today’s date of -2 degrees set in 1955.  Additionally, the record is the first record low recorded in the Mile High City since December 17, 2016.

Here in Thornton, we were not quite as cold with a low of -4 degrees coming at 5:51am.  This is also Thornton’s coldest temperature reading of the season.

This morning’s cold followed on another record yesterday where Denver saw its coldest maximum temperature for February 20.

While it will remain quite cold today, we will thankfully see some improvement in those mercury readings (although not a lot).  Additionally, long range forecasts portend colder than normal conditions are likely in the extended period.

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A very cold start to Thornton’s Wednesday will be followed by some improvement

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 5:03am MDT

It has been a extraordinarily cold morning with temperatures dropping to record-setting levels. While we will see improvement during the daytime, it will remain much colder than normal.

The day starts with mostly clear skies above but also with some patchy fog, particularly along the South Platte River and I-76 areas. Use caution through there this morning until it dissipates as it is quite thick in spots.

Once the fog is gone, look for mostly sunny skies for the rest of the day with a bit of an increase in clouds in the afternoon.

As for those temperatures, they start out at or below zero then will increase to highs in the low to mid-20s.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with overnight low temperatures again dropping to the single digits.

Keep an eye on the temperatures here.

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Denver sets record low maximum temperature for February 20

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 5:18pm MDT

Record Cold TemperaturesIn the wake of yesterday’s snow the Mile High City experienced lingering cold today.  The so-called “high” temperature in fact was a record-setter.

The high temperature for Denver today, as measured at Denver International Airport, came in at 13 degrees.  That is the coldest high temperature ever recorded on February 20, breaking the old record low maximum of 16 degrees set in 1911.

Here in Thornton, we matched the Mile High City’s high with a 13 degree reading at 3:08pm.

It may be a while before we see any truly warm temperatures.  Short range forecasts indicate it could be Monday or Tuesday before mercury readings return to normal. Additionally, long range forecasts currently point to overall colder than normal temps in the 8 to 14 day period.

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Following a surprisingly strong snow, Tuesday brings very cold temps and a few flurries

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 5:51am MDT

Our over-performing snowstorm is on its way out having left 5.5 inches of the white stuff on Thornton. In its wake, roads are snow-packed and quite slick and we will remain quite cold today.

Be sure to allow yourself extra time for your morning commute. Road crews will be working to get things clear but it will take time.

Cloudy skies start things off. We may see the cloud cover ease a bit but overall mostly cloudy skies will be the rule today. Some light snow will be possible throughout the daytime hours but with minimal accumulations if any at all.

Temperatures are starting out extremely cold this morning and while there will be improvement during the day, it won’t be much. Look for highs today only near the 20 degree mark.

Tonight, any snow will end and skies will begin to clear. Overnight lows will again drop way down and bottom out close to 0 degrees.

Keep an eye on those temps with our live weather gauges here.

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Indonesia’s Mt. Sinabung spews massive smoke-and-ash column

Monday, February 19th, 2018 9:20am MDT

An Indonesian volcano erupted Monday, sending a massive column of ash and smoke some 5,000 metres (16,400 feet)into the air, leaving local villages coated in debris and officials scrambling to hand out face masks to residents. » Click here to read the rest of Indonesia’s Mt. Sinabung spews massive smoke-and-ash column

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Presidents Day to offer up plenty of cold, a bit of snow

Monday, February 19th, 2018 5:21am MDT

From one extreme to the next as yesterday we saw temperatures 20+ degrees above normal and today we will see readings 20+ degrees below normal. Coupled with the cold, Thornton will see a bit of snow.

The day starts with light snow falling after seeing some freezing drizzle last night. This has made roads quite slick already so you will want to allow yourself extra time for your commute this morning and take it slow. We’ll see periods of light snow throughout the day today but with minimal accumulations.

Temperatures Monday will remain cold with highs only reaching the mid to upper 20s.

This evening, snow intensity is expected to pick up and we could see 1 to 2 inches overnight, perhaps more if some stronger snow bands pass. Overnight tonight temperatures will be very cold with lows into the single digits.

Looking ahead, while the rest of the week will remain largely dry, the cold air is going to linger and take a while to shake off. We probably won’t see a mercury reading above freezing until Wednesday and below normal temps look to be around through the weekend. More in the extended weather forecast here.

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February 18 to February 24: This week in Denver weather history

Monday, February 19th, 2018 3:25am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

February 18 to February 24: This week in Denver weather history

Damaging winds are not uncommon along the Colorado Front Range, particularly this time of year when strong Bora and Chinook winds can rage. We see a number of such events in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Also making an appearance are a number of notable snow and cold events.

From the National Weather Service:

16-18

In 1970…a wind gust to 90 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In downtown Boulder…sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 53 mph were measured. Damage was minor. West winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to 70 degrees on the 16th and to 72 degrees on the 17th…both records for the date. The low temperature dipped to only 32 degrees on the 16th equaling the record high minimum for the date.

17-18

In 1976…a strong cold front produced wind gusts 30 to 60 mph with much blowing snow and severe dust storms. In the Boulder area…high winds collapsed a garage and broke some windows. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph on the 17th and to 44 mph on the 18th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…the third blizzard in a week struck eastern Colorado. Heavy snow hit some parts of metro Denver with 8 to 10 inches measured in Aurora…but only 2.9 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 31 mph.

In 1999…damaging downslope Bora winds developed in the foothills behind a strong cold front. Peak wind reports included: 90 mph at the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder; 79 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab near Boulder and at the national wind technology center south of Boulder; and 72 mph atop Blue Mountain and at Jefferson County Airport. Downed power lines caused major outages for at least 10 thousand residents in Evergreen…Idaho Springs…Golden… And Lakewood. In Golden…the wind toppled a lightning static protection line atop a 70-foot…230 thousand-volt distribution tower. The downed line…sparked a small grass fire just east of the Lookout Mountain youth services center. The fire burned a path approximately 100 yards wide and 1/3 mile long before it was contained.

In 2000…snow…heavy in the mountains and foothills…spread over metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 24 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort with 8 inches measured near Blackhawk. Snowfall was only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…which was the only measurable snow of the month.

17-19

In 2006…a cold spell resulted in 4 temperature records. Low temperatures of 10 degrees below zero on the 17th… 13 degrees below zero on the 18th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 19th were record minimums for those dates. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date. Light snow fell on the 17th…but totaled less than half an inch at Denver International Airport.

18

In 1918…post-frontal northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 44 mph.

In 1937…a moderate duststorm occurred during the late afternoon and early evening. Northeast winds sustained to 32 mph with gusts to 41 mph reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile which persisted for about 40 minutes in the city.

In 1998…rare thunder from instability rain and snow showers was heard in Littleton during the late afternoon. Thunder in February only occurs about once every 10 years over metro Denver.

18-19

In 1954…a vigorous cold front produced north winds gusting to 56 mph and a trace of snowfall at Stapleton Airport on the 18th. Strong and gusty winds to 55 mph persisted through the next day and caused some blowing dust.

In 1955…a storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport where north winds sustained to 28 mph produced some blowing snow…snowfall totaled 8.8 inches.

18-20

In 1913…post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.9 inches in downtown Denver over the 3 days. Most of the snow fell on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 24 mph on the 18th.

In 1924…light snowfall totaled 4.6 inches over the 3 days. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month. High temperatures plunged from 45 degrees on the 18th to 17 degrees on the 20th. Low temperatures dipped from 31 degrees on the 18th to only 8 degrees on the 20th. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

In 1953…a major blizzard dumped 10.6 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 44 mph frequently reduced visibilities to 1/4 mile in blowing snow during the day of the 19th. The strong winds caused much drifting snow…making accurate snowfall measurements almost impossible. Precipitation from the storm totaled 1.13 inches. The 1.01 inches of precipitation on the 19th was the greatest calendar day and 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the city during the month of February.

In 1987…large amounts of new snow fell in the Front Range foothills. The foothills received 10 to 20 inches of new snow with 4 to 8 inches on the adjacent plains. On the 19th…flight delays occurred at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.2 inches and east winds gusted to only 18 mph on the 19th. Schools were closed in the foothills above Boulder.

19

In 1899…northwest winds sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees… The highest reading of the month that year.

In 1980…high winds were reported in Boulder. Sustained speeds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 85 mph were measured. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…Chinook winds continued to buffet the eastern foothills. Winds gusting from 60 to 75 mph were common in the foothills. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…high winds gusting from 70 to 75 mph were reported atop Table Mesa near Boulder. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…this was the last day of 61 consecutive days with snow cover of 1 inch or more in Denver. This second longest period of snow cover on record began with the blizzard on December 20-21…2006…when 20.7 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where official snow measurements were taken. Additional snowfall during December…January…and February prolonged the event. Snow depth on the ground was measured to the nearest inch once daily at 6:00 am MST.

19-20

In 1937…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 8.4 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.6 inches…fell on the 20th when north winds were sustained to 16 mph with gusts to 18 mph. The temperature dipped to a low of 9 degrees on the 20th.

In 1939…post-frontal snowfall totaled 5.4 inches in the city. The snow covered streets and highways with a coating of ice as the temperature fell from 36 degrees at 2:00 pm on the 19th to a low of 4 degrees at 3:00 am on the 20th. Many motorists were marooned for several hours. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

19-21

In 1971…heavy snowfall totaled 9.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to only 16 mph. Most of the snow occurred on the 19th and 20th. The 24 hour snowfall of 8.2 inches was the greatest in February since 1953.

» Click here to read the rest of February 18 to February 24: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s workweek to feature big changes in the weather with cold and snow

Sunday, February 18th, 2018 5:25pm MDT

We told you this morning on Facebook you better get out and enjoy the warmth and here is why. A cold front is approaching from the north right now and will arrive tonight. With it will come much colder temperatures and a shot of snow.

In terms of temperatures, we likely won’t return to above the freezing mark until Thursday. The period from Monday night through Wednesday morning will be particularly cold.

For the snow, as seems to be a repeating pattern, there isn’t a lot of moisture to work with. Some freezing drizzle may be possible tomorrow AM before it changes to snow. Light snow will continue off and on through Tuesday with the best opportunity coming late tomorrow afternoon through pre-dawn Tuesday. Probably only looking an inch or two total in Thornton, perhaps more if a snow band happens to set up right.

After the snow, the chilly air is going to linger and we may not see temps at or above normal until the start of next week.

As always, keep watch on http://www.thorntonweather.com for all the latest. Bundle up and be safe!

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Warming temperatures, calm weather conditions to highlight Thornton’s weekend

Friday, February 16th, 2018 5:27am MDT

Following a quick dusting of snow last night and a chilly start this morning, we are going to see much nicer conditions for the three day period. Today will be largely seasonal but temps will be improving through the weekend and be quite mild by Sunday.

For today, look for temperatures to be a bit slow in their ramp up but we should see highs reach the low to mid-40s. Mostly sunny skies will be above, conditions calm. Tonight, skies remain mostly clear but we do expect some gusty winds. Overnight lows into Saturday morning will bottom out in the mid-20s.

Plenty of sun and pleasant conditions lie ahead for tomorrow. Look for mostly sunny skies throughout the day with highs in the mid-50s. Saturday night into Sunday morning, skies will be mostly clear with lows dropping to a bit below freezing.

The weekend closes out with the warmest day of the period. Highs Sunday will reach into the 60s although we will have a bit more cloud cover.

Get out and enjoy that warm weather! Presidents Day is going to see a cold front arrive that will bring colder temperatures and perhaps snow. Get more details on that in our extended forecast here.

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February 11 to February 17: This Week in Denver Weather History

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 6:07pm MDT
This week in Denver weather history

February 11 to February 17: This Week in Denver Weather History

Denver’s weather is often a story of extremes and even in what is historically a calm period like February, significant events can and do occur. From record-setting Arctic cold that sent temperatures to far below zero to powerful, damaging wind, this week in Denver weather history has been an eventful one.

From the National Weather Service:

31-12

In 1899…a protracted cold spell lasted almost two weeks. Low temperatures plunged below zero on all days but February 9th with a reading of 6 degrees. The coldest low temperature of 22 degrees below zero on February 6th was a record low for the date. Low temperatures of 20 degrees below zero occurred on both February 11th and 12th… But only the 11th remains as the record minimum for the date. High temperature of only 5 degrees below zero on February 11th was a record low maximum for the date. High temperatures climbed to only zero degrees on both February 2nd and 3rd…but were not records. Intermittent light snow or flurries fell during the period. The most snowfall…2.0 inches…occurred on February 2nd.

5-11

In 1978…the 5th marked the start of a record 7 consecutive days of dense fog at Stapleton International Airport. The heavy fog reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a period of time on each of these days. Light snow and/or freezing drizzle occurred on most days. Fog reducing visibility to less than 7 miles was recorded at Stapleton International Airport on 11 consecutive days through the 15th. During the period 5-14…the cold thick fog deposited heavy rime ice up to 5 inches thick on power lines and poles over a wide area of eastern Colorado…causing a major electrical power outage disaster.

9-11

In 1965…heavy snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 25 mph.

In 1993…the same storm that dumped heavy snow in the mountains combined with an arctic cold front to produce heavy snow across metro Denver. Upslope snows of 4 to 8 inches were common with some areas receiving nearly a foot. Ten inches of new snow were measured in Parker and 7 inches in southeast Denver. At Stapleton International Airport… Snowfall totaled 8.1 inches. Strong winds combined with the snowfall to produce near-blizzard conditions over the plains closing many roads east of Denver. North winds gusted to only 18 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 9th.

10-11

In 1971…a wind gust to 80 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. A wind gust to 69 mph was measured at the National Bureau of Standards. In downtown Boulder wind gusts to 43 mph were clocked. No damage was reported. North to northwest winds gusted to 39 mph on the 10th and to 41 mph on the 11th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1999…heavy snow developed over sections of metro Denver during the evening hours. Snowfall totals included: 6 inches at Eaglecrest…6.5 inches at Highlands Ranch…and 8.5 inches about 5 miles south of Sedalia. Only 1.0 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Strong winds and snow caused near blizzard conditions north of metro Denver.

10-12

In 1958…heavy snow fell across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport…where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph…6.7 inches of snowfall were measured.

In 1995…cold arctic air brought heavy snow to the foothills and western Denver suburbs. Golden measured 15 inches of snow with 14 inches in south Boulder. Locations in the foothills recorded between 10 and 15 inches of snow. Only 6.1 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 10th.

10-13

In 1905…an extremely cold arctic air mass moved over the city behind a cold front on the 10th and persisted through the morning of the 13th. North winds were sustained to 25 mph behind the front on the 10th dropping the temperature to a low of 2 degrees below zero…which was also the high reading on the 11th. Light snowfall totaled 3.0 inches overnight of the 10th into the 11th. The low temperature plunged to 19 degrees below zero on the 11th. Records were set on the 12th and 13th. The high temperature of only zero degrees on the 12th was a record low maximum for the date. The low readings of 21 degrees below zero on the 12th and 14 degrees below zero on the 13th were record minimum temperatures for those dates.

11

In 1875…northwest winds were brisk all day. The velocities increased to 30 to 50 mph during the early evening.

In 1957…Chinook winds gusting to 49 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees at Stapleton Airport.

In 1971…a rare February thunderstorm produced 1/4 inch diameter hail in southwest Denver.

In 1981…the cold spell of the 10th came to a quick end with strong Chinook winds. Gusts to 84 mph were recorded at mines peak and to 80 mph at Wondervu. Gusts in the foothills ranged from 50 to 65 mph. Southwest winds gusted to only 23 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…a near-blizzard across eastern Colorado closed I-70 east of Denver and stranded 1200 motorists at Limon. Only 0.9 inch of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 43 mph.

In 1988…wind gusts to 77 mph were measured at Echo Lake. West winds gusted to only 32 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
11-12 in 1899…the temperature plunged to lows of 20 degrees below zero on both days.

In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees on the 11th. An apparent cold front overnight produced 3.7 inches of snow and northeast winds gusting to 30 mph. The high temperature on the 12th was only 26 degrees.

In 1994…moist upslope winds and an upper level storm system produced heavy snow over western portions of metro Denver. Snowfall amounts totaled 10 inches in Golden and 8 inches at Strontia Springs Reservoir 15 miles southwest of Denver in the South Platte canyon. Snowfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled only 3.6 inches…but north winds gusting to 35 mph on the 11th produced occasional visibilities as low as 1/4 mile in heavy snowfall and blowing snow.

11-12

In 1899…the temperature plunged to lows of 20 degrees below zero on both days.

In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees on the 11th. An apparent cold front overnight produced 3.7 inches of snow and northeast winds gusting to 30 mph. The high temperature on the 12th was only 26 degrees.

In 1994…moist upslope winds and an upper level storm system produced heavy snow over western portions of metro Denver. Snowfall amounts totaled 10 inches in Golden and 8 inches at Strontia Springs Reservoir 15 miles southwest of Denver in the South Platte canyon. Snowfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled only 3.6 inches…but north winds gusting to 35 mph on the 11th produced occasional visibilities as low as 1/4 mile in heavy snowfall and blowing snow.

11-13

In 1903…west to northwest Chinook winds gusting to 34 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 50 degrees on the 11th… Before temperatures rapidly plunged to a low of 14 degrees behind a cold front. Light snow fell through the 13th and totaled 4.2 inches in the city…while temperatures ranged from a high of 14 degrees on the 12th to a low of 5 degrees below zero on the 13th.

12

In 1874…5 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. Melted snow resulted in 0.31 inch of precipitation.

In 1875…forest fires burned very brightly in the foothills to the west of Denver.
12-13 in 1915…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 13th.

In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 8.1 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 28 mph on the 12th.

In 1968…snowfall totaled 5.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 26 mph. Snow fell all day on the 12th and into the morning hours of the 13th.

In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills southwest of Denver. Conifer…Evergreen…Morrison…and north turkey creek received 6 to 8 inches of new snow overnight. Only 0.2 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 23 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.

13

In 1886…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph during the early morning hours…but winds were strong and gusty all day.

In 1918…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 44 mph. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees.

In 1988…high winds raked metro Denver. Boulder reported a wind gust to 67 mph with 63 mph at Lakewood and 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds toppled a tree onto a car in Aurora. Northwest winds gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.

In 2010…a peak wind gust to 89 mph was recorded in Boulder. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of February 11 to February 17: This Week in Denver Weather History

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