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Thornton’s January 2022 preview: Cold temps, not much snow the norm

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 5:13am 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 sixth snowiest and it is not uncommon for it to be quite dry.

What does January 2022 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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Front to usher in cold temperatures, some light snow Wednesday

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 5:10am MDT

A quick-hitting turn toward colder weather for Thornton today. A cold front arrives this afternoon that will send temps plummeting and give us some light snow.

The day starts off with mostly sunny skies. By mid to late morning, clouds will be increasing and we will begin to see some breezy winds as the front pushes toward us.

A few flurries will be possible in the afternoon but snow won’t really get started until after 4:00pm. Snow then will continue until about midnight before tapering off in the early morning hours tomorrow. We aren’t expecting much of the white stuff, an inch or two is likely. There is a slight chance some banding brings a quick hit of increased intensity that would drive up those numbers.

More than the snow, the cold will be the bigger story. Highs today will top out in the mid to upper 30s but then with the frontal passage, plummet quickly. By 6:00pm the mercury will be well into the teens.

Tonight, as previously mentioned, snow should be all done by about 3:00am and skies will begin to clear. Temperatures will continue to drop with overnight lows around 0 degrees before dawn tomorrow.

Stay warm!

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Cool temperatures, windy conditions for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 5:06am MDT

Today will offer up temperatures near normal with some sun above. However, we will see windy conditions making it less than pleasant outside.

Mostly to partly sunny skies will be above throughout the daytime hours. High temperatures will top out in the mid-40s, right near average for the date. The most notable story for the day will be the wind which will be increasing early this morning. Gusts to 45mph will be possible from late morning through mid to late afternoon.

Winds will be easing as we get closer to sunset. Overnight lows tonight will drop to around the 20-degree mark under partly cloudy skies. Keep an eye on those wind speeds here.

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Following a chilly start, Thornton’s Monday to offer near normal temps, calm conditions

Monday, January 3rd, 2022 4:55am MDT

A pretty nice way to start the first Monday of the new year. We will enjoy a good bit of sun above with temperatures right near average.

Mostly sunny skies start us off and will be with us throughout the day. Overall conditions will be calm and dry. High temperatures will be topping out right near the average high for the date of 44 degrees.

Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy with lows dipping to around 20 degrees.

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December 2021 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Friday, December 31st, 2021 6:00pm MDT
A stunning sunrise starts December 2021. (LE Worley)

A stunning sunrise starts December 2021. (LE Worley)

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, 2021
  • 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 to welcome in the new year with its first respectable snowfall of the season

Friday, December 31st, 2021 5:32am MDT

We will be saying goodbye to 2021 with a New Year’s Eve snowstorm that is expected to finally bring us some decent snow and much-needed precipitation.

Friday starts out relatively nice with partly cloudy skies. Cloud cover will be building by mid-morning as the storm system arrives. Winds will become blustery about the same time. Highs today will top out in the mid to upper 30s. Some flurries will be possible this morning with light snow in the afternoon. Minimal, if any, accumulations are expected by sunset. Snow will increase overnight and continue through the early morning hours. Temperatures will be plummeting as lows tonight drop to single digits with below zero wind chills.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that will be in effect from 11:00am today through 11:00am Saturday. The agency is calling for 2 to 6 inches over the period. We believe Thornton can expect 2 to 5 inches.

For New Year’s Day, some lingering flurries will be possible in the morning but skies will begin to clear leading to mostly sunny skies by the end of the day. High temperatures Saturday will be very cold and only in the teens. Saturday night, skies are going to be clear and that will allow temperatures to remain extremely cold. Overnight lows will push toward zero.

Sunday begins a nice recovery. Sunny skies will be above with calm, dry conditions. Highs will top out around 40 degrees, maybe a bit cooler depending on the impact of snow cover.

Given the expected weather conditions, we certainly would recommend ringing in the new year safe and warm at home. Our Winter Weather Briefing Page has all the latest.

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Relatively warm temperatures Thursday to be driven by breezy winds

Thursday, December 30th, 2021 5:05am MDT

After a few days of chilly temps, we rebound nicely today. Those temps however are going to be as a result of downslope winds that will not necessarily make it pleasant outside.

Sunny skies start us off and will be with us throughout the day today. Conditions will be dry with high temperatures topping out near the 50-degree mark.

As is often the case in the winter though, those relatively warm temperatures will be driven by downslope winds. Gusts to 35mph or so will be possible for much of the day, particularly around mid-day into the late afternoon.

Tonight, winds will begin settling down after dark and be calm after midnight. Skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows in the low to mid-20s.

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December 26 to January 1: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021 6:01pm MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Winter wind in Colorado can be quite nasty oftentimes reaching damaging levels and we see numerous occurrences of that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.  Also notable are storm system just a few years ago in 2006 and 2007 that dumped a good amount of snow on the Denver area.

25-26

In 1904…after a warm Christmas Day with a high temperature of 50 degrees…a late day cold front plunged temperatures to a low of 7 degrees…produced northeast winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 54 mph…and produced 5.2 inches of snow overnight for a late white Christmas.  The maximum temperature on the 26th was only 16 degrees.

In 2014…a winter storm brought a rare Christmas Day snowfall to the Front Range Foothills and Urban Corridor… from the afternoon of the 25th to the evening of the 26th. Storm totals included: 12.5 inches…4 miles west of Boulder; 12 inches…4 miles southwest of Eldorado Springs and 4 miles south of Golden; 11 inches at Genesee; 10 inches near Allenspark…5 miles west of Chatfield Reservoir…5 miles southwest of Golden and near Tiny Town; 8 inches in Lakewood and Louisville; 7.5 inches in Niwot; 7 inches in Longmont; with 6 inches in Broomfield and Frederick. At Denver International Airport…5.1 inches of snowfall was observed.

25-31

In 1980…temperatures were unusually warm during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  High temperatures for the week ranged from the mid-50’s to the mid-70’s.  Four temperature records were set.  Record highs occurred on the 26th with 68 degrees…the 27th with 75 degrees…and the 30th with 71 degrees.  A record high minimum temperature of 41 degrees occurred on the 27th.

26

In 1877…heavy snow fell during the early morning and totaled nearly 6 inches.  Precipitation from melted snow was 0.58 inch.  After the snowfall…a number of sleighs were seen on the city streets.

In 1879…after a morning low of 4 degrees below zero… The temperature climbed to a high of 57 degrees in the city.

In 1907…west winds were sustained to 40 mph.  The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 62 degrees.

In 1949…west winds gusted to 50 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1998…intense…but localized…downslope high winds developed near Wondervu in the foothills southwest of Boulder.  Winds frequently gusted to 100 mph with a highest reported wind gust to 104 mph.  West winds gusted to only 43 mph at Denver International Airport.

26-27

In 1954…a major storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.6 inches at Stapleton Airport.  The storm produced the heaviest snowfall of the calendar year and was the only measurable snowfall in December.

In 1987…a snowstorm stalled in northeastern Colorado…giving metro Denver its worst winter storm in 4 years.  Total snowfall from the storm ranged from 12 to 18 inches on the east side…1 to 2 feet in Boulder County…and 2 to 3 feet in western and southern parts of metro Denver.  The largest reported snowfall was 42 inches at Intercanyon in the foothills southwest of Denver.  Snowfall totaled 14.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport.  Winds were light on the 26th…but increased as high as 40 mph on the 27th… Creating near-blizzard conditions and forcing complete closure of Stapleton International Airport for about 8 hours.  The strong winds whipped drifts to 5 feet high on the east side of town.  All interstate highways leading from Denver were closed on the 27th.

26-28

In 1979 a heavy snow storm dumped 6 to 10 inches of snow over the metro area and 15 to 20 inches at Boulder with up to 2 feet in the foothills west of Boulder.  Heavy snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph.  Most of the snow… 4.8 inches…fell on the 27th.

27

In 1895…west Chinook winds sustained to 44 mph with gusts to 48 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 52 degrees.

In 1901…an apparent cold front produced sustained north winds to 41 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1957…northwest winds gusting to 52 mph produced some blowing dust across metro Denver.

In 1975…a northwest wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…a strong pacific cold front moving across metro Denver produced a northwest wind gust to 53 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…high winds raked the eastern foothills with a wind gust to 84 mph clocked on Fritz Peak near Rollinsville. The strong northwest winds of 50 to 70 mph whipped newly fallen snow over higher areas into billowy clouds several hundred feet high that could be seen from most locations across metro Denver.

In 1996…another round of high winds developed over portions of the Front Range foothills during the morning hours. Several wind gusts from 70 to 100 mph were reported at Wondervu southwest of Boulder.  West-northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2005…a trained weather observer in Georgetown recorded a wind gust to 94 mph.  No damage was reported.

In 2007…a winter storm brought heavy snow to portions of the urban corridor and adjacent plains.  Storm totals generally ranged from 3 to 7 inches.  Locally heavier bands produced up to 10 inches of snow. In the urban corridor…storm totals included:  10 inches…10 miles south-southeast of Buckley AFB and at Castle Pines; 9.5 inches…4 miles south-southeast of Aurora and Kassler; 7.5 inches…2 miles southeast of Highlands Ranch; 7 inches in Aurora and Sedalia; 6.5 inches in Arvada…4 miles east of Denver and Lafayette; 6 inches in Castle Rock and Thornton.  A measurement of 5.4 inches was taken at the former Stapleton International Airport.  The official total for the month was 20.9 inches; making it the 6th snowiest December on record.

27-28

In 1997…high winds combined with fresh snow from a previous storm caused highways to become slick from drifting snow and near whiteout conditions in localized ground blizzards. Strong winds blew snow across the runways at Centennial Airport…which glazed over and formed areas of ice.  Two planes were damaged when they slid off the runway while landing.  No injuries were reported.  Numerous accidents also occurred on I-25 and I-70 as ice formed under the same conditions.  A rollover accident which injured 4 people on State Highway 93 near the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility was also attributed to the high winds.  The high winds caused an office building and showroom under construction in Golden to collapse. The largest wall was 180 feet long and 28 feet high. Some high wind reports included:  86 mph at Golden Gate Canyon…72 mph near Conifer…and 70 mph at Jefferson County Airport and the National Center for Atmospheric Research on the mesa near Boulder.  West-northwest winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver International Airport on the 27th.

In 1998…damaging downslope winds formed in and near the foothills.  Peak wind gusts ranged from 71 to 114 mph. Numerous trees were blown down in Coal Creek Canyon and near Gross Reservoir.  Power lines were blown down… Resulting in scattered outages.  Peak wind reports included:  114 mph at Wondervu…92 mph in Golden Gate Canyon…88 mph in Coal Creek Canyon…and 79 mph 8 miles west of Conifer.  West winds gusted to 46 mph at Denver International Airport on the 28th.

27-29

In 1983…a second surge of bitter cold air in less than a week was less intense.  Record breaking low temperatures of 12 degrees below zero on the 28th and 15 degrees below zero on the 29th were accompanied by 3.7 inches of snowfall and northeast winds gusting to 23 mph.

» Click here to read the rest of December 26 to January 1: This week in Denver weather history

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Wednesday in Thornton to offer chilly temperatures, calm conditions

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021 5:00am MDT

Not too bad of a day ahead for us although it will be on the chilly side of things. Temps will be a bit below normal with a good bit of sun above.

Mostly sunny skies start us off and then we do see a few more clouds in the PM but still with some blue. Winds will be generally light and conditions calm. High temperatures today will top out in the mid-30s.

Tonight, lows will drop to the teens under mostly clear skies.

We do still look to be on target to receive some snow (finally!) on Friday. See the extended forecast here.

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Cold front to usher in chilly temperatures, breezy winds Tuesday

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021 5:10am MDT

A further dip toward the cold side of things today. While we won’t see any snow, we will see temperatures drop a good bit and have some breezy winds as well.

The day starts off with partly clear skies. Cloud cover will ease through the morning then build back up a bit in the afternoon. Breezy winds will pick up by late morning and continue through the evening. Highs today will be in the mid to upper 30s. Throw in the winds and it will feel colder.

Tonight, skies will be partly clear with overnight lows dropping to the teens.

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