Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedWed, 13-Dec-2017 12:20am MST 


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Paleontologists: Thornton’s dinosaur is in fact a torosaurus, not a triceratops

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 9:53am MST
The dinosaur fossil recently found in Thornton is in fact this creature - a torosaurus, not a triceratops as originally thought. (By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) (Own work) CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

The dinosaur fossil recently found in Thornton is in fact this creature – a torosaurus, not a triceratops as originally thought. (By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) (Own work) CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Thornton’s now famous dinosaur bones that were discovered at a construction site have been identified as a different prehistoric creature than originally thought.

Scientists with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science told CBS4 that they are actually remnants of a torosaurus, not a triceratops.

Dr. Joe Sertich, Curator of Dinosaurs at the museum, told the news station that the key in figuring out what it was came in the frill.

Sertich said, “I came in here and the preparators had cleaned off this part of the shield, the frill behind the head and I don’t think the preparators realized what this part was. This was a complete window opening in the frill.”

Sertich noted that the fact it is a torosaurus is in some ways even more exciting due to the rarity of that creature. This is in fact the only example of the torosaurus found in North America.

“This adds a really important single individual to a really rare dinosaur,” Sertich explained. “This is probably the most complete skull of a torosaurus.”

Watch the video of the report below.

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Thornton’s Tuesday starts chilly, warms up nicely with lots of sun

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 5:02am MST

A nice little rebound in the weather today. We will see what could be described as a largely seasonal day with temps near normal and a healthy dose of sun above.

The day starts out quite chilly with clear skies. As the morning progresses, temperatures will gradually warm toward a high right near normal in the mid-40s. Sunny skies will be above, conditions calm and dry.

Tonight, cloud cover increases a bit and temperatures once again get cold with overnight lows near 20 degrees.

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Chilly and windy weather conditions for Thornton’s Monday

Monday, December 4th, 2017 5:14am MST

Quite a bit of a change from the warm weather of the past weekend. A trough is working its way through and with it bringing much colder temperatures and a healthy dose of wind.

The day starts with mostly clear skies but we will see a steady increase in cloud coverage through the early afternoon. By late afternoon into the evening the clouds should ease.

Temperatures today will be 20+ degrees colder than what we have been seeing. The mercury will climb to a high in the low 40s by noon or so then start working their way down.

Probably the main story today is the wind and there will be plenty of it. First thing this morning will offer the worst with gusts pushing toward 40mph then easing some – but not much – for much of the rest of the day. By this evening they should finally settle down.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear and the mercury will take a healthy drop. Lows tonight will be near the 20 degree mark.

Keep an eye on the temperature and wind speeds here.

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December 3 to December 9: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 6:19pm MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

December 3 to December 9: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wind and big time snowstorms can visit the Mile High City this time of year and we see many such events in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Probably most notable, the Blizzard of 1913, the Mile High City’s biggest snowstorm in history.

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From the National Weather Service:


In 1913…the 1st marked the start of the heaviest 5-day total snowfall in the city’s history. During this period snowfall totaled 45.7 inches. Starting on the 1st…snow fell intermittently for 3 days and accumulated a little over 8 inches. On the 4th and 5th…an additional 37.4 inches of snow fell. At Georgetown in the foothills west of Denver even more snow fell…86 inches over the 5 days with the most…63 inches…on the 4th. In Colorado…snowfall was heavy along the eastern slopes of the mountains from the Palmer Divide north. High winds during the storm caused heavy drifting…which blocked all transportation. Snow cover of an inch or more from the storm persisted for 60 consecutive days from the 1st through January 29…1914. Additional snowfall in December and January prolonged the number of days. This is the third longest period of snow cover on record in the city.


In 1955…snowfall totaled only 2.9 inches at Stapleton Airport. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month.

In 1973…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 7.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusting to 37 mph caused some blowing snow.

In 1990…strong downslope winds raked the eastern foothills and most of metro Denver. A wind gust to 87 mph was recorded at Rollinsville with wind gusts to 58 mph in Arvada and 55 mph in Lakewood. West winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 2nd.

In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills. Conifer received 10 inches of new snow. Snowfall totaled only 2.4 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport on the 1st…2nd…and 3rd. North winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver International Airport on the 2nd.


In 1909…post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.1 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…5.9 inches…fell between 6:00 pm on the 2nd and 6:00 pm on the 3rd. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on both the 2nd and 3rd.


In 1939…more than 2 weeks of unseasonably warm weather made the month the 3rd warmest on record. Seven daily temperature records were set…including the all time record high temperature for the month of 79 degrees on the 5th. Daytime highs were balmy with 14 days in the 60’s and 70’s. Low temperatures dipped to freezing or below on only 5 days. The period was dry with only a trace of snow on the 12th.


In 1977…high winds continued in Boulder and were clocked from 74 to 90 mph…causing only minor damage. Northwest winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 63 degrees.

In 1985…wind gusts to 78 mph were clocked at Table Mesa in Boulder. Winds gusted to 70 mph at Echo Lake west of Denver.

In 2011…Another round of snow developed in and near the Front Range Foothills. The heaviest snowfall occurred in the foothills of Boulder and northern Jefferson Counties. Storm totals included: 13 inches…7 miles southwest of Boulder; 10.5 inches…4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 10 inches at Genesee; 9.5 inches…4 miles west-northwest of Boulder; 9 inches at Gross Reservoir and 4 miles east of Pinecliffe. Around the Urban Corridor…storm totals ranged from 3 to 8 inches…heaviest in and around Boulder.


In 1968…strong Chinook winds in Boulder gusting to 52 mph downtown caused 7 thousand dollars in damage. Flying debris damaged cars…houses…and other property in Boulder. West winds gusted to 49 mph late on the 3rd and to 45 mph on the 4th at Stapleton International Airport where the temperature climbed to a high of 60 degrees on the 4th.

In 1970…strong winds whistled through Boulder. Sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. Wind gusts to 50 mph occurred in downtown Denver. No damage was reported. On the 3rd…northwest winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 66 degrees on the 4th.

In 1999…heavy snow fell over the foothills and metro Denver. The heaviest snowfall occurred in the foothills south of I-70 and near the Palmer Divide. Snowfall totals included: 25 inches near Tiny Town; 18 inches at Conifer; 15 inches near Evergreen; 14 inches at Chief Hosa…8 miles west of Castle Rock…and near Blackhawk; 12 inches at Pine Junction and 8 miles south of Sedalia; 11 inches atop Floyd Hill and in Roxborough; and 10 inches at Castle Rock. Around metro Denver…snowfall totals included: 10 inches at Highlands Ranch…9 inches at Parker…and 8 inches in Aurora and Wheat Ridge. Elsewhere around the metro area…snowfall generally ranged from 3 to 5 inches. Only 3.2 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 3rd.

In 2007…high winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills. Peak wind reports included: 88 mph atop Niwot Ridge; 87 mph atop mines peak; 80 mph…3 miles southeast of Jamestown; 78 mph at Longmont; 74 mph at Table Mesa. A few power outages occurred in Longmont as broken branches downed power lines. Northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at Denver International Airport on the 4th.

In 2013…a storm system brought heavy snow to parts of the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 12 inches…7 miles west-southwest of Evergreen; 10.5 inches…3 miles north of Bailey; 9.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown and 5 miles northeast of Ward; 9 inches in Bailey…8.5 inches… 3 miles north of Conifer.


In 1972…a protracted cold spell held an icy grip on metro Denver when maximum temperatures never reached above freezing for 10 consecutive days from the 3rd through the 12th and minimum temperatures dipped below zero on eleven consecutive days from the 5th through the 15th. Daily low temperature records were set with 15 degrees below zero on the 5th…17 degrees below zero on the 6th… And 18 degrees below zero on the 10th. Daily record low maximum readings were set with 3 degrees on the 6th and 6 degrees on the 9th. The very cold temperatures were caused by 3 to 5 inches of snow cover and a Canadian air mass.

» Click here to read the rest of December 3 to December 9: This week in Denver weather history

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November 2017 weather recap: Thornton sees very warm, very dry month

Friday, December 1st, 2017 4:02pm MST

To say November 2017 was simply ‘warm and dry’ in many ways is an understatement.  Temperatures were far above normal, our warmest November in the past 10 years in fact.  It also was exceedingly dry with little precipitation and snow seen.

The month started off mild then cooled off for a few days from the 6th to the 9th. After that though, the vast majority of readings were above normal, some much higher than average.

Here in Thornton, we saw an average monthly temperature of 44.1 degrees. That is 4.7 degrees above our running 10-year average.  Temperatures for us ranged from a high of 77.6 degrees on the 27th down to a low of 20.2 on the 19th.

Denver’s official average came in a bit warmer at 45.3 degrees. That was well above the Mile High City’s November average of 38.3 degrees.  A reading of 81 degrees on the 27th and 22 degrees on the 15th were the highest and lowest readings at DIA.

Denver set two daily high temperature records.  On the 26th, as measured at Denver International Airport, the temperature topped out at 74 degrees, a record high for the date.  This was followed the next day with a record high setting of 81 degrees. The reading on the 27th also set a record for the warmest November ever on record.

In terms of precipitation, what little we saw came during the first half of the month.  Thornton saw a mere 0.20 inch in the bucket.  The airport saw a bit more with 0.29 inches. Both fall well short of Denver’s long term November precipitation average of 0.61 inches.

Snow was certainly lacking for the month as well.  In Thornton we saw 0.8 inches on the 7th, our only measurable snowfall of the entire month. Denver officially only recorded a trace. This is in stark contrast to Denver’s long term November snowfall average of 8.7 inches.

Click here to view Thornton’s November 2017 climate report.

Thornton, Colorado's November 2017 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s November 2017 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado's November 2017 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s November 2017 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

From the National Weather Service:

733 AM MST FRI DEC 1 2017




                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
 HIGH              81   11/27/2017
 LOW              -18   11/29/1877
HIGHEST            81R  11/27        73       8       80  11/16
LOWEST             22   11/15        -6      28       10  11/30
AVG. MAXIMUM     61.1              52.1     9.0     59.9
AVG. MINIMUM     29.4              24.5     4.9     30.4
MEAN             45.3              38.3     7.0     45.1
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32      0               2.3    -2.3        1
DAYS MIN <= 32     22              23.4    -1.4       15
DAYS MIN <= 0       0               0.6    -0.6        0

 MAXIMUM         3.21   1946
 MINIMUM            T   1899
TOTALS           0.29              0.61   -0.32     0.52
DAILY AVG.       0.01              0.02   -0.01     0.02
DAYS >= .01         3               4.7    -1.7        2
DAYS >= .10         1               1.6    -0.6        2
DAYS >= .50         0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS >= 1.00        0               0.0     0.0        0

GREATEST 24 HR. TOTAL    0.23   11/17 TO 11/17

SNOWFALL (INCHES)           T       8.7


HEATING TOTAL     586               801    -215      586
 SINCE 7/1       1171              1382    -211      896
COOLING TOTAL       0                 0       0        0
 SINCE 1/1        881               769     112      878

 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST                        10/07
LATEST                          05/05

AVERAGE WIND SPEED              9.7

AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.50
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            5
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             21


THUNDERSTORMS             0     MIXED PRECIP             0
HEAVY RAIN                0     RAIN                     0
LIGHT RAIN                1     FREEZING RAIN            0
LT FREEZING RAIN          1     HAIL                     0
HEAVY SNOW                0     SNOW                     0
LIGHT SNOW                3     SLEET                    0
FOG                      10     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE    4
HAZE                      6

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Thornton’s December preview: Will there be an end to the mild, dry conditions?

Friday, December 1st, 2017 3:16pm MST

November proved to be an extraordinarily warm and dry month. Does December have hope for relief?

The month of December brings with it the official start of winter and oftentimes, colder and snowier weather conditions.

It however can also offer unseasonably warm temperatures and bone dry conditions.  Given our recent mild and dry weather, we are certainly hoping for a change in the coming month.

Overall December’s monthly mean temperature of 30.0 degrees (1981 – 2010 averages) makes it our coldest month.  Snow is always on everyone’s mind this time of year but December is only our 3rd snowiest month behind March and November with an average of 8.5 inches of the white stuff.

Get all the details on Thornton’s December weather including a look back at historical events and a look at the long range forecast in our December weather preview here.

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Thornton’s weekend to bring warming temperatures, calm and dry conditions

Friday, December 1st, 2017 4:59am MST

Going back up – the thermometer that is. High pressure will dominate the weather scene this weekend leading to calm, dry and mild conditions.

Friday will see a good bit of cloud cover but we will be dry, winds light. Highs today will top out near the 60 degree mark. Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above as we dip to a low near freezing.

Tomorrow will offer the most sun of the three day period with sunny skies expected throughout the day. Highs on Saturday will warm a couple of degrees to the low 60s. Saturday night into Sunday morning temperatures will dip to the mid-30s under partly cloudy skies.

The weekend closes out on Sunday with the warmest day of the period. Mostly sunny skies will be above as we head for a high in the mid to upper 60s.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday brings pleasant, mild conditions

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 4:54am MST

Following a chilly start, Thornton will enjoy a nice late fall day with lots of sun, temps above normal.

Look for sunny skies to be above throughout the daytime hours. Pre-dawn temperatures start below freezing but then begin a climb toward a high in the mid-50s. Winds will be calm, conditions dry.

Tonight, skies remain mostly clear with lows dipping to near freezing.

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Unseasonably warm temperatures return for Thornton’s Wednesday

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 5:07am MST

Yesterday brought a bit of a cool down with ‘normal’ temperatures. Today, we bounce right back with mercury readings well above average.

The day starts with clear skies and while there will be a few clouds here and there during the day, none will be intrusive. Winds will be relatively light and out of the north, conditions dry. Temperatures start out on the cold side and below freezing but then begin a climb toward a high near the 60-degree mark. Average for the date is 46 degrees.

Tonight, skies remain mostly clear and lows once again will drop below freezing.

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In wake of cold front, Thornton cools down to near-normal levels

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 5:13am MST

Yesterday we saw record-setting warmth but that has come to an end and today we will experience a bit of a change. However, while much cooler, we still will see a largely seasonal day.

The day starts off with mostly cloudy skies and perhaps a few areas of drizzle before dawn. After that, skies will begin to clear and by the afternoon mostly sunny skies will be above. Temperatures start out chilly but will be on their way up with highs coming within a couple of degrees of the average for today’s date (46 degrees).

Tonight, mostly clear skies will lead to chilly temps and overnight lows near freezing.

Looking ahead, we’re not going to see the kind of 70+ degree warmth of the last few days however temperatures will be returning to above normal levels for the balance of the week. Details in the extended weather forecast here.

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