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March 15 to March 21: This week in Denver weather history

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 6:20am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

This week is Denver and Thornton weather history is notable for many reasons.  2003 stands out as an extremely eventful year this week in weather history.  From March 17th to the 19th of that year, Denver was hit by one of its largest snowstorms in history.  Also, we see our first mention of a tornado for the year, also in 2003, on March 17th.  The twister hit near Strasburg but was short-lived and caused no damage.  These events serve as a reminder that winter is not over and severe weather can strike at any time.

From the National Weather Service:

9-19

In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.

12-16

In 1880…a protracted cold spell resulted in 8 temperature records being set. Record low temperatures for the date were set when the temperature dipped to 10 degrees below zero on the 13th and 14th…8 degrees below zero on the 12th and 15th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 16th. Daily record low maximum temperatures were set with 11 degrees on the 12th…12 degrees on the 13th…and 19 degrees on the 15th.

13-15

In 1906…snowfall totaled 8.0 inches over downtown Denver.

14-16

In 1908…a warm spell resulted in daily record high minimum temperatures on 3 consecutive days: 54 degrees on the 14th…52 degrees on the 15th…and 56 degrees on the 16th… Also the all-time record high minimum for the month of March. High temperatures ranged from 65 degrees on the 14th to 72 degrees on the 16th.

In 1983…a heavy wet snowstorm buried metro Denver with the foothills receiving the most. Conifer recorded 34 inches of snow with 4 feet measured at Coal Creek Canyon in the foothills northwest of Denver. The storm left 6 to 10 inches of snow across metro Denver. Boulder received 12 to 18 inches. Flight operations at Stapleton International Airport were limited to one runway for a time. Some roads and schools were closed…and power outages occurred when wet snow downed lines. Snowfall on the 15th and 16th totaled 7.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph. Maximum snow depth on the ground was only 6 inches due to melting.

15

In 1902…northwest winds were sustained to 54 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

In 1920…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph. The strong but cold downslope winds warmed the high temperature to only 35 degrees.

In 1935…strong winds howled across Boulder. At Valmont a wind gust to 60 mph was recorded. No damage was reported.

In 2006…strong winds ranging from 60 to 75 mph were reported in and near the foothills of Boulder County. In Longmont… Two trees toppled by the strong winds damaged a car. Winds gusted to 75 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory in Boulder. West winds gusted to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.

15-16

In 2000…heavy upslope snowfall occurred in and near the Front Range foothills and over the palmer divide to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totals from the storm included: 17 inches at Idaho Springs; 16 inches at Aspen Springs; 12 inches in Boulder; 11 inches at Bailey… Chief Hosa…Coal Creek Canyon…Eldorado Springs…Evergreen… And near Morrison; 10 inches at Intercanyon…Ken Caryl Ranch…and near Nederland; 9 inches near Sedalia and in Wheat Ridge; and 8 inches in Arvada. Snowfall totaled 5.4 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport on the 15th.

16

In 1902…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1908…the low temperature dipped to only 56 degrees…the record high minimum for the month.

In 1963…high winds struck metro Denver causing heavy damage. Winds gusted at 90 to 100 mph in Boulder. Wind gusts to 98 mph were recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield where hangars and several light planes were severely damaged. Wind gusts to 87 mph were recorded southwest of Littleton. A west wind gust to 55 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport. Trees were uprooted…signs blown down…and utility lines disrupted. Damage totaled nearly 5 thousand dollars in Boulder alone.

In 1987…a storm dropped 3 to 6 inches of snow across metro Denver with higher amounts in the foothills. Most of the snow on the plains melted as it fell. Only 1.9 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where southeast winds gusted to 30 mph.

In 2015…the temperature at Denver International Airport reached 81 degrees. It broke the previous record of 75 degrees and also made it the earliest the 80 degree day on record. The previous 80 degree day record was the 18th.

17

In 1966…high winds caused extensive minor damage across metro Denver. A light plane was overturned at Stapleton International Airport where northwest wind gusts to 55 mph were recorded. Winds gusted to 56 mph at Table Mesa in Boulder

In 1989…strong winds raked metro Denver. West wind gusts to 49 mph were clocked at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…the first tornado of the season was sighted near Strasburg. The small landspout touched down briefly…but caused no damage.

17-18

In 1923…4.2 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 49 on the 17th. Low temperature of zero degrees on the 18th was the lowest of the month that year.

In 1944…heavy snow fell across metro Denver. The storm started as rain on the 17th…but soon turned to snow. Snowfall amounts totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver and 11.0 inches at Stapleton Airport. The highest wind recorded during the storm was 23 mph on the 17th.

In 1961…a major winter storm dumped 10.7 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow…9.7 inches…fell on the 18th. Winds were light.

In 1994…strong winds buffeted metro Denver. West winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. Other significant wind gusts included 85 mph atop Squaw Mountain south of Idaho Springs…and 82 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder…both on the 18th.

In 1996…a second storm in less than 3 days dumped heavy snow in the mountains and foothills again…but snowfall amounts across metro Denver ranged from only 2 to 4 inches. The heavy snowfall resulted in several traffic accidents along I-25 and I-70…south and west of Denver respectively. The major accidents involved at least 30 cars and resulted in several minor injuries. The accidents closed both highways for a time. Snowfall totals included 13 inches at Evergreen and 10 inches at Conifer. Snowfall totaled only 0.7 inch at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. At Denver International Airport… North winds gusted to 28 mph on the 17th and 39 mph on the 18th.

In 2016…a combination of enhanced banding associated with a strong upper level jet stream…and low level upslope following the passage of a cold front…produced heavy snowfall in northern mountains as well as in and near the foothills of Boulder County. Storm totals included: 19.5 inches near Ward…16 inches near Allenspark…13.5 inches near Eldorado Springs; 13 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder and 5 miles east of Boulder; 12.5 inches at Winter Park Ski Resort…12 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 11 inches…7 miles south of Lyons and at Rollinsville; 10.5 inches at Aspen Springs… and 9.5 inches near Blackhawk. In Denver and the surrounding suburbs…storm totals included: 8.5 inches in Broomfield…Lafayette and 5 miles northeast of Westminster; 7 inches near Northglenn…6.5 inches in Thornton and northwest Denver; with 6 inches at Firestone. At Denver International Airport…an official measurement of 4.7 inches of snow was observed.

17-19

In 1933…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th and continued through mid-day of the 19th. Snowfall totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in in the city. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to 43 mph on the 19th.

In 2003…one of the worst blizzards since historic records began in 1872 struck metro Denver with a vengeance. Heavy wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation to a near standstill. North winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the city. The estimated cost of property damage alone…not including large commercial buildings…was 93 million dollars… Making it the costliest snowstorm ever. Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said…”this is the storm of the century…a backbreaker…a record breaker…a roof breaker.” Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy wet snow. The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east of gun club road. The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes and businesses to collapse. The snow also downed trees… Branches…and power lines. Two people were injured when the roofs of their homes collapsed. In Denver alone…at least 258 structures were damaged. In Arvada…a roof collapse at west gate stables killed a horse. Up to 135 thousand people lost power during the storm…and it took several days for power to be restored in some areas. Denver International Airport was closed…stranding about 4000 travelers. The weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion of the tent roof…forcing the evacuation of that section of the main terminal building. Avalanches in the mountains and foothills closed many roads…including I-70…stranding hundreds of skiers and travelers. Along I-70…an avalanche released by the Colorado Department of Transportation…blocked the interstate in both directions for several hours. Several residences between Bakerville and Silver Plume were evacuated because of the high avalanche danger. At Eldora ski area…270 skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access road. After the storm ended…a military helicopter had to ferry food to the resort until the road could be cleared. The heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills homes in Jefferson County for several days. Two homes burned to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences. Some schools remained closed well into the following week. The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…the most snowfall from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5 inches on December 4-5…1913. The storm made March 2003 the snowiest March on record…the 4th snowiest month on record… And the 5th wettest March on record. The 22.9 inches of snow on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded in the city during the month of March. The storm was also a drought-buster…breaking 19 consecutive months of below normal precipitation in the city. Snowfall across metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet. The highest amounts included: 40 inches in Aurora…38 inches in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker…37 inches at Buckley AFB…35 inches in southwest Denver…34 inches in Louisville… 32 inches in Arvada…31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster… And 22.5 inches in Boulder. In the foothills…snowfall ranged from 3 feet to more than 7 feet. Some of the most impressive storm totals included: 87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in Rollinsville…83 inches at Cabin Creek…74 inches near Bergen Park…73 inches northwest of Evergreen…72 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…70 inches at Georgetown…63 inches near Jamestown…60 inches near Blackhawk…55 inches at Eldora Ski Area…54 inches 8 miles west of Sedalia…and 46.6 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch. The storm was the result of a very moist…intense slow moving pacific system which tracked across the four corners and into southeastern Colorado…which allowed deep easterly upslope flow to form along the Front Range.

18

In 1883…0.3 inch of snow fell in downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month.

In 1903…rain changed to sleet and then to snow…which became heavy. Post-frontal snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over the city. North winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

In 1905…northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.

In 1914…northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 56 mph behind a strong cold front. Snowfall was 3.4 inches over the city…but most of the snow melted as it fell. The estimated amount of melted snow was 8.1 inches.

In 1920…a terrific windstorm occurred along the eastern foothills. Two deaths were attributed to the storm and some damage occurred. Both Denver and Boulder were affected by the strong winds. West winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts as high as 66 mph in downtown Denver. The strong winds did considerable damage to property… Wires…plate glass windows…and indirectly loss by fire. The wind caused the death of one young girl by toppling the side of a brick building on her as she was standing on a corner waiting for a car. The wind was also responsible for several severe auto accidents due to blowing debris into the streets and blowing dust and dirt into the eyes of drivers.

In 1954…west winds at sustained speeds of 40 mph and gusts as high as 56 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1979…heavy snow totaled 4 to 12 inches along the Front Range from Denver north. I-25 was closed for a brief time between Denver and Cheyenne. New snowfall totaled 4.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 29 mph.

In 1998…a major winter storm dumped heavy snow over areas west from I-25 to the continental divide as strong upslope conditions developed. Two to 3 1/2 feet of snow fell in the foothills with 1 to 2 feet reported in west metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 38 inches at Silver Spruce Ranch…2 miles south of Ward; 35 inches at Aspen Springs; 33 inches near Blackhawk; 30 inches at Eldora; 29 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 27 inches at Conifer… Chief Hosa…and Nederland; 25 inches at Rollinsville and Gross Reservoir; 21 inches at Evergreen; and 15 to 19 inches at Broomfield…Lakewood…and Table Mesa in Boulder. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 8 to 14 inches. Snowfall totaled only 7.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. East winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of March 15 to March 21: This week in Denver weather history

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St. Patrick’s Day in Thornton to bring seasonal temps, overall calm conditions

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 4:54am MDT

After a few drops of rain early this morning, we will be drying out and see a pretty nice day. Temps will be near normal although with some cloud cover.

We start out cloudy and may see a bit of drizzle but nothing that will amount to much. Clouds will ease this morning leading to partly sunny skies for much of the day. High temperatures today will reach the mid to upper 50s.

Tonight, skies will be partly clear with overnight lows in the mid-30s. Have a great day, be safe!

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Thornton’s workweek starts off with calm, mild conditions; some rain possible tonight

Monday, March 16th, 2020 5:06am MDT

A pretty good looking Monday ahead for us. We will enjoy a good bit of sun and temps above normal with some overnight precipitation being possible.

Mostly sunny skies start us off today and will be with us throughout the daytime hours. High temperatures will top out around 61 degrees today, above the average high for the date of 55.

Cloud cover will be increasing quickly this evening and tonight will see mostly cloudy skies above. Overnight lows will drop to around freezing. Some drizzle / light rain will be possible overnight, as early as 9:00pm but mainly after midnight.

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Thornton’s weekend weather starts unsettled, will end seasonal

Friday, March 13th, 2020 5:03am MDT

A little bit of a mixed bag of weather for us over the three day period. Today brings cold temperatures and perhaps a bit of snow. The balance of the weekend though will see a return of the sun and temperatures at or above normal.

For Friday, cloudy to mostly cloudy skies will be above. High temperatures today will top out around the 40 degree mark. Some periods of light snow, rain this PM will be possible. Little, if any accumulation is expected. Tonight, any showers will end early and skies will slowly clear. Low temperatures will dip to below freezing.

Saturday will see skies continue to clear. High temperatures will be right near the average high for the date of 54 degrees. Saturday night into Sunday, partly cloudy skies will be above with overnight lows around freezing.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the period with highs close to 60 degrees under mostly sunny skies.

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Cold front to push through Thursday bringing cooler temps, slight chance for showers

Thursday, March 12th, 2020 5:03am MDT

A bit of a change from the recent warm weather. Today sees temperatures return closer to normal and might offer just a little bit of precipitation.

Partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies will be above throughout the day. Winds will be breezy and out of the northeast, mainly from late morning into the evening. High temperatures today should top out in the low 50s.

As for precipitation, we see just a slight chance for a shower this afternoon although at this time we aren’t expecting any activity to amount to much.

Tonight, skies remain mostly cloudy with overnight lows around 30 degrees. The pre-dawn hours tomorrow may see some freezing drizzle, possibly leading to a rough AM commute Friday.

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Warm temperatures Wednesday with lots of sun but also some wind

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 5:30am MDT

A little bit of good and not-so-good in the weather forecast for Thornton today. While we will enjoy high temperatures about 15 degrees above normal, the afternoon and evening will bring some breezy winds.

Clear skies start us off and then we see a few clouds arrive later this morning and afternoon. Temperatures will warm to a high in the upper 60s, well above the average high for the date of 53 degrees.

Winds will be light initially then begin picking up speed later this morning and in the early afternoon. Gusts to 30mph or so will be seen by mid-afternoon. Winds will taper off around sunset.

Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with overnight lows dipping to the mid to upper 30s.

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Mild temperatures, some breezy winds for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 5:25am MDT

A pretty good looking day ahead for us. We will have a good bit of sun and mild temperatures but also with some breezy winds in the afternoon.

Mostly sunny skies start of the morning and will continue throughout the day. Temperatures today will top out in the low to mid-60s. Winds will be light this morning but then pick up the pace in the afternoon and into the evening with gusts to 30mph being possible during that period.

Tonight, winds will calm down after sunset.  Skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows in the mid-30s.

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March 8 to March 14: This week in Denver weather history

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 4:50am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at Denver weather history for the week reminds us that although the calendar says it is March, it is still very much winter.  Numerous mentions of snow, blizzards and related winter conditions are quite prevelant and we are reminded that March after all is our snowiest month.

From the National Weather Service:

6-8

In 1932…snowfall totaled 6.3 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…5.2 inches…fell on the 8th. Northeast winds gusted to 20 mph on the 6th.

7-8

In 1878…snow from the evening of the 7th until noon of the 8th totaled only 5 inches in downtown Denver. Apparent heavier snow over the plains along with strong winds drifted the snow into high drifts…which delayed trains for several days and caused a great loss of livestock. Melting of the snow caused a rise in Cherry Creek…which resulted in much damage. Precipitation from the storm totaled only 0.50 inch in Denver.

In 2000…high winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills…as well as parts of the northeast Colorado plains as another pacific storm system moved across the area. Several trees and power lines were downed near Blackhawk…Boulder…and in Coal Creek Canyon. About 30 homes in the Pinebrook Hills subdivision in Boulder were evacuated when downed power lines sparked a grassfire. The winds eventually shifted the fire onto itself…thus allowing firefighters to contain the two acre blaze. Several roofs were blown off barns…sheds… And garages. Two semi-trailers were blown over…one along c-470 between Golden and Morrison and another north of Denver on I-25. Wind gusts reached 101 mph on Rocky Flats…100 mph at the nearby National Wind Technology Center…90 mph at Blackhawk and atop Blue Mountain…92 mph in south Boulder…73 mph in Coal Creek Canyon…72 mph in Golden…and 70 mph at Louisville. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph on the 7th and to 49 mph on the 8th at Denver International Airport.

8

In 1878…winds started to increase at 4:00 am and blew steadily at sustained speeds of 36 to 40 mph with a maximum sustained speed of 60 mph around 11:00 am. Snowfall of 5.0 inches occurred in the city…but much more snow fell on the plains…which blockaded trains bound for the city for several days.

In 1898…northwest winds sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 67 degrees.

In 1908…light snowfall of 0.8 inch produced only 0.01 inch of precipitation. This along with the 0.10 inch of precipitation on the 21st resulted in the driest March on record with a total of 0.11 inch of precipitation.

In 1986…temperatures climbed from a record high minimum of 45 degrees to a record maximum of 72 degrees for the day.

In 2005…a vigorous cold front moved a wall of blowing dust across metro Denver during the mid-morning. At Denver International Airport…north winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph…along with very light rain which changed to snow…briefly reduced the surface visibility to 1 mile. A thunderstorm formed over Arvada. With the passage of the cold front…the temperature plunged 11 degrees in just 16 minutes at Denver International Airport where precipitation was only 0.01 inch along with 0.1 inch of snow.

8-9

In 1992…a major blizzard struck metro Denver. The storm was preceded by thunderstorms with small hail during the afternoon of the 8th. By evening…with the passage of a strong arctic cold front…snow began falling. Strong north to northeast winds at 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 52 mph produced near zero visibilities in blizzard conditions across metro Denver. By the morning of the 9th…snowfall amounts up to a foot and a half were reported with drifts of 2 to 4 feet. Many roads were closed including I-70 east of Denver and I-25 both north and south of Denver. Many homes and stores were temporarily without power. Snowfall amounts included: 18 inches at Conifer…13 inches in Boulder and Denver…12 inches at Brighton and Morrison…and 10 inches at Aurora. Snowfall totaled 12.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting as high as 52 mph reduced the visibility to zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.

In 2002…high winds occurred in the foothills west of Denver. Winds gusted to 95 mph near Fritz Peak and to 73 mph near Nederland.

8-10

In 1989…unusually warm weather set four daily temperature records in Denver. The high temperature of 74 degrees on the 8th exceeded the record. Records were equaled on the 9th with a high of 77 degrees and the 10th with a high of 79 degrees. The low temperature of 42 degrees on the 10th set a new record high minimum for the date.

9

In 1918…northwest winds sustained to 44 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph occurred during the early morning hours.

In 1960…west-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1980…high winds were recorded in the foothills with a wind gust to 84 mph at Wondervu. Northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…strong Chinook winds buffeted the foothills in Boulder. Wind gusts of 60 to 90 mph toppled a microwave dish antenna and blew the shell off a camper. West winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…high winds in the foothills with gusts of 60 to 70 mph were reported at Golden Gate Canyon and in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

9-10

In 1904…strong Chinook winds raked the city for 2 days. On the 9th…west winds sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 62 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees. On the 10th…west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 54 mph. The high temperature was 58 degrees.

In 2013…a storm system brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range mountains and foothills where storm totals included: 13 inches at Berthoud Pass SNOTEL…12 inches at Arapahoe Ridge; 11 inches…5 miles southwest of Golden; 10.5 inches near Kittridge; 10 inches at Lake Eldora and Pine Junction; 9.5 inches near Conifer…9 inches…near Bailey and 9 miles east-northeast of Nederland…Joe Wright and Strontia Springs. Along the urban corridor…some storm totals included: 8.5 inches at Highlands Ranch and near Morrison; 8 inches in Arvada; 7 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster; 6.5 inches at Centennial…lone tree and Wheat Ridge; 6 inches in west Denver…Hygiene…Lyons and Thornton…5.5 inches in Broomfield; with 5 inches in Aurora and the former Stapleton International Airport. Across the Palmer Divide and northeast plains of Colorado…storm totals ranged anywhere from 2 to 10 inches. The combination of snow and strong wind produced blizzard conditions and forced the closure of Interstate 70 east of Denver. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph produced near zero visibilities at times and snowpacked roads. Snowdrifts from 2 to 4 feet deep were reported. As a result…many of the roadways became impassable. Officially…Denver international recorded 5.4 inches of snowfall on the 9th. In addition…a peak wind gust to 38 mph was observed from the north.

9-11

In 1927…rain changed to heavy snow behind a cold front and totaled 7.7 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 37 mph with an extreme velocity to 38 mph on the 11th.

In 1955…a strong windstorm raked the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 95 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats with a gust to 60 mph measured at Valmont. Damage in Boulder totaled 10 thousand dollars. Minor injuries also occurred. The strong winds were associated with a vigorous cold front that produced northwest winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 3/4 mile in blowing dust on the 10th.

In 1968…5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 24 mph on the 10th.

9-19

In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.

10

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.

In 1948…the high temperature warmed to only 6 degrees… The all-time record low maximum for the month of March. The same reading also occurred on March 6…1920.

In 1970…5.0 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph.

10-11

In 1886…snowfall of 3.5 inches was measured in downtown Denver. Apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 43 mph on the 11th.

In 1977…a major blizzard struck metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds at speeds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph frequently reduced visibilities in blowing snow to 1/4 mile or less. Most of the snow…7.7 inches…fell on the 10th. The snow ended by daybreak on the 11th…but strong north winds persisted through the day.

In 1988…a late winter storm produced heavy snow and wind… Mainly north of Denver. Wind gusts reached 62 mph at Keenesburg and produced a lot of blowing snow…closing schools in southwest weld County. The storm closed I-70 east of Denver. Only 1.1 inch of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…but north winds gusted to 39 mph.

10-12

In 1924…snowfall was heavy and totaled 9.9 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 11th.

In 2001…heavy snow fell over northeast Colorado and metro Denver when a combination of upslope winds and convective snow bands formed over the area. Storm totals included: 11 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort; 10 inches at Genesee; 8 inches at Elizabeth…atop Lookout Mountain…near Sedalia… And at Strasburg; 7 inches near Castle Rock and Evergreen; and 6 inches in Aurora…atop Crow Hill…and in Parker. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 2 to 5 inches with 3.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.

» Click here to read the rest of March 8 to March 14: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s Monday to see clearing skies, above normal temperatures

Monday, March 9th, 2020 5:01am MDT

Following last night’s nice dose of rain (0.45 inches), we will dry out today. Skies will be clearing and temperatures will climb to above normal levels.

The day will start with a good bit of cloud cover, perhaps some fog in a few spots. That will soon clear and mostly sunny skies will be the rule for much of the day.

Overall conditions will be calm and dry. High temperatures today will top out right around the 60 degree mark, a good bit above the average high for the date of 53 degrees.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with overnight lows dropping to 34 degrees.

What does the rest of the workweek hold? Much of it will be dry with above normal temps but we do see just a bit of a chance for some snow toward the latter part of the week. See here for more details.

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National Weather Service announces storm spotter training dates for 2020

Monday, March 9th, 2020 4:00am MDT

On June 3, 1981 a tornado struck Thornton in what is the worst twister to have struck the Denver metro area. Are you ready should disaster strike again? Image courtesy the City of Thornton archives.

Severe weather is a fact of life in Colorado – from blizzards to tornadoes we can and do see it all.  Each year the weather is responsible for claiming lives in our state and across the nation and the threat is very real.  Storm spotter training allows you to learn how to protect yourself and your family while providing a public service.

Education is key to knowing how to protect you and your family.  Whether you want to be an official storm spotter or maybe just want to learn more about severe weather, storm spotter training can provide you an incredible opportunity to learn.

The National Weather Service Denver / Boulder office has announced a series of Skywarn storm spotter training dates for Colorado for the 2020 season.

The storm spotter program is a nationwide program with more than 280,000 trained spotters.  These volunteers report weather hazards to their local National Weather Service office providing vital information when severe strikes.  Data from spotters include severe wind, rain, snow measurements, thunderstorms and hail and of course tornadoes.

Storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

By completing one of these training classes you can become an official storm spotter.  When severe weather strikes, you can report it by calling a special toll free number or submit your report via the National Weather Service’s website.

These are great sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the severe weather we experience in Colorado, whether you want to be an official spotter or not.  All training is free.  Topics include:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

To learn more about the program, see here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/awebphp/spotter.php

Below are the dates, times and locations announced thus far.  The embedded calendar should automatically update with new dates and changes but be sure to check the National Weather Service site for the latest.


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