Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedFri, 24-Mar-2017 10:05am MDT 


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WikiLeaks email details bullying, silencing of CU professor on climate change

Thursday, October 27th, 2016 8:49am MDT
Climate change alarmists have taken to bullying to silence opposing voices. (Flickr / Soumyadeep Paul, Creative Commons)

Climate change alarmists have taken to bullying to silence opposing voices. (Flickr / Soumyadeep Paul, Creative Commons)

The latest batch of emails released by WikiLeaks from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, contain a local connection.  A message received by Podesta details how climate change alarmists launched a concerted effort to keep a University of Colorado professor from publishing his views on manmade climate change.

Holding degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science, Roger Pielke, Jr. is a well-respected professor at CU.  Using statistical analysis, he has authored many papers and books debunking some of the more outrageous claims purveyors of the manmade climate change theory use to scare the populace.

Pielke apparently was seen as a threat to alarmists after publishing a story to fivethirtyeight.com in March 2014 disputing the claim that disasters are becoming more expensive due to climate change.

The professor used imperial data to determine, “When you read that the cost of disasters is increasing, it’s tempting to think that it must be because more storms are happening. They’re not. All the apocalyptic “climate porn” in your Facebook feed is solely a function of perception. In reality, the numbers reflect more damage from catastrophes because the world is getting wealthier. We’re seeing ever-larger losses simply because we have more to lose — when an earthquake or flood occurs, more stuff gets damaged.”

This did not fit the narrative of those that believe manmade climate change is the greatest threat to the Earth of the century.

Judd Legum, editor of ThinkProgress, sent an email to Podesta as well as billionaire Tom Steyer detailing Legum’s organization’s efforts to silence Pielke.  He brags that ThinkProgress was successful in ensuring, “Pielke never wrote another piece on climate change for 538.”

Steyer is a name that should be familiar with Coloradans.  The San Francisco-based billionaire and environmental activist has spent millions of dollars in Colorado elections, trying to influence their outcomes.

The Earth (NASA)Ironically, Pielke has been a voice of reason and moderation in the sometimes-raucous debate about manmade climate change.  He actually favors a carbon tax and has advocated for removing any incentives for fossil fuels and replacing them with a push for renewable energy sources.

Pielke told the Boulder Daily Camera, “They were ultimately successful in removing an academic from working on a topic,” as he has moved on to other areas of study.  There’s, “nothing like a political witch hunt to help you focus on career priorities,” he said.

“It spells out in black and white … that there was an organized, politically motivated campaign to damage my career and reputation, based on a perception that my academic research was thought to be inconvenient.”

The fact that a member of academia could be silenced is troubling but it also fits the new way that climate change alarmists have chosen to battle those that disagree with them: Don’t debate the topic on its merits, instead simply shut down the opposition.

On the net:

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Thursday to bring lots of sun, potentially record-setting temperatures

Thursday, October 27th, 2016 5:03am MDT

Writing the weather forecasts this month has been quite repetitive with minor differences day to day. That trend continues today as we will see dry, calm conditions and temperatures pushing toward the record high.

We start out with sunny skies and other than a few clouds late today, the sun will shine unabated. Winds will be calm, conditions dry. Look for highs today to top out around 81 degrees. The record for today’s date is 80 degrees last set in 1966 so it will be in jeopardy of falling.

Keep an eye on the rising mercury here.

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Lots of sun and very mild temperatures for Wednesday

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 5:08am MDT

High pressure has re-built over the region and that is going to continue to be the driving factor in our weather not only today but through the end of the week. Dry conditions and unseasonably warm temperatures will be the end result.

We start out the day with clear skies and you can look forward to a healthy dose of sun above throughout. Conditions will be calm and dry as we head for a high temperature in the mid-70s. Average for the date is 61 degrees.

Looking ahead, we will return to pushing the 80 degree mark tomorrow and Friday then cool slightly to the mid-70s for the rest of the weekend.

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ThorntonWeather.com celebrates its 10th birthday

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 10:00am MDT
Keeping an eye on the sky since October 2006. ThorntonWeather.com is now beginning its 10th year of operation.

Keeping an eye on the sky since October 2006. ThorntonWeather.com went live on the Internet 10 years ago.

It is hard to believe but it was 10 years ago today on October 25, 2006 that the digital switch was thrown and the first bits of live weather data from our weather station were fed to the Internet.  ThorntonWeather.com was born!

Since that date, we are extremely proud of what the site has become – an indispensable community resource for north Denver metro area residents, businesses and governmental agencies.

On the one year anniversary of the site’s launch, we were receiving on average 750 unique visitors a month.  On the second anniversary that had grown to around 5,000 visitors a month.  For 2016 we are on pace to average well over 25,000 per month!

The response has been absolutely overwhelming to say the least.

We launched the site simply because we wanted to know what was going on with the weather in Thornton and the north Denver metro area.  We don’t live downtown, we don’t live at DIA and the differences in weather between Thornton and those other locations can be considerable.  Apparently many of you agree!

Our site has not only grown in terms of visitors, but perhaps more importantly in terms of the amount of information available.  Certainly we provide the basics of live weather conditions, radar and forecasts.

  • Did you know ThorntonWeather.com is a completely non-profit venture run by a Thornton resident?  We are self-funded but do occasionally receive help from members of the community, something which allows us to keep things up and running. Learn more about how you can help here.

Far more than that, we now have educational information about various weather dangers, historical climate information, satellite imagery, webcams and so much more.  Our news and blog section is continually updated with the latest news and information including items important to the community.

Put simply, there is no other media outlet in the state that provides as much weather news, information and content as we do!

Since our launch we have became very ‘social’ with a growing Facebook page, a Twitter feed and a presence on Google +.  Interacting with our visitors is an integral part of our site and something we enjoy greatly.

  • Stay up to date with Thornton’s weather: Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and add us to your Google+ circles.

We’re just ‘weather geeks’ that love the weather and love our community.  Running ThorntonWeather.com can be a bit expensive and it is time consuming to maintain and operate it but it is worth it.

We’d like to thank all of our visitors for your support in the past and we look forward to continuing to be the best, truly local source for Thornton weather.

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Tuesday cools a bit, brings just a slight chance for a sprinkle

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 5:18am MDT

Tuesday cools a bit, brings just a slight chance for a sprinkle. A weak system is moving through today and that is going to mix things up with our weather but only slightly.

Look for cooler temps and maybe a sprinkle or two. We start out the day with mostly cloudy skies then will see that cloud cover ease as the day progresses leading to mostly sunny skies by mid to late afternoon. Temperatures today will be topping out in the low to mid-70s, cooler than yesterday but still well above normal.

In terms of precipitation, we have just a slight chance to see some showers from now into the early afternoon. Unfortunately, activity isn’t likely nor is any that develops expected to amount to much.

After today, we continue the mild weather and expect dry conditions through the end of the week.

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Thornton’s mild, dry weather continues Monday

Monday, October 24th, 2016 5:07am MDT

Very little change in store for our overall weather pattern today. In fact, we will be seeing more of the same through the week.

Today we start out with mostly sunny skies. We’ll see some cirrus clouds above of varying thicknesses as the day progresses. Temperatures will be climbing to a high in the mid-70s, well above the average for the date of 62 degrees.

For the balance of the week, mercury readings in the 70s will be the rule and conditions dry other than just a slight chance for showers tomorrow and tomorrow night.

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October 23 to October 29: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 7:00am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

October 23 to October 29: This Week in Denver Weather History

It’s not quite Halloween but leading up to the holiday we see plenty of  ‘scary’ weather in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. High winds are relatively commonplace and so too are major snowstorms. One recent event in 1997 dumped 14 to 31 inches of the white stuff on the metro area.

From the National Weather Service:


In 2003…an extended warm spell resulted in 5 new temperature records. The high temperature of 84 degrees on the 18th equaled the record high for the date. High temperatures of 86 degrees on the 19th…83 degrees on the 21st…and 84 degrees on the 22nd were record highs for the dates. Low temperature of 49 degrees on the 23rd was a record high minimum for the date. Low temperatures during the period were in the 40’s and lower 50’s.


In 1906…heavy snowfall totaled 22.7 inches in the city over the 5 days. Rain changed to snow on the evening of the 19th…and snow continued through the late afternoon of the 23rd. The heaviest amount of snowfall…16.0 inches…fell from 8:00 pm on the 20th to 8:00 pm on the 22nd. The most snow on the ground was 13.3 inches on the evening of the 23rd. This was the first snow of the season and the only snow of the month. Winds during the storm were from the north at sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph each day. Temperatures during the storm were generally in the 20’s.


In 1914…post-frontal rain changed to snow. Precipitation totaled 2.72 inches…most of which was in the form of moist snow which melted as it fell in the business section of the city. About 3 inches of snow was measured on lawns in the residential areas on the morning of the 24th. Official snowfall totaled only 0.4 inch downtown… But an estimated 8.0 inches of snow melted as it fell. North to northeast winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 30 mph on both days.

In 1975…a vigorous cold front moving across metro Denver followed by strong northeast winds gusting to 52 mph produced billows of blowing dust and plunged the temperature 21 degrees in an hour. The surface visibility was reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport. The temperature cooled from a daily record high of 81 degrees to a low of 38 degrees by day’s end. The first snowfall of the season totaled 2.7 inches on the 23rd. This was the only measurable snow of the month at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1995…heavy snow fell on the Palmer Ridge south of Denver and in the foothills west of Denver where snow amounts ranged from 4 to 8 inches. Sedalia…south of Denver… Received 8 inches of snow. Winds strengthened on the plains and produced blizzard conditions…reducing surface visibilities to less than 1/4 mile. I-70 was closed from just east of Denver at Gun Club Road to the Kansas border. Ten inches of snow fell at Strasburg east of Denver where north winds at sustained speeds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph produced 2 to 4 foot drifts. Snowfall totaled only 2.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport.


In 1876…skies were fair…but winds were sustained to 48 mph.

In 1942…a major storm dumped 10.2 inches of snow over downtown Denver. Post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to only 13 mph.

In 1955…the first snowfall of the season and the only measurable snow of the month dumped 4.1 inches of snow on Stapleton Airport. This was the single heaviest October snowfall in 13 years since 1942. The storm also brought the first sub-freezing temperatures of the season when the temperature dipped to a low of 25 degrees.

In 1956…southwest winds gusted to 53 mph and produced some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1967…a northwest wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. In downtown Boulder… Winds were sustained at 20 mph with gusts in excess of 40 mph.

In 1981…strong winds occurred in the foothills. Wind gusts to 70 mph were reported at Wondervu.


In 1887…the first measurable snowfall of the season totaled 3.1 inches. North winds to 20 mph were recorded on the 23rd. This was the only measurable snow of the month.

In 1932…post-frontal snowfall from the late evening of the 23rd continued through the late afternoon of the 24th and totaled 6.2 inches. Southeast winds were sustained to 25 mph with gusts to 26 mph on the 23rd. Temperatures cooled from a high of 68 degrees on the 23rd to a low of 25 degrees on the 24th…the coldest reading of the month that year. Many trees that had not shed their leaves became heavily laden by the wet snow. Many branches were broken… And a few trees toppled under the weight of the snow. The landscape became one of rare beauty.


In 1956…southwest winds gusted to 56 mph and produced some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport. A cold front produced a thunderstorm with 1/8 inch hail. Rain later changed to snow. Precipitation totaled only 0.11 inch and snowfall only 0.3 inch.

In 1973…strong winds raked the eastern foothills…causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. The heaviest damage occurred in the Boulder area where 20 to 25 mobile homes were hit…some power and telephone lines were blown down…and a store was damaged. A wind gust to 76 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Bureau of Standards. Northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.


In 1921…rainfall totaled 0.35 inch overnight behind an apparent cold front. North winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph on the 25th. Temperatures plunged from a high of 73 degrees on the 24th to a low of 39 degrees on the 25th.

In 1923…rain overnight changed to snow during the morning. The heavy snowfall accumulated to 12.0 inches before ending on the morning of the 25th. Post-frontal north winds were sustained to 22 mph with gusts to 23 mph on the 24th.

In 1997…one of the worst and deadliest blizzards of the decade developed over eastern Colorado as deep east to northeast flow associated with a vigorous upper level low pressure system over the Four Corners…combined with a strong arctic air mass over the central great plains. Snowfall totals across metro Denver ranged from 14 to 31 inches. The heaviest snowfall occurred in the foothills west and southwest of Denver where 2 to 4 feet of snow were measured. Sustained winds to 40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph produced zero visibilities and extremely cold wind chill temperatures from 25 below to 40 below zero. Winds whipped the snow into drifts 4 to 10 feet deep. Several major and interstate highways were closed as travel became impossible. Red Cross shelters were set up for hundreds of travelers who became stranded when they had to abandon their vehicles. Four people died in northeastern Colorado as a result of the blizzard. None of the deaths were in metro Denver. At Denver International Airport…4 thousand travelers were stranded when the airport was forced to shut down. At least 120 cars were abandoned along Pena Blvd….the only arterial leading into and out of dia. The blizzard cost air carriers at least 20 million dollars. Thousands of cattle died in the storm over northeastern Colorado…resulting in losses totaling 1.5 million dollars. Some of the more impressive snowfall totals included: 51 inches at Coal Creek Canyon; 48 inches at Silver Spruce Ranch…near Ward; 42 inches at Intercanyon…in the foothills southwest of Denver; 37 inches at Sedalia; 35 inches at Aspen Springs and Conifer in the foothills west of Denver; 31 inches at Eldorado Springs… Southeast Aurora…and Englewood; and 30 inches on Table Mesa in Boulder. Snowfall totaled 21.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…setting a new 24-hour snowfall record of 19.1 inches for the month. Snowfall totaled only 14 inches at Denver International Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph on the 24th. High temperature of only 21 degrees on the 25th equaled the record low maximum for the date first set in 1873. Low temperature of only 3 degrees on the 26th set a new record minimum for the date.


In 1925…a vigorous cold front produced north winds sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 52 mph. Post-frontal snowfall was only 0.4 inch during the late afternoon and early evening.

In 1959…northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1997…the high temperature warmed to only 21 degrees…the record low maximum for the month. The same temperature also occurred on October 30…1991.

» Click here to read the rest of October 23 to October 29: This Week in Denver Weather History

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NOAA releases 2016 – 2017 winter weather outlook

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 4:51am MDT

What will this winter have in store for Thornton?  Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center have released their outlook and for the Front Range, it doesn’t hold much in the way of clues.

The CPC does show odds favor above average temperatures for much of Colorado for the period from December through February.  In terms of precipitation, the agency gives equal chances of near average, well above average, or well below average precipitation for most of the state. The one exception is the southern third of Colorado which they peg at having above average chances of a drier than normal year.

From NOAA:

U.S. Winter Outlook predicts warmer, drier South and cooler, wetter North
Drought expected to persist in California and expand in the Southeast

Winter 2016 - 2017 temperature outlook. Click for larger view. (NOAA)

Winter 2016 – 2017 temperature outlook. Click for larger view. (NOAA)

October 20, 2016 – Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the U.S. Winter Outlook today, saying that La Nina is expected to influence winter conditions this year. The Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch this month, predicting the climate phenomenon is likely to develop in late fall or early winter. La Nina favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S and wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S. If La Nina conditions materialize, forecasters say it should be weak and potentially short-lived.

“This climate outlook provides the most likely outcome for the upcoming winter season, but it also provides the public with a good reminder that winter is just up ahead and it’s a good time to prepare for typical winter hazards, such as extreme cold and snowstorms,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Regardless of the outlook, there is always some chance for extreme winter weather, so prepare now for what might come later this winter.”

Other factors that often play a role in the winter weather include theArctic Oscillation, which influences the number of arctic air masses that penetrate into the South and create nor’easters on the East Coast, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which can affect the number of heavy rain events in the Pacific Northwest.

The 2016 U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February):

Winter 2016 - 2017 precipitation outlook. Click for larger view. (NOAA)

Winter 2016 – 2017 precipitation outlook. Click for larger view. (NOAA)


  • Wetter than normal conditions are most likely in the northern Rockies, around the Great Lakes, in Hawaii and in western Alaska
  • Drier than normal conditions are most likely across the entire southern U.S. and southern Alaska.


  • Warmer than normal conditions are most likely across the southern U.S., extending northward through the central Rockies, in Hawaii, in western and northern Alaska and in northern New England.
  • Cooler conditions are most likely across the northern tier from Montana to western Michigan.
  • The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to shift the odds, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.


  • Drought will likely persist through the winter in many regions currently experiencing drought, including much of California and the Southwest
  • Drought is expected to persist and spread in the southeastern U.S. and develop in the southern Plains.
  • New England will see a mixed bag, with improvement in the western parts and persistence to the east.  
  • Drought improvement is anticipated in northern California, the northern Rockies, the northern Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley.

This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.  However, La Nina winters tend to favor above average snowfall around the Great Lakes and in the northern Rockies and below average snowfall in the mid-Atlantic.

NOAA produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what’s likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather’s impacts on lives and livelihoods. Empowering people with actionable forecasts and winter weather tips is key to NOAA’s effort to build aWeather-Ready Nation.

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Winter Weather Preparedness Week recap

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 4:30am MDT
Winter Weather Preparedness Week concludes. Are you ready for winter?

Winter Weather Preparedness Week concludes. Are you ready for winter?

As we have talked about this week, winter weather can be dangerous and downright deadly.  However, being prepared helps to ensure that you and your family remain safe when the snow starts to fly or other winter weather conditions occur.

It is very easy to ignore the dangers of weather – no matter the season – and find yourself saying, “I wish I would have….” Now is the time to think about how you can prepare for these conditions, before it is too late and you find yourself wishing you had.

In this sixth and final message in a series on Winter Weather Preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com reviews the topics we covered this week and directs you to the previous articles and other resources to help you get ready.

600 AM MDT SAT OCT 22 2016

Enjoy the great outdoors in Colorado this winter season, but watch the weather.

The National Weather Service issues a variety of winter weather, outlooks, watches, warnings, and advisories, covered earlier during this Winter Weather Preparedness Week.  Safety tips were also passed along.

» Click here to read the rest of Winter Weather Preparedness Week recap

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Stunning video captures Colorado’s gorgeous fall colors

Friday, October 21st, 2016 6:22am MDT

We happened across this video recently and had to share it. Photographer Jason Hatfield is a transplant to Colorado and has spent recent years filming our fall foliage. The end result? An amazing compilation of the high country in autumn.

From Jason’s description:

For the 8 years I’ve lived in Colorado, I’ve been most enthralled by the short but incredible fall foliage season in the high country. I’ve experienced the magnificent autumn colors of the East Coast and Midwest, but nothing for me has compared to the scenes of massive mountains rising from stunning forests of gold-covered aspens. For the past 5 years of filming, I’ve had this moment in my head, a finished time-lapse piece that turns Colorado’s extraordinary fall landscapes into living art. Some years I only came away with a couple good sequences, others a lot more, and finally after this season I felt I had the work I needed to produce my vision. Please enjoy this short film that embodies everything I love about my state.

Colorado – A Living Landscape 4K from Jason Hatfield on Vimeo.

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