Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedMon, 24-Oct-2016 7:15pm MDT 


ThorntonWeather.com on Twitter

ThorntonWeather.com on Facebook


Weather Geek Stuff - weathergeekstuff.com

Rocky Mountain Weather Network

Tony's Takes Photography


Recent News and Posts

Satellite imagery shows devastating Canadian wildfire

Friday, May 6th, 2016 5:37am MDT

A fast-moving wildfire burning near Fort McMurray, Alberta has prompted the evacuation of all 88,000 residents of the city.  Since the fire started Sunday, at least 1,600 structures have been destroyed.

NASA’s Earth Observatory trained one of its satellites on the area – see below.  Read more about the blaze here.

Wildfire Spreads in Fort McMurray

On May 4, 2016, the the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite acquired this false-color image of the wildfire that burned through Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. The image combines shortwave infrared, near infrared, and green light (bands 5-4-2). Near- and short-wave infrared help penetrate clouds and smoke to reveal the hot spots associated with active fires, which appear red. Smoke appears white and burned areas appear brown.


Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Thornton’s Thursday likely to bring warmest day of the year so far

Thursday, May 5th, 2016 4:25am MDT

A high pressure ridge continues to be the dominant feature for us and that is going to lead to a very warm day today. In fact, we are likely to see our first 80 degree temperature reading of the year.

Mostly sunny skies above will be the rule today.  Conditions will be dry and winds light and out of the south.

In terms of temperature, look for a high right around 81 degrees.  Thus far our warmest reading of the year has been 78 degrees (April 22) and we are almost certain to best that.

Tomorrow we’ll see a similar warm day and also introduce a slight chance for thunderstorms as a low pressure system moves in.  For your weekend, the front stalls a bit over northeastern Colorado. This will lead to cooler temperatures in the 60s and a better chance for thunderstorms and showers.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Wednesday brings very mild temps, lots of sun

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 4:52am MDT

With a high pressure ridge settled in nicely, Thornton will enjoy a very pleasant, spring day today.  Sun and warmth will be the key #weather words.

We start out with sunny skies and like yesterday, while there might be a cloud or two at different points, they won’t be enough to intrude on the sunshine. Temperatures will be warming up to a high in the mid-70s. Conditions will be warm and dry.

Even warmer weather awaits tomorrow and Friday as we will see highs around 80 degrees on those days. Thursday should be dry while Friday PM brings a chance for thunderstorms.

The weekend does look to be a bit unsettled as a low pressure system moves through.  We’ll have a good chance for thunderstorms Saturday and highs will cool down to near normal (69 degrees).  Sunday looks to be a damp one and a good bit cooler.

More details in the extended forecast.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Thornton’s May weather preview: Anything from snow to severe storms

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 3:53pm MDT
Thornton, Colorado May 2013 weather preview.

Thornton, Colorado May 2016 weather preview.

Colorado’s famously highly variable weather seems to showcase itself during the month of May when a variety of weather conditions can be seen.

Winter-like temperatures and snow are possible as are mid-summer like temperatures or the more typical spring severe weather.

As the month starts out in 2016 we see snow but then warmer, milder weather is expected to arrive for the balance of the first week of the month.  Long range forecasts lean toward overall cooler and wetter than normal conditions.

However the month can bring extremes.  Snow is not entirely uncommon during the month, oftentimes causing damage to newly bloomed trees.  More common however is severe weather, particularly in the latter half of the month.  Thunderstorms become more frequent and their associated hazards – lightning, wind, hail and tornadoes – are usual visitors.

For a complete look at what lies ahead for the month of May, check out our full preview here.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

May 1 to May 7: This week in Denver weather history

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 3:49pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

May 1 to May 7: This week in Denver weather history

May can bring a variety of conditions from snow and cold to severe thunderstorms and flooding rains. Looking back at this week in Denver weather history we see where all of those events have made an appearance in our past.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1954…a major storm dumped 10.1 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow…7.5 inches…fell on the 29th and 30th. The maximum snow depth on the ground was 5 inches on the 30th due to melting. No strong winds accompanied the storm.


In 1980…to the west of Denver…heavy rain changing to snow buried the foothills above 7 thousand feet in 4 to 8 inches of snow. Precipitation in the foothills ranged from 1 to 3 inches…which caused some local flooding. Rain fell at lower elevations. Rainfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled 1.05 inches from the storm.


In 1902…northwest winds were sustained to 68 mph with gusts as high as 74 mph in the city during the early morning. The apparent very strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 78 degrees.

In 1912…south winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph. South to southwest winds were strong all afternoon.

In 1935…a moderate duststorm blew into the city at around 2:00 pm on northwest winds sustained to 17 mph with gusts to 19 mph. Later in the afternoon…the dust receded to the east in advance of a rainstorm from the west.

In 1988…very strong winds behind a vigorous cold front produced a blinding dust storm that closed I-70 east of Denver. Northeast winds over metro Denver peaked to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport…but only kicked up some blowing dust. The temperature plunged from a high of 76 degrees at midday to 36 degrees at midnight as light rain changed to light snow.

In 1991…3/4 inch diameter hail fell at Standley Lake in northwest metro Denver.

In 1999…heavy snow developed in the foothills above 7 thousand feet elevation. Snow totals included: 10 inches at Rollinsville…7 inches near conifer…and 6 inches atop Crow Hill. Rain fell across metro Denver.


In 1903…post-frontal rain changed to light snow overnight… But totaled only 2.0 inches. This was the last snow of the season. Northeast winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 48 mph on the 1st.


In 1898…snowfall totaled 15.5 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.2 inches…fell on the 3rd. Most of the snow melted as it fell. The greatest snow depth on the ground was only 2.5 inches on the 3rd at 8:00 pm. This was the only snowfall during the month. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 1st.


In 1874…strong winds upset two railroad passenger coaches near Georgetown. The baggage was retrieved and placed in a heavy…large wagon. The passengers then seated themselves on top of the baggage. Another strong gust of wind upset the wagon. The driver’s shoulder was dislocated…and a passenger’s leg was badly injured. In Denver…northwest winds increased and blew in gusts and heavy winds were observed on the ridge tops. On the Kansas Pacific R.R. east of Denver…the wind was so strong that it blew the train back several lengths…which caused the train to be about 7 hours late arriving in the city.

In 1901…south winds were sustained to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph from an apparent thunderstorm with hail.

In 1944…snowfall of 8.3 inches was accompanied by a thunderstorm. This was the last snowfall of the season and the only snow of the month. Northwest winds were sustained to 25 mph.

In 1955…southwest winds at speeds of 37 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1983…1 inch diameter hail fell a few miles south of Bennett.

In 1984…3/4 inch diameter hail fell in Northglenn.

In 1988…I-70 east of Denver was closed for the second straight day…this time due to snow and blowing snow producing up to 2 foot drifts. While only 2 to 4 inches of snow fell across metro Denver…Strasburg…just east of Denver…received a foot of snow. North winds peaked to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled only 1.3 inches.

In 1995…lightning struck a house in Westminster sparking an attic fire.


In 1979…heavy rain changed to snow on the 2nd. Snowfall totaled 3.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport… Where northwest winds gusted to 26 mph. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was only 1 inch at midday on the 2nd due to melting. Total precipitation for the 2 days was 1.65 inches.


In 1987…a slow moving storm brought rain…wind…and snow to metro Denver. Rainfall totaled 1.04 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 48 mph on the 3rd. The foothills received 5 to 10 inches of snow.


In 2001…a very slow moving pacific storm system became parked near the four corners region…which allowed heavy snow to develop above 6500 feet in the foothills with a mix of rain and snow over lower elevations of metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 21 inches atop Crow Hill and at Idaho Springs; 19 inches near Blackhawk; and 18 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…Genesee…and 11 miles southwest of Morrison. Snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 2.09 inches at Denver International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 2nd.


In 1898…heavy snowfall of 6.2 inches fell over downtown Denver. Most of the snow melted as it fell. The greatest snow depth on the ground was 2.5 inches during the evening.

In 1907…the all-time lowest recorded temperature in the month of May…19 degrees…occurred.

In 1925…an apparent microburst produced sustained northeast winds to 44 mph with gusts to 52 mph. Rainfall was only 0.01 inch in downtown Denver.

In 1981…lightning struck 9 golfers at the south suburban golf course. None were injured seriously.

In 1983…hail 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell at Green Mountain west of Lakewood…with 3/4 inch stones reported in Lakewood.

In 1986…a thunderstorm wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.


In 1908…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 3rd and continued through the early evening of the 5th. Snowfall totaled 10.0 inches over downtown Denver. This was the last measurable snow of the season. Precipitation totaled 1.51 inches. North winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 3rd…33 mph on the 4th…and 21 mph on the 5th. Three temperature records were set. High temperatures of 30 degrees on the 4th and 38 degrees on the 5th were record low maximum temperatures for the dates. The reading on the 4th was also the all-time record low maximum for the month of May.

In 2007…a slow moving pacific storm system…from the desert southwest…brought a period of unsettled weather to the region. During the 3-day period…locally heavy snow was reported over parts of the Front Range foothills. Storm totals included: 15 inches near Conifer…14.5 inches west of Jamestown…13.5 inches; 6 miles southwest of Evergreen…and 12.5 inches at Pine Junction. Severe thunderstorms…producing large hail…up to one inch in diameter were observed in the vicinity of Boulder and Hudson. Lightning struck a residence in Jefferson County. The roof was hit…causing the attic to catch fire. At Denver International Airport…lightning struck a United Airlines jet as it was pushing away from the gate. The passengers were taken off the jet and put on another plane.


In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.

In 1971…a funnel cloud was sighted 10 miles southwest of Boulder. Hail stones to 1 inch in diameter fell in southeast Denver…but caused only minor damage.

In 2006…a severe thunderstorm produced hail to 1.00 inch in diameter in Aurora near Cheery Creek Reservoir.

In 2010…high winds downed trees and power lines across parts of the Front Range foothills and urban corridor. Downed power lines sparked a 12-acre wildfire near Conifer. In Boulder…Longmont and Louisville…the wind damaged roofs and broke windows and skylights. Peak wind gusts included: 75 mph in northwest Longmont…71 mph at the national wind technology center and 4 miles south-southwest of Superior…61 mph at Broomfield and 56 mph in Erie. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 46 mph was observed.

» Click here to read the rest of May 1 to May 7: This week in Denver weather history

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

April 2016 weather recap: Temps near normal, precipitation and snow above average

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 3:44pm MDT

Coming off a very snowy and cold March, Thornton saw a relatively seasonal April 2016.  Temperatures were right near normal but we did see a healthier than average dose of snow and precipitation.

The month started out quite mild.  In fact 13 of the first 14 days saw above average high temperatures.   That changed quickly though at the middle of the month when a storm system brought cold and snow to the Front Range. While most of the white stuff fell to our south, Thornton managed respectable totals over the 16th and 17th of the month.

We then returned to mild weather but only for a few days as a series of low pressure systems passed through the state.  The final three days of the month saw well-below average high temperatures and periods of rain and snow.

Thornton saw an average temperature for the month of 48.0 degrees.  Out at the airport where Denver’s official measurements are kept, the monthly average was a bit cooler at 47.2 degrees.  Both were quite close to the April long term average of 47.4 degrees.

Temperatures in Thornton ranged from a maximum of 78.3 degrees on the 22nd down to a low of 21.9 degrees on the first of the month. DIA saw a maximum of 77 degrees on the 22nd and 23rd and a low of 25 degrees on the first.

In terms of precipitation, Denver’s long term April average is 1.71 inches. On this front, both Thornton and Denver came out above normal.  We saw 2.47 inches of liquid precipitation in our bucket in Thornton while Denver recorded 2.56 inches.

Snowfall was above the 8.9 inch April average in Thornton and Denver.  Thornton however only bested it by a half inch with a total of 9.4 inches for the month. Out at the airport, 15.6 inches was recorded.

Click here to view Thornton’s April 2016 climate report.

Thornton, Colorado's April 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s April 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado's April 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s April 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

244 AM MDT SUN MAY 1 2016



                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
 HIGH              90   04/30/1992
 LOW               -2   04/02/1975
HIGHEST            77   04/23        90     -13       79  04/30
LOWEST             25   04/01        -2      27       27  04/03
AVG. MAXIMUM     59.4              61.5    -2.1     62.1
AVG. MINIMUM     35.1              33.3     1.8     35.3
MEAN             47.2              47.4    -0.2     48.7
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32      0               0.3    -0.3        0
DAYS MIN <= 32     11              13.0    -2.0        7
DAYS MIN <= 0 0 0.0 0.0 0 PRECIPITATION (INCHES) RECORD MAXIMUM 8.24 1900 MINIMUM 0.03 1963 TOTALS 2.56 1.71 0.85 2.65 DAILY AVG. 0.09 0.06 0.03 0.09 DAYS >= .01        10               9.1     0.9        9
DAYS >= .10         6               4.5     1.5        6
DAYS >= .50         2               0.9     1.1        2
DAYS >= 1.00        1               0.5     0.5        1
 24 HR. TOTAL    1.22   04/15 TO 04/16           04/16 TO 04/17
                                                          04/17 TO 04/17
                                                          04/17 TO 04/17
 STORM TOTAL       MM                                 MM
 (MM/DD(HH))            MM                    04/17(00) TO 04/17(00)
                                                 04/17(00) TO 04/17(00)7
                                                 04/17(00) TO 04/17(00)7

TOTALS           15.6               8.9    6.7

HEATING TOTAL     526               529      -3      481
 SINCE 7/1       5230              5731    -501     5205
COOLING TOTAL       0                 1      -1        0
 SINCE 1/1          0                 1      -1        0

 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST      04/01             10/07
LATEST                          05/05

AVERAGE WIND SPEED              10.9

AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.60
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            6
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             15


THUNDERSTORM              0     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                0     RAIN                       2
LIGHT RAIN                6     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                1     SNOW                       5
LIGHT SNOW                8     SLEET                      0
FOG                       9     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      4
HAZE                      1

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Pleasant, seasonal conditions for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 4:56am MDT

Given recent conditions, ‘seasonal’ is something to celebrate and that is the type of #weather we will see today. Temps will be right near normal and we will be enjoying a healthy dose of sun above.

We start out the day a bit chilly and in the low 40s as the sun comes up. We’ll be warming up steadily through the morning though on our way to a high of 66 degrees by mid to late afternoon. Look for plenty of sun above with only a cloud here and there.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

The sun finally returns Monday, temps warm up

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 4:59am MDT

It has been a long few days of cloudy, cold and wet weather. Thankfully we break through that pattern starting today.

The workweek starts with a pleasant, but somewhat cooler than normal day. However, it is a big improvement over what we saw this past weekend.

Mostly sunny to sunny skies will be above throughout the day today with light winds. Temperatures will be warming up to the upper 50s. Average for the date is 66 degrees.

Looking ahead, we’ll see temperatures warm up over the next few days with highs pushing the 80 degree mark Thursday and Friday. A bit cooler temperatures and chances for thunderstorms arrive for the weekend.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

April 2016 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 6:17pm MDT
A picture perfect evening in Adams County. (Carolyn Owens Smith)

A picture perfect evening in Adams County. (Carolyn Owens Smith)

April can be a tricky month weather-wise with everything from mild temperatures to snow to severe weather being possible.  The good thing about that is that it provides plenty of chances for great photos!

April marks a transition between winter and summer for most of the country but for Denver it is especially true as we can see a stunning variety of weather.

The proverbial April showers are certainly a possibility for Denver. Snow? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? You bet – all can happen!

Throw in our usual wildlife plus the wide variety of birds that return to the Centennial State for the spring and summer and there is a lot going on.

  • Slideshow updated April 23, 2016. 
  • 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!

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!

Chilly, unsettled weekend weather for Thornton

Friday, April 29th, 2016 5:42am MDT

If you were hoping to work on some of those outdoor spring chores this weekend you might as well hang that list back on the refrigerator and save it for another day. Mother Nature is seeing fit to bring winter-like weather for the three day period with chilly temps and periods of snow and rain.

For Friday we are starting out with some light snow accumulation already and a rain / snow mix falling. The precipitation will continue throughout the day, mostly falling as wet snow. However, much of this will melt quite quickly so actual accumulation won’t amount to much – maybe an inch or two. Highs today will be topping out only in the mid to upper 30s, nearly 30 degrees below normal for the date.

Tonight and overnight periods of rain and snow will continue but with temps increasing a bit, more rain than the white stuff is expected. As we enter Saturday precipitation will become a bit more scattered but possible throughout the day. High temperatures tomorrow will be in the low 40s but feel colder due to some breezy winds that are expected.

Sunday starts out with a wintry mix of rain, snow and possibly some freezing drizzle. By mid-morning less precipitation should be seen but it will remain chilly and cloudy.

Have a great weekend and stay warm.

Join the Discussion - Post your commentJoin the Discussion!