Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedThu, 20-Sep-2018 4:25am MDT 


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Thornton to see unseasonably warm weekend temperatures, some wind

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 4:57am MDT

The first weekend of spring looks to offer some very warm temperatures and overall nice conditions. There will however be some periods of wind.

For Friday, we start out with mostly clear skies and should see the same through the day. Temperatures will climb to a high in the low 70s, well above average. The one problem with today’s weather will be the wind. Look for speeds to increase later this morning and become quite windy in the afternoon and evening.

Things will settle down after dark. Tonight, skies remain mostly clear with lows in the mid-30s.

Saturday will continue the mild temperatures with highs near the 70 degree mark. Mostly sunny skies start things off followed by an increase in PM cloud cover. Winds will be a bit breezy in the afternoon and evening.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, there will be a good bit of cloud cover initially then clearing skies. Lows Sunday morning will be in the upper 30s.

The weekend closes out on Sunday with another nice day. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the upper 60s.

Have a great weekend!

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National Weather Service announces storm spotter training dates for 2018

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 8:16am 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 2017 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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Unseasonably warm temperatures, calm conditions for Thursday

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 4:55am MDT

Thornton will enjoy a pleasant spring day today with our warmest temperatures of the year so far.

The day starts off with mostly clear skies but then, like yesterday, we will see an increase in cloud cover. Look for partly sunny skies for most of the late morning and afternoon. Winds will be light and out of the south. The mercury starts out above freezing then with the rising sun will steadily climb and head toward a high in the mid-70s.

Tonight, we will be mostly cloudy and temperatures stay relatively mild with lows only going to the mid-40s.

Keep an eye on those temperatures here.

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March 18 to March 24: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 6:26pm MDT
This week in Denver weather history

March 18 to March 24: This week in Denver weather history

March is of course one of Denver’s snowiest months, oftentimes bringing our biggest snowfalls of the season. We see this fact bear out in our look back with many events having delivered extraordinary snowfall totals.

From the National Weather Service:


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.


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 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 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 Baskerville 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.


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.


In 1927…heavy snowfall was 6.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph on the 18th.

In 1974…heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 19th.


In 1907…a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature records. Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and 80 degrees on the 20th. Record high minimum temperatures of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54 degrees on the 21st.


In 1969…high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. A freight train was derailed near the entrance to a canyon 20 miles west of Denver when some empty cars were caught on a curve by a gust of wind. Two light planes were heavily damaged at Jefferson County Airport. Winds gusted to 105 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…62 mph in downtown Boulder…and 80 to 90 mph at Boulder airport. Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…northwest winds gusted to 55 mph in Denver with stronger winds along the foothills. The strong cold winds kicked up some blowing dust…reducing the visibility to near zero at times at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…high winds across metro Denver caused minor damage to a few mobile homes at Lowry Air Force Base. West wind gusts reached 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport where visibility was briefly reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1995…strong winds associated with a pacific cold front blew across metro Denver. A west wind gust to 48 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport. Winds gusted to 59 mph at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2010…a storm system produced deep upslope and brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range. The foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties were the hardest hit. Storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…25.5 inches…4 miles southeast of Conifer; 25 inches at Genesee…24.5 inches near Kittredge… 23.5 inches…6 miles east of Nederland…20.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown…5 miles southeast of Aspen Park and 5 miles southeast Idaho Springs; and 18 inches near Ralston buttes. In and around Denver…storm totals included: 15 inches in Golden; 12.5 inches in Boulder…11.5 inches at Lone Tree; 10.5 inches near Castle Pines; 11 inches…6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 10 inches near Englewood…Highlands Ranch and 3 miles southwest of wheat ridge; 9 inches…4 miles west of Arvada…Broomfield…Centennial…Elizabeth and Westminster; 8.5 inches…in southeast Denver and Littleton; 7.5 inches in Louisville and near Thornton; 7 inches…4 miles south of Aurora…Lakewood and Niwot; 6.5 inches…4 miles northwest of Castle Rock…4 miles northwest of Denver and Northglenn; 6 inches in Brighton and 5 miles southeast of Sedalia. Officially… 1.7 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.


Iin 1912…post-frontal heavy snowfall of 6.3 inches was measured in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 19th. The strong cold front plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees on the 19th to a low of 1 degree on the 20th.

In 1959…a major storm dumped heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches on Stapleton Airport where north winds gusting to 44 mph caused much blowing and drifting snow. Many highways were blocked…and there was damage to phone lines along the South Platte River. The storm started as rain and changed to heavy wet snow…which froze on the lines causing the poles to break. The storm caused 2 deaths over eastern Colorado.

In 2006…strong northerly winds…associated with a surface low pressure system that intensified as it moved into the central Great Plains…brought heavy wet snow to the eastern foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. The hardest hit areas included the foothills of Boulder and Gilpin counties. Storm totals included: 15 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Aspen Springs…12.5 inches near Nederland…and 5.7 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Strong winds…heavy snow…and poor visibility forced the closure of interstate 70 from Denver east to the Kansas state line. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 19th.

» Click here to read the rest of March 18 to March 24: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s Wednesday to offer calm, seasonal conditions

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 5:01am MDT

Not too bad of a day ahead for us. Temperatures will be a bit above normal and winds much calmer than yesterday. There will however be a good bit of cloud cover.

Look for mostly sunny skies to start things out with cloud coverage increasing this morning leading to partly sunny skies for most of the day. Winds will be out of the south and relatively calm. The morning starts on the cold side then will see steady improvement with highs in the low 60s.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with lows in the mid-30s.

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First day of spring brings seasonal temperatures, breezy winds to Thornton

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 5:04am MDT

Spring officially arrives at 10:15am today and Mother Nature is going to give us a largely typical day of weather for this time of year. Temps will be right near normal, we’ll have mostly sunny skies and we will have a bit of wind.

The day starts with mostly sunny skies and we will have more of the same throughout the daytime hours. Temperatures will start out chilly but then warm to a high in the mid-50s, right near the average high for the date of 56 degrees. As for the winds, it will be calm this morning then they will start to pick up by late morning and become pretty breezy after noon and last into the evening.

Tonight, mostly cloudy skies will be above with lows a bit below freezing.

We will continue to see temperatures get warmer as the week progresses.

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Tornado Hits Jacksonville, Alabama [Photos, Videos]

Monday, March 19th, 2018 6:11pm MDT

Update: 11:15 p.m. EDT — Athletic Director at Jacksonville State University Greg Seitz tweeted confirming Jacksonville’s Coliseum has indeed incurred extensive damages due to the tornado. “My bestfriend is stuck at the Reservse [sic] in Jacksonville right now. Other tenants came to her apartment because theirs was flooding. At her apartment water started coming under the… » Click here to read the rest of Tornado Hits Jacksonville, Alabama [Photos, Videos]

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Thornton’s workweek starts on the cool side, may bring just a bit more snow

Monday, March 19th, 2018 5:02am MDT

Following on some much-needed rain and snow yesterday, we see a drier but cooler than normal day today. The afternoon may bring some more precipitation but we aren’t expecting much, if any.

The day starts with partly sunny skies above and we should see similar sky conditions throughout the day. Winds will be a bit breezy out of the north and will make things feel cooler than what they are. High temperatures will top out in the mid-40s.

As for precipitation, with some lingering instability and moisture, we could see some rain and snow in the afternoon. As mentioned though, only minimal accumulation will be seen if any at all.

Tonight, skies remain partly cloudy with lows dropping to the mid-20s.

For the rest of the workweek, we will see a very nice warming trend and by Thursday and Friday should be seeing highs in the 70s. Get the details in the extended weather forecast here.

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Thornton’s weekend starts with wind, switches to sun then will end with rain

Friday, March 16th, 2018 5:41am MDT

Following some much-needed rainfall last night, the three day period gives us a little bit of everything. Friday will offer up wind, Saturday should be very nice and then Sunday the next storm system brings a chance for rain.

For today, morning cloud cover will ease and we will have mostly sunny skies above for much of the day. Temperatures will warm to the mid-50s, on par with average for this time of year. The big story for today though will be the wind. Look for it to breezy in the morning then speeds will increase and become quite windy by noon and last into the evening.  Tonight, winds ease and skies remain mostly clear. Lows will dip to a bit below freezing.

Saturday looks to be the nicest day of the three-day period. We will enjoy sunny skies above and calm, dry conditions. High temperatures will top out in the mid-60s. Saturday night, clouds will increase with overnight lows in the low to mid-30s.

Sunday starts out nice with mostly sunny skies and calm conditions. By the afternoon, a low pressure system will begin to make itself felt and bring a chance for some afternoon rain. Highs will be in the mid to upper 50s. Chances for precipitation increase Sunday evening and may even bring a bit of snow overnight Sunday night into Monday morning.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday will bring mild daytime temps, unsettled evening conditions

Thursday, March 15th, 2018 5:43am MDT

A bit of an interesting day of weather ahead for Thornton. Temperatures will once again be mild but a passing system is going to create some unstable conditions and bring us a chance for thunderstorms and a bit of rain.

The day starts with mostly sunny skies but clouds will be building steadily as moisture aloft gathers. By the afternoon we will be down to partly clear skies. The mercury starts out relatively warm and will then increase with highs in the low to mid-60s expected.

Instability increases in the mid to late afternoon period when we begin to see a slight chance for some thunder and isolated rain showers. Winds will become breezy as nighttime approaches and continue overnight. Chances for showers increase as we get toward sunset and some activity may be seen into early morning tomorrow.

Overnight, as temperatures drop, a few snowflakes may get thrown into the mix although not much, if any, is expected. Lows tonight will be in the mid-30s.

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