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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedFri, 24-Mar-2017 10:00am MDT 
 

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Thornton’s weekend weather to offer lots of sun, unseasonably warm temps

Friday, October 21st, 2016 4:56am MDT

Following a couple of days of cooler weather, we now return right back to the same mild, dry conditions this month has been known for. Throughout the weekend we’ll enjoy sun above and calm and dry conditions.

For Friday we start out chilly but will be warming up nicely. Look for highs today in the low to mid-70s. Sunny to mostly sunny skies will be above.

Saturday will be the warmest and sunniest day of the three-day period. Nary a cloud should be seen as we head to a high of around the 80 degree mark.

The weekend closes out Sunday with more of the same. Sunny to mostly sunny skies will be above again and conditions dry and calm. Look for highs in the mid-70s.

Have a great weekend!

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Avalanche safety – Be prepared or die

Friday, October 21st, 2016 4:56am MDT
Avalanches claim lives every year in Colorado. Before you head to the mountains, be sure you are prepared! (Wikimedia Commons)

Avalanches claim lives every year in Colorado. Before you head to the mountains, be sure you are prepared! (Wikimedia Commons)

As snow starts to fall, many Coloradoans and out of state visitors will take advantage of it and head to the mountains for a variety of outdoor activities.  Whether skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking, anyone who spends time outdoors in the high country needs to be aware of the danger avalanches present.  On average six people die in Colorado every year from avalanches and being prepared is an essential survival skill.

In this fifth in a series on Winter Weather Preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com helps you understand avalanches, where they occur, how to protect yourself and where to go for more information.  If you are headed to the high country, be sure to check out our Avalanche Information & Forecast page.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO
600 AM MDT FRI OCT 21 2016

Avalanches – Are you prepared?

Thousands of avalanches occur each winter in the mountains of Colorado. With the enormous popularity of winter sports in Colorado, this poses a risk to skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and people traveling in the backcountry. On average 6 people die in Avalanches in the state of Colorado every year. Anyone who travels into the high country in the winter should be prepared for avalanches And know how to avoid them.

The most important thing to know is how to get information on current avalanche conditions. Check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center Website at http://www.colorado.gov/avalanche for the current avalanche forecast.

Also, check the National Weather Service winter information at www.weather.gov for the current weather forecast. Knowing the current and future conditions will help you make good decisions in the backcountry.

A little information about avalanche safety can go a long way. Most avalanches occur during or just after snowstorms on a slopes between 30 to 45 degrees. A significant snowfall may result in an unstable snowpack. By waiting at least 36 hours after a big snow or wind storm before you go into the mountains the Snow may become more stable and less likely to avalanche. If you stay in valleys away from avalanche chutes, in stands of dense trees, or on gentle slopes you can decrease the risk of being caught in an avalanche.

If you are a skier or snowboarder at a commercial ski area the risk from avalanches is lower than in the backcountry. Ski patrols work to reduce the chance of an avalanche on open slopes. Respect the rules of the ski area, stay on open slopes, and do not stray out of bounds or into closed areas. The avalanche risk is higher outside of the ski area boundaries.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors in areas prone to avalanches…You can reduce the danger by following a few simple rules:

  • Check the current avalanche forecast to get information on current and forecast avalanche conditions. Also check the latest weather forecast to see if conditions are likely to change while you are in the backcountry.
  • Never travel alone. Always have one or more companions. Even small avalanches can be fatal. If you are alone and get trapped, you may not be found until spring.
  • If crossing a slope that may be prone to avalanches, do it one person at a time. You want to minimize the impact on your party if an avalanche is accidentally released.
  • In avalanche country, all members of your party should carry avalanche rescue equipment including an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe pole. This increases your chances of a successful rescue and finding your friends alive.

Avalanche conditions in Colorado are monitored and forecasted by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, CAIC. You can get more information on avalanches, avalanche forecasts, avalanchesafety and request a safety class from CAIC. Go to their website…Http://www.colorado.gov/avalanche or call the center at 303-499-9650.

Winter Weather Preparedness Week continues through Saturday. Now is the time to get prepared for winter so you can safely enjoy the outdoors and travel safely when the snow flies.

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Life threatening winter weather – Wind chill, frostbite and hypothermia

Thursday, October 20th, 2016 4:59am MDT
Wind chill is a life threatening weather danger that is often ignored or underestimated. (AP Photo)

Wind chill is a life threatening weather danger that is often ignored or underestimated.

Winter weather can not only be trying on the mind and soul, it also presents very real dangers to the human body.  Extreme wind chills can be deadly and bring on the outset of frostbite and hypothermia.  Here in Colorado, all residents should be aware of these hazards and be prepared to deal with them.

In this fourth in a series on Winter Weather Preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com helps you understand wind chill and how to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GOODLAND KS
600 AM MDT THU OCT 20 2016

Extreme wind chill – Potentially life-threatening and often overlooked

The combination of wind and low temperature in winter can be deadly. The wind chill index helps you determine when dangerous conditions develop that could lead to frostbite or hypothermia.  It takes into account heat loss from the human body to its surroundings during cold and windy weather.  The calculation utilizes wind speed in miles per hour and temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.  For example, a temperature of minus 5 degrees occurring with a 20 mph wind gives a wind chill near minus 30 degrees.  This means that your body will lose heat at the same rate as it would if the air temperature were minus 30 degrees with no wind.  Wind chill values near minus 25 degrees mean that frostbite is possible within 15 minutes.

  • How does the wind affect wind chill?  See the chart below.

Frostbite is the freezing of skin and the body tissue just beneath it. It first affects exposed body tissue where blood circulation may be limited such as your fingers, toes, nose and ears. To minimize frostbite, make sure all body parts are well covered. When frostbite starts, feeling is lost in the affected area and the frozen tissue will take on a white or pale appearance. If you suspect you are experiencing frostbite, hold the frostbitten area closely against warm skin to return blood flow and warmth to the affected area.

Hypothermia is a dangerously low body temperature and is the most common winter weather killer. When you hear of a hiker, climber, hunter or a stranded traveler perishing from cold weather exposure, hypothermia was the cause. Most people are surprised to learn that hypothermia deaths can occur with temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees. If you or your clothing are wet, then hypothermia becomes even more likely.

Warning signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness. Immediate medical attention should be given to victims suspected of suffering from hypothermia. If no help is available, the victim should be warmed slowly with warm liquids along with dry clothing and blankets.

The National Weather Service will issue wind chill advisories and warnings when a deadly combination of wind and cold air threaten. To learn more about wind chill, visit the national weather service internet site using lower case letters:  http://weather.gov/om/windchill.

When cold weather threatens, follow these tips for survival:

Stay dry, wet clothing results in much faster heat loss from your body. Wear waterproof insulated boots.

Stay covered, wear mittens or gloves and wear a hat. At least half of your body heat is lost if your head is not covered.

Dress layered, trapped air between loose fitting clothing helps to insulate.

Stay informed, have a portable NOAA weather radio nearby to keep you up-to-date with the latest forecasts and warnings. Use wind chill temperatures to guide you in dressing properly for the outdoors. On very cold days, minimize your exposure to the outdoors if possible.

Wind Chill Chart

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Following a cold start, Thornton to enjoy a seasonal day Thursday

Thursday, October 20th, 2016 3:59am MDT

Brrr! It is a bit cold out there this morning, eh? In fact, we registered our coldest temperature since May 2. The good news is we will be warming up nicely with temperatures topping out right near average.

We start out the day with clear skies. By late morning / early afternoon we will have a few clouds but remain mostly sunny. Temperatures will be topping out right near 64 degrees, the average high for the date.

Looking ahead, the warming trend is going to continue with highs in the 70s expected tomorrow and continuing into the first part of next week. More details in our extended forecast here.

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Wednesday to offer up cool temperatures, calm conditions

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 4:58am MDT

The latest system to pass through is working its way out of the area. In its wake we will see cooler than normal temperatures but plenty of sun and overall calm conditions.

We start out the day with mostly sunny skies and can expect similar sky conditions to be above throughout the day. Temperatures today will be topping out in the upper 50s. The late afternoon and evening may see some breezy winds but other than that, it will be a calm, pleasant fall day.

Overnight tonight look for it to get chilly, potentially dipping down to near the freezing mark.

Have a great day!

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High winds a major threat in Colorado during the winter

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 4:20am MDT
Winter winds can not only make it miserable to be outside, they can also be dangerous.

Winter winds can not only make it miserable to be outside, they can also be dangerous.

As we often experience, high winds in Colorado can cause conditions to deteriorate rapidly.  They present a very real danger to life and property, especially when coupled with other winter conditions like snow.

Why does it seem like we get so much wind in the winter?  What causes this?  How can you prepare and protect yourself and your property?

In this third in a series on winter weather preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com helps you understand why we receive so much wind and how to prepare for it.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER CO
ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
600 AM MDT WED OCT 19 2016

…WIDESPREAD HIGH WINDS VISIT COLORADO DURING THE WINTER…

This week through October 22nd is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado.

The two main causes of high winds in Colorado during the cold season are the air pressure difference between strong low pressure and cold high pressure systems, and Chinook winds developing across the Front Range and other eastern mountain ranges.

» Click here to read the rest of High winds a major threat in Colorado during the winter

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Cooler, calm weather conditions for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 5:10am MDT

Today we begin a break from the unusually warm weather of recent days that will cool things down today and tomorrow. A cold front moving through this evening will bring the relief and offer seasonal temperatures today and even cooler readings Wednesday.

For today we start with mostly clear skies and then will see a bit of an increase in coverage as a trough approaches. Winds should be much calmer than yesterday but may get a bit breezy this evening as the cold front pushes through.

High temperatures today will be right near the average for the date of 64 degrees. The cold front will arrive this evening and with it brings just a slight chance for showers after 6:00pm and through much of the night.

Tomorrow temperatures will cool to the mid to upper 50s which will make for a nice change but we also will see some wind.

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Winter weather – What does that weather warning mean?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 5:00am MDT
You have seen and heard the warnings but do you know what they really mean?

You have seen and heard the warnings but do you know what they really mean?

We all are familiar with the crawls on the TV screen or the announcements on the radio for winter weather advisories such as Winter Storm Watch, Blizzard Warning, Freeze Warning and more. But, how many of us really know what those mean? There is very specific criteria the National Weather Service follows in issuing these watches and warnings and there are important differences between all of them.

In this second in a series on Winter Weather Preparedness from the National Weather Service, ThorntonWeather.com helps you understand what all of these mean so you can be better prepared.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER CO
600 AM TUE OCT 18 2016

From the National Weather Service:

What does that warning mean?

The National Weather Service will inform you about developing hazardous weather with outlooks, watches, warnings and advisories. Now is the time to get ready for winter weather, during this Colorado Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

» Click here to read the rest of Winter weather – What does that weather warning mean?

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Thornton’s workweek starts with warm temps, a healthy dose of wind

Monday, October 17th, 2016 5:17am MDT

Today we start to see a little bit of a break from this past weekend’s heat courtesy of a cold front arriving later today. However, we also will be contending with the jet stream dipping south over us and bringing some strong winds that will lead to increased fire danger.

We start out the day with clear skies then will see a bit of an increase in cloud cover this morning. Overall mostly sunny conditions should be the rule today. Temperatures are going to climb quickly this morning topping out in the mid-70s by about 1:00pm then begin a slow, steady descent from there.

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As for the wind, we start out calm but by mid-morning speeds will be ticking up, reaching their peak by mid-afternoon. Gusts to 40mph will be possible at their highest.

The mild temperatures, dry fuels, low humidity and wind will all conspire to cause very real fire danger concerns. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 11:00am to 9:00pm so please be careful. It wouldn’t take much for a fire to get out of control quickly in these conditions. Get more details on the warning here.

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Winter travel safety – Ensure you and your vehicle are ready

Monday, October 17th, 2016 5:10am MDT
Are you and your vehicle ready for the winter weather ahead?

Are you and your vehicle ready for the winter weather ahead?

Before hitting the road, Coloradans need to ensure that they and their vehicles are prepared should inclement weather strike.

ThorntonWeather.com presents the first in a series from the National Weather Service (NWS) as part of Winter Weather Preparedness Week has declared by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.  Check back throughout the week for more winter preparedness stories.

Today’s message from the NWS highlights the importance of having a proper emergency kit in your vehicle and should the worst-case scenario occur where you get stuck, what you should do to survive.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
601 AM MDT MON OCT 17 2016

Winter Travel Safety

Winter Weather Preparedness Week continues through Saturday, October 22nd as proclaimed by Governor John Hickenlooper. Before winter weather arrives in earnest it is highly recommended that you prepare your car or truck for winter travel.

A well equipped vehicle has adequate tires, tire chains, tow rope, sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, tool kit, windshield scraper and brush, battery cables, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or sleeping bags, extra clothing, candles, water-proof matches, high calorie packaged food for quick energy and an empty can to melt snow for drinking.

The best way to prevent treacherous winter travel is to avoid it.  This can be done by staying informed about the current weather and road conditions as well as the latest weather forecasts. Information on road conditions in Colorado is available on the web at www.cotrip.org or by dialing toll free 1-877-315-7623.  When calling from anywhere in Colorado dialing 511 will also access the Colorado road reports. In addition, a new and free smartphone application, CDOT Mobile, provides road conditions for the I-70 mountain corridor and will eventually include other roads in Colorado. Road conditions for neighboring states can also be obtained on a link from www.cotrip.org.

If you should become stranded during a winter storm stay with your vehicle and do not panic. If accompanied by others take turns sleeping. Run the motor every hour for about ten minutes to maintain warmth but keep windows open a little to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked. Keep the car visible with brightly colored cloths tied to the side view mirrors, door handles or external antenna. Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers.

In the mountains avalanches become a possibility in the winter especially below steep slopes. Avalanches occasionally come down across roads with little or no warning. However, avalanche control work is performed on many avalanche prone roads in Colorado making the roads safer to travel. Caution is advised when traveling along avalanche prone roads, especially during and shortly after a heavy snowstorm or during periods of rapid snowmelt.

Very strong downslope winds occur at times mainly along the Front Range of Colorado. These Chinook and Bora winds can have gusts exceeding 100 mph. Persons traveling in light weight or high profile vehicles should avoid travel during these strong wind events especially on north-south oriented roads.

Roads which appear to be clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice commonly known as black ice. This nearly invisible ice layer can cause you to rapidly lose control of your vehicle. Black ice is most common during the nighttime hours.  If you detect black ice you should reduce your speed.

When braking on icy and snow-packed roads it is recommended that you apply steady pressure to the pedal just to the point of brake lock-up allowing plenty of extra stopping distance. For those without anti-lock brakes another suggestion is to gently tap on the brake pedal several times just prior to applying steady pressure.

 

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