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A whopping seven Earth-size planets were just found orbiting a nearby star

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 12:26pm MDT

Three of them may be habitable NASA/JPL-Caltech Seven Earth-size exoplanets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1. Three orbit very close to the star and may be too hot to sustain liquid water on the surface; one may be too cold. But the three planets in the middle may be juuuust right. Planet-hunters are always on the lookout for… » Click here to read the rest of A whopping seven Earth-size planets were just found orbiting a nearby star

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Wednesday cools some, still remains unseasonably warm

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 5:24am MDT

Following on our fourth record-setting day of the month yesterday, today offers cooler temperatures however the mercury will still be well above normal. The stage is set though for a turn toward colder weather and possibly some snow Thursday and Friday.

For today we start out with clear skies then will see a gradual increase in cloud cover as the day progresses. Overall mostly sunny skies will be overhead though. Winds will be lighter today although just a bit breezy at times. Temperatures will be topping out in the mid-60s. The average high temperature for the date is 48 degrees.

Looking ahead, a trough will be moving through and while the center of the low pressure should be to our north, we will be feeling the impacts. Below normal temperatures can be expected over the coming days, primarily from mid-day tomorrow through Friday morning. More details in our extended forecast.

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Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 7:29pm MDT

Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs. “So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry,… » Click here to read the rest of Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

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Another record falls: Denver sets fourth high temperature record for the month

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 5:22pm MDT

Record High TemperaturesFive days after the last one and for the fourth time this month, Denver set a daily high temperature record today.

Per the National Weather Service, the high temperature at Denver International Airport topped out at 73 degrees today.  This tops the previous record high temperature for today’s day of 71 degrees last set in 1995.

Here in Thornton, we were actually a bit warmer with a high of 74 degrees.

This follows on three previous daily record high temperatures this month:

  • February 10: 80 degrees (old 71 degrees in 1951)
  • February 15: 67 degrees (old 66 degrees in 1986)
  • February 16: 75 degrees (old 70 degrees in 1970)

The 80 degree reading on February 10 was also the warmest mercury reading on history in Denver.  The old warmest February reading of 77 degrees was recorded on February 4, 1890 and February 28, 2006.

We look to be done with the record-setting temperatures for the foreseeable future however.  Following another mild day tomorrow, we will turn colder for the balance of the week as a trough digs in pulling colder air in from the north. Check out our extended forecast for details.

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February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 4:26pm MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

Damaging winds are not uncommon along the Colorado Front Range, particularly this time of year when strong Bora and Chinook winds can rage. We see a number of such events in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Also making an appearance are a number of notable snow and cold events.

From the National Weather Service:

17-19

In 2006…a cold spell resulted in 4 temperature records. Low temperatures of 10 degrees below zero on the 17th… 13 degrees below zero on the 18th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 19th were record minimums for those dates. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date. Light snow fell on the 17th…but totaled less than half an inch at Denver International Airport.

18-19

In 1954…a vigorous cold front produced north winds gusting to 56 mph and a trace of snowfall at Stapleton Airport on the 18th. Strong and gusty winds to 55 mph persisted through the next day and caused some blowing dust.

In 1955…a storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport where north winds sustained to 28 mph produced some blowing snow…snowfall totaled 8.8 inches.

18-20

In 1913…post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.9 inches in downtown Denver over the 3 days. Most of the snow fell on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 24 mph on the 18th.

In 1924…light snowfall totaled 4.6 inches over the 3 days. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month. High temperatures plunged from 45 degrees on the 18th to 17 degrees on the 20th. Low temperatures dipped from 31 degrees on the 18th to only 8 degrees on the 20th. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

In 1953…a major blizzard dumped 10.6 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 44 mph frequently reduced visibilities to 1/4 mile in blowing snow during the day of the 19th. The strong winds caused much drifting snow…making accurate snowfall measurements almost impossible. Precipitation from the storm totaled 1.13 inches. The 1.01 inches of precipitation on the 19th was the greatest calendar day and 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the city during the month of February.

In 1987…large amounts of new snow fell in the Front Range foothills. The foothills received 10 to 20 inches of new snow with 4 to 8 inches on the adjacent plains. On the 19th…flight delays occurred at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.2 inches and east winds gusted to only 18 mph on the 19th. Schools were closed in the foothills above Boulder.

19

In 1899…northwest winds sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees… The highest reading of the month that year.

In 1980…high winds were reported in Boulder. Sustained speeds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 85 mph were measured. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…Chinook winds continued to buffet the eastern foothills. Winds gusting from 60 to 75 mph were common in the foothills. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…high winds gusting from 70 to 75 mph were reported atop Table Mesa near Boulder. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…this was the last day of 61 consecutive days with snow cover of 1 inch or more in Denver. This second longest period of snow cover on record began with the blizzard on December 20-21…2006…when 20.7 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where official snow measurements were taken. Additional snowfall during December…January…and February prolonged the event. Snow depth on the ground was measured to the nearest inch once daily at 6:00 am MST.

19-20

In 1937…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 8.4 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.6 inches…fell on the 20th when north winds were sustained to 16 mph with gusts to 18 mph. The temperature dipped to a low of 9 degrees on the 20th.

In 1939…post-frontal snowfall totaled 5.4 inches in the city. The snow covered streets and highways with a coating of ice as the temperature fell from 36 degrees at 2:00 pm on the 19th to a low of 4 degrees at 3:00 am on the 20th. Many motorists were marooned for several hours. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

19-21

In 1971…heavy snowfall totaled 9.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to only 16 mph. Most of the snow occurred on the 19th and 20th. The 24 hour snowfall of 8.2 inches was the greatest in February since 1953.

20

In 1937…6.6 inches of heavy snow fell in downtown Denver.

In 1976…a cold front produced north wind gusts to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.7 inches. North winds at sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts persisted throughout the day…producing much blowing snow. East of the city…winds gusting 40 to 80 mph caused blizzard conditions and produced drifts 2 to 4 feet high.

In 1981…a vigorous cold front at midday produced strong northeast winds at 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph and billows of blowing dust reducing the visibility to 3 miles during the afternoon. Even stronger winds from the north at 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph in snow and blowing snow reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile during the evening. Snowfall totaled only 2.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

20-21

In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 16 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 15 inches at South Turkey Creek; 14 inches at Conifer and Morrison; and 11 inches at Blackhawk…Evergreen…and Intercanyon. Only 1.0 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

In 2014…high winds occurred in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson Counties. Peak wind reports included: 93 mph near Gold Hill; 89 mph at NCAR Mesa Lab; 83 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 76 mph…in Boulder…4 miles east-northeast of Nederland and the Junction of Colorado Highways 72 and 93; and 75 mph at Lyons. Scattered electrical outages were reported in Boulder…Denver and Littleton…which affected 3400 Xcel Energy customers.  At Denver International Airport…a peak wind of 50 mph was observed from the west on the 21st.

21

In 1901…northwest winds sustained to 43 mph with gusts to 46 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees.

In 1935…strong west to northwest winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 34 mph produced considerable blowing dust. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees.

In 1967…west winds gusting to 53 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty all day.

In 1988…high winds were reported along the foothills with 90 mph in east Boulder where the winds knocked out a few street and traffic lights. The strong winds whipped a grass and timber fire in Boulder canyon. The fire threatened some homes for a time…but was extinguished before causing any significant property damage. West winds gusting to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature to a high of 63 degrees.

21-22

In 1909…a major storm dumped 12.9 inches of heavy snowfall over the city. North winds were sustained to 37 mph on the 22nd. Temperatures during the storm hovered in the 20’s.

22

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 61 degrees.

In 1910…a cold front caused a remarkably sharp drop in temperature from 43 degrees at 3:00 am to only 3 degrees at 8:30 am. These were the high and low temperatures for the day. Early west winds switched to northeast behind the front.

In 1927…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with a measured maximum velocity to 60 mph.

In 1954…strong and gusty west winds persisted throughout the day. The highest wind gust recorded at Stapleton Airport was 58 mph.

In 1960…snowfall totaled 5.9 inches…producing near-blizzard conditions in snow and blowing snow at Stapleton Airport where northeast wind gusts to 40 mph reduced visibility to 1/2 mile.

In 1986…high winds occurred in the foothills. Wind gusts of 65 to 70 mph were reported at Golden Gate Canyon…and a peak gust of 83 mph was recorded at Echo Lake. Northwest winds gusted to only 29 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…a wind gust to 83 mph was recorded in Boulder with 80 mph clocked at Rollinsville. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…wind gusts to 63 mph were reported in western Elbert County. Southwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1999…strong post-frontal…Bora winds developed over the foothills and spread over the northeast plains. Peak wind gusts included: 87 mph at Golden Gate Canyon; 84 mph at Wondervu; 80 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab; 75 mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility; 74 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield; 72 mph at the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder; and 60 mph at Bennett. West to northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…thunder was heard across much of metro Denver. Thunderstorms over southwest metro Denver produced 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter hail at Pinehurst Country Club. A thunderstorm at Denver International Airport produced wind gusts to 34 mph. This was only the 6th time since 1891 that thunder had been reported in February.

» Click here to read the rest of February 19 to February 25: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Very mild temps, gusty winds Tuesday; Red Flag Warning in effect

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 5:16am MDT

Thornton is set to see a record-setting high temperature today with lots of sun. Unfortunately, low humidity and strong winds are also going to bring dangerous fire weather conditions.

We start out with clear skies this morning and other than a few high clouds, it will remain mostly clear for the day. The record high for today’s date is 71 degrees last set in 1995 and we expect to top that mark by a few degrees.

A strong pressure gradient is going to bring gusty downslope winds throughout the day with them peaking around noon. Gusts to 35+ mph will be possible.

The wind, low humidity and dry fuels has prompted a Red Flag Warning to be issued that will be in effect from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Recent days have already seen some fires escalate quickly and today’s winds are going to make any such fire grow that much quicker. Extreme caution should be the rule out there. Read the full text of the warning here.

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Presidents’ Day to offer up mild temps, lots of sun, some breezy winds

Monday, February 20th, 2017 5:18am MDT

And the unseasonably warm weather just keeps on going. In fact, it looks to continue through today and the first half of the workweek.

For today we start out with mostly clear skies and should have sunny skies above for more of the day. There will be a few high clouds but nothing that will really intrude. Winds will be a bit breezy and out of the west early this morning and again in the afternoon. As far as temperatures go, we will be warming to a high in the mid-60s, again well above the average for the date of 47 degrees.

Tuesday and Wednesday will continue the warm weather with another high temp record possible tomorrow. We then expect things to change and cool down for the latter half of the week.

Here’s a little bit of interesting information about the holiday we call “Presidents’ Day.” Did you know there is no such holiday, at least by that name? Officially, the federal holiday is called Washington’s Birthday, in honor of our first president. While there have been efforts to rename it, none have been successful. At the state level, here in Colorado, the holiday is officially designated Washington-Lincoln Day, throwing our 16th president into the mix.

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Thronton’s weekend continues warm trend, brings slight chance for showers at the end

Friday, February 17th, 2017 5:08am MDT

The unseasonably warm weather we have been experiencing is going to continue Friday and through the weekend. We will see more clouds and Sunday brings a slight chance for showers but overall warm, calm conditions will be the main features.

For Friday we will have mostly sunny skies with a few clouds due to some upper level moisture. Conditions will be dry and calm. Highs today will reach the mid-60s and then we will dip to the mid-30s overnight.

Increasing mid and upper level moisture leads to a good bit more cloud coverage Saturday. We will however remain dry and see temperatures once again reach the low to mid-60s. Saturday night into

Sunday morning lows will drop to around 40 degrees. Sunday starts out calm with a good bit of sun but then clouds will increase. There will be just a slight chance for some rain showers from late morning / early afternoon through Sunday night. Highs Sunday will again be in the low to mid-60s.

Have a great weekend!

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Denver sets record high temperature for February 16, third high temp record of the month

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 4:53pm MDT

Record High TemperaturesFor the second day in a row and the third time during February 2016, the Mile High City set a daily high temperature record.

At 2:59pm Denver International Airport topped out at 75 degrees.  This easily bested the previous record high temperature for February 16 of 70 degrees set in 1970.  Here in Thornton we matched Denver’s high with 74.7 degrees coming at 2:35pm.

Yesterday Denver’s high temperature reading of 67 degrees broke the high temperature for that date (previously 66 degrees in 1986).  On February 10th, Denver reached 80 degrees making it not only the warmest reading for that date but also the warmest February temperature ever recorded.

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Record-setting warmth on tap for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 4:58am MDT

The stage is set for us to set our third record high temperature this month. High pressure is dominating the scene right now and with clear skies the mercury is going to climb.

We start out the day with clear skies and those will continue throughout the day. Temperatures will be climbing from morning lows in the 30s to a high around 73 degrees. The record high for today’s date is 70 degrees set in 1970 and that is virtually certain to fall. Otherwise, look for overall conditions to be dry and calm.

Tonight mostly clear skies will be above and we will cool to overnight lows in the mid-30s.

Our live weather gauges will allow you to keep an eye on the rising mercury.

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