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June 12 to June 18: This week in Denver weather history

Saturday, June 18th, 2022 4:09pm MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

The first half of June is when Colorado’s severe weather season really kicks into high gear and our look back at this week in Denver weather history reflects that. Numerous flooding, hail, and tornadic events punctuate just how dangerous and damaging our weather can be this time of year.

From the National Weather Service:

11-14

In 1999…damage from several hailstorms in and near metro Denver totaled 35 million dollars. About 17.5 million dollars was from automobile claims with another 17.5 million in homeowner claims. The areas hardest hit by the storms included Castle Rock…Commerce City…Evergreen… And Golden.

12

In 1901…south winds were sustained to 45 mph with an extreme velocity to 47 mph.

In 1917…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

In 1927…flooding on Little Dry Creek in Englewood resulted in two deaths.

In 1947…a trace of snow fell over downtown Denver during the early morning. This was the latest last snow of the season (trace or more). This also marked the end of the longest snow season…264 days…from the first snow…a trace…on September 22…1946. High temperature of 43 degrees was a record low maximum for the date. Minimum temperature of 33 degrees was a record low for the date.

In 1971…a funnel cloud sighted over Arvada possibly touched down at the base of the foothills. The public reported 3/4 inch to 1 inch diameter hail over the city of Denver.

In 1974…strong thunderstorm winds caused damage to power lines in metro Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1975…a thunderstorm wind gust to 56 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…three small tornadoes were sighted near Bennett. One of the twisters caused minor crop and road damage along its path. A brief tornado was sighted by national weather service observers at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1983…3/4 inch hail fell in Boulder. Golf ball to 3/4 inch size hail fell in Arvada…denting cars and house roofs. Over a thousand hail damage insurance claims were filed from the area. Golf ball size hail also fell in Northglenn and Bennett…1 to 2 inch hail in Thornton…2 1/2 inch hail in northeast of Denver. A tornado was sighted 10 miles northeast of Stapleton International Airport; it was only on the ground for 1 to 2 minutes.

In 1984…large hail pelted many parts of southern metro Denver. Fifteen aircraft were damaged by golf ball size hail at Centennial airport. Golf ball size hail was reported in south Denver…and 3/4 inch hail was measured in southeast Aurora.

In 1987…a small weak tornado touched down for about 3 minutes near the intersection of I-70 and Colorado Blvd in northeast Denver. No damage was recorded. A microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…in the city of Denver…lightning struck a tree under which seven people were picnicking. One person was critically injured. The others received only minor injuries.

In 1992…golf ball size hail fell in Evergreen.

In 1994…microburst winds gusting to 53 mph kicked up some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…lightning struck a house in Parker…which sparked a fire. The bolt was strong enough to blow nails out of the drywall in one room. About 85 percent of the house was damaged. No dollar estimate of the damage was available. Lightning also struck a power line in Boulder…which left 250 customers without electricity for a short time.

In 1997…a tornado touched down near Parker…damaging some construction equipment. Hail to 2 inches in diameter was measured in Henderson. One inch diameter hail fell in the city of Denver with 3/4 inch hail measured in Lakewood.

In 1999…hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter struck Hudson. A funnel cloud was sighted by ramp personnel to the east of Denver International Airport.

In 2003…lightning blew a hole in the roof of a house in Highlands Ranch. The bolt knocked several holes in the bedroom ceiling and damaged the home’s electrical system.

In 2004…lightning struck a home in Louisville…but caused only minor damage.

In 2006…a strong microburst wind gust…estimated at 69 mph… Ripped the roof off a horse barn near the intersection of Havana Street and Smith Road in Denver. A 13 year old girl was injured…when she was thrown from a horse inside the barn at the time the roof was being torn off. A thunderstorm produced a microburst wind gust to 54 mph and a trace of rainfall at Denver International Airport. A severe thunderstorm produced hail to 0.75 inch near Watkins.

12-17

In 2000…two large wildfires developed in the Front Range foothills as careless campers and very dry conditions proved to be a dangerous combination. Strong winds gusting in excess of 60 mph on the 13th fanned the flames… Spreading both wildfires out of control. Winds gusted to 78 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west of Boulder. The Hi Meadows wildfire…about 35 miles southwest of Denver…consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 80 structures…mostly high priced homes. The Bobcat wildfire…located about 12 miles southwest of Fort Collins… Consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 22 structures. Late on the 16th…a strong cold front moved south over the great plains into northeastern Colorado. Low level upslope conditions developed in the wake of the front…producing 2 to 4 inches of snowfall overnight at elevations above 8 thousand feet. Firefighters were able to contain both fires shortly thereafter.

13

In 1956…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 59 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1957…an unconfirmed tornado appeared to touch the ground in the vicinity of Franktown. No damage was reported from the twister.

In 1968…a violent gust of wind…possibly associated with a thunderstorm…caused 75 hundred dollars damage in Boulder.

In 1973…hail…1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter…fell over Lakewood. Flash flooding occurred in west Denver from the same storm.

In 1974…a thunderstorm wind gust to 64 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1977…hail the size of table tennis balls…1 1/2 inches in diameter…was reported in Boulder.

In 1981…large hail to golf ball size fell in Denver… Northglenn…and Brighton. Hail as large as baseballs was reported in federal heights.

In 1984…one of the worst hailstorms ever experienced in metro Denver struck the northwestern suburbs of Arvada…Wheat Ridge…and Lakewood…but large hail also fell in Golden… Southeast Denver…and Aurora. Homes and other buildings sustained around 200 million dollars in damage. Thousands of cars were battered by giant hailstones…and total damage to vehicles was estimated at 150 million dollars. In some areas…golf ball size hail fell continuously for 30 to 40 minutes. Some places were pelted with a few stones as large as grapefruits! Roofs on thousands of structures were severely damaged. Uncounted car windshields were broken; two-thirds of Arvada’s police cars were rendered inoperable. Torrential rains…with as much as 4.75 inches in Lakewood clogged drains and caused widespread damage from flooding. In some places hail was washed into drifts several feet deep. About 20 people were injured by the giant hailstones. One couple was hospitalized. A woman drowned when she was trapped under a trailer by high water. Only pea size hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…2 inch hail fell in Parker. Soft hail 1 inch in diameter fell at the mouth of turkey creek canyon 5 miles southeast of Morrison. Hail between 1 inch and 1 3/4 inches fell at both Bennett and Strasburg. A tornado touched down briefly at Strasburg. A brief funnel cloud was sighted by national weather service observers 15 miles southwest of Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…a Boulder man was injured when struck by lightning while in a tent. He received only minor burns.

In 1997…lightning struck a home in Denver. The extent of the damage was unknown. A home in Littleton was also struck. The house caught fire…but the extent of the damage was not known.

In 1998…a strong mountain wave produced a brief period of high winds along the Front Range. A small building atop squaw pass west of Denver was blown down. Tree limbs were downed across metro Denver. Peak wind gusts included: 80 mph on Squaw Pass…69 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…and 60 mph in Westminster and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. West-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2001…high winds developed briefly in Boulder County. A peak wind gust to 76 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research atop the mesa in Boulder. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded at southern hills middle school in Boulder. Lightning started a small fire…which damaged the roof of a house in Greenwood Village.

In 2009…severe thunderstorms produced hail up to one inch in diameter near Arvada and byers…as well as 7 miles north-northwest of Front Range airport near watkins.

13-14

In 2006…the high temperature of 99 degrees on the 13th equaled the record maximum temperature for the date first set in 1994. The high temperature of 102 degrees on the 14th was a new record maximum temperature for the date.

14

In 1877…an evening thunderstorm produced lightning which struck several houses and killed a cow in the bottom land of the South Platte River

In 1886…hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in the city. Precipitation was only 0.10 inch.

In 1887…south winds were sustained to 41 mph.

In 1900…a thunderstorm produced northwest winds to 51 mph with gusts to 61 mph…but only a trace of rain.

In 1923…a severe thunderstorm pelted the city with hail. The stones ranged in diameter from 0.2 to 0.8 inch. Gardens and greenhouses suffered considerable damage. Rainfall was only 0.14 inch downtown.

In 1960…one workman was killed and 4 others injured in Lakewood when a partly built apartment building collapsed in strong winds. Microburst wind gusts to 54 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1967…tornadoes touched down briefly 3 miles west of Franktown and 4 miles northeast of Parker. No damage was reported. Numerous funnel clouds were reported over south metro Denver…one 5 miles south of Denver…one 2 to 3 miles north of Castle Rock…and two near Littleton.

In 1968…a microburst wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1972…1 3/4 inch hail was reported in Wheat Ridge.

In 1976…high winds…unusually strong for this late in the season…raked metro Denver. Wind gusts estimated to 100 mph tore 24 boats from their moorings and damaged a total of 47 boats at Boulder reservoir. Wind gusts to 82 mph were recorded in Boulder. The strong winds toppled the wind mast at a radio station in Boulder. An automobile was smashed by a fallen tree in Boulder. Other damage in Boulder was minor…but power outages occurred when tree limbs fell on power lines. At Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…wind gusts to 78 mph were recorded with 87 mph gusts clocked at Rocky Flats nuclear plant south of Boulder. Wind gusts to 66 mph were observed in Littleton… And northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds collapsed a barn near Arvada. Several horses received minor injuries. Thirty trees were uprooted or broken in Denver. Four major power outages occurred from west Denver and Lakewood to the foothills.

In 1982…the worst hailstorm in 17 years struck Commerce City. The storm left 4 to 8 inches of hail on the ground. A few of the stones were as large as golf balls. Many vehicles were dented…and some windshields were shattered. Roofs of homes were damaged. Total damage was estimated at over one million dollars. Hail to 1 inch in diameter also fell in Littleton. Only 1/4 inch hail was measured at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…lightning ripped a small hole in the roof of a home in the southern part of Boulder. There were some power outages in the area.

In 1992…an off duty national weather service employee reported hail to 1 inch diameter in Westminster.

In 1997…one inch diameter hail fell in Bennett…and 3/4 inch hail was measured in Littleton.

In 1999…hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter hit Aurora. Lightning sparked two small fires at separate residences near the Hiwan Country Club in Evergreen.

In 2004…lightning sparked two small fires near Jamestown. One was in Geer Canyon and the other 7.5 miles up Sunshine Canyon. Both were quickly contained and caused no damage to structures in the area.

In 2009…a complex of severe thunderstorm produced large hail damaging thunderstorm and funnel clouds across parts of the urban corridor. The line formed along a boundary over the western suburbs of Denver then moved east. The boundary produced at least one well defined funnel cloud that could be observed by stadium full of baseball fans at Coors Field. Large hail…up to 1 3/4 inches in diameter…was reported in Arvada…Broomfield…Denver…Federal Heights and Northglenn. In addition…the storm produced peak wind gusts from 60 to 74 mph. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 58 mph was observed from the west-northwest.

In 2014…severe thunderstorms broke out across the Urban corridor. Large hail…ranging in size from 1 to 2 inches in diameter…was observed. The area extended from around Englewood to Aurora and included: Brookridge…Cherry Knolls… Greenwood Village and south Denver. As many as 212 thousand residences were potentially impacted by the storms. The hail shattered windshields and damaged vehicles.

15

In 1907…south winds were sustained to 40 mph. The winds were strong all day.

In 1908…the hail storm was unusually severe. Heavy clouds moved over the city from the north and northwest…and by late morning the weather had become very threatening. Heavy rain with intermittent hail from pea to 3/4 inch in diameter fell near noon. The fall of rain and hail totaled 0.68 inch of precipitation with 0.35 inch in just 5 minutes. The temperature fell from 71 degrees to 51 degrees during the storm. The hail did considerable damage to trees…gardens…and hot houses. On sidewalks with northern exposures…the hail ranged in depth from 2 to 6 inches. West winds were sustained to 29 mph during the storm.

In 1956…strong southeast winds raked metro Denver all day. Sustained winds at 44 mph with gusts as high as 61 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 2 miles.

In 1984…golf ball size hail pelted southern and central Aurora. Rainfall of 2.06 inches over central Aurora in just over an hour produced local street flooding.

In 1987…golf ball size hail fell in the southern part of Lakewood.

In 1988…several tornadoes developed across metro Denver. One tornado touched down just northeast of the rocky mountain arsenal. The twister moved very slowly and did no damage…except to demolish a small electrical substation… Even though it was on the ground for nearly 30 minutes. Later…another tornado was sighted east of Brighton about 2 miles north of barr lake. An f2 tornado cut a swath through northeast Denver. The main path went through a thickly wooded area for about 6 blocks and uprooted about 500 city owned trees…many of them large elms 75 to 100 years old. Hundreds of privately owned trees were also sucked from the ground by the slow moving twister…which was filmed by a news team in a helicopter as it uprooted trees. The replacement cost to the city owned trees was estimated at 1.5 million dollars. The twister did little damage to buildings. Some homes suffered roof and chimney damage…a gas main was ruptured…and some cars were damaged by falling trees. The uprooted trees also caused curb and sidewalk damage and cut some electrical wires. The funnel cloud passed close to Stapleton International Airport. Aircraft operations were shut down…and the tower was evacuated. The tornado was on the ground for almost 25 minutes. An F3 tornado cut an erratic path through south Denver for about 25 minutes…causing extensive damage in at least 3 areas. The twister damaged about 85 buildings… 20 severely; the total loss was estimated at 5 to 10 million dollars. Many cars were severely damaged; at least 15 vehicles were overturned. One trailer was lifted onto the top of a building that had just been unroofed; numerous antique cars inside the building were damaged. A ford bronco was blown over a church…and landed 100 yards away. A metal storage shed was deposited far above the ground in some power lines. The tornado uprooted many trees on a golf course. No one was seriously hurt…although seven people suffered minor injuries from flying debris. A golfer was thrown 40 feet…but was not hurt; a man clinging to a telephone pole was unscathed…but lost both shoes…a sock…and buttons off his shirt. A woman holding a baby was sucked through a broken convenience store window… But was unhurt. A dog…tethered to the ground by its leash… Was suspended in the air by the twister. Uprooted trees crushed cars and damaged curbs and sidewalks. People in downtown Denver could see three tornadoes occurring simultaneously. Hail as large as 1 3/8 inches in diameter fell in extreme southeast Aurora.

In 1997…a tornado touched down briefly at the Colorado National Speedway near Dacono north of Denver. The tornado ripped through the south grandstand causing at least 50 thousand dollars in damage to a shed…kiosk… Bleachers…and several concession stands.

In 2004…a tornado touched down briefly near Castle Rock and blew the roof off a machine shop. A tornado near Elizabeth destroyed a barn and caused roof damage to a home. Two other barns on nearby properties were damaged extensively. The twister also caused widespread tree damage in the area. A tornado also touched down near Bennett and Strasburg…but did no damage.

In 2009…thunderstorm winds knocked a tree on to two vehicles in Boulder. One of the drivers was injured when the tree smashed into the windshield of her car.

» Click here to read the rest of June 12 to June 18: This week in Denver weather history

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Taking a break to rest and recharge

Friday, June 10th, 2022 7:56am MDT

Time for a break! We will be largely incommunicado for the next week while we take a break to rest and recharge. Look for us to return on June 19th. In the meantime, be sure to visit the website regularly for the latest forecasts, radar, current conditions and more. See you soon!

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Thornton’s weekend to feature very warm temperatures, not much chance for precipitation

Friday, June 10th, 2022 4:49am MDT

While we are 10 days away from summer, Mother Nature is going to bring on the summer heat early. Temperatures this weekend will be well above normal and we have only minimal chances for thunderstorms.

For Friday, we will enjoy sunny skies for most of the day with a few clouds in the mid to late afternoon. Winds will be a little breezy in the afternoon. High temperatures will top out in the low to mid-90s. Tonight, lows cool to the low 60s under mostly clear skies.

Saturday will be the hottest day of the period with highs topping out in the mid to upper 90s. Sunny skies will be above for the most part with just a slight chance for a PM thunderstorm. Saturday night, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the low 60s.

Sunday will bring a few clouds but nothing too intrusive. Highs will reach the mid-90s with only a few, isolated thunderstorms expected. Have a great weekend!

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The heat returns to Thornton Thursday, slight chance for a thunderstorm

Thursday, June 9th, 2022 5:06am MDT

Mother Nature is set to crank up her furnace beginning today with hot temps expected to climb through the weekend.

Today we will see some cloud cover above due to increased moisture aloft. That will not, however, translate into a lot of storms. We only have a slight chance between about 2:00pm and 6:00pm.

Tonight, skies will be partly clear with lows in the mid-50s.

Previewing the coming days, look for those mercury readings to get even higher with temps in the mid-90s expected Saturday through Monday.

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Wednesday in Thornton to offer up warm temperatures, calm conditions

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 5:03am MDT

Another nice day ahead for us. We will enjoy temperatures near normal and expect to evade any thunderstorm activity.

The day starts off with a few clouds but those will soon ease and leave us with mostly sunny skies for the balance of the day. Overall conditions will be calm with some, slightly breezy PM winds. High temperatures will top out right near the 80 degree mark.

Tonight, lows will be in the mid-50s under partly cloudy skies.

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Temps near normal, slight chance for thunderstorms Tuesday in Thornton

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 4:57am MDT

A pretty typical late spring day ahead for us. Mercury readings will come in right near average for the date with the usual chance for a PM thunderstorm.

We will see some clouds today with coverage ranging from partly to mostly sunny. High temperatures will top out in the upper 70s.

From mid-afternoon through the evening, isolated thunderstorm activity is expected. We must note that if we can get sufficient heating today, there is a chance storms get started earlier and may turn severe. Right now that does not seem likely but it bears watching later today.

Tonight, any storm activity should be done by midnight and skies will then be mostly cloudy. Overnight lows will dip to the low 50s.

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Monday offers slightly cooler temps, better chance for showers and thunderstorms

Monday, June 6th, 2022 5:05am MDT

After a pretty toasty weekend, we see things cool down some today. The afternoon and evening will also bring a better chance for thunderstorms.

We start off with a good bit of sun then cloud cover will begin to increase. High temperatures today will top out right near the average high for the date of 80 degrees.

Early afternoon may bring an isolated shower then chances increase from about 3:00pm to 8:00pm with some thunder mixed in. Gusty winds, some brief, heavy rain look to be the biggest threat.

Tonight, a few showers may linger overnight but any that do are not expected to amount to much. Overnight lows will be in the low 50s.

Keep an eye out for those storms with our interactive radar here.

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June 5 to June 11: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, June 5th, 2022 5:06am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

The first part of June typically brings some of Denver’s most eventful weather of the year and we clearly see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. From many damaging hail and wind events to heavy rains that resulted in flooding and even the Southlands Mall tornado of 2009 it has been an eventful week in history.

From the National Weather Service:

1-30

In 2012…it was the hottest June in Denver since weather records began back in 1872. The average temperature for the month was 75.0 degrees which was 7.6 degrees above normal. There were a total of seventeen 90 degree days in the month of June. The highlight of record setting month was a stretch of five consecutive 100 degree days from the 22nd to the 26th. This was only the third time in Denver weather history in which this happened. Two of the high temperatures during the stretch peaked at 105 degrees…which set the all time record for the month of June and tied the all time maximum temperature for Denver.

2-7

In 1921…heavy rainfall for nearly a week…on top of streams already swollen by mountain snowmelt…produced widespread flooding over the South Platte River basin…including the tributaries through the canyons to the west and southwest of Denver. Heavy rainfall over the 6-day period totaled 3.36 inches in Boulder…4.98 inches in Morrison…4.27 inches in Castle Rock…and 2.94 inches in the city of Denver. Rainfall amounts in the foothills were estimated between 3 and 6 inches. The narrow-gage tracks of the Colorado and southern railroad were destroyed in the Platte Canyon. From the mouth of the canyon through the city to near Brighton… The river spread from 1/2 to nearly 1 1/2 miles wide… Flooding farm and pasture land and destroying or damaging many bridges. In the city…many businesses along with as many as 500 homes were inundated…forcing their evacuation. Bridges were swept away. The high waters flooded the rail yards and stock yards in lower downtown…closing three adjacent packing houses. The heavy rains also caused flooding on Boulder creek in Boulder on the 6th.

4-5

In 1965…lightning and an 18-hour rain storm damaged streets and roads and telephone and power lines across metro Denver. Precipitation totaled 2.77 inches at Stapleton International Airport where the visibility was reduced to 3 miles at times from pre-frontal thunderstorms and heavy upslope rains.

In 1998…a late season snow storm struck the Front Range foothills. Up to 5 inches of snow fell in Coal Creek Canyon. Light snow also fell over western sections of metro Denver and briefly at Denver International Airport. Snow covered the grass at the Denver federal center in Lakewood before melting around mid-morning on the 5th. No snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Several temperature records were set. High temperatures of 47 degrees on the 4th and 49 degrees on the 5th were record low maximums for their respective dates. Minimum temperature of 34 degrees on both the 5th and 6th were record lows for those dates.

5

In 1864…high water on the west fork of clear creek caused a small dam near empire to fail…which destroyed several downstream bridges.

In 1885…a windstorm during the afternoon and early evening produced south to southwest winds at sustained speeds up to 42 mph.

In 1937…a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver. This was the latest snowfall of record at the time. Light rain and snow were mixed around mid-day. Precipitation totaled only 0.01 inch. North winds were sustained to 20 mph.

In 1941…hail of unknown size fell on the city.

In 1961…lightning struck and injured an airman outside a base classroom at Lowry Air Force Base. Funnel clouds were sighted near Frederick and firestone north of Denver. The one near Frederick briefly touched down in an open field but caused no damage. Heavy rain and hail hit the Fort Lupton area causing damage to crops. Heavy rain in Frederick added to the flood damage of the 3rd. A pilot reported a funnel cloud that touched down briefly and then dissipated south of Castle Rock.

In 1965…a lightning-caused fire destroyed a mountain home near Rollinsville.

In 1988…a tornado touched down 5 miles east of Lafayette near I-25 and stayed on the ground for 15 minutes. The twister hit a campground…demolishing one trailer and damaging six others…along with 4 cars. The rope-like funnel also blew down fences…signs…and electrical boxes. The twister moved a 1500-pound hay wagon 150 feet. Total damage to the campground was estimated at 50 thousand dollars. Another tornado touched down between Broomfield and Lafayette…staying on the ground for about 20 minutes. The twister hit a subdivision…unroofing one abandoned house and causing minor damage to a dozen others. A four- car garage and three barns were destroyed. At one location a chain link fence…a satellite dish…and a shed were destroyed…while the deck and garage of the house were damaged. A grain storage tank was moved 200 feet. There were reports of boards being blown through walls; one came through a kitchen.

In 1992…lightning struck a 15-year-old boy…causing minor injuries…in Adams County 6 miles north-northeast of Stapleton International Airport. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 63 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…to 58 mph at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s facility at Rocky Flats…to 58 mph in Thornton…and to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport where 1/8 inch diameter hail fell.

In 1996…strong microburst winds up to 60 mph damaged several trees in Boulder…snapping large branches 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

In 1997…a woman was struck by lightning as she was walking to her car in Nederland. The lightning bolt apparently struck a nearby power line and arced into her left hand. She received minor injuries.

In 2014…severe thunderstorms broke out across parts of Arapahoe…Douglas…Elbert and Jefferson Counties… impacting areas generally southwest and south of Denver. The storms produced large hail…from quarter to golfball size.

In 2015…severe thunderstorms produced hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter in Castle Rock and hail up to 1 inches in diameter…southwest of Byers. At Denver International Airport…0.99 inches of rainfall was recorded. A peak wind gust to 35 mph from the southwest as also observed.

In 2017…an intense thunderstorm produced damaging downburst winds which snapped a power pole near the interchange of Interstate 70 and US 36. A weak short-lived landspout also touched down south of I-70 near Bennett and tossed around some lawn furniture.

5-6

In 1977…lightning caused several power outages and moderate damage to a railroad building.

6

In 1954…thunderstorm winds at speeds of 50 mph with gusts as high as 59 mph briefly reduced the visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1967…the public reported golf ball to 1 3/4 inch diameter hail in the city…3 miles west-southwest of Stapleton International Airport. The amount of damage was unknown. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1981…hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in east Denver.

In 1990…golf ball size hail was reported near Strasburg on I-70 east of Denver.

In 1991…a tornado was spotted by national weather service personnel and weather spotters…14 to 17 miles northeast of Stapleton International Airport. A funnel cloud was sighted over south Aurora just east of Buckley Field…and a tornado was spotted just east of Watkins. No damage was reported. Thunderstorms moved through Aurora and dropped hail up to 1 inch in diameter. The storms also produced heavy rain… Up to 1 inch in 30 minutes…causing flooding of streets. Water was reported hood deep…stranding motorists. Water covered fire hydrants at some intersections.

In 1995…a waterspout sighted over Standley Lake in northern Jefferson County…quickly dissipated once it reached shore. A brief tornado…which was momentarily visible by a dust debris cloud on the ground…damaged the roof of a house in Westminster. A funnel cloud was sighted just south of Lafayette. Hail from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter fell over north Boulder. Thunderstorm outflow produced north wind gusts to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1997…a tornado touched down near baseline reservoir just east of Boulder. The tornado struck a home…tearing off part of the roof. A storage building nearby was nearly leveled and 5 trees were uprooted. The twister then moved onto baseline reservoir…forming a huge waterspout. Several recreational vehicles and a boat dock were also damaged. A nearly stationary line of thunderstorms dumped 4.60 inches of rain on portions of Thornton. Extensive flooding of streets and underpasses and other low lying areas was reported. Several businesses were flooded and basements in the area were damaged. Rainfall totaled 1.02 inches at Denver International Airport and 1.24 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Large hail…up to 1 3/4 inches in diameter…fell over the city of Denver with 3/4 inch hail measured in Littleton and near Henderson.

In 1999…high winds developed for a brief time in and near the foothills of Boulder. The Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus recorded a wind gust to 87 mph. Winds peaked to 71 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the continental divide west of Boulder.

In 2003…a small tornado touched down near Strasburg…but did no damage.

In 2012…severe thunderstorms broke late in the evening…striking areas hardest from Denver southward. Locations impacted by the storms included but were not limited to: Aurora…Castle Rock…Centennial…Highlands Ranch…Lone Tree…Parker and Surrey Ridge. The storms produced a barrage of
large hail…damaging straight line winds…flash flooding and several short lived tornadoes. The hail ranged in size from 1 to 2 inches in diameter…and caused extensive damage to homes and automobiles. The hail inundated the roadways with several inches of hail in Douglas County. Consequently…snow plows had to be called out to clear the roadways. The combination of torrential hail and heavy rain produced flash flooding in parts of Elbert…Douglas and Arapahoe Counties…as thunderstorms brought up to 3.35 inches of rain to some areas within 90 minutes. In Aurora…Picadilly Road was closed from flooding north of 6th Avenue. A water rescue took place on South Gun Club Road in Arapahoe County…where floodwaters were rushing to depth of 3 feet. Flash flooding forced the closure of several streets and roads from Parker south to The Pinery…where the floodwaters inundated the roadway with up to 2 feet in several locations.  At Centennial Airport…a historic B-17 Flying Fortress suffered extensive damage as hailstones as large as ping pong balls struck the aircraft. Although the airframe itself did not require repair…the fabric-covered ailerons and elevators were extensively damaged. The hail came straight down and punched holes in the fabric-covered control surfaces. The aircraft landed just hours before the storm hit to participate in a weekend tour stop.  Lightning also struck two homes…one in Lakewood and the other in Parker. Straight line winds downed trees and power lines in Aurora. As a result…scattered electrical outages affected around five thousand residents.  At Denver International Airport…0.61 inches rainfall was recorded along with a peak wind gust of 41 mph.

In 2016…powerful thunderstorms fired up along the Urban Corridor and produced damaging hail…strong outflow winds… heavy rain and lightning. Golf-ball size hail in Highlands Ranch caused extensive damage including broken windows on homes and windshields on vehicles. Heavy rainfall…also produced street flooding. In and around Highlands Ranch… anywhere from 2.3 to 2.8 inches of rainfall was observed… with 1.0 to 1.5 inches around metro Denver. At Denver International Airport…0.38 inches of rainfall was recorded.

In 2020…a combination of an upper level trough moving northwest across the state…coupled with a strong surface pressure gradient…led to numerous reports of high wind gusts across the Denver the surrounding region. Most of the wind damage occurred with the passage of a rare derecho; a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful straight-line winds. In addition…strong wind gusts from 59 to 71 mph not associated with the derecho… occurred prior to and following the passage of this system. By midday the derecho…moved over the mountains…and then rapidly northeast across the I-25 corridor by mid afternoon. Wind gusts from 60 to 80 mph were common with a few gusts exceeding 90 mph. The highest gust observed was 110 mph…at the Winter Park Ski area…around 12000 feet. Xcel Energy reported more than 208000 customers lost power because of the storm statewide. Widespread tree damage was reported. The intense wind toppled a billboard that crashed onto Denver bakery. Two delivery trucks parked nearby were heavily damaged. Two injuries occurred in Denver…one seriously. A man and his nine-year-old daughter were injured by a fallen tree. They were standing in front of a family members house when the incident occurred. The tree impaled the father through his back and he required several surgeries. His daughter sustained cuts and bruises that required stitches. Southwest winds gusted to 78 mph at Denver International Airport…with a peak gust to 76 mph at Centennial Airport.

6-7

In 2004…a brief hot spell produced 3 temperature records. High temperatures of 95 degrees on the 6th and 98 degrees on the 7th were record maximum temperatures for the dates. Low temperature of 68 degrees on the 7th was a record high minimum for the date.

In 2007…an unusually strong storm system brought very strong winds to the Front Range foothills and urban corridor. Peak gusts included: 92 mph at Boulder…85 mph…2 miles southwest of Boulder…83 mph…10 miles south of Boulder and 55 mph at Denver International Airport. High winds forced the closure of Mt. Evans road and Trail Ridge Road. Several trees were uprooted across the urban corridor. In Aurora… The driver of a car was injured when some building material blew off the Fitzsimmons Complex. The debris landed on the car and knocked the driver unconscious. The wind forced the cancellation of 60 flights at Denver International Airport. Xcel reported outages in Boulder…Denver…Lakewood and Longmont.

7

In 1904…a thunderstorm produced south winds to 40 mph with gusts to 50 mph…but only a trace of rain.

In 1942…heavy thunderstorm rainfall in south Denver caused flooding of shops…stalled motorists…and halted tramway service temporarily. Lightning damaged houses…but there was no loss of life. Precipitation totaled 0.53 inch in downtown Denver.

In 1951…a 24×65 foot roof of a cow barn was lifted off the building and blown to the ground by a “twister” near Fort Lupton.

In 1961…small hail and heavy rain damaged property and crops in southwest metro Denver…including the southwest section of the city…Lakewood…and Littleton. Precipitation totaled 1.20 inch…11 miles southwest of Stapleton Airport. Complete primary and secondary rainbows were sighted by national weather service observers at Stapleton Airport.

In 1968…severe thunderstorms moving to the northeast through sections of Denver caused local flooding of streets and damage to trees and gardens from hail 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches in diameter. One man was killed and 2 were injured at the Wellshire Golf Course when lightning struck a tree under which they had taken shelter. At another golf course… A man was mortally injured by lightning. Marble to golf ball size hail fell over downtown Denver. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured in Westminster.

In 1975…hail up to 3/4 inch diameter fell in Boulder.

In 1978…a man standing under a tree on a golf course in Denver was struck in the arm by lightning. Wind gusts to 60 mph and golf ball size hail pelted west and south Denver.

In 1986…7/8 inch hail was measured in Lafayette.

In 1990…a thin…rope-shaped tornado touched down east of the intersection of State Highway 2 and 96th avenue just north of the rocky mountain arsenal. No damage was reported.

In 1992…a thunderstorm wind gust to 60 mph was recorded in Boulder. A funnel cloud was sighted by a highway patrol officer just northwest of Stapleton International Airport where thunderstorm winds gusted to 51 mph. Spotters and state patrol officers reported funnel clouds in the northwestern part of metro Denver…near Golden…and 7 miles northwest of Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…non-convective high winds pummeled the Front Range foothills during the late morning and afternoon. Speeds of 60 to 80 mph were common. The winds caused several power outages as well as uprooting trees. In Lafayette…a 4-year- old boy was slightly injured while standing on the roots of a large tree which was toppled by the winds. The boy fell 10 feet to the ground and was bruised and scraped. A tree fell onto a parked car in Boulder…causing about 35 hundred dollars in damage. West wind gusts to 41 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where a thunderstorm produced 1/8 inch hail at daybreak.

In 1995…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across west and north metro Denver from Golden to Westminster and Fort Lupton. Hail ranged in size from 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter. The largest hail fell in Fort Lupton. A weak tornado produced a brief dust and debris cloud in a corn field 3 miles northeast of Hudson.

In 1997…two plumbers were injured…one critically…when lightning struck a pipe on which they were working in an apartment building under construction in Denver. The bolt apparently hit one man in the hand…passed through his chest…and struck the other worker. The critically injured man…died a few days later. Lightning also injured a man…while he was talking on a telephone in Ward. The bolt passed through the phone line burning his ear.

In 2001…hail as large as 7/8 inch in diameter fell in Westminster.

In 2009…severe thunderstorms in Denver and the surrounding metropolitan area produced five tornadoes… Large hail…up to 3 inches in diameter…and damaging thunderstorm winds. The tornado that produced the most significant damage touched down in southeast Aurora… South of Buckley Airport; it moved south-southeast across open fields…some residential areas and damaged southlands mall. It was 100 yards wide with a storm track of approximately 5 1/2 miles. Southlands Mall had some roof and window damage…as well as wall damage to one of its restaurants. South of the mall…Lowe’s received some roof damage; lightweight sheds and other structures were also destroyed. Numerous homes and apartments suffered window damage…minor roof damage and there were a few broken garage doors. One resident…north of the mall…was injured when he was swept off his porch while attempting to photograph the tornado. He was found unconscious and bleeding in his front yard…with a dislocated shoulder…an injured neck…and numerous other injuries. In addition…the tornado flipped a trailer home. A man inside the trailer suffered minor injuries. In parts of Aurora and Centennial…thunderstorm winds blew down power lines and caused electrical outages. Approximately 8000 homes and businesses were without power for nearly two hours. Earlier in the day…a tornado touched down about 6 miles northwest of Northglenn and caused minor damage. It’s path covered approximately 1/2 mile. Several trees were downed in an open field. The tornado also damaged a metal fence and caused minor roof damage to a nearby residence. The third tornado touched down 7 miles east-northeast of Buckley Air Field and flipped a semi-trailer as it passed over interstate 70. Lastly… Two tornadoes touched down in northwest Elbert County. One tornado damaged several outbuildings…a residence…and downed several trees. In addition… Several horses were injured by flying metal debris. The other tornado touched down in open country. This day was the first in the series of eight to cause damage along the urban corridor. Damage to homes and property along the Front Range totaled $161 million during the 8-day span. The majority of the property damage was caused by hail; 21000 automobile claims and 13000 homeowner claims were filed.

In 2012…severe thunderstorms brought damaging wind and hail…heavy rain and flash flooding.  The storms produced hail from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter. In addition to the large hail…heavy rain from 1 to 2 inches also accompanied the storms. The combination of hail and heavy rain caused extensive street flooding across Aurora…Castle Rock…Centennial…Cherry Creek…Englewood…South Denver…Highlands Ranch…Lakewood and Littleton. The hail was reportedly “knee deep” in several areas making roads impassable. As a result…snow plows had to be summoned to clear the streets. In Castle Rock…a King Soopers supermarket sustained extensive damage when roof partially collapsed under the weight of the hail. At Denver International Airport…0.61 inches of rainfall was again recorded along with a peak wind gust of 40 mph.  Total property
damage estimates along the Front Range for the 6th and 7th combined was 321.1 million dollars.

In 2016…large hail up to 1 inch in diameter was observed in Castle Rock.

In 2021…a landspout tornado developed in southwest Weld County…2 miles northeast of Firestone. The tornado traveled north-northeast…and ended 3 miles northwest of Platteville. The tornado reached an intensity of EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale…with estimated wind speeds of 99 mph. There were no injuries…but at least two calves were killed…and several chickens. Other damage included a home located at Highway 66 and Weld County Road 21 that caught fire due to downed power lines. Downed power lines led to a closure of Weld County Road 21 between State Highway 66 and Weld County Road 32.5. The landspout was more than 10000 feet high…and could be seen by spotters as far as 40 miles away. It was on the ground for 35 minutes; it was estimated to be 50 yards wide and traveled a distance of 7.5 miles.

» Click here to read the rest of June 5 to June 11: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend to offer up mild temperatures, a couple chances for storms

Friday, June 3rd, 2022 5:10am MDT

The three-day period looks to have weather conditions pretty typical for this time of year. Temperatures are going to be mild with a good bit of sun and there will be some chances for thunderstorms.

For Friday, sunny skies will be with us initially then the afternoon brings some cloud cover. Scattered thunderstorms will develop after noon and should be done by the evening. High temperatures will top out in the upper 70s. Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with lows around 50 degrees.

Saturday will be the warmest, and calmest, day of the week. Look for highs in the mid-80s with mostly sunny skies. Winds will be a bit breezy in the afternoon but not too bad. Saturday night, lows will dip to the mid-50s under mostly cloudy skies.

Sunday sees a bit of an increase in the cloud cover due to a disturbance passing through early. Highs will be in the low to mid-80s with partly sunny skies above. The afternoon brings just a slight chance for thunderstorms.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday in Thornton warms up and dries out

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 5:00am MDT

Following a couple cool, wet days, we return to a more typical June weather pattern beginning today. We will enjoy lots of sun, warming temperatures and just a slight chance for a thunderstorm.

Early morning may feel a few clouds then we will enjoy sunny skies for the balance of the daytime hours. High temperatures will top out in the mid-70s.

The evening brings just the slightest chance for a thunderstorm through about 11:00pm. Then, skies will be clear and overnight lows will dip to the upper 40s.

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