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Long Time Frame Flooding – Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 5:17am MDT

Floods and Flash FloodsFloods and wildfires are arguably the two most common disasters Coloradans face with numerous such events occurring each year.  To better prepare residents for the danger of these disasters, this week is Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Each day this week the National Weather Service will be posting public information statements covering a number of different topics about floods and wildfires.  These important messages should be required reading for all Coloradans so they know what to do to prepare for these events and handle them when they occur.

ThorntonWeather.com will be posting each of these messages as a service to our readers.  Please check back daily for a new topic.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
600 AM MDT TUESDAY MARCH 14 2017

Today’s topic during Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week is flooding which develops in the time frame of longer than 6 hours to several days.

Long duration floods in Colorado can result from snow melt…a combination of snow melt and heavy rain…or just heavy rain.

There have been some notable floods across the Centennial State…

In early June of 1921…a flood along the Arkansas River devastated the city of Pueblo. Estimates of drownings ranged from over 100 to over 300.

Around Memorial Day…1935…catastrophic flooding occurred on the Palmer Divide and the Colorado Springs area…causing millions of dollars of damage…and killing at least 18 people.

The mid-June 1965 flood was widespread across eastern Colorado…taking several lives…and causing over 500 million dollars of damage.

During late April and early May of 1999…after up to 14 inches of rain fell…a major flood occurred across southeast Colorado from Colorado Springs to La Junta.

In 2013, the historic rains and floods in September caused over 3 billion dollars of damage, and took 9 lives.

Just this last year during May, multiple days of heavy rain and snow caused flooding across many areas of eastern Colorado.

Floods in Colorado can result from rapid snow melt, ice jams, a combination of snow melt and heavy rain, or just heavy rain.

National Weather Service forecast offices in Colorado closely collaborate with regional river forecast centers that monitor the Colorado River…South Platte River…Arkansas River…and Rio Grande to come to a consensus on the likelihood of flooding along rivers and large creeks.

The National Weather Service will discuss flood potential in hydrologic outlooks…daily hazardous weather outlooks…and in graphical weather stories on National Weather Service forecast office web sites. Hydrologic statements may be issued for high flows that are within the banks of a river or large creek.

When flooding is possible on a river or large creek…a Flood Watch will be issued…meaning flooding is possible within the designated watch area.

When flooding is likely or occurring on a river or large creek…a Flood Warning will be issued…meaning flooding is expected or has been reported at designated river forecast points.

Flood Advisories may be issued for minor flooding on rivers and creeks.

An Areal Flood Warning may also be issued for flooding on a river or large creek in areas away from the designated river forecast points.

You can easily monitor potential flooding along rivers in Colorado and large creeks using the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service monitoring system. Information on this monitoring system can be obtained from this web site…

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/floodsafety/ahps.shtml

This monitoring system can be accessed on Colorado National Weather Service forecast office web sites from the left hand menu…by clicking…rivers and lakes under the hydrology banner.

At each river and large creek gauge…you can easily look at current and forecast water levels…flood categories…historic crests…and flood impacts. Probabilities of exceedance of certain water levels by week or over the long term are also available.

In general…there will be some time to prepare for river and large creek flooding…and emergency management in your area has plans in place to address flooding issues. Know these plans and how you should act accordingly when Flood Watches and Flood Warnings are in effect.

For more information on flood safety go to…

http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov

Tom Magnuson
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service Pueblo

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

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Temperatures climb for Thornton’s Tuesday, conditions remain dry

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 5:15am MDT

I said last night on our Facebook page that I was going to start using a new weather acronym – PDBW – Pretty Dang Boring Weather. It seems fitting as overall conditions for weeks now have been the same: above normal temps, dry conditions.

That will continue today and through the rest of the week. Sigh. We start out with partly clear skies today and can expect much of the same as high clouds will provide some shade. Temperatures will be climbing to a high right near the 70-degree mark. Winds this morning will be calm and then become a bit breezy in the afternoon.

That is pretty much it and from the looks of it, we could pretty much copy and paste this same forecast across every day for the balance of the week.

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Types of Floods – Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

Monday, March 13th, 2017 5:20am MDT

Floods and Flash FloodsFloods and wildfires are arguably the two most common disasters Coloradans face with numerous such events occurring each year.  To better prepare residents for the danger of these disasters, this week is Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Each day this week the National Weather Service will be posting public information statements covering a number of different topics about floods and wildfires.  These important messages should be required reading for all Coloradans so they know what to do to prepare for these events and handle them when they occur.

ThorntonWeather.com will be posting each of these messages as a service to our readers.  Check back each day for a new topic.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER CO
600 AM MDT MON MARCH 13 2017

Flooding can be a major problem in Colorado as we experienced in September 2013. Heavy rain fell over a large area of the foothills south to the Pikes Peak Region, resulting in flash flooding. Much of the water that fell across northeast Colorado eventually ended up in the South Platte River, with major river flooding having occurred from Greeley to the state line.

River flooding can result from heavy rain during the summer and from rapid snow melt or thunderstorm rain combining with runoff from melting snow. Flash flooding refers to a dangerous sudden rise in water within an urban area, in a canyon, or along a creek or wash over normally dry land area. Flash floods result from heavy rainfall, sudden breaks in river ice jams, and dam or levee failures.

Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours, and can move at surprisingly high speeds, striking with little warning. Flash floods are quite destructive because of the force of the moving water, and the debris that accumulates in flood waters, such as trees and boulders, which can destroy roadways, bridges and buildings.

Another complication in Colorado is the serious flooding that can result when heavy rain falls on recently burned areas. Anyone living downstream from a recently burned area should be aware of the changed conditions, which result in much faster, turbulent, debris and ash clogged waters from the burned area.

The National Weather Service will discuss flood and flash flood potential in daily Hazardous Weather Outlooks and in the graphical weather story on National Weather Service websites. On days with a high threat for flooding, you may hear of a Flash Flood or Flood Watch, which means that flash flooding or flooding is possible within the watch area.

A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported along a river.

A Flash Flood Warning means that flash flooding has been reported or is imminent.

When a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area, act quickly. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Go to higher ground or climb to safety before access is cut off by flood waters. Go Up, Not Out. Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related. Do not enter a flooded roadway, instead Turn Around…Don’t Drown. In rapidly rising waters, backing up away from water would be safer. One to two feet of water will carry away most vehicles, and you also cannot tell if the road is damaged beneath the water.

More information on flooding hazards can be found on the National Weather Service Flood Safety page here.

 

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week continues through this Saturday.

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

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Monday brings mild, dry conditions with even warmer weather ahead

Monday, March 13th, 2017 5:11am MDT

There seems to be no end to the unseasonably weather we have experienced in recent weeks. That same patter will continue today and through the end of the week as we see very spring-like conditions.

For today we will have variable levels of cloud cover ranging from mostly sunny to partly cloudy. Temperatures start out chilly but then we will be warming to a high in the low 60s, a good bit above the average for the date of 54 degrees. Winds should be calmer than yesterday, perhaps just a bit breezy in the mid to late afternoon.

Looking ahead, today will actually be the coolest day of the week. Mercury readings at or above the 70 degree mark are expected through the coming weekend. Unfortunately, there is no precipitation expected. Get a closer look in our extended forecast here.

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Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week begins

Sunday, March 12th, 2017 9:30am MDT
Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week, March 15 – 21, 2015.

Floods and wildfires are arguably the two most common disasters Coloradans face with numerous such events occurring each year.  To better prepare residents for the danger of these disasters, this week is Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Each day this week the National Weather Service will be posting public information statements covering a number of different topics about floods and wildfires.  These important messages should be required reading for all Coloradans so they know what to do to prepare for these events and handle them when they occur.

ThorntonWeather.com will be posting each of these messages as a service to our readers.  The first of these messages is below.  Check back each day this week for further topics.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER CO
600 AM MDT SUN MARCH 12 2017

Flood and wildfire season is approaching…know your risks…make your plans…improve your outcome…

The National Weather Service wants everyone in the United States to be part of a WeatherReady nation. Colorado has more than its fair share of floods…flash floods…and wildfires. You should be weather alert and weather ready…knowing how to stay safe when floods and wildfires affect your area.

Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed this week…March 12th through 18th as Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week. Now is the time to learn about flood and wildfire risks in Colorado…and to develop your plans to improve you outcome.

Floodprone areas have been identified in over 250 cities and towns and in all 64 counties in Colorado. Over 250 thousand people live in floodplains in Colorado. There are estimated to be 65 thousand homes and 15 thousand commercial…industrial…and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. The value of the property…structures…and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be around 15 billion dollars.

Floods and flash floods have killed over 400 people in Colorado since the turn of the 20th century. The historic weather pattern of September 2013 reminds us all that floods are a major concern across the Centennial state. Floods have caused billions of dollars of damage in Colorado.

On average 2500 wildfires occur across Colorado each year. Since 2012…8 people have been killed when wildfires occurred in the wildland-urban interface.

The National Weather Service forecast offices which serve Colorado will issue a series of public information statements during this Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week…covering the following topics…

Sunday…Introduction to the week
Monday…Flood watches and warnings
Tuesday…River floods
Wednesday…Flash floods
Thursday…Fire forecasts…watches…and warnings
Friday…Wildfire safety and mitigation
Saturday…Review of the week

More information on floods and wildfires is available at your local National
Weather Service web sites…

http://www.weather.gov/denver NWS Dnver/Boulder web site
http://www.weather.gov/pueblo NWS Pueblo web site
http://www.weather.gov/goodland NWS Goodland web site
http://www.weather.gov/gjt NWS Grand Junction web site

Tom Magnuson
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service Pueblo

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

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

Sunday, March 12th, 2017 6:18am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

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

Snow is one thing we have not seen a lot of in recent weeks but we still have time to gain ground. March is our snowiest month and our look back at this week in Denver weather history provides evidence of this. It was this week in 2003 that the Denver was struck by a massive snowstorm – the costliest in Denver history. Also, six years ago, we saw significant snowfall this same week. Below is a complete look at those and other events.

From the National Weather Service:

9-19

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.

10-12

In 1924…snowfall was heavy and totaled 9.9 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 11th.

In 2001…heavy snow fell over northeast Colorado and metro Denver when a combination of upslope winds and convective snow bands formed over the area. Storm totals included: 11 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort; 10 inches at Genesee; 8 inches at Elizabeth…atop Lookout Mountain…near Sedalia… And at Strasburg; 7 inches near Castle Rock and Evergreen; and 6 inches in Aurora…atop Crow Hill…and in Parker. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 2 to 5 inches with 3.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.

11-12

In 1929…heavy snowfall totaled 9.3 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 31 mph with gusts to 34 mph on the 11th.

In 1947…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 15 mph on the 11th.

In 1963…snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north-northwest winds gusted to 25 mph on the 11th.

In 1993…a strong storm dumped heavy snow in the mountains and 4 to 8 inches of snow over metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 3.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 35 mph.

12

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 44 mph.

In 1952…northwest winds sustained at 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where 3.2 inches of snow also fell.

In 1954…strong winds raked metro Denver all day producing areas of blowing dust…snow…and blowing snow. At Stapleton Airport…north-northeast winds at sustained speeds of 40 to 45 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph were recorded. Snowfall totaled only 0.4 inches.

In 1982…a windstorm hit the foothills from Boulder north. The highest recorded wind gust of 90 mph occurred in Boulder. Wind gusts to 47 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1985…only 1.0 inch of snow fell in Denver…but strong winds produced near-blizzard conditions and caused the closure of I-70 from Aurora to Limon for an hour in the evening. North winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1999…heavy snow fell in and near the Front Range foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8.5 inches at Genesee…6 inches about 8 miles northwest of Evergreen… 4.5 inches in Boulder…4 inches in Littleton…and only 2.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

 

12-13

In 2005…a winter storm brought heavy snow to the eastern foothills and western metro Denver overnight. Storm total snowfall included: 15 inches in Jamestown…13 inches near Blackhawk…11 inches in the foothills southwest of Boulder and near Nederland…10.5 inches at Gross Reservoir…9.5 inches at Eldorado Springs…9 inches at Roxborough Park… 8.5 inches near Longmont…8 inches in Boulder…7.5 inches at Centennial…7 inches in Louisville…3.3 inches at Denver Stapleton. At Denver International Airport…west winds gusted to 46 mph on the 12th before the passage of the cold front and north winds gusted 31 mph on the 13th.

12-16

In 1880…a protracted cold spell resulted in 8 temperature records being set. Record low temperatures for the date were set when the temperature dipped to 10 degrees below zero on the 13th and 14th…8 degrees below zero on the 12th and 15th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 16th. Daily record low maximum temperatures were set with 11 degrees on the 12th…12 degrees on the 13th…and 19 degrees on the 15th.

13

In 1973…northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds were accompanied by virga and a very light snow shower.

In 1990…4 to 9 inches of snow fell across metro Denver with 8 to 16 inches in the foothills. Morrison reported 9 inches; Evergreen…11 inches; and Aspen Springs…14 inches from the storm. Blowing snow and reduced visibilities caused 2-hour delays at Stapleton International Airport where only 5.1 inches of snow fell and north winds gusted to 21 mph.

13-14

In 1996…a storm system moving across northern Colorado dumped heavy snow in the mountains and foothills and across metro Denver where snowfall ranged from 5 to 10 inches. A foot of new snow was measured at Nederland with 11 inches at Conifer. Snowfall totaled 8.0 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.

13-15

In 1906…snowfall totaled 8.0 inches over downtown Denver.

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

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Thornton’s weekend to bring cooler temps, unsettled conditions

Friday, March 10th, 2017 5:06am MDT

A couple of weak systems are going to bring about a little bit of a change in our weather this weekend. Friday will be our warmest day and then we see cooler temps and a slight chance for a sprinkle of rain Saturday followed by a return of the wind Sunday.

For today we expect some high cloud cover leading to partly sunny skies. Temperatures will be warming to a high in the mid-60s. Thankfully the wind takes a break today. Tonight overnight lows will be around 40 degrees.

The pre-dawn hours into tomorrow morning bring a chance to see a light sprinkle of rain but even if it materializes, it isn’t expected to amount to much. By mid-morning tomorrow the clouds should start to break leading to mostly sunny skies for the balance of the day. Highs tomorrow will be in the mid-50s.

Saturday night into Sunday morning temperatures will drop to near freezing.

Sunday brings partly clear skies and a bit of a rebound of temperatures with highs in the low to mid-60s. Once again, winds are going to blow much of the day.

Have a great weekend!

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Another mild, dry day with gusty winds in store for Thornton

Thursday, March 9th, 2017 5:22am MDT

Our weather forecast for today looks to be a repeat of the conditions we saw yesterday. Mild temperatures and lots of sun will be the good part but gusty winds will again lead to increased fire danger.

We start out with mostly clear skies and you can expect mostly sunny skies throughout the daytime hours. Temperatures will be warming quickly this morning and on their way toward a high near the 70 degree mark.

Like yesterday, winds will intrude on the mild weather, peaking around mid-day with gusts to 30mph being possible. The wind, temperatures and dry conditions have prompted a Red Flag Warning to be issued and in effect from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Fire danger is very high so please be careful. Tonight, the winds ease and the clouds increase with an overnight low of 37 degrees or so on tap.

Live temperatures and wind speeds here.

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Daylight Saving Time set to bring more evening light, signal the change of seasons

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 5:38pm MDT
The United States returns to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00am Sunday, March 12, 2017.

The United States returns to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00am Sunday, March 12, 2017.

The biannual ritual of changing our clocks to adjust for Daylight Saving Time occurs this Saturday night providing yet another signal of the changing of seasons.  The United States will ‘spring forward’ one hour at 2:00am Sunday morning as we begin Daylight Savings Time.

The ritual of changing our clocks twice a year can be met with some resistance as some people struggle to adjust their body’s internal clock.  The start of Daylight Saving Time can be particularly problematic given the one hour less sleep people receive on the night of the change.

However, longer days as we head into the milder months are a very real benefit and for many worth the inconvenience of a lost hour of sleep.  The time change definitely has big effects on how much daylight we enjoy during our normal waking hours.

On Saturday, prior to the change, sunset will occur at 6:03pm but on Sunday the sun won’t disappear over the horizon until 7:04pm.  This affords folks more time in the evening to get started on those spring-time chores and allows us to get outside and enjoy the warming weather.

The March Equinox is also on the horizon.  Spring officially begins at 4:29am on Monday, March 20.

This year Daylight Savings Time will come to an end on November 5.

Some of the recent history of Daylight Savings Time (from Wikipedia):

Daylight saving time in the United States was first observed in 1918. Most areas of the United States currently observe daylight saving time, with the exceptions being the states of Arizona and Hawaii along with the territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

From 1987 to 2006, daylight saving time in the United States began on the first Sunday of April and ended on the last Sunday of October. The time was adjusted at 2:00 AM (0200) local time (as it still is done now).

Since 2007, daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, with all time changes taking place at 2:00 AM (0200) local time. In 2011, daylight saving time began on March 13 and will end on November 6.

Daylight Savings Time Schedule

Year DST Begins 2 a.m.
(Second Sunday in March)
DST Ends 2 a.m.
(First Sunday in November)
2017 12 March 2017 5 November 2017
2018 11 March 2018 4 November 2018
2019 10 March 2019 3 November 2019
2020 8 March 2020 1 November 2020
2021 14 March 2021 7 November 2021
2022 13 March 2022 6 November 2022
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Thornton’s Wednesday brings very mild temps, some breezy winds

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 5:08am MDT

Mild and dry will be the primary weather words for our day today. Winds will still be a bit breezy but near as bad as they have been so far this week.

We start out the day with mostly clear skies and similar conditions above can be expected throughout the day. Temperatures are starting out chilly but then will steadily rise toward a high in the mid to upper 60s, well above the 52-degree average for the date.

As for the winds, we will be calm initially then see things start becoming breezy by mid-morning. Gusts to 25mph will be possible during the middle part of the day before settling down by late afternoon into the evening.

Have a great day!

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