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Pacific Northwest May Be at Most Risk for the ‘Big One’

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 3:15am MST

The next big earthquake is due in the Pacific Northwest—but now scientists have pinpointed where along the coast a large earthquake is most likely to happen, according to a study published Monday. “We observed very compact sediments offshore of Washington and northern Oregon that could support earthquake rupture over a long distance and close to the trench, which increases both earthquake and tsunami hazards,” lead author of the study Shuoshuo Han,… » Click here to read the rest of Pacific Northwest May Be at Most Risk for the ‘Big One’

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Solar System’s First Interstellar Visitor Dazzles Scientists

Monday, November 20th, 2017 6:22pm MST

Artist’s concept of interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. The aspect ratio of up to 10:1 is unlike that of any object seen in our own solar system. » Click here to read the rest of Solar System’s First Interstellar Visitor Dazzles Scientists

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November 19 to November 25: This week in Denver weather history

Monday, November 20th, 2017 5:22am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

November 19 to November 25: This week in Denver weather history

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, travelers cast a wary eye on Denver’s weather and in our look back at this week in Denver weather history we see they have had cause for concern in the past. Snowstorms and wind have caused their share of problems. Also notable, it was 140 years ago that Denver’s first official weather observation occurred.

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From the National Weather Service:

18-19

In 1975…snowfall totaled only 5.5 inches and north winds gusted to 35 mph causing some blowing snow at Stapleton International Airport…while a major blizzard struck southeastern Colorado.

In 1985…4 to 7 inches of snow fell across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 4.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 23 mph.

In 1991…another strong winter storm produced heavy snow over metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 9.5 inches at Stapleton International Airport with 9 inches at Parker… And 8 inches in southeast Denver…Morrison…and Wheat Ridge. This second storm brought the 5 day (15th-19th) snowfall total at Stapleton International Airport to 21.1 inches. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was 13 inches on the morning of the 19th. The adverse effects of the two storms were diminished by the lack of significant winds.

18-20

In 1930…a major storm dumped a total of 13.6 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver. Most of the snow…9.4 inches…fell on the 19th when north winds were sustained to 23 mph. This was the only measurable snow of the month. Temperatures hovered in the 20’s and lower 30’s.

In 1956…an intense winter storm dumped 12.8 inches of snowfall on metro Denver. Strong north-northeast winds gusting to 33 mph at Stapleton Airport frequently reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile in snow and blowing snow on the 19th. Most of the snowfall…10.7 inches…occurred on the 19th.

19

In 1931…the first measurable snow of the season totaled only 1.0 inch in the city.

In 1977…near-blizzard conditions caused some traffic accident injuries across metro Denver. Only 1.3 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 28 mph.

19-21

In 1979…a heavy snowstorm buried most of Colorado under at least a foot of snow. Snowfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled 17.7 inches…the greatest snow depth since 1946. Winds to 60 mph produced 5-foot drifts paralyzing the city as temperatures hovered in the 20’s. While small airports closed…Stapleton remained open…but with long delays that snarled thanksgiving holiday traffic. Schools and businesses closed and postal deliveries were delayed. Almost all major highways leading out of Denver were closed to traffic for periods of time on the 20th and 21st. Most of the snow…13.5 inches…fell on the 20th. At Stapleton International Airport…north winds gusted to 35 mph on the 20th and to 38 mph on the 21st.

20

In 1871…the first official weather observation in Denver… Was taken by Henry Fenton…observer sergeant of the united states army signal service at 5:43 am. The office was located on the 2nd floor of a building at the corner of Larimer and g streets…now 16th street. The daily weather journal hand written entry for the day follows: “Snow fell heavily during past night. At 5:43 am it was snowing light and continued until 8 am. Wind during snow storm gentle and a little west of south…and continued there during the remainder of the day. Sky clear after 8 am. Very cold weather prevailed all day and night. Thermometer at 9:43 pm 14 degrees. Rain gauge and self-registering thermometer not in position owing to severe storm last week. Barometer falling during the morning and rising rapidly at night.”

In 1894…northwest Chinook winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees in the city.

In 1909…steady and very strong winds in Boulder caused 3 thousand dollars in damage.

In 1915…post-frontal northeast winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts as high as 42 mph produced only a trace of snow. It was windy most of the day.

In 1923…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 44 mph before daybreak. The strong winds persisted in the city for only about 3 hours.

In 1993…a wind gust to 72 mph was recorded at Table Mesa in southwest Boulder.

In 1994…winds gusted to 77 mph atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

20-21

In 1898…snowfall totaled 4.0 inches in downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph behind an apparent cold front on the 20th… When temperatures plunged from a high of 66 degrees to a low of 9 degrees. On the 21st the high was only 24 degrees and the low was 2 degrees.

In 1970…a wind gust to 94 mph was recorded at gold hill in the foothills west of Boulder. Strong winds also swept across metro Denver. Wind gusts reached 59 mph in downtown Boulder…while at Stapleton International Airport west- northwest winds gusted to 43 mph on the 21st. Damage was minor.

In 1992…a large Canadian air mass moved into the state at the same time an upper level storm system approached from the west. The combination of cold air at the surface and very moist air aloft produced heavy snow across the entire state. Snowfall totaled 6.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport…where north winds gusted to 23 mph on the 20th. Snow was heavier in the foothills…with 14 inches at Wondervu…13 inches at Aspen Springs…Conifer… Boulder…and Gross Reservoir…8 inches at Rollinsville… And 10 inches at Golden Gate Canyon and Morrison.

In 2007…a storm system brought moderate to heavy snowfall to portions of the urban corridor. Storm totals included: 7 inches…3 miles south-southeast of Fort Collins…with 6 inches in Boulder and at Horsetooth Inlet Bay. Elsewhere… Storm totals ranged from 2 to 5 inches. Snowfall totaled 2.0 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

21

In 1891…northwest winds were sustained to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph.

In 1899…a trace of snow fell in the city. This…together with a trace of precipitation on the 16th and 23rd…was the only precipitation of the month…making the month the driest on record. The record was equaled in November of 1901 and 1949. This trace of snow along with a trace of snow on the 23rd was the only snow of the month…ranking the month the 2nd least snowiest on record. This record was equaled in November of 1884…1901…1905…1917…and 1939.

In 1900…west winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 54 mph. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.

In 1934…the latest date for the first measurable snow of the season occurred. This was not the first snow of the season… Because traces of snow had fallen earlier in September. Snowfall totaled only 1.0 inch over downtown Denver.

In 1962…strong west-northwest Chinook winds gusted to 53 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1998…an intense mountain wave allowed for high winds to develop in the foothills of Boulder County. Wind gusts as high as 77 mph were measured 3 miles east- northeast of Nederland.

21-22

In 1905…a trace of snow fell on both days in downtown Denver. This was the only snow of the month…ranking the month along with other Novembers…the 2nd least snowiest on record.

In 1999…the first significant snowfall of the season struck metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 16 inches near Bailey; 13 inches near Evergreen; 12 inches at north turkey creek…Genesee…near Morrison…and near Sedalia; 11 inches near Conifer and in Evergreen; 10 inches in Louisville; 9 inches in Brighton…Broomfield…and Denver; and 8 inches at Arvada…Castle Rock…and Eldorado Springs. Snowfall totaled 8.4 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…heavy snow fell in and near the foothills of Boulder County. Snowfall totaled 10.5 inches in Eldorado Springs. Across the city…snowfall was lighter with 2.8 inches measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport on the 22nd. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 22nd.

» Click here to read the rest of November 19 to November 25: This week in Denver weather history

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Mild temperatures, breezy winds start Thornton’s short workweek

Monday, November 20th, 2017 5:06am MST

Monday will offer up unseasonably warm temperatures. However, those temperatures will be driven by warming, downslope winds that will put a bit of a damper on things.

The day starts with mostly sunny skies to be followed by an increase in cloud coverage later this morning leading to partly sunny skies. The pre-dawn hours saw winds pick up and already drive the thermometer higher. That gives us a head start on our expected high temperature today of 66 degrees. Winds will be breezy in the morning then gain some steam in the afternoon and last into the evening before tapering off overnight.

Tonight look for partly clear skies with lows in the mid-30s.

Keep an eye on those windspeeds here.

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Weekend weather starts warm and windy, cools down and may bring some precip

Friday, November 17th, 2017 5:04am MST

We will be seeing a bit of a break from the warm, calm conditions of recent days. A storm system will impact the state today and tomorrow and while the high country will bear the brunt of it, we will feel some of its effects.

Things get started on Friday with another unseasonably warm day. Highs will top out in the mid to upper 60s, aided by strong downslope winds. Winds will be quite breezy throughout the day, particularly this afternoon and tonight. The front will push through by midafternoon and temperatures are then going to drop quite quickly. The evening may see a sprinkle of rain in some spots.

Tonight, the winds will continue after late evening into early morning could see any precipitation that falls turn to snow. However, we are not expecting much, if any, accumulation. There just isn’t much moisture to work with. Lows tonight will dip to a bit below freezing.

On Saturday, things settle down and the sun returns however temperatures are going to cool considerably in the wake of the front. Look for highs in the upper 40s under sunny skies. Overall conditions will be calm.

Tomorrow night into Sunday morning, it will be mostly clear with overnight lows dipping to the mid-20s.

Sunday rebounds nicely with lots of sun and calm, dry conditions. Highs will be around the 60 degree mark.

Have a great weekend!

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Thornton’s Thursday to offer very mild temperatures, mostly sunny skies

Thursday, November 16th, 2017 5:09am MST

A return to the unseasonably warm weather we have seen a lot of here recently. Today, temperatures jump to about 20 degrees above normal.

The day starts off with mostly sunny skies and that will be the general rule. Some increase in clouds can be expected in the late afternoon. Winds will be relatively light and out of the southwest throughout the day.

Temperatures start out chilly this morning then will see a quick and steady climb toward an early afternoon high of around 73 degrees. The average high for today’s date is 52 degrees.

Tonight, conditions will remain calm other than some breezy winds early tomorrow morning. Overnight lows will be in the low 40s.

Keep an eye on the thermometer here.

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

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 12:29pm MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

November 12 to November 18: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wind and snow are two hallmarks of Denver’s November weather and we see an abundance of those events in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Damaging wind makes numerous appearances as does wintry weather.

From the National Weather Service:

10-13

In 2014…an Arctic cold front associated with a strong storm system over the northern Rockies blasted into northeastern Colorado.  The temperature in Denver plummeted from the high of 64 degrees at 4:37 pm to 34 degrees by 5:53 pm.  The temperatures continued to fall and dropped into the teens by early evening.  The Arctic airmass remained entrenched over the region…with the high temperatures failing to reach the teens from the 11th through the 13th.  This was the first time since records have been taken in Denver…dating back to 1872…that there were three consecutive days with the maximum temperatures remained below 20 degrees in the month of November.  In addition to the frigid temperatures…0.1 inch of snowfall was observed on 11th at Denver International Airport…which marked the first measureable snowfall for the season. An additional 2.2 inches of snowfall was measured on the 12th.  Several temperature records were broken.  A record low max of 16 degrees on the 11th broke the previous record of 19 set back in 1916.  A record low max of 6 degrees on the 12th broke the previous record of 9 degrees…also set in 1916.  The record low of -13 on the 12th…shattered the previous record of -4 degrees set back in 1872.  Even more impressive…the record low of -14 degrees on the 13th broke the previous record of -3 degrees set back in 1916.

11-12

In 1922…a major storm dumped 14.1 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver. The most snow on the ground was 10.5 inches at 6:00 pm on the 12th. North winds were sustained to 21 mph on the 11th. Temperatures were generally in the teens and 20’s.

In 1964…strong winds in Boulder caused power outages and minor damage. Winds gusted to 42 mph in downtown Boulder. At Stapleton International Airport west winds gusted to 36 mph on the 11th and 35 mph on the 12th.

In 1976…snow and freezing drizzle caused icing on bridges… Overpasses and some main roads. The elevated portion of I-70 was closed for a time during the afternoon of the 11th. Snowfall totaled only 0.8 inch at Stapleton International Airport…where northeast winds gusted to 20 mph on the 11th.

In 1989…the temperature climbed to a maximum of 76 degrees on both days…setting new record highs for each day.

In 1995…hurricane force downslope winds whipped across the Front Range foothills overnight. The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder registered a peak wind gust to 124 mph with several more wind gusts over 100 mph. Utility poles and power lines were downed…leaving several hundred homes in Boulder without power. Windows were blown out of cars in Boulder. Other reports of strong wind gusts included: 108 mph atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver…104 mph at Table Mesa in Boulder…99 mph at Golden Gate Canyon… 85 mph at the Rocky Flats environmental technology site… 69 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…and 62 mph in Lakewood. West-northwest wind gusts to 40 mph were recorded at Denver International Airport on the 12th.

11-14

In 1970…heavy snowfall totaled 7.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph on the 12th and 14th. Most of the snow… 4.2 inches…fell on the 12th.

12

In 1894…northeast winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 48 mph behind an apparent dry cold front.

In 1903…west winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 57 degrees. A trace of snow was observed.

In 1922…heavy snowfall of 8.5 inches was measured over downtown Denver.

In 1974…strong winds gusting to over 80 mph caused local damage to houses and property along the foothills from Denver north. Automobiles…homes…and power lines suffered damage in Boulder. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

12-13

In 1961…heavy snowfall totaled 5.6 inches at Stapleton Airport. East-northeast winds gusted to only 20 mph.

In 2011…hurricane force winds…up to 115 mph… downed trees in and power lines across the Front Range Mountains and Foothills. Scattered outages were reported in Gilpin County.  In Boulder…a woman received minor injuries when she was struck in the head by a falling tree limb. Three women near Georgetown received minor injuries when they were pelted by glass shards after a barrage of wind driven rocks and dirt shattered their windshield. Peak wind gusts included: 109 mph…6 miles north-northwest of Berthoud Pass; 101 mph atop Kenosha Pass…100 mph… 2 miles south-southwest of Loveland Pass; 99 mph…7 miles west-northwest of Berthoud; 92 mph at Blackhawk; 90 mph…3 miles south-southwest of Boulder; 87 mph…2 miles west-northwest of Aspen Springs and at Pickle Gulch; 84 mph at Loveland Pass and Lyons; 82 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 80 mph at Dumont and 78 mph near Rollinsville and Ward. At Denver International Airport…west winds gusted to 52 mph on the 12th.

12-15

In 1909…light snowfall totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver over the 4 days. This was the first measurable snowfall of the season. Northeast winds were sustained to 15 mph on the 12th.

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

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Temperatures cool down on Wednesday but remain near normal

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 5:15am MST

A bit of a change in the unseasonably warm weather we have been experiencing thanks to a cold front that moved through last night. However, the change will serve only to return temperatures to near normal levels so it will be tough to complain.

The day starts out with mostly sunny skies above. High level clouds will build in the morning leading to partly sunny skies in the afternoon. Winds start out from the southwest then will see a shift from the north later.

In terms of temperatures, things start out pretty chilly early on but then will steadily warm up. Look for a high today in the low 50s. Average for the date is 52 degrees and we should be right near that.

Tonight, partly clear skies will be above with overnight lows around 34 degrees.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures return for tomorrow and Friday then we cool back down for the weekend, perhaps see a shower overnight Friday into Saturday AM. More in the extended forecast here.

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More clouds for Tuesday but temps remain unseasonably warm

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 5:06am MST

Another good looking day ahead for Thornton. Temperatures will once again be well above normal but we do expect to see some high clouds in the mix.

The day starts out mostly clear but then upper level moisture will lead to increased clouds and partly sunny skies for most of the day. Winds will be light and out of the south this morning then shift to come from the north in the afternoon.

Temperatures start out on the chilly side but will warm quickly with the rising sun and send us toward a high in the mid to upper 60s.

Tonight, skies will clear and lows will dip to just below freezing as cooler air moves in.

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Thornton’s workweek starts off with sun, very mild temperatures

Monday, November 13th, 2017 5:01am MST

Probably the only thing bad about today’s weather is that it is a workday so most folks will be stuck inside and unable to enjoy it. We will enjoy very mild temperatures about 15 degrees above normal and plenty of sun.

The day starts off a bit chilly but once the sun comes up, temperatures will warm quickly. Highs today will come close to the 70 degree mark. Average for the date is 53 degrees. The record high for today’s date is 75 degrees (1999) and we will be short of that.

We will see a few clouds early then should see some easing leading to mostly sunny skies. Conditions will be calm, winds light and out of the south.

Tonight, mostly clear skies will be above and lows will be dropping to the mid to upper 30s.

What lies ahead for the rest of the week? Check out the extended weather forecast here.

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