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A damp Tuesday for Thornton as much-needed precipitation arrives

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 5:34am MDT

We had been hoping for some precipitation and we are certainly going to see it over the next 36 hours or so. Sprinkles start things off and it will be relatively quiet during the daytime but this evening and tonight we should receive a good soaking.

We start out the day with mostly cloudy skies and by mid-afternoon any sun should be pretty much done for the day. Temperatures will be on the cool side today with highs topping out around 50 degrees, about 8 degrees below normal.

As for the rain, sprinkles / light rain will be possible through the morning and first part of the afternoon. If we get enough daytime heating, a bit of thunder could be thrown into the mix this afternoon. By late afternoon and particularly this evening, we should see showers become widespread as deeper moisture arrives.

The rain will continue into the pre-dawn hours before starting to taper off. Overnight lows tonight will be in the mid-30s and winds will be a bit breezy. Right now we are not expecting to see any of this moisture fall as snow in our area, primarily due to a lack of cold air. There may be a few flakes that get mixed in though early tomorrow morning.

Have a great day!

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March 26 to April 1: This week in Denver weather history

Monday, March 27th, 2017 5:21am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

March 26 to April 1: This week in Denver weather history

Up until a few days ago, our March had been extraordinarily dry and warm. That isn’t always the case, particularly when it comes to snowfall.  March is one of our snowiest months and our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows a number of notable snowfall events.

From the National Weather Service:

24-26

In 1959…the second major spring storm in less than a week dumped 10 to 20 inches of wet snow across northeastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 14.3 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph…causing near- blizzard conditions with visibilities frequently reduced to 1/2 mile in snow and blowing snow. Many travelers were marooned when trains…planes…and buses were unable to make their schedules. Utility lines were again damaged as a result of the storm.

25-26

In 1899…a major storm dumped 13.1 inches of heavy snow over downtown Denver. Rain changed to snow around mid- morning on the 25th. Snowfall became heavy and continued until late evening on the 26th. North to northeast winds gusted to 30 mph on both days. The cold air mass plunged temperatures from a high of 55 degrees on the 25th to a low of 8 degrees on the 26th.

In 1995…a potent early spring storm produced heavy snow in the mountains…but skipped over metro Denver…before producing blizzard conditions and 6-foot drifts over eastern Colorado…causing the closure of I-70 and other highways. Only 0.7 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport on the 25th.

In 2001…a persistent band of moderate to heavy snow showers with a few embedded thunderstorms formed in the foothills around Estes Park and spread to the southeast across Boulder and Denver and on the plains to the east of Denver. Thunder and snow was reported at Jefferson County…Centennial…and Denver International Airport during the evening of the 25th. Snowfall totals included: 7 inches at Boulder and Louisville; 6 inches at Broomfield…Niwot…and Westminster; 5 inches at Eldorado Springs…Nederland…and near Strasburg. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

25-27

In 1904…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches in downtown Denver.

26

In 1899…a major winter storm dumped 11.3 inches of snow over downtown Denver.

In 1910…west winds were sustained to 42 mph. A snow shower produced a trace of snow.

In 1935…a severe dust storm swept across the city. The dense dust blew in on a gale from the east-northeast. The dust “bank” was first visible on the northeastern horizon at about 2:00 pm. It advanced toward the city as a rolling…swirling…yellowish-to smoke-black cloud. At 2:06 pm…the cloud of dust enveloped the station. Before the storm the visibility was unlimited. At 2:08 pm…the visibility was reduced to 1/8th mile. By 2:25 pm…the visibility was increasing and was above 1000 feet at 3:10 pm. Thereafter…the sun appeared as a dim “ball of fire” at times. The dust was partially gone at 8:30 pm. During the storm…northeast winds were sustained to 32 mph with gusts as high as 35 mph.

In 1971…the highest recorded temperature in March…84 degrees…occurred. This was the highest temperature recorded so early in the season. Previously…84 degrees had not been reached until April 21st. The temperature also exceeded the previous daily record of 75 degrees set in 1960. Strong northwest Chinook winds gusting to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport were partially responsible for causing the extremely warm weather so early in the season.

In 1985…strong winds occurred along the foothills. A wind gust to 76 mph was recorded in Boulder. A dust storm produced by the strong winds caused a 35-car pileup on I-25 north of Denver. In Denver…the high winds blew out windows in a few downtown buildings. West winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…strong winds from high based thunderstorms blew a roof off an Englewood business onto several parked cars. The winds also caused half of a furniture warehouse roof to collapse in north Denver…ripped a mechanical shed off the roof of a building in downtown Denver…and downed power lines in Commerce City. Wind gusts ranging from 55 to 68 mph were recorded. At Stapleton International Airport… Where no thunder was heard…a microburst wind gust to 55 mph briefly reduced the visibility to zero in blowing dust.

In 1994…heavy snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and over the palmer divide to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 11 inches at both the Eldora Ski Area and at Idaho Springs. Only 1.3 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 28 mph.

In 2006…post-frontal strong winds quickly dissipated the dense morning fog across metro Denver. West to northwest winds were strong and gusty from mid-morning until sunset. West winds were sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.

26-27

In 1886…heavy snowfall totaled 7.1 inches in downtown Denver.

In 1911…post-frontal north winds were sustained to 48 mph on the 26th and to 47 mph on the 27th.

In 1931…a cold front brought snow and very cold weather to the city. Snowfall totaled 7.3 inches over downtown Denver with most of the snow…6.4 inches…occurring on the 26th… When northwest winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 44 mph. High temperature of 31 degrees on the 26th equaled the low temperature of the previous day as the temperature plunged to a low of 1 degree below zero. High temperature of only 15 degrees on the 27th was a record low maximum for the date. Low temperature of 2 degrees below zero on the 27th was not a record.

In 1975…a major pre-Easter blizzard…the worst since the vicious storm of 1949…battered northeastern Colorado and left livestock losses in millions of dollars…but metro Denver escaped the main brunt of the storm and received only 5.0 inches of snowfall. North winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport where temperatures plunged from a high of 50 degrees to 18 degrees by midnight on the 26th.

In 1991…heavy snow fell over portions of the eastern foothills with 9 inches recorded at Lake Eldora west of Boulder. The snow spread across metro Denver…but snowfall totaled only 1.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north to northeast winds gusting to 31 mph on both days produced some blowing snow.

» Click here to read the rest of March 26 to April 1: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s workweek starts mild, unsettled weather arrives this evening

Monday, March 27th, 2017 5:17am MDT

Following a relatively pleasant day Monday, we then enter an unsettled period that will last into the weekend. The good news is that we see decent chances for much-needed precipitation at different points of the week.

For today, we start out under partly sunny skies that will be with us through the morning. Then, this afternoon, cloud cover will slowly increase. Temperatures will be heading toward a high in the low 60s, a bit above the average for the date of 57 degrees.

Daytime hours will be dry then this evening we begin to see a chance for light rain showers and those same chances will stick around until Tuesday evening when precipitation chances increase. Overnight lows tonight will be in the upper 30s.

Taking a quick look at the rest of the week, cooler temperatures a bit below normal will be on tap Tuesday and Wednesday. Precipitation chances increase on both days with the best chances coming Tuesday night. Thursday we get a bit of a break with a day similar to today then our next system arrives for Friday and Saturday bringing cooler temps and more chances for precipitation. For more details, check out the extended forecast here.

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Wet & blustery Friday to give way to drier Saturday, showers again possible Sunday

Friday, March 24th, 2017 5:12am MDT

We had voiced our doubts about us receiving much snow overnight and indeed, we received rain but it is very welcome. That will be coming to an end this morning leading to drier conditions until Saturday evening and Sunday when showers have a chance to return.

For today, a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until noon although it is not really necessary in our area and likely will be dropped soon. As of this writing we have received nearly a half inch of much-needed precipitation in the form of rain. There may be a snowflake or two mixed in there but it won’t amount to much. Look for showers to begin tapering off after about 9:00am, ending entirely by noon. High temperatures are going to be in the mid-50s, right near normal. The wind that started yesterday evening though is going to continue into this evening before ending. Overnight tonight lows will dip close to freezing under partly cloudy skies.

Saturday looks to be the nicest day of the three day period.  Mostly sunny skies will be above and winds light. Look for highs tomorrow in the low to mid-60s. A weak system moves in tomorrow evening and with it we see a slight chance of showers after 6:00pm through the night. Lows Saturday night into Sunday morning will be in the upper 30s.

Shower chances increase in the early morning Sunday and last throughout the day. There isn’t a lot of moisture though so precipitation totals should be light. Highs will be the mid-50s.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye on temperatures, wind speeds and precipitation totals here.

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Denver sets record high temperature for March 23

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 5:12pm MDT

Record High TemperaturesWith wintry weather just hours away, Denver’s recent warm spell let out one last gasp with a record high temperature.

At 3:03pm the high temperature at Denver International Airport, where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, reached 77 degrees.  This broke the record high for the date set in 2012 and previous years.

Here in Thornton we were just a touch cooler topping out at 76.1 degrees at 1:51pm.

While the month of March has continued the unseasonably warm weather that began in February, this is the first record high set this month.  The weather picture changes considerably, at least in the short term, with a blast of cold and snow set to arrive tonight.

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Thornton to get one more mild day before moisture, cooler temps arrive

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 5:14am MDT

Today is the last of our most recent string of unseasonably warm days. An approaching storm system is going to bring some much needed precipitation to the area tonight and tomorrow.

For today look for mostly sunny skies to be above during the daytime hours with clouds increasing by late afternoon into the evening. Temperatures will once again climb to well above normal with a high expected in the low 70s. Average for today’s date is 57 degrees.

Winds will be calm initially then begin picking up speed later this morning and remain breezy into the evening. The wind, low humidity and dry fuels have prompted the issuance of a Red Flag Warning that will be in effect from noon to 6:00pm. Fire danger is going to be very high and any blazes that get started could see very fast growth.

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As for the coming storm system, we see a chance for rain showers after about 6:00pm this evening with them becoming likely after midnight. As temperatures drop overnight to near freezing, we should see a bit of snow mix in and continue through Friday morning. It is expected to be very windy overnight and into tomorrow morning with gusts potentially hitting 50mph.

As we have been saying in recent days, we don’t believe we will see a great deal of snow out of this system with most of the precipitation coming in the form of rain. Perhaps 1 to 3 inches will be possible from pre-dawn Friday through the morning hours. There is going to be a fine line between rain and snow and that could certainly change.

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Unseasonably warm temps, plenty of sun for Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 5:53am MDT

An oft-repeated weather forecast for Thornton today as we once again enjoy a mild, dry day. Change is on the way though with precipitation looking likely tomorrow night into Friday. Will it be snow though?

For today we start with mostly clear skies and for the most part similar conditions will be above throughout the day. The late afternoon and evening will bring a bit of an increase in the cloud coverage.

Temperatures today start out a bit chilly but then will warm up nicely to the low to mid-70s. Winds will generally be calm.

Looking ahead, Thursday will be another warm day and then a system will begin to make itself felt overnight. Precipitation becomes likely late tomorrow night / early Friday morning continuing for a good part of the day Friday.

The big question mark is what form that precipitation takes. Temperatures are going to be crucial in determining whether we get rain or snow. Right now it appears the snow level will be just above us leaving us with rain. That could change though as we are still almost 48 hours away from the event.

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Thornton’s Tuesday brings a bit cooler temps, slight chance for showers

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 5:50am MDT

With a weak front having backdoored into the area late yesterday, we mix things up just a bit today. Temperatures remain well above normal but do cool over recent highs and we even see a slight chance for showers and perhaps some thunder.

The day starts out with partly clear skies and similar conditions will be above due to increased moisture aloft. Temperatures will warm steadily toward a mid to late afternoon high in the upper 60s.

By late afternoon lower levels begin to see some moisture which brings just a slight chance for a rain shower into the evening. Some instability may be present leading to some thunder.

Looking ahead, we will be dry and warmer tomorrow then Thursday looks somewhat similar to today. There has been some talk about a stronger storm system arriving Friday along with some hype from other media outlets. Moisture does look to increase and temperatures cool bringing a better chance for precipitation. At this time though, we are inclined to think this would be more in the form of rain for the Front Range with the snow remaining at higher altitudes. We will get a better feel for it as the system gets closer.

In the meantime, check out http://www.thorntonweather.com for all the latest.

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First day of spring continues Thornton’s unseasonably warm weather

Monday, March 20th, 2017 5:05am MDT

The change of seasons occurred this morning at 4:29am and we are going to start spring off the same way we finished up winter with temperatures well above normal.

We start out the day with partly clear skies and will see a slow, steady increase in cloud cover as the day progresses. That will help to inhibit temperatures but not by much. We expect a high today around 80 degrees, well above the 56 degree average for the date. Winds will be calm most of the day then become just a bit breezy in the mid-afternoon into the evening.

As a weak cold front pushes through, we do see just the slightest chance for a rain shower soon after dark until about midnight. Lows tonight will be down into the mid-40s.

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

Sunday, March 19th, 2017 4:42am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

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

March is of course one of Denver’s snowiest months, oftentimes bringing our biggest snowfalls of the season. We see this fact bear out in our look back with many events having delivered extraordinary snowfall totals.

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.

17-19

In 1933…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th and continued through mid-day of the 19th. Snowfall totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in the city. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to 43 mph on the 19th.

In 2003…one of the worst blizzards since historic records began in 1872 struck metro Denver with a vengeance. Heavy wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation to a near standstill. North winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the city. The estimated cost of property damage alone…not including large commercial buildings…was 93 million dollars… Making it the costliest snowstorm ever. Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said…”this is the storm of the century…a backbreaker…a record breaker…a roof breaker.” Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy wet snow. The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east of gun club road. The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes and businesses to collapse. The snow also downed trees…branches…and power lines. Two people were injured when the roofs of their homes collapsed. In Denver alone…at least 258 structures were damaged. In Arvada…a roof collapse at West Gate Stables killed a horse. Up to 135 thousand people lost power during the storm…and it took several days for power to be restored in some areas. Denver International Airport was closed…stranding about 4000 travelers. The weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion of the tent roof…forcing the evacuation of that section of the main terminal building. Avalanches in the mountains and foothills closed many roads…including I-70…stranding hundreds of skiers and travelers. Along I-70…an avalanche released by the Colorado department of transportation…blocked the interstate in both directions for several hours. Several residences between Baskerville and Silver Plume were evacuated because of the high avalanche danger. At Eldora Ski Area…270 skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access road. After the storm ended…a military helicopter had to ferry food to the resort until the road could be cleared. The heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills homes in Jefferson County for several days. Two homes burned to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences. Some schools remained closed well into the following week. The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…the most snowfall from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5 inches on December 4-5…1913. The storm made March 2003 the snowiest March on record…the 4th snowiest month on record… And the 5th wettest March on record. The 22.9 inches of snow on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded in the city during the month of March. The storm was also a drought-buster…breaking 19 consecutive months of below normal precipitation in the city. Snowfall across metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet. The highest amounts included: 40 inches in Aurora…38 inches in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker…37 inches at Buckley AFB…35 inches in southwest Denver…34 inches in Louisville… 32 inches in Arvada…31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster… And 22.5 inches in Boulder. In the foothills…snowfall ranged from 3 feet to more than 7 feet. Some of the most impressive storm totals included: 87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in Rollinsville…83 inches at cabin creek…74 inches near Bergen Park…73 inches northwest of Evergreen…72 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…70 inches at Georgetown…63 inches near Jamestown…60 inches near Blackhawk…55 inches at Eldora Ski Area…54 inches 8 miles west of Sedalia…and 46.6 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch. The storm was the result of a very moist…intense slow moving Pacific system which tracked across the four corners and into southeastern Colorado…which allowed deep easterly upslope flow to form along the Front Range.

18-19

In 1927…heavy snowfall was 6.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph on the 18th.

In 1974…heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 19th.

 

 

18-21

In 1907…a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature records. Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and 80 degrees on the 20th. Record high minimum temperatures of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54 degrees on the 21st.

 

19

In 1969…high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. A freight train was derailed near the entrance to a canyon 20 miles west of Denver when some empty cars were caught on a curve by a gust of wind. Two light planes were heavily damaged at Jefferson County Airport. Winds gusted to 105 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…62 mph in downtown Boulder…and 80 to 90 mph at Boulder airport. Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…northwest winds gusted to 55 mph in Denver with stronger winds along the foothills. The strong cold winds kicked up some blowing dust…reducing the visibility to near zero at times at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…high winds across metro Denver caused minor damage to a few mobile homes at Lowry Air Force Base. West wind gusts reached 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport where visibility was briefly reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1995…strong winds associated with a pacific cold front blew across metro Denver. A west wind gust to 48 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport. Winds gusted to 59 mph at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2010…a storm system produced deep upslope and brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range. The foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties were the hardest hit. Storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…25.5 inches…4 miles southeast of Conifer; 25 inches at Genesee…24.5 inches near Kittredge… 23.5 inches…6 miles east of Nederland…20.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown…5 miles southeast of Aspen Park and 5 miles southeast Idaho Springs; and 18 inches near Ralston buttes. In and around Denver…storm totals included: 15 inches in Golden; 12.5 inches in Boulder…11.5 inches at Lone Tree; 10.5 inches near Castle Pines; 11 inches…6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 10 inches near Englewood…Highlands Ranch and 3 miles southwest of wheat ridge; 9 inches…4 miles west of Arvada…Broomfield…Centennial…Elizabeth and Westminster; 8.5 inches…in southeast Denver and Littleton; 7.5 inches in Louisville and near Thornton; 7 inches…4 miles south of Aurora…Lakewood and Niwot; 6.5 inches…4 miles northwest of Castle Rock…4 miles northwest of Denver and Northglenn; 6 inches in Brighton and 5 miles southeast of Sedalia. Officially… 1.7 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.

19-20

Iin 1912…post-frontal heavy snowfall of 6.3 inches was measured in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 19th. The strong cold front plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees on the 19th to a low of 1 degree on the 20th.

In 1959…a major storm dumped heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches on Stapleton Airport where north winds gusting to 44 mph caused much blowing and drifting snow. Many highways were blocked…and there was damage to phone lines along the South Platte River. The storm started as rain and changed to heavy wet snow…which froze on the lines causing the poles to break. The storm caused 2 deaths over eastern Colorado.

In 2006…strong northerly winds…associated with a surface low pressure system that intensified as it moved into the central Great Plains…brought heavy wet snow to the eastern foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. The hardest hit areas included the foothills of Boulder and Gilpin counties. Storm totals included: 15 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Aspen Springs…12.5 inches near Nederland…and 5.7 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Strong winds…heavy snow…and poor visibility forced the closure of interstate 70 from Denver east to the Kansas state line. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 19th.

19-21

In 1888…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 19th.

20

In 1915…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph. Only a trace of snow fell.

In 1989…2 to 6 inches of snow fell along the Front Range urban corridor with up to 9 inches in Boulder. Only 1.6 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph.

20-21

In 1878…warm days with high temperatures in the lower 70’s in the city…caused snow to melt on the palmer divide…which caused the waters in Cherry Creek to rise. The high…rapid running water damaged a home and eroded bridge footings and abutments. Some bridges became unsafe for the passage of trains.

In 1904…southwest winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 68 degrees on the 20th. The high was only 42 degrees on the 21st behind a cold front…which produced 1.3 inches of snow and northeast winds sustained to 27 mph overnight.

In 1923…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 8.2 inches over the city. North winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 20th. This was the second major snow in a week.

In 1932…rain changed to heavy snow…which totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver. North winds gusted to 22 mph on the 21st.

In 1948…heavy snowfall totaled 7.2 inches over downtown Denver.

In 1952…a major snow storm produced north wind gusts to 35 mph and dumped 16.9 inches of snowfall on Stapleton Airport. The maximum snow depth on the ground was 13 inches due to melting.

In 2000…heavy snow fell in and near the foothills of Douglas and Jefferson counties. Snowfall totals included: 9 inches near tiny town and 7 inches in Littleton. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

20-22 » Click here to read the rest of March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

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