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Record rainfall hits Southern California

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 2:16am MST

LOS ANGELES — The third in a series of powerful winter storms unleashed a deluge in Southern California on Sunday, flooding numerous roads and freeways, setting new rainfall records and stranding some in dangerously rising waters. Forecasters had predicted this storm would be the strongest in several years, and it didn’t disappoint. While earlier storms produced… » Click here to read the rest of Record rainfall hits Southern California

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January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 6:10pm MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

Protracted cold spells, damaging and injuring winds and heavy snowfall mark our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

15-23

In 1962…a protracted cold spell kept metro Denver in the deep freeze for more than a week. From the 15th thru the 23rd…low temperatures were zero or below for 9 consecutive days…but a daily record low was set only on the 22nd when the temperature dipped to 14 degrees below zero. A record low maximum for the date was also set on the 22nd when the temperature climbed to only 11 degrees. The coldest high temperature was 3 degrees above zero on the 21st…which did not break the record. The protracted cold was broken for only a few hours on the afternoon of the 20th when Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 38 degrees before another surge of cold arctic air plunged temperatures back into the deep freeze that evening. The severe cold caused much damage to water systems. A woman was frozen to death at Morrison. There were other deaths attributable to the weather…including traffic deaths and heart attacks from overexertion.

18-24

In 2005…a week of mid-winter unseasonably warm weather pushed high temperatures into the 60’s or more on all but one day. During the period…the highest temperature of 70 degrees on the 20th was a new record maximum for the date. Low temperatures remained above freezing on 4 of the days.

20-22

In 1937…a second incursion of cold arctic in less than two weeks kept temperatures in the deep freeze for three days… Even though only one temperature record was set during the period. Temperatures were below zero for an estimated 53 consecutive hours. The below zero period would have been longer had the temperatures on the 20th not climbed to a high of 1 degree after a low of 8 degrees below zero. On the 21st…the high temperature of 1 degree below zero was a record low maximum for the date. Low readings on both the 21st and 22nd were 9 degrees below zero.

In 1971…high winds raked Boulder. Wind gusts to 77 mph were recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Winds gusted to 83 mph in south Boulder and to 68 mph in downtown Boulder. Minor personal injuries occurred…and reported damage to structures totaled 15 thousand dollars. On the 21st…northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 69 degrees on the 20th…which equaled the record for the date.

In 1993…sporadic high winds along the east slopes of the Front Range during the early morning hours of the 20th moved onto the foothills and plains by the 22nd. Wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph were common. Some significant wind reports included 82 mph at Rollinsville and atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver…and 75 mph on Rocky Flats. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 35 mph on the 20th…44 mph on the 21st…and 55 mph on the 22nd.

21-22

In 1972…wind gusts to 74 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder…while in downtown Boulder wind gusts to 56 mph were measured. The strong winds overturned a plane at the Arapahoe County airport. A motorcyclist died of injuries when he was blown off a Boulder County road. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 21st.

In 1999…heavy snow developed across portions of metro Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8 inches in Golden Gate Canyon…Intercanyon…Rollinsville… And Parker; 7 inches at Aspen Springs…Gross Reservoir… Pine Junction…and 5 miles south of Sedalia; 6 inches at Highlands Ranch; and 5 inches at Eaglecrest…Eldorado Springs…and Louisville. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. On the 21st…north-northwest winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

22

In 1899…a cold front produced northeast sustained winds to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.

In 1951…a heavy windstorm struck Boulder. Minor damage was reported. Strong post-frontal east winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1990…strong winds of 50 to 90 mph buffeted the foothills. No significant damage was reported. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1992…strong winds raked the eastern foothills with a wind gust to 58 mph recorded at Rocky Flats just northwest of Denver. West winds gusted to only 25 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This along with a trace of snow on the 1st was the only snow of the month…which equaled the record for the least snowiest January first set in 1934.

22-23

In 1982…wind gusts up to 101 mph were clocked at Wondervu. Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph were common along the Front Range foothills from Boulder north.

22-26

In 1948…the longest period of snowfall on record (92 hours and 3 minutes) occurred in downtown Denver where a total of 13.6 inches of snow fell. At Stapleton Airport…19.0 inches of snow fell…making it the heaviest snow in January and the 5th heaviest snow of record at that time. North winds were sustained to a velocity of 23 mph on the 25th…but generally the winds were light throughout the storm. The snow disrupted traffic…but street clearing was begun soon after it became apparent that the snow would be heavy. Over the 5 days…temperatures ranged from a high of 48 degrees on the 22nd to a low of 1 degree on the 26th. Most readings were in the teens and 20’s during the storm.

23

In 1872…a brisk northerly wind set in about noon…blew almost a gale about 6:00 pm…and continued brisk until night. A light snow commenced during the late afternoon and continued all night.

In 1886…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph in the city around sunrise. A cold wave accompanied the strong winds.

In 1897…a vigorous cold front produced northeast winds sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Temperatures plunged from a high of 59 degrees to a low of 11 degrees in the evening. The very cold temperatures persisted through the 28th.

In 1934…the date marked the last day of the longest period of consecutive days without measurable precipitation in the city. The 52 day period began on December 3…1933.

In 1988…one of the strongest windstorms in several years pounded the Front Range foothills from Colorado Springs north to the Wyoming border. The highest wind gust at lower elevations was 105 mph recorded at Table Mesa in Boulder. Other sections of Boulder recorded wind gusts of 80 to 90 mph. In Boulder…the high winds broke windows and damaged power lines and transformers. Power outages were widespread and traffic lights were downed. The winds blew down a partially constructed viaduct in east Boulder. Nine unanchored concrete girders…each weighing 45 tons…were blown off their supports. Cars were blown off I-70 near Morrison…and a tractor trailer and a mobile home were knocked over. In Lakewood…an electric company crewman was burned while replacing a power line. Wind gusts to 92 mph were clocked at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield before the site anemometer was blown down by the wind. The strong winds spread over all the metro area with a northwest wind gust to 52 mph recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1992…high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 63 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats northwest of Denver. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2002…low level upslope flow combined with an upper level jet stream created bands of heavy snow over portions of the Front Range foothills and metro Denver. The areas hardest hit were the foothills of Jefferson and Douglas counties and the I-25 corridor from the southern suburbs of Denver to around Castle Rock. Snow totals included: 9 inches at Intercanyon…Roxborough State Park…and near Sedalia; 8.5 inches atop Crow Hill and near Tiny Town; 8 inches at Ken Caryl and near Castle Rock; 7 inches in Lakewood; 6.5 inches at Littleton; and 6 inches in Castle Rock. Only 3.6 inches of snow were measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

23-24

In 1921…heavy snowfall in downtown Denver totaled 8.0 inches overnight. Northwest winds were sustained to 22 mph with gusts to 25 mph on the 24th.

» Click here to read the rest of January 22 to January 28: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Death Toll Climbs As Unusual Weather Hits Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Carolinas

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 12:15pm MST

Severe thunderstorms and tornados threatened Florida, Georgia and North Carolina Sunday night as heavy winds, large hail and rains hit the Southeast coast and killed at least 16 people. Residents were urged to seek safe shelter and listen to their radios for any emergency warnings. “There is a significant risk for large, long-tracked and extremely destructive… » Click here to read the rest of Death Toll Climbs As Unusual Weather Hits Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Carolinas

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Mother Nature can be a factor in Inauguration Day events and the swearing in of a new president

Friday, January 20th, 2017 8:01am MST
By far the most tragic inaugural weather was in 1841 when William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died a month later. Image courtesy the Library of Congress.

By far the most tragic inaugural weather was in 1841 when William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died a month later. Image courtesy the Library of Congress.

On a cold, wet and blustery day, the new President of the United States prepared to take office.  He rode a horse to and from the Capitol that day and spoke on the steps of the building for nearly two hours – all without an overcoat or so much as a hat.

William Henry Harrison’s refusal to acknowledge the realities of the harsh weather on March 4, 1841 would be his demise.  Our nation’s newest president would also have the shortest presidency, a mere 30 days, as he caught a chill that day which then turned to pneumonia and would claim his life.

Weather in the winter can be a wildcard to say the least and it has been a point of consternation for inauguration festivities.  In President Harrison’s day, we inaugurated our new leader in March but since 1937 Inauguration Day has been held on January 20th, a day which puts it right in the potentially coldest part of winter.

‘Normal’ weather for January 20th in Washington D.C. actually isn’t all that bad.  The city usually reaches a high temperature in the low 40’s.  At noon, the appointed time for the inaugural address, the normal temperature is 37 degrees with partly cloudy skies and a 10 mph wind.  According to the National Weather Service there is historically a 1 in 20 chance of snowfall on the date itself.  Not too bad at all.

Like President Harrison, some other presidents weren’t very lucky when it came to the weather on inauguration day.

100 years ago President William Howard Taft famously said, “I knew it would be a cold day when I made president,” and he was absolutely right.  On that March day ten inches of snow fell and wind downed trees and power poles as streets became clogged and trains stalled.  President Taft’s ceremony was moved indoors due to poor weather and historians consider the day the worst inaugural weather ever.

"President Ronald Reagan's swearing in was the coldest in history but there has been other notable weather on Inauguration Day. (White House)

“President Ronald Reagan’s swearing in was the coldest in history but there has been other notable weather on Inauguration Day. (White House)

President Taft had it rough but his inauguration wasn’t the coldest.  For his second inauguration President Ronald Reagan saw truly Arctic cold temperatures impact his ceremony.  At noon in 1985 it was a mere 7 degrees and the wind chill dropped that to between -10 and -20 degrees.  Like Taft, President Reagan’s inauguration was moved indoors.

In 1873 when Ulysses S. Grant prepared to take office for his second term, the temperature was a mere 16 degrees at noon.  The wind was so bad it made his inaugural address inaudible to everyone including those on the platform with him.

In 1961 on the eve of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, eight inches of snow fell causing the worst inaugural traffic jam as hundred of cars were stuck and thousands abandoned.  The temperature only reached 22 degrees that day and the new president was forced to cancel dinner plans as travel was so difficult.

As for rain, that too can intrude on one of our nation’s most revered occasions.  1.77 inches of rain fell on January 20, 1937 – a record for the date that still stands today.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rode in a convertible back to the White House after the inauguration which had a half-inch of water on the floor by the time he arrived.

How are things looking for Inauguration Day 2017 and President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in?  Rain looks to be a virtual certainty for much of the morning right through the swearing in at 12:00 noon EST / 10:00am MST.  The actual volume of precipitation though does not look like it will be all that great.  Temperatures will be topping out a bit warmer than normal for the date with an expected high of 48 degrees.  Click here for the latest forecast for Washington DC from the National Weather Service.

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Thornton’s weekend starts unsettled, will become calmer and seasonal

Friday, January 20th, 2017 5:20am MST

We are starting out the three-day period on Friday with a few raindrops and snowflakes. The system isn’t a big weather maker though and won’t last long. Afterwards we will see calmer, drier conditions for the rest of the weekend.

For today we start with some rain sprinkles and light snow. Very little, if any, accumulation is expected. Look for the showers to taper off by noon to be followed by some lightening of the cloud cover. Highs today will top out in the low to mid-40s followed by lows in the low 20s overnight.

Saturday offers cooler temperatures and a bit of cloud cover. We’ll start out mostly sunny but then see cloud cover build some leading to partly sunny skies for most of the day. Highs will be a bit cooler and top out in the low 40s. Overnight Saturday into Sunday the mercury will drop to the mid-20s.

We close out the weekend in fine fashion with the nicest day of weather for the period. There will be a healthy dose of sun and temperatures will be right near the average for the date of 44 degrees.

Have a great weekend!

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Another fine looking day in store Thursday

Thursday, January 19th, 2017 5:09am MST

If you liked yesterday’s weather then you will have no complaints about today either. We will be seeing nearly identical conditions with lots of sun and mild temperatures. This will however be followed by some snow potential Friday.

For today we start out with clear skies. A few clouds may arrive later in the day but nothing that will intrude. Temperatures will once again be climbing to the mid-50s with calm conditions.

Tonight a weak storm system will move through and unsettle things. We stand a chance for some light snow, primarily tomorrow morning after 3:00am. Only minimal accumulations are expected if any at all. More in the extended forecast here.

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2016 Thornton annual weather recap: A warmer, drier than normal year

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 4:54pm MST

Another year in the books for us and as we look back on our overall weather for 2016, we see overall temperatures were warmer than normal while precipitation fell a good bit short of normal.  The year did seem to lack any major drama in terms of severe weather or winter storms which is likely a good thing.

We started out with above normal temperatures for the first quarter of the year.  March, as usual, was our snowiest month and also became our wettest month of the year.  April followed with some snow and a good bit of rain to be our second wettest and May the third.

May also saw much cooler than normal temperatures with the biggest departure from normal. From there, drier conditions reigned through November with each month registering below normal precipitation.

October and November saw our biggest deviations from normal temperatures as high pressure dominated and we saw extraordinarily warm conditions.  This changed in December as Arctic air infiltrated the region leading to well below normal temperatures.

Overall, Thornton’s annual temperature came in at 51.6 degrees.  This was 1.1 degrees above Denver’s 30 year average (1981 to 2010) of 50.5 degrees.  We saw readings ranging from a high of 100.4 degrees down to a low of 10.7 degrees below zero.  Fifty days saw 90 degrees or higher while at the opposite end we saw 169 days with readings at or below freezing.

Out at DIA where the Mile High City’s official measurements are kept, it was warmer with an annual average of 52.3 degrees.  For Denver, that ranks as the 14th warmest year in its 145 year temperature history.

In terms of precipitation, Denver averages 14.3 inches per calendar year.  Both Thornton and Denver fell well short of that mark with 12.98 inches and 11.85 inches respectively.  For Denver, that is the 37th driest year on record.

Thornton saw a very respectable 68.1 inches for the calendar year.  At the airport Denver saw less with 61.6 inches. Both were well above the annual average of 53.8 inches.

Click here to view Thornton’s 2016 climate summary report.

Thornton, Colorado's annual temperature summary for 2016.

Thornton, Colorado’s annual temperature summary for 2016.

Thornton, Colorado's annual precipitation summary.

Thornton, Colorado’s annual precipitation summary.

From the National Weather Service:

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
1010 AM MST SUN JAN 1 2017

................................... 

...THE DENVER CO CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE YEAR OF 2016... 

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1872 TO 2016

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................ 
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH             105   06/26/2012 06/25/2012
                        07/20/2005 08/08/1878
 LOW              -29   01/09/1875
HIGHEST           102   07/10/2016                   98  08/15
LOWEST            -15   12/17/2016                  -10  01/04
AVG. MAXIMUM     66.7              64.7     2.0     65.4
AVG. MINIMUM     38.0              36.3     1.7     38.6
MEAN             52.3              50.5     1.8     52.0
DAYS MAX >= 90     55              39.6    15.4       48
DAYS MAX <= 32     14              20.0    -6.0       29
DAYS MIN <= 32    138             156.9   -18.9      126
DAYS MIN <= 0 4 5.8 -1.8 7 PRECIPITATION (INCHES) RECORD MAXIMUM 23.31 1967 MINIMUM 7.29 2008 TOTALS 11.85 14.30 -2.45 18.31 DAILY AVG. 0.03 0.03 0.00 0.05 DAYS >= .01        71              79.7    -8.7      107
DAYS >= .10        32              34.9    -2.9       49
DAYS >= .50         5               7.6    -2.6       10
DAYS >= 1.00        2               2.3    -0.3        2
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    1.38   2016                5/26 TO 5/27
                 1.22   2016                4/15 TO 4/16
                 0.77   2016                3/23 TO 3/23
SNOWFALL RECORDS JANUARY THROUGH DECEMBER TOTALS
               MAXIMUM           MINIMUM
                115.9   1913       18.9    1887
                112.0   1959       21.5    1888
                 99.2   1929       21.8    1890
 24 HR TOTAL     23.6   12/24/1982 TO 12/24/1982

TOTALS           61.6              53.8     7.8     64.4
 LIQUID EQUIV    6.16              5.40    0.76     6.44
SINCE 7/1        11.4              22.5   -11.1     22.6
 LIQUID 7/1      1.14              2.20   -1.06     2.26
SNOWDEPTH AVG.      0                MM      MM        0
DAYS >= TRACE      37              33.3     3.7       51
DAYS >= 1.0        13              16.3    -3.3       25
GREATEST
 SNOW DEPTH        10   03/24                          9  02/23
 24 HR TOTAL     13.1   03/23
                 11.8   04/16
                  6.9   02/01

 STORM TOTAL     13.1   03/23

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL    5415              6059    -644     5479
 SINCE 7/1       2042              2468    -426     5575
COOLING TOTAL     878               769     109      877
 SINCE 1/1        878               769     109      877

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST                        10/07
LATEST                          05/05
.................................................. 

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              10.0
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   2/194
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    54/340    DATE  07/24
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    74/340    DATE  07/24

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.50
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR           94
NUMBER OF DAYS PC            210
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY         62

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     50

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM              0     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                3     RAIN                      13
LIGHT RAIN               72     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       4
HEAVY SNOW                5     SNOW                      17
LIGHT SNOW               39     SLEET                      0
FOG                      80     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE     26
HAZE                     33

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

..........2016 CLIMATE YEAR IN REVIEW........... 

THE YEAR OF 2016 IN DENVER, THE FRONT RANGE AND NORTHERN COLORADO,
WAS A TRANSITION FROM STRONG EL NINO CONDITIONS OVER TO WEAK LA NINA
AND INTO THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS ENSO NEUTRAL. AS EL NINO
CONDITIONS WEAKENED FROM MID-WINTER THROUGH LATE SPRING 2016,
TEMPERATURES CAME IN WARMER THAN AVERAGE FOR JANUARY THROUGH MARCH
ALONG WITH NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE THREE
MONTHS. DENVER`S WETTEST MONTH OF 2016 ARRIVED IN APRIL WITH 2.56
INCHES OF PRECIPITATION ALONG WITH 18.4 INCHES OF SNOW. TEMPERATURES
FOR THEN COOLED TO NEAR AVERAGE FOR APRIL AHEAD OF ABOVE AVERAGE
PRECIPITATION AND FURTHER COOLING INTO MAY. MAY WAS THE SECOND
WETTEST MONTH OF 2016 AND ALSO HAD THE COLDEST MONTHLY DEPARTURE
FROM AVERAGE FOR THE YEAR AT 2.7 DEGREES BELOW DENVER`S MONTHLY MAY
NORMAL.

WITH WATER TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS RAPIDLY CHANGING IN THE EQUATORIAL
PACIFIC REGION IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2016, NORTHERN COLORADO AND THE
HIGH PLAINS STATES TRANSITIONED INTO A DIFFERENT PATTERN AS WELL.
THE FIVE MONTHS OF JUNE THROUGH OCTOBER ALL REGISTERED PRECIPITATION
TOTALS BELOW THEIR MONTHLY AVERAGE. AUGUST RECEIVED A MERE 0.22
INCHES OF PRECIPITATION IN DENVER WHICH WAS 1.47 INCHES BELOW
AVERAGE AND WAS THE LOWEST PERCENTAGE OF NORMAL OF ALL MONTHS OF
2016 AT 13 PERCENT.

AS A LARGE AND STRONG RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE PERSISTED ACROSS THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ROCKIES FROM MID SUMMER INTO MID FALL,
TEMPERATURES REFLECTED THIS WITH OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER LANDING WELL
ABOVE THEIR MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES. BOTH OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
IN DENVER CAME IN WITH MONTHLY TEMPERATURE DEPARTURES OF 6.9 AND 6.8
DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE RESPECTIVELY. PRECIPITATION ALSO HELD BELOW
NORMAL FOR THESE TWO MONTHS AS WELL WITH 0.26 INCHES IN OCTOBER AND
0.52 INCHES IN NOVEMBER. HOWEVER, WITH TWO MOIST AND WINTER-LIKE
PACIFIC DISTURBANCES IN MID NOVEMBER, THE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL IN
NOVEMBER WAS ONLY -0.09 OR 85 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.

AS METEOROLOGISTS OBSERVED THE DEVELOPING NORTHERN HEMISPHERIC
PATTERN FROM LATE NOVEMBER INTO EARLY DECEMBER, IT WAS CLEAR THAT A
CHANGE FOR THE COLDER WAS COMING TO MUCH OF THE UNITED STATES,
INCLUDING DENVER. IN EARLY DECEMBER, WINDS ALOFT BROADLY EXTENDED
LONGITUDINALLY FROM THE ARCTIC REGION NORTH OF SIBERIA, ACROSS THE
NORTH POLE REGION AND INTO SOUTHERN CANADA. FRIGID ARCTIC AIR WAS
BROUGHT SOUTHWARD INTO CANADA AND ACROSS MUCH OF THE CENTRAL UNITED
STATES AS A RESULT. THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER PATTERN OF
PERSISTENT NORTHERLY WINDS ALOFT ACROSS NORTHERN LATITUDES WHICH
USHERED IN ANOTHER PERIOD OF COLD AND SNOWFALL AHEAD OF THE
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY. THESE TWO SYSTEMS WERE ENOUGH TO BRING DECEMBER`S
AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE DOWN TO -2.2 BELOW NORMAL ALONG WITH
ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION AND SNOWFALL.

WHEN 2016 ENDED, THE AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE FOR DENVER FINALIZED
AT 52.3 DEGREES, WHICH IS 1.8 DEGREES ABOVE THE 1981-2010 ANNUAL
AVERAGE OF 50.5 DEGREES. THIS RANKS AS 14TH WARMEST IN DENVER`S 145
YEAR TEMPERATURE HISTORY. THE WARMEST YEAR IN DENVER`S WEATHER
HISTORY WAS IN 1934 WITH AN AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE OF 54.8
DEGREES. THE COLDEST YEAR WAS 1912 WITH AN ANNUAL AVERAGE OF 47.6
DEGREES.

FOR THE PRECIPITATION CATEGORY, 2016 IN DENVER WAS ON THE DRY SIDE
OF THE 1981-2010 ANNUAL AVERAGE. THE YEAR ENDED WITH 11.85 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION WHICH WAS 2.45 INCHES BELOW THE ANNUAL NORMAL OF 14.30
INCHES, OR 83 PERCENT OF NORMAL. THE ANNUAL TOTAL OF 11.85 INCHES
RANKS AS 37TH DRIEST IN DENVER`S 145 YEAR WEATHER HISTORY. THE
WETTEST YEAR IN DENVER`S WEATHER HISTORY WAS IN 1967 WHEN 23.31
INCHES OF PRECIPITATION FELL. DENVER`S DRIEST YEAR OCCURRED IN 2002
WHEN ONLY 7.48 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION WAS RECORDED.
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January 15 to January 21: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 6:33am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

January 15 to January 21: This week in Denver weather history

January’s reputation of being dry and windy is evidenced in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. While there are some notable events involving snow, high winds have been the most frequent event worthy of mention.

From the National Weather Service:

13-16

In 1888…a cold air mass settled over the city and caused temperatures to plunge well below zero on four consecutive days…but only one temperature record was set. Minimum temperatures dipped to 4 degrees below zero on the 13th… 19 degrees below zero on the 14th…20 degrees below zero on the 15th…and 11 degrees below zero on the 16th. The maximum temperature of only 4 degrees below zero on the 14th was a record low maximum for the date. North winds were sustained to 30 mph on the 13th.

14-15

In 1908…heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.5 inches overnight. North winds were sustained to 32 mph. The temperature dropped 41 degrees in 24 hours from a reading of 48 degrees at 8:00 pm on the 14th to only 7 degrees at 8:00 pm on the 15th.

In 1950…strong winds occurred in Boulder and Louisville. Winds in excess of 60 mph were recorded at Valmont. Minor damage was reported. Southwest winds gusted to 50 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1959…a total of 5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton Airport.

In 1992…snow spread from the mountains across metro Denver. The heaviest snow was across the northern portion of the area where 7 inches fell at Thornton. At Stapleton International Airport…only 3.4 inches of snowfall were recorded and northeast winds gusting to 37 mph caused some blowing snow on the 14th.

In 1999…high winds howled across metro Denver. In Commerce City…strong winds toppled 3 utility poles resulting in a power outage to 600 homes. High wind reports included: 108 mph at Wondervu…80 mph at the Hiwan Golf Course in Evergreen…76 mph at Aspen Springs…75 mph at the Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…74 mph in Boulder…and 70 mph at Georgetown. West to northwest winds gusted to 48 mph…the highest wind gust of the month…and warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees at Denver International Airport on the 15th.

14-21

In 1930…a protracted cold spell occurred when low temperatures plunged below zero on 8 consecutive days. The coldest low temperatures of 20 degrees below zero on the 17th and 19 degrees below zero on the 16th were record minimums for the dates. High temperatures during the period ranged from 18 on the 18th to zero on the 20th. Two degrees on the 15th was a record low maximum temperature for the date.

15

In 1875…the wind backed from the southwest to the northeast before noon. The temperature fell 48 degrees in one hour… From a high of 52 degrees to only 4 degrees between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm…as cold arctic air surged back over the city.

In 1888…the low temperature dipped to 20 degrees below zero.

In 1906…southwest winds were sustained to 44 mph.

In 1921…south winds were sustained to 44 mph with gusts to 48 mph. The winds warmed the temperature to a high of 63 degrees. The low temperature of only 47 degrees was a record high minimum for the date.

In 1943…strong Chinook winds struck the Front Range foothills. Wind gusts to 96 mph were recorded at Valmont in east Boulder…with 90 mph measured at Boulder airport. Some damage occurred.

In 1976…strong Chinook winds with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph were recorded along the foothills. Northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…a vigorous cold front plunged temperatures 22 degrees in an hour from 39 to 17 degrees. Strong northeast winds at 30 mph with gusts to 46 mph…along with some snow flurries…reduced the visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1987…heavy snow hit metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 10.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport…but amounts across the area ranged from 3 inches in southeast Aurora to 18 inches in the western and southwestern suburbs. Only an inch of snow was measured at Castle Rock. A half foot to a foot of snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and Boulder. Some schools were closed due to the storm. Temperatures hovered in the teens most of the day at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph.

In 1988…high winds were clocked in Boulder with a gust to 70 mph recorded at Table Mesa.

In 1998…strong winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills. Winds gusted to 71 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. South-southwest winds gusted to only 25 mph at Denver International Airport.

15-16

In 1967…a major windstorm struck Boulder. The storm was described at the time as the worst single windstorm in the history of Boulder in terms of damage. Winds reached 125 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at Boulder airport. Winds gusted to 84 mph downtown. Damage totaled a half million dollars in Boulder where some minor injuries were reported. At the Boulder Municipal Airport… 14 light airplanes were severely damaged. The second floor of a warehouse was blown down…damaging two nearby moving vans. A mobile home was blown over south of Boulder… Injuring one woman. The roof of a department store was blown in. There was widespread damage to houses…autos… And power lines from wind and flying debris. Strong winds also occurred in Denver and Golden…but damage was only minor. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 43 mph on the 15th and to 45 mph on the 16th.

In 1981…heavy snow of 6 to 10 inches accumulated across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where east winds gusted to 21 mph on the 15th.

In 1991…a pacific storm system moved across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 3 to 7 inches with 3 inches in Aurora… Denver…and Castle Rock…4 inches in Arvada…and 7 inches at South Platte station just southwest of Denver. Snowfall totaled only 2.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph on the 16th.

In 2001…heavy snow fell across the Front Range foothills and urban corridor. The combination of careless driving and snowpacked highways resulted in 3 multi-vehicle accidents involving 30 vehicles…along I-25 in Douglas County. Eleven people were injured and one was killed. Snow amounts included: 11 inches in Evergreen; 10 inches at Eldorado Springs and Genesee; 8 inches at Broomfield… Ken Caryl Ranch…and Thornton; and 5 to 7 inches in Arvada…Bailey…Crow Hill…Gross Reservoir…Lakewood… Louisville…Westminster…and near Loveland. Snowfall totaled 2.7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

15-23

In 1962…a protracted cold spell kept metro Denver in the deep freeze for more than a week. From the 15th thru the 23rd…low temperatures were zero or below for 9 consecutive days…but a daily record low was set only on the 22nd when the temperature dipped to 14 degrees below zero. A record low maximum for the date was also set on the 22nd when the temperature climbed to only 11 degrees. The coldest high temperature was 3 degrees above zero on the 21st…which did not break the record. The protracted cold was broken for only a few hours on the afternoon of the 20th when Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 38 degrees before another surge of cold arctic air plunged temperatures back into the deep freeze that evening. The severe cold caused much damage to water systems. A woman was frozen to death at Morrison. There were other deaths attributable to the weather…including traffic deaths and heart attacks from overexertion.

16

In 1911…a trace of rain fell…a rare event in January.

In 1935…rainfall was 0.01 inch during the afternoon…a rare event in January.

In 1989…wind gusts to 80 mph were reported in southwest Boulder. Winds reached 100 mph at Rollinsville in the foothills southwest of Boulder. In Golden…the wind blew a 25-foot trailer through a fence and flipped it over. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 49 degrees.

16-17

In 1886…a brief cold spell resulted in two temperature records. High temperatures of zero degrees on the 16th and 2 degrees below zero on the 17th were both record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures of 8 degrees below zero on the 16th and 16 degrees below zero on the 17th were not records.

In 1930…temperatures plunging well below zero resulted in two records. Low temperatures of 19 degrees below zero on the 16th and 20 degrees below zero on the 17th were record low temperatures for the dates. High temperatures were 4 degrees on the 16th and 15 degrees on the 17th. Light snowfall totaled 4.0 inches. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 16th.

In 1964…high winds struck the eastern foothills. Gale velocity winds were recorded in Boulder with gusts to 83 mph measured at Rocky Flats. Several airplanes were damaged at the Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Roofs…walls…and parts of buildings were blown away at various locations. Power poles and trees were blown over.

16-18

In 1943…light snowfall totaled 3.2 inches over the 3 days. This was the only measurable snow of the month. North winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 16th.

In 2011…very strong winds associated with an upper level jetstream over Colorado produced blizzard conditions in the mountains above timberline. Peak wind gusts included: 99 mph atop Loveland pass…94 mph…2 miles southwest of Mary Jane…80 mph atop Berthoud Pass and 79 mph atop Niwot Ridge. Storm totals in the ski areas west of Denver ranged from 8 to 14 inches.

» Click here to read the rest of January 15 to January 21: This week in Denver weather history

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Mild temps, lots of sun for Thornton’s Wednesday

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 5:05am MST

We are in store for a very nice winter’s day today. Skies will be clear and temperatures will be topping out a good ways above normal.

We start out quite chilly under clear skies. The sun will remain throughout the day with just a few, sparse clouds. Temperatures will be climbing to a high in the low to mid-50s. Winds will be calm, conditions dry. Overnight tonight skies will be mostly clear as we dip to a low in the mid-20s.

Look for more of the same tomorrow. A weak system unsettles the weather a bit Friday then we will see seasonal conditions for the weekend. We are keeping an eye on a stronger, potentially potent system set to arrive Tuesday but that is a good ways out yet to start worrying about. In the meantime, enjoy today’s weather!

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Tuesday offers seasonal temps, pleasant conditions

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 5:31am MST

With a quick 2.3 inches of snow dropped, our latest storm system has moved out. In its wake we are going to enjoy a largely seasonal day with temps right near normal and plenty of sun.

We start out the day with some patchy fog, primarily around the Platte. That will dissipate soon after sunrise and we will be left with sunny skies for the balance of the day. Winds will be light and we will be calm and dry. Temperatures will be climbing to a high around 46 degrees, just a bit above normal.

Warmer weather awaits us Wednesday and Thursday before our next storm system arrives Friday.

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