February 12 to February 18: This Week in Denver Weather History
Denver’s weather is often a story of extremes and even in what is historically a calm period like February, significant events can and do occur. From record-setting Arctic cold that sent temperatures to far below zero to powerful, damaging wind, this week in Denver weather history has been an eventful one.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1958…heavy snow fell across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport…where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph…6.7 inches of snowfall were measured.
In 1995…cold arctic air brought heavy snow to the foothills and western Denver suburbs. Golden measured 15 inches of snow with 14 inches in south Boulder. Locations in the foothills recorded between 10 and 15 inches of snow. Only 6.1 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 10th.
In 1905…an extremely cold arctic air mass moved over the city behind a cold front on the 10th and persisted through the morning of the 13th. North winds were sustained to 25 mph behind the front on the 10th dropping the temperature to a low of 2 degrees below zero…which was also the high reading on the 11th. Light snowfall totaled 3.0 inches overnight of the 10th into the 11th. The low temperature plunged to 19 degrees below zero on the 11th. Records were set on the 12th and 13th. The high temperature of only zero degrees on the 12th was a record low maximum for the date. The low readings of 21 degrees below zero on the 12th and 14 degrees below zero on the 13th were record minimum temperatures for those dates.
In 1899…the temperature plunged to lows of 20 degrees below zero on both days.
In 1900…northwest winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees on the 11th. An apparent cold front overnight produced 3.7 inches of snow and northeast winds gusting to 30 mph. The high temperature on the 12th was only 26 degrees.
In 1994…moist upslope winds and an upper level storm system produced heavy snow over western portions of metro Denver. Snowfall amounts totaled 10 inches in Golden and 8 inches at Strontia Springs Reservoir 15 miles southwest of Denver in the South Platte canyon. Snowfall at Stapleton International Airport totaled only 3.6 inches…but north winds gusting to 35 mph on the 11th produced occasional visibilities as low as 1/4 mile in heavy snowfall and blowing snow.
In 1903…west to northwest Chinook winds gusting to 34 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 50 degrees on the 11th… Before temperatures rapidly plunged to a low of 14 degrees behind a cold front. Light snow fell through the 13th and totaled 4.2 inches in the city…while temperatures ranged from a high of 14 degrees on the 12th to a low of 5 degrees below zero on the 13th.
In 1874…5 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. Melted snow resulted in 0.31 inch of precipitation.
In 1875…forest fires burned very brightly in the foothills to the west of Denver.
12-13 in 1915…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 13th.
In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 8.1 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 28 mph on the 12th.
In 1968…snowfall totaled 5.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 26 mph. Snow fell all day on the 12th and into the morning hours of the 13th.
In 1997…heavy snow fell in the foothills southwest of Denver. Conifer…Evergreen…Morrison…and north turkey creek received 6 to 8 inches of new snow overnight. Only 0.2 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 23 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.
In 1886…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph during the early morning hours…but winds were strong and gusty all day.
In 1918…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 44 mph. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees.
In 1988…high winds raked metro Denver. Boulder reported a wind gust to 67 mph with 63 mph at Lakewood and 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds toppled a tree onto a car in Aurora. Northwest winds gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.
In 2010…a peak wind gust to 89 mph was recorded in Boulder. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1895…a cold air mass settled over the city. High temperatures of only 4 degrees on the 13th and 8 degrees on the 14th were record low maximum temperatures for each day. Low temperatures were 6 degrees below zero on the 13th and 5 degrees below zero on the 14th…but were not records. Light snow totaled only 0.4 inch. Winds were light.
In 1960…snowfall totaled 6.1 inches and north-northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1967…high winds were widespread along the foothills where wind gusts of 60 to 90 mph were common. A wind gust to 108 mph was measured at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Sustained winds of 50 to 55 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph were recorded in downtown Boulder. An estimated 3 thousand dollars in damage occurred to mobile homes in Boulder. Power lines were downed over a wide area. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 32 mph on the 13th and southwest winds gusted to 48 mph on the 14th.
In 1972…winds gusted to 67 mph at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. Wind gusts to 49 mph were measured in downtown Boulder. West winds gusted to 26 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2001…heavy snow fell across metro Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8 inches at Evergreen; 7 inches atop Crow Hill and in Lakewood; 6 inches in Denver…doubleheader…Eldorado Springs… Morrison…and pine junction. Snowfall totaled 4.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 33 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.
In 1918…southwest winds were sustained to 41 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 46 mph.
In 1987…metro Denver received only 3 to 4 inches of snow… But the foothills west of Boulder received up to 11 inches of snow. Snowfall totaled 4.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph.
In 1988…winds gusted to 81 mph at Echo Lake.
In 2002…high winds developed in the Front Range foothills during the early morning hours. Winds gusted to 84 mph… 11 miles north of Central City. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1960…heavy snowfall totaled 6.1 inches at Stapleton Airport.
In 1965…5.4 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport behind a cold front. North-northeast winds gusted to 32 mph. Winds were strong and gusty all day and caused considerable blowing snow…contributing to hazardous driving conditions mainly to the east of Denver.
In 1984…a snow and wind storm howled across eastern Colorado closing I-70 east of Denver. This was the second blizzard in less than 4 days. Only 0.5 inch of new snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…but north winds gusted to 51 mph.
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