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Thornton’s April 2019 weather preview: Three seasons wrapped into one

Monday, April 1st, 2019 3:04am MDT

Thornton's April weather previewApril marks a transition between winter and summer for most of the country but for Denver it is especially true as we can see a stunning variety of weather.

The proverbial April showers are certainly a possibility for Denver. Snow? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? You bet – all can happen!

For good measure throw in a chance for hail and even dust storms and April gives every type of weather condition you could like – or hate.

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March 31 to April 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 8:05pm MDT
This week in Denver weather history

March 31 to April 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

Early spring can bring a wide variety of conditions from wintry storms to severe weather. Our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows that just about any type of weather condition can occur this time of year.

From the National Weather Service:

29-31

In 1970…snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Heavy snow accumulation in Boulder on the 29th caused the collapse of a carport at an apartment building…damaging 11 automobiles. Northeast winds gusted to 24 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

30-31

In 1896…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 26 mph.

In 1897…rain changed to snow during the early morning of the 30th and totaled 6.2 inches before ending during the late morning of the 31st. Northwest winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph.

In 1929…heavy snowfall of 7.0 inches was recorded over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 30th.

In 1953…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 23 mph.

In 1955…a vigorous cold front produced north winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph at Stapleton Airport. Rain and snow showers and blowing dust accompanied the front. Snowfall totaled only 0.1 inch at Stapleton Airport on the 31st.

In 1988…snow began falling on the afternoon of the 30th and continued through the 31st…burying metro Denver. Twelve to 18 inches of snow fell in the foothills to the west of Denver and Boulder with 6 to 12 inches across the rest of metro Denver. The storm disrupted aircraft operations at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 7.1 inches and north winds gusting to 32 mph reduced the visibility to less than 1/4 mile at times…causing air traffic delays of 2 to 3 hours.

In 2000…heavy snow once again developed over the foothills and the higher terrain to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totals from the storm included: 16 inches atop Squaw Mountain…15 inches near Rollinsville…13 inches near Evergreen…12 inches near Morrison…11 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…10 inches near Blackhawk and in Eldorado Springs…9 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch and Larkspur… And 8 inches near Elizabeth. Snowfall totaled only 4.1 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 30th.

In 2005…a strong spring storm intensified over the eastern plains of Colorado and produced near-blizzard conditions to the east and southeast of Denver overnight. North to northwest winds from 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph produced extensive blowing snow and caused near zero visibilities at times and snow drifts from 2 to 4 feet in depth. Snowfall amounts included: 12 inches near Bennett…8 inches around Castle Rock… 7 inches near Sedalia…and 6 inches near Parker. Only 0.3 inch of snow was reported at Denver Stapleton. At Denver International Airport…north winds gusted to 37 mph on the 30th and 36 mph on the 31st.

In 2014…on the evening of the 30th…high based showers and thunderstorms produced microburst winds over northern Jefferson…eastern Boulder and southwest Weld Counties. Peak wind reports included: 77 mph at White Ranch Open Space; 72 mph…2 miles north of Longmont; 67 mph near Erie and Firestone; 60 mph near Mead and 59 mph…5 miles northwest of Henderson; with 53 mph at Denver International Airport. The wind downed power lines in Weld County which sparked a small fire. High winds then developed in the Front Range Foothills and Urban Corridor through the morning of the 31st. Peak wind gusts included: 98 mph near Gold Hill; 77 mph near Eldorado Springs; 61 mph at Centennial Airport; 59 mph at Buckley Air Force; with 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

31

In 1873…high winds damaged buildings in the city. Northwest winds with sustained velocities to near 40 mph blew from 9:00 am until sunset.

In 1937…north to northeast winds sustained to 25 mph with gusts to 32 mph produced a light dust storm in the city during the afternoon.

In 1971…wind gusts to 92 mph were recorded in the south hills area of Boulder. At the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder sustained winds of 46 mph with gusts to 83 mph were measured. Damage was minor. Northwest winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1983…high winds with gusts to 70 mph in Boulder caused minor damage.

31-1

In 1876…heavy snow began during the night and lasted all day on the 31st and through the morning of the 1st. The average depth of snow fall was 10 to 12 inches…but strong winds whipped the snow into drifts of 8 to 10 feet deep on the streets of the city. Precipitation from the storm was 1.03 inches on the 31st and 0.37 inch on the 1st.

In 1891…heavy moist snowfall totaled 18.0 inches in the city. Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph with gusts to 24 mph on the 31st.

In 1936…northeast winds sustained to 21 mph produced a light dust storm in the city.

In 1975…a major storm dumped 9.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 41 mph. Rain changed to snow on the afternoon of the 31st…reducing the visibility to as low as 1/8 mile. Snow continued all day on the 1st and accumulated to a depth of 8 inches on the ground. The minimum temperature of 10 degrees on the 1st set a new record low for the date.

31-2

In 1980…the second major blizzard in 5 days buried much of eastern Colorado under 6 to 12 inches of snow. Some drifts were up to 22 feet high. Hundreds of travelers were stranded. Over 3000 families were without power. Livestock losses were high. Metro Denver escaped the main brunt of this storm. At Stapleton International Airport…only 6.3 inches of snow fell over the 3-day period and north winds gusted to only 22 mph on the 1st.

31-3

In 1979…total snowfall of 6.6 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph on the 31st. The greatest accumulation of snow on the ground was 3 inches on the 1st.

31-4

In 1905…much rain and some snow occurred over the 5 days behind an apparent cold front. Precipitation totaled 2.00 inches. There was a thunderstorm on the 3rd. Snowfall totaled 3.0 inches on the 4th. North winds were sustained to 34 mph on the 1st and 2nd and to 30 mph on the 3rd. High temperatures during the period ranged from the upper 30’s to the lower 40’s. Low temperatures were in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.

» Click here to read the rest of March 31 to April 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Unsettled weather for Thornton’s weekend with cooler temps, periods of precipitation

Friday, March 29th, 2019 5:16am MDT

We hope you enjoyed the few days of warmer weather we just had as things are not going to be quite the same this weekend. A series of disturbances are going to keep things cooler and bring some rain, perhaps snow.

For Friday, drizzle and fog get us started. Mostly cloudy skies will be above for much of the day. Scattered, light rain showers will be seen this afternoon and evening. Highs today will be in the upper 40s.

This evening, as temperatures drop, we should see the precipitation change over to light snow and continue overnight. Tomorrow morning we may wake up to an inch or two of the white stuff on grassy areas. Overnight lows tonight will be in the mid-20s.

Saturday morning any lingering showers will be easy and should be done entirely by late morning. Some clearing will be seen but overall mostly cloudy skies will be above. Highs tomorrow will only be around 40 degrees.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, mostly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the mid-20s.

Sunday should be the calmest day of the three day period. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the mid to upper 40s. Models are not entirely in agreement however with one wanting to bring another disturbance with precipitation through to close the weekend out.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye on our interactive weather radar to watch for the showers.

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March 2019 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 4:45pm MDT
A bald eagle takes flight over Adams County. (Bill Hutchinson)

A bald eagle takes flight over Adams County. (Bill Hutchinson)

The month of March is the start of meteorological spring and while conditions do begin warming, winter weather is certainly out of the question.  From hot to cold, snow to rain, the conditions can be very conducive to great pictures as we see in our slideshow.

March in Denver typically means frequent and rapid weather changes. The days grow longer and we start enjoying more sunshine and sometimes summer-like weather. However, on occasion arctic air masses can still force their way south into Colorado dropping temperatures quickly and markedly.

With the active wildlife, increased outdoor activities by us humans, and of course the weather, March imagery contains a wide variety of subjects and extremes.

  • Slideshow updated March 28, 2019. To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

No photos

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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Cooler temperatures, a slight chance for showers for Thornton’s Thursday.

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 5:00am MDT

A weak cold front is going to mix things up and cool things down today. Temperatures will still be above normal but not as warm as the past two days and the evening and overnight hours may bring some rain.

The day starts with mostly clear skies. After mid-morning, cloud cover will increase a bit but we should still be seeing some sun. Temperatures will top out around 67 degrees.

From late afternoon through the night some isolated shower activity will be possible. We do not expect this to be widespread or really amount to much.

Tonight, mostly cloudy skies will be above with lows dropping to the upper 30s.

You can keep an eye out for any shower activity with our interactive #weather radar here.

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A warm Wednesday for Thornton as temperatures climb again

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 5:04am MDT

Yesterday we saw our first 70 degree day of the year (finally!) and today we will see our second. While there will be more cloud cover above, we should improve on yesterday’s reading by a few degrees.

Moisture aloft will lead to partly sunny skies throughout the day today. Winds will be light and out of the southwest shifting to the southeast in the afternoon.

Temperatures start out relatively mild this morning aiding in us reaching a high in the mid-70s. The average high for today’s date is 57 degrees so we will easily beat that.

Tonight, skies remain partly clear with lows dipping to the low 40s.

How warm is it now? Check out our live weather gauges here.

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Tuesday to bring Thornton’s warmest temperatures of the year so far

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 4:59am MDT

Finally! Today we break out of the cool weather and see a real warm up. Temperatures will be at their warmest of the year so far with even milder temps on tap for tomorrow.

The day today starts off with clear skies. A few clouds may make their way through later but nothing that will be intrusive. Winds will be light and out of the south.

Temperatures will see steady improvement through the morning leading to a high close to the 70 degree mark. As we mentioned yesterday, we have yet to see a 70 degree reading this year and have only broken 60 degrees five times.

Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows to around 40 degrees.

Tomorrow will see highs push into the low to mid-70s then we start to cool back down and see a chance for snow Friday into Saturday.

Until then though, enjoy! Keep an eye on the mercury with our live gauges here.

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Thornton’s workweek starts with seasonal temps, calm conditions

Monday, March 25th, 2019 4:58am MDT

Monday will offer up a pleasant, spring day with mercury readings right near normal and a good dose of sun. Warmer weather lies ahead for mid-week before we see a chance for snow toward the end of the week.

For today, mostly sunny skies start things off with a few spots of light fog. After a bit, clouds will easy leading to clear skies in the afternoon. Temperatures will top out in the upper 50s, right on par with the average high for today’s date of 57 degrees.

Tonight, skies will remain mostly clear with lows near freezing.

Glancing ahead… High pressure builds and things stabilize leading to well-above above normal temperatures Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Our next system arrives late Thursday cooling and wetting things down. We may even be seeing some snow late Friday into Saturday. More in the extended weather forecast here.

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March 24 to March 30: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, March 24th, 2019 6:25am MDT
This week in Denver weather history

March 24 to March 30: This Week in Denver Weather History

As we have witnessed earlier this month, significant snow events can make an appearance in Denver during the month of March and there have been a number of them in our past. Also not unusual and appearing are powerful, damaging winds. These types of events as well as thunderstorms, hail and even a tornado have occurred during this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

22-24

In 1965…a vigorous cold front swept across metro Denver late on the afternoon of the 22nd with east-northeast winds gusting to 38 mph causing some blowing dust. Snowfall from the storm totaled 4.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Temperatures on the 22nd dropped from a maximum of 63 degrees to 18 degrees in just 10 hours and dipped to 3 degrees below zero on the morning of the 24th. Maximum temperatures warmed to only 19 degrees on the 23rd and 18 degrees on the 24th.

23-24

In 1909…post-frontal rain on the 23rd changed to heavy snow during the evening and continued through the morning of the 24th. Snowfall totaled 13.8 inches. Rain and melted snow… Totaled 2.43 inches…which was the record greatest 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in March at that time. A thunderstorm of moderate intensity occurred on the 23rd in advance of the cold front. North winds were sustained to 27 mph overnight.

In 1990…several hours of freezing drizzle covered roadways with a thin layer of “black ice” which caused nearly 100 traffic accidents across metro Denver. In Boulder…snow and freezing rain caused numerous accidents and brief power outages. Snow in Boulder ranged from an inch east of town to 4 to 5 inches near Table Mesa. At times thunder was heard during the snow. Snowfall totaled only 0.6 inch at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 23rd.

In 1995…high winds developed late on the 23rd and continued through the 24th. A few windows were blown out of a Denver high rise building…spraying glass on the sidewalks and streets below. Southeast winds gusted to 48 mph at Denver International Airport on the 23rd.

In 1996…the third storm in 10 days brought heavy snow to the mountains…foothills…and metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 18 inches at Golden Gate Canyon and 10 inches at Nederland in the foothills. Across metro Denver… Snowfall ranged from 4 to 8 inches. At the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 6.5 inches with most of the snow occurring on the 24th. North winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver International Airport. As the storm moved east on the 24th and 25th… Blizzard conditions developed over northeastern Colorado closing both I-70 and I-76 east of Denver.

In 2010…a powerful spring snowstorm swept across northern Colorado. The heaviest snowfall occurred in and near the Front Range foothills and deep upslope developed. The heavy…wet snow clung to tree limbs and power lines…which caused 36500 electrical outages throughout Denver and the surrounding metro area. Power outages also occurred in Douglas and Elbert counties. In addition…approximately 5 thousand travelers were stranded at Denver International Airport due to flight cancellations and delays. Initially… The snow fell at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour…between Boulder and Denver…bringing the evening rush hour to a complete halt. Countless motorists were stuck on U.S. Highway 36 for several hours. Other road closures included I-70…from Idaho Springs to Genesee and I-25 in both directions…from Lincoln Avenue south to Greenland… Or about 15 miles south of Castle Rock. In and near the Front Range foothills and Palmer Ridge…storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…23.5 inches…3 miles south of Evergreen; 22 inches at Aspen Springs…13 miles northwest of Golden and 3 miles west of Jamestown; 21.5 inches…3 miles north of Blackhawk…20 inches at Genesee; 16 inches near Nederland; 14 inches near Elizabeth and Strontia Springs dam; 13 inches at Bergen Park and 3 miles southeast of Indian Hills; 12.5 inches… 3 miles southwest of Conifer; 11.5 inches at St. Mary’s Glacier. In Denver and the surrounding suburbs…storm totals included: 15 inches at lone tree; 14 inches near Highlands Ranch; 13 inches near Louisville…12.5 inches at Aurora…Commerce City…Englewood and 5 miles west of Littleton; 12 inches at Erie and Greenwood Village; 11 inches at Ralston Reservoir and Westminster; 10.5 inches at the national weather service in Boulder…10 inches… 4 miles northeast of Castle Rock…Fredrick…Lakewood…3 miles southeast of Morrison and 4 miles southeast of Watkins; 9.5 inches…3 miles southeast of Denver; 9 inches in Broomfield…Lafayette…Northglenn and Thornton; 8.5 inches near Federal Heights; 8 inches in Arvada… Brighton and Wheat Ridge; 6 inches…5 miles southwest of Hudson. Officially…10.8 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.

23-25

In 1891…rain changed to snow and totaled 8.8 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 24th. Winds were light.

In 1964…heavy snowfall of 5.8 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 21 mph behind a cold front.

24

In 1909…a major winter storm dumped 13.8 inches of snow over downtown Denver.

In 1915…a cold front produced post-frontal winds to 41 mph.

In 1919…some unusually soft but rather large hail fell with the beginning of precipitation from the first thunderstorm of the season early in the evening. Only a trace of rain was observed.

In 1937…a light to moderate dust storm began at 1:30 pm and continued until 8:30 pm. The storm reduced the visibility to 3/4 mile at times. Northeast winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 34 mph.

In 1970…a vigorous cold front produced a northeast wind gust to 60 mph at Stapleton International Airport where 3.2 inches of snow fell following the frontal passage. The strong winds caused minor damage from Denver northward…and billows of blowing dust reduced visibility at times. Following the passage of the cold front…the temperature dropped 25 degrees in an hour from 65 to 40 degrees.

In 1982…a strong cold front roared across metro Denver. Northeast winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds behind the front created a huge cloud of dust at least one thousand feet high…which briefly reduced visibilities to less than one mile.

In 1987…near-blizzard conditions over northeastern Colorado closed both I-70 and I-76 east of Denver. While only a trace of snow fell in Denver…northeast winds gusted to 37 mph.

In 1997…an early spring storm brought snow to metro Denver. The heaviest snow fell in the foothills and over the Palmer Divide. Snowfall at Conifer totaled 5 inches. A woman was killed when she lost control of her vehicle on snow packed and slick roads near Castle Rock. Snowfall totaled only 1.3 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 46 mph at Denver International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of March 24 to March 30: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Thornton’s weekend to offer seasonal temps but unsettled conditions

Friday, March 22nd, 2019 5:04am MDT

A little bit of a mixed bag in terms of the weather for us over the three day period. While temperatures will be near normal, a couple of systems are going to bring some chances for precipitation.

Today we will see mostly cloudy skies above throughout the day. A few sprinkles of rain will be possible this morning and early afternoon but best chances come in the late afternoon and this evening. Some thunder may be mixed in. Highs today will be in the mid to upper 50s.

Tonight, some rain will be seen initially then as temps drop after midnight, some light snow. Little, if any accumulation is expected. Overnight lows will be near freezing.

Tomorrow, skies will be clearing leading to mostly sunny skies for much of the day. Highs will be in the mid-50s.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, partly skies will be above with lows in the low 30s.

Sunday closes out the weekend with a bit of a chance for a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid-50s.

Have a great weekend!

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