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December 17 to December 23: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 6:00am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

December 17 to December 23: This Week in Denver Weather History

Looking back at Denver weather history, it is readily apparent that the week leading up to Christmas has historically been a very eventful one. There are certainly many of the snow and wind events we would expect to see. Most notable however are the major winter storms like the pre-Christmas storm of 2006.

From the National Weather Service:

2-17

In 1939…more than 2 weeks of unseasonably warm weather made the month the 3rd warmest on record. Seven daily temperature records were set…including the all time record high temperature for the month of 79 degrees on the 5th. Daytime highs were balmy with 14 days in the 60’s and 70’s. Low temperatures dipped to freezing or below on only 5 days. The period was dry with only a trace of snow on the 12th.

16-17

In 1908…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches in downtown Denver where north winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 17th. Temperatures were in the teens and 20’s.

In 1939…low temperatures of 49 degrees on the 16th and 43 degrees on the 17th were record high minimums for the dates. High temperatures of 65 on the 16th and 72 on the 17th were not records.

In 1980…Chinook winds blew through the night in Boulder with a peak reported gust to 75 mph. Northwest winds gusted to 30 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. The strong Chinook winds warmed temperatures to record daily highs of 70 degrees on the 16th and 73 degrees on the 17th.

17

In 2000…high winds gusting from 60 to 74 mph howled across the northeast plains of Colorado. In Parker where winds gusted to 60 mph…a 20-foot by 40-foot piece of roof was ripped from a building. West winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver International Airport. This was the highest wind gust of the month at the airport. An intense…but very localized wind gust to 112 mph was measured near Georgetown Lake in the foothills west of Denver.

 

17-24

In 1924…a prolonged cold spell occurred after mild temperatures during the first half of the month. Most low temperatures dipped below zero with the coldest reading of 15 degrees below zero occurring on the 24th. The high temperature of only 5 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date.

18

In 1901…north winds were sustained to 52 mph with gusts to 58 mph behind an apparent cold front.

In 1973…a brief blizzard dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 9.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting to 53 mph produced much blowing snow. The storm forced many schools and businesses to close.

In 1996…a homeless man in Denver was found unconscious in his car suffering from exposure. The man’s body temperature was only 85 degrees when he was discovered. He died several hours later. Early morning temperatures had dipped to 9 degrees below zero.

In 1999…high winds were reported for a brief time in the foothills. Winds gusted to 72 mph in Golden Gate Canyon and to 71 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the foothills southwest of Boulder. West winds gusted to only 39 mph at Denver International Airport where the temperature warmed to a high of 53 degrees.

In 2002…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This…along with the trace of snow on the 5th…was the only snow of the month…ranking the month the 2nd least snowiest on record.

18-19 In 2012…a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the mountains and foothills west of metropolitan Denver and blizzard conditions to plains east of Denver metro area. The combination of snow and wind reportedly reduced visibility to just a few hundred feet at times…and resulted in several road closures including Interstate 70 east of Aurora. East of Denver gusty northerly winds ranged from 35 to 55 mph produced extensive blowing and drifting snow…ranging from 1 to 4 feet in depth. Storm totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches. In the mountain and foothills…the heaviest snowfall occurred along and north of I-70 and included: 12 inches at Genesee…9 inches near Eldorado Springs; 8.5 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…8 inches near Evergreen… with 6 inches at Eldora Ski Area…Idaho Springs… Gross Reservoir and Nederland. At Denver International Airport…1.7 inches of snowfall was observed. In addition…a peak wind gust to 35 mph was observed from the north on the 19th.

18-21

In 2010…a winter storm produced a 4-day period of moderate to heavy snow in the mountains. The combination of strong wind and heavy snow forced the closure of several mountain passes due to the threat of avalanches. The Amtrak train route… Which runs from Denver to California…was rerouted through Wyoming when Union Pacific closed its tracks along Interstate 70. Numerous accidents forced the closure of I-70 at times. The wind gusted to 60 mph over the higher mountain passes. Storm totals in the ski areas west of Denver ranged from 16 to 32 inches.

18-24

In 1998…a vigorous cold front with north winds gusting as high as 38 mph at Denver International Airport on the 18th dropped temperatures from a high of 51 degrees to a low of just 6 degrees before midnight. The arctic air mass that settled over metro Denver produced intermittent light snow and a week-long protracted cold spell that caused low temperatures to plunge well below zero for 6 consecutive nights. The coldest temperature was 19 degrees below zero on the morning of the 22nd. High temperatures climbed only into the single digits on 4 consecutive days…from the 19th through the 22nd. At least 15 people…mostly homeless… Were treated for hypothermia at area hospitals. The bitter cold weather was responsible…either directly or indirectly… For at least 5 fatalities. Three of the victims died directly from exposure. The cold weather also caused intermittent power outages. Following the cold snap… Thawing water pipes cracked and burst in several homes and businesses…causing extensive damage. Only one temperature record was set. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 19th set a record low maximum for the date.

19

In 1913…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 8.5 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to only 16 mph.

In 1994…an intense pacific storm system and associated cold front moved across Colorado early in the day. Strong downslope winds buffeted the Front Range eastern foothills. The highest wind gust recorded was 92 mph at Rocky Flats in northern Jefferson County. Most of the wind gusts during the day ranged from 63 to 86 mph with lighter gusts of 40 to 58 mph on the northeast plains. The strong winds downed power lines and poles in south Lakewood…causing power outages to 2400 homes. Other small power outages and surges occurred across metro Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

19-20

In 1982…high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. At midday on the 19th…gusts of 75 to 80 mph were recorded in the Table Mesa area of Boulder. A gust to 62 mph was clocked in Boulder on the evening of the 20th.

In 1989…strong winds howled at mountain top level in clear creek and Gilpin counties. Speeds reached 97 mph on the summit of Squaw Mountain and 84 mph one mile south of Rollinsville. Northwest winds gusted 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 20th.

19-23

In 1990…a surge of very cold arctic air invaded metro Denver. Many temperature records were broken as the mercury remained at or below zero for 85.5 hours at Stapleton International Airport…making it the third longest period of subzero readings in 118 years of record keeping. On the morning of the 22nd…the mercury plunged to 25 degrees below zero…which equaled the all time record low temperature for the month set on December 24…1876. In the foothills southwest of Denver at tiny town…the mercury plunged to 33 degrees below zero on the morning of the 21st. On the same morning at Castle Rock the temperature dipped to 26 degrees below zero. During the period…other daily temperature records were set at Denver…including: record low maximum of 3 degrees below zero on the 20th and a record low of 17 degrees below zero on the 23rd. The record low was equaled with 16 degrees below zero on the 20th and 21 degrees below zero on the 21st. Snowfall totaled 2.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport from the 19th through the 21st.

20

In 1894…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph. The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a maximum of 69 degrees…which was a record high temperature for the date. The minimum temperature dipped to only 33 degrees.

In 1903…northwest Chinook winds sustained to 54 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees.

In 1948…strong winds occurred along the eastern foothills from Boulder north. Wind gusts to 45 mph were recorded at Valmont with a gust to 30 mph at Boulder airport. Some damage occurred. Wind gusts to 50 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1957…strong Chinook winds…gusting to 51 mph from the northwest…warmed the afternoon temperature to a high of 54 degrees.

In 1981 high winds were reported in the foothills with a peak gust of 87 mph recorded at Wondervu.

In 1992…strong Chinook winds raked the eastern foothills with 69 mph recorded at Table Mesa in south Boulder. Southwest winds gusted to only 21 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1996…five construction workers were injured…two seriously…when a sudden wind gust blew over a 30-foot- high retaining wall they were working on in western Lakewood. The scaffolding they were standing on collapsed…and some were pinned under the rubble for 15 minutes. Wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph were reported in the area. Southwest winds gusted to only 24 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2004…strong downslope winds developed over the eastern mountain slopes and spread over metro Denver. Peak wind gusts approached 100 mph along the foothills of Boulder County. In Superior…a 1200-square-foot section of roof was peeled off the gymnasium at Monarch High School. Two semi-trailers were toppled on Colorado highway 58 at McIntyre Street and another at c-470 and west Bowles Avenue. Two airplanes were damaged by wind-blown debris at Jefferson County Airport. The high winds forced the closure of State Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder for approximately two hours. Insurance agents estimated 650 to 850 homes suffered wind damage in the Boulder and Louisville areas. In addition…downed trees and power lines left about 1000 residents…mainly in the Boulder area…without electricity. At least three people suffered minor injuries in the storm. Peak wind reports included: 95 mph in Superior…92 mph at Jefferson County Airport…85 mph in Golden…81 mph in Boulder…80 mph in Broomfield and Evergreen…and 79 mph in Louisville. West northwest winds gusted to 59 mph at Denver International Airport.

20-21

In 1969…high winds caused widespread…but mostly minor damage to roofs…windows…and power lines and overturned some house trailers in areas along and just east of the foothills. Wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph were reported in Boulder and south of Boulder at Rocky Flats. A wind gust to 115 mph was measured in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 44 mph on the 20th and to 45 mph on the 21st. The warm Chinook winds warmed the high temperature to 56 degrees on the 20th and to 65 degrees on the 21st.

In 2006…a major blizzard buried greater metro Denver and the adjacent foothills in deep snow. A slow moving upper level low pressure center produced deep moist upslope flow over the high plains and against the eastern slopes of the mountains…allowing heavy snowfall to persist for 34 hours across metro Denver. Total snow accumulations ranged from 1 to 2 1/2 feet across the city and from 2 to nearly 4 feet in the foothills. Adding to the misery… Strong north winds sustained at 20 to 35 mph with gusts from 45 to nearly 60 mph produced much blowing snow and piled the snow into drifts from 6 to 12 feet high…closing businesses and bringing all transportation to a halt. The storm forced the closure of Denver International Airport for a total of 45 hours which snarled the nation’s air traffic system. This was the longest closure in the airport’s 12 year history. The closure stranded nearly 5000 travelers when 2000 flights were canceled. Many inbound flights were diverted to other airports…stranding even more passengers. Many of the stranded travelers failed to reach their final destinations until days after the airport re-opened due to fully booked flights during the holiday season. Police and national guardsmen rescued hundreds of commuters stuck in their cars…and sent them to temporary shelters set up by the Red Cross. All interstates and other major highways in and out of Denver were closed. Greyhound was forced to cancel all bus trips from Denver. Mail delivery was suspended. The Regional Transportation District suspended all metro Denver bus service for the first time since the March 2003 blizzard. The roof of a discount store in Aurora collapsed under the weight of the heavy snow. In Lakewood…a power outage left 5600 residents without electricity for a brief time. Metro Denver snowfall amounts included: 34 inches 10 miles southeast of Buckley AFB…32 inches in Littleton…30 inches in Thornton and near Castle Rock…29.5 inches near Parker…28 inches in Wheat Ridge…25.5 inches at centennial airport…25 inches at Niwot…24 inches in Aurora…22.5 inches at Greenwood Village… 22 inches in Arvada…21.5 inches in Lakewood…20 inches in Longmont…and 15.5 inches in Boulder. Snowfall measured 20.7 inches officially in the Denver Stapleton area. This ranked the snowfall as the 7th greatest in the city since 1946. North winds were sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 55 mph at Denver International Airport. In the foothills snowfall totaled: 42 inches at Conifer and 11 miles southwest of Boulder…40 inches at Evergreen…39 inches at Aspen Springs… 37.5 inches 8 miles north of Blackhawk…33 inches near Nederland…31 inches at Intercanyon and near Tiny Town…30.5 inches atop Buckhorn Mountain…30 inches near Indian Hills… 29 inches at Rollinsville…24 inches near Gross Reservoir and Ralston Reservoir…22.4 inches atop Crow Hill…and 20 inches near Georgetown. Snowpacked and rutted streets and parking lots persisted for a month or more after the storm and subsequent storms. The heavy snowfall created a snow removal controversy when many citizens complained that residential streets were not cleared in a timely manner in the city and in some suburban areas. This was in spite of the fact that tens of millions of dollars were spent on snow removal. In the city of Denver…snow cover of an inch or more from this storm and subsequent storms persisted for 61 consecutive days…through February 19…2007. This is the second longest period of snow cover on record in the city. Many homeowners who had extensive Christmas lights and decorations in their yards were not able to remove the lights because the wires were buried in deep snow and ice until the end of February or later.

20-22

In 1933…strong downslope winds produced a warm spell. Low temperatures of 43 degrees on both the 20th and 21st and 41 degrees on the 22nd were record high minimums for those dates. High temperature of 67 degrees on the 21st was a record maximum for the date. High temperatures of 56 degrees on the 20th and 69 degrees on the 22nd were not records; however…the 69 degrees was the warmest of the month. West to northwest winds were sustained to 20 and 24 mph on the 21st and 22nd respectively.

20-23

In 1918…light snowfall on each day totaled 12.0 inches over downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 16 mph on the 21st.

20-25

In 1983…an extremely bitter cold spell occurred. The temperature remained below zero for 115 hours in Denver… The longest sub-zero period on record. The mercury dipped to 21 degrees below zero on the 21st…the coldest recorded temperature in over 20 years. The cold was accompanied by winds that plunged chill factors to 50 to 70 degrees below zero. Two people froze to death in Denver; both were found outside dead of exposure. Numerous cases of frostbite were reported. Hundreds of water pipes broke from the intense cold…water mains and natural gas lines also fractured…and electricity consumption reached record levels. Light snow totaling 5.8 inches fell at times…and holiday traffic was delayed at Stapleton International Airport for several hours. Eight daily temperature records were set at the time. The all-time record low maximum temperature for the month of 8 degrees below zero on the 21st still stands today. Other temperature records still standing include record low maximum temperatures of 5 degrees below zero on both the 22nd and 23rd and 4 degrees below zero on the 24th.

21

In 1884…light snow fell from an apparent cloudless sky between 4:15 am and 5:00 am. Snowfall totaled 3.5 inches for the day.

In 1900…west winds sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 54 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 59 degrees.

In 1910…heavy snowfall totaled 8.0 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 25 mph.

In 1961…strong winds associated with a cold front whipped snow across metro Denver. West wind gusts to 62 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport. There was considerable damage to power lines…signs…and Christmas decorations. In Denver…4 people were injured by wind-caused accidents. Two small planes were flipped over at Stapleton Airport while attempting to land. Only a trace of snow fell at Stapleton Airport.

In 1983…the high temperature climbed to only 8 degrees below zero at Stapleton International Airport. This set the record for the lowest maximum temperature of the month.

In 1987…strong winds howled in the foothills and in Boulder. Wind gusts reached 78 mph in east Boulder…85 mph at Table Mesa in southwest Boulder…93 mph near Rollinsville…and 97 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

21-22

In 1969…strong winds raked the eastern foothills in Boulder and Jefferson counties. Wind gusts to 115 mph were recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…while in downtown Boulder winds gusted to 75 mph. Some damage occurred.

In 1981…a snow storm dumped 3 to 8 inches of snow across eastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 6.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to only 17 mph.

In 2011…large scale lift from an upper level low combined with a deep easterly upslope flow behind a cold front to produce heavy snow in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals ranged from 1.5 to 3 feet in the Front Range Foothills…with 1 to 1.5 feet along the Urban Corridor. In the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide…storm totals included: 36.5 inches… 7 miles southwest of Boulder; 32 inches…12 miles northwest of Golden; 28 inches at Genesee; 24.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown; 23 inches at Bergen Park; 21 inches at Evergreen and Gross Reservoir; 19 inches near Eldorado Springs and 3 miles west-southwest of Conifer; 17 inches…4 miles south-southwest of Tiny Town; and 13.5 inches…15 miles north of Elizabeth. Along the Urban Corridor…storm totals included: 18 inches in Golden; 14.5 inches in Boulder…13 inches at the National Weather Service in Boulder; 12.5 inches…5 miles south-southwest of Arapahoe Park; 12 inches at Lone Tree; 11.5 inches in Broomfield; 11 inches in Arvada…4 miles northwest of Elbert…Niwot and Wheatridge; 10 inches in northwest Denver; with 7.3 inches at Denver International Airport.

21-23

In 1924…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches over downtown Denver. During the storm north to northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph. Temperatures were quite cold…ranging from a high of 24 degrees on the 21st to a low of 5 degrees below zero on the 23rd.

In 1964…high winds were recorded along the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 100 mph was registered at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. In Boulder… Where many thousands of dollars in damage occurred…warm Chinook winds gusted in excess of 45 mph downtown. A wind gust to 82 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Heavy damage to power lines…homes…and roads was reported at Evergreen…Golden… And Boulder. Several people were injured by wind-caused accidents. West winds gusted to 53 mph on the 22nd and to 51 mph on the 23rd at Stapleton International Airport where some blowing dust occurred. The Chinook winds warmed temperatures in Denver to highs of 68 degrees on the 22nd and 71 degrees on the 23rd.

22

In 1885…a windstorm produced sustained west winds to 48 mph. The winds were strong all afternoon and evening.

In 1892…terribly strong winds hit the foothills above Boulder. The wind was described as a young tornado…but likely was straight line in nature. Winds in Boulder remained calm.

In 1901…the passage of an apparent cold front produced north winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

In 1922…a major storm dumped 8.0 inches of snow in downtown Denver.

In 1941…post-frontal heavy snow fell over downtown Denver where 8.0 inches of new snow were measured. Northwest winds were sustained to 26 mph. The cold front and snowfall abruptly broke a week of warm weather with high temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s.

In 1977…high winds unroofed a mobile home in Broomfield. Wind gusts reached 93 mph at Table Mesa in south Boulder and 74 mph at Rocky Flats. West winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…high winds hit many foothills areas. Recorded wind gusts reached 95 mph just north of Boulder and 80 mph on Table Mesa. The strong winds caused power outages around Boulder. West winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1990…the all-time lowest recorded temperature in December… 25 degrees below zero…occurred. The same temperature was also reached on December 24…1876.

22-23

In 1926…snow was heavy and totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph with gusts to 18 mph on the 23rd.

In 1979…heavy snow blanketed metro Denver. Total snowfall at Stapleton International Airport was 6.9 inches…and north winds gusted to 20 mph. Most of the snow…5.7 inches…fell on the 22nd.

In 1984…strong Chinook winds howled along the Front Range foothills. At Table Mesa in southwest Boulder…gusts reached 108 mph on the morning of the 23rd. Gusts to 79 mph were clocked in Golden Gate Canyon. Gusts to 94 mph were reported in east Boulder. The winds flattened a two floor cinder block building under construction in Boulder… Causing 75 thousand dollars damage. Flying debris from the building slightly injured a policeman. A chain link fence was blown down. Dozens of windows and roofs were damaged in Boulder…along with mobile homes and cars. Numerous trees and power lines were downed. A giant plastic bubble dome was blown apart and collapsed…causing at least 100 thousand dollars damage. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 23rd.

23

In 1915…apparent Bora winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 58 mph. Snowfall was only 0.8 inch in the city.

In 1955…west-northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport. The downslope winds kept the low temperature from dipping below 50 degrees…the record highest minimum for the month.

In 1969…a strong wind gust did 4 thousand dollars in damage just west of Broomfield. Minor injuries also occurred.

In 1977…high winds occurred in Boulder with 90 mph recorded at several locations. A wind gust to 72 mph was reported at Lafayette. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…high winds were reported in the foothills west of Denver. At Rollinsville…a wind gust to 90 mph was measured. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2007…high winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties. Peak gusts included: 89 mph at the national wind technology center; 88 mph atop Niwot Ridge; 83 mph…4 miles east- northeast of Bergen Park; 80 mph…3 miles southeast of Jamestown. At Denver International Airport…east of the surface trough…southeast winds gusted to 28 mph.

23-24

In 1907…winds nearly as strong as a hurricane raked Boulder and areas north of Denver…killing one person and injuring others. Property damage was minor.

In 1973…a pre-Christmas blizzard…the second in 5 days… Produced strong winds and dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. Nearly a foot…11.8 inches…of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting from 30 to 40 mph produced much blowing snow. The strong winds whipped the snow into 2- to 4-foot drifts…closing many roads and airports. About 10 thousand people were stranded at Stapleton International Airport for up to 24 hours.

In 1978…wind gusts to 90 mph on the 23rd and 73 mph on the 24th were recorded in Boulder. A townhouse under construction was severely damaged by the winds. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 37 mph on the 23rd and northwest winds gusted to 35 mph on the 24th.

In 1987…a snowstorm assured a white Christmas for metro Denver…where 4 to 8 inches fell. Amounts in the foothills ranged from 10 to 18 inches. Snowfall totaled 3.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport…where north winds gusted to 32 mph on the 23rd.

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Wednesday brings one more unseasonably warm day before the bottom falls out

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 5:14am MST

If you can, get out and enjoy the mild weather today because significant changes are afoot beyond that. Tomorrow will offer much colder temperatures and snow and, in fact, mercury readings are likely to be a good bit below normal through the weekend.

For today, we start out with a bit of cloud cover but that will ease up leading to mostly sunny skies for most of the day. Winds will be out of the southwest. Temperatures start out chilly then will warm to a high of around 61 degrees.

Tonight, after midnight, a trough and cold front moves in and that will signify the start of the downhill slide. Overnight lows tonight will be around 20 degrees with blustery winds out of the northeast. Some flurries will be possible after midnight with increasing chances for snow as we head toward dawn on Thursday.

Tomorrow will be the first day of wintry conditions we have seen in a while. Snow will be likely through the morning hours then ease in the afternoon. Total accumulations for Thornton look to be on the order of 1 to 3 inches or so. It will also be quite cold with highs tomorrow only in the mid-20s.

Below normal temperatures will stick with us through Christmas with another chance for snow coming Saturday.

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Tuesday brings another mild day with plenty of sun, calm conditions

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 5:09am MST

What will today’s weather hold for Thornton? Pretty much just copy yesterday’s and paste it into today as there will be little change.

We start out the day with sunny skies and those will continue through the day. Only a few clouds here and there will be seen. Winds will be light and out of the south, conditions calm. Temperatures will once again climb steadily in the morning, peaking close to the mid-50s.

Tonight, we’ll see a few more clouds with lows right around 30 degrees.

Tomorrow will be another mild day but then, as we have been mentioning, things will be turning much colder and snow enters the forecast. Details here.

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Thornton’s workweek weather starts out mild and calm, will end very cold

Monday, December 18th, 2017 5:03am MST

It looks to be another very pleasant, unseasonably warm day for us. We will actually put together a few days like that before much colder weather arrives for the latter part of the week.

For today, sunny skies kick things off and we should continue to see a good bit of sun throughout the day. Winds will be light and out of the southwest initially, shifting to the southeast later. Temps start out cold and below freezing but then bounce back nicely and we should see highs in the mid-50s.

Looking ahead, Tuesday and Wednesday will offer similarly mild conditions to today. After that, a cold front is going to come through followed by subsequent reinforcements of cold air that will see things turn much, much colder Thursday through the weekend.

Enjoy the warmth for now but be prepared! More in the extended forecast.

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Three-day period starts very warm then rest of weekend sees cooler, possibly wetter conditions

Friday, December 15th, 2017 4:31am MST

Three-day period starts very warm then rest of weekend sees cooler, possibly wetter conditions. If you can, get out and enjoy the mild weather Friday because the rest of the weekend doesn’t look to be as nice. A cold front will be arriving Saturday bringing cooler temps and a chance for snow.

For today, look for mostly sunny to sunny skies to last throughout the day. Downslope winds out of the southwest should remain relatively light. Temps will climb toward a high close to the 60 degree mark.

Overnight tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows near freezing.

Saturday sees things start to change. Mostly cloudy skies will be above and the mid to late morning sees a cold front push through the area. Highs tomorrow will be a good bit cooler, but still warmer than normal, and top out in the upper 40s.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, cloud cover remains pretty solid and temps drop a good bit with overnight lows in the mid-20s. We introduce a chance for snow, perhaps some freezing drizzle, from about 11:00pm Saturday night to 9:00am Sunday morning. Minimal accumulations are expected.

Sunday, once the precipitation ends, will see some clearing leading to partly sunny skies. Temperatures however will remain chilly with highs closing out the weekend only in the upper 30s.

Have a great weekend!

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Following the snow, conditions clear up, remain chilly

Thursday, December 14th, 2017 5:03am MST

Snow. Finally. It didn’t amount to much but it had been 37 days since we last saw the white stuff but that streak finally came to an end for us. In its wake, Thursday will offer clearing skies but temperatures will remain chilly and winds breezy.

A few lingering flurries will be possible early but then quickly end. As they do, skies will begin to clear leading to mostly sunny skies for the balance of the day.

The afternoon is going to offer up some breezy winds that when coupled with the chilly temps will make it a bit uncomfortable. Look for a high temp today around 40 degrees.

Tonight, skies will be mostly clear and lows will did to the low to mid-20s.

You can keep an eye on current weather conditions here.

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A mild day Wednesday in Thornton then a decent chance for overnight snow

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 4:58am MST

It has been a long time since the “S word” has been in the forecast but here it comes. In fact, indications are that we are entering a period of active weather that will finally bring an end to the unseasonably warm weather of recent weeks.

For today, we start off with some cloud cover then will see that ease during the morning before building back up in the late afternoon and evening. Winds will be relatively light out of the southwest, then the west in the afternoon. We will once again see mild temperatures today with highs in the mid-50s.

As for the “S word”, a system working its way to us is holding together better than expected. Assuming that trend continues, this will bring big changes tonight. After about 9:00pm and lasting into tomorrow morning, we see decent chances for snow, enough so that we could see a quick inch or so out of it. The system is a fast mover so it won’t last long but we may finally get some much-needed precipitation.

Looking ahead, chilly temperatures linger tomorrow then we have a nice rebound Friday. That will be followed by another weather maker that may bring us snow over the weekend. Overall, indications point to a more seasonal weather pattern into next week and an end to the dry, very mild conditions of late.

More in our extended weather forecast.

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Denver ties the record high temperature for December 12

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 4:37pm MST

Record High TemperaturesOur very mild weather today led to another high temperature record, something we have seen a few time over the past month or so.

At 1:58pm, the high temperature in Denver reached 69 degrees as measured at Denver International Airport. This tied the record high for the date set in 1895.  The average high for the date is 43 degrees.

Today’s event is the fourth record high that has been set or tied in the last eight weeks (October 25, November 26, November 27).  The record high on November 27 of 81 degrees was also the warmest November reading ever recorded in Denver.

Here in Thornton we matched the Mile High City’s temperature with a reading of 69 degrees as well coming at 2:16pm.

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Lots of sun, very mild temperatures for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 5:05am MST

Another ‘copy and paste’ forecast from previous days. Very little change in the weather for today beyond bumping up temperatures a good bit.

Look for sunny skies throughout the day today with nary a cloud to be seen. Winds will be out of the southwest initially shifting to come from the west in the afternoon. As for temperatures, we will enjoy our warmest day of the week today. Highs will top out in the mid-60s, well above the average of 43 degrees for the date.

Tonight, skies remain clear with lows to right around freezing.

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December 10 to December 16: This week in Denver weather history

Monday, December 11th, 2017 6:24am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

December 10 to December 16: This week in Denver weather history

This time of year snow is a common occurrence but in our look back at this week in Denver weather history we are struck by the lack of significant snow events in the history books for the period. What we do see instead are a number of high wind events, many of which caused widespread damage.

From the National Weather Service:

2-17

In 1939…more than 2 weeks of unseasonably warm weather made the month the 3rd warmest on record. Seven daily temperature records were set…including the all time record high temperature for the month of 79 degrees on the 5th. Daytime highs were balmy with 14 days in the 60’s and 70’s. Low temperatures dipped to freezing or below on only 5 days. The period was dry with only a trace of snow on the 12th.

3-15

In 1972…a protracted cold spell held an icy grip on metro Denver when maximum temperatures never reached above freezing for 10 consecutive days from the 3rd through the 12th and minimum temperatures dipped below zero on eleven consecutive days from the 5th through the 15th. Daily low temperature records were set with 15 degrees below zero on the 5th…17 degrees below zero on the 6th… And 18 degrees below zero on the 10th. Daily record low maximum readings were set with 3 degrees on the 6th and 6 degrees on the 9th. The very cold temperatures were caused by 3 to 5 inches of snow cover and a Canadian air mass.

8-12

In 1932…the second longest sub-zero period on record in Denver occurred. The temperature fell below zero shortly after 1:00 pm on the 8th and remained below zero for 92 hours until 9:00 am on the 12th. The lowest temperature recorded during this period was 13 degrees below zero on both the 9th and 11th. That temperature on the 11th was a record low for the date. High temperatures of 4 on the 8th…5 below zero on the 9th…1 below zero on the 10th… And 6 below zero on the 11th were record low maximum temperatures for those dates. Light north winds at 5 to 10 mph were accompanied by occasional light snow…which totaled only 2.2 inches.

9-13

In 1961…cold arctic air produced a protracted cold period. The temperature plunged to 16 degrees below zero on the 10th…establishing a new record for the date and the coldest reading since 25 degrees below zero on February 1… 1951. Low temperatures dipped below zero on 5 consecutive days with 9 degrees below zero on the 9th…16 below on the 10th…10 below on the 11th…and 12 below on both the 12th and 13th. High temperatures reached only 3 degrees on the 10th and 6 degrees on the 11th.

10

In 1953…snowfall totaled 3.8 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds were sustained at speeds to 47 mph and gusted to 60 mph behind a cold front.

In 1969…sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph in downtown Boulder caused minor damage. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1980…winds to 60 mph whistled through Boulder.

In 1987…strong winds in the foothills spread over northern portions of metro Denver. Wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph were common in Boulder and southwestern weld counties. However… The highest reported wind gust…94 mph…occurred near Rollinsville. A northwest wind gust to 36 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

10-11

In 1933…downslope winds produced warm temperatures…resulting in record high minimums of 46 degrees on the 10th and 44 degrees on the 11th. High temperatures of 66 degrees on the 10th and 62 degrees on the 11th were not records. Southwest winds were sustained to 16 mph on the 10th.

In 1939…high temperatures of 70 degrees on the 10th and 74 degrees on the 11th were record maximums for the dates. The low temperatures of 39 degrees on the 10th and 41 degrees on the 11th were not records.

In 1948…high winds in Boulder and Louisville caused 1750 dollars in damage. Wind gusts in excess of 70 mph were reported at Valmont and Boulder airport. Chinook wind gusts to 60 mph briefly reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1989…the season’s greatest snowfall to date hit metro Denver with 6 to 12 inches of snow. Flight delays at Stapleton International Airport reached 2 hours. Multiple wrecks snarled traffic on I-25 both north and south of the city. Snowfall totaled 7.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 25 mph on the 10th.

11

In 1938…snowfall totaled 3.7 inches in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 21 mph with an extreme velocity to 22 mph.

In 1967…wind gusts to 58 mph in downtown Boulder caused minor damage. Northwest winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1980…winds to 60 mph were reported in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 23 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The Chinook winds warmed temperatures to a high of 67 degrees.

In 1994…strong gusty winds occurred along the Front Range eastern foothills. A wind gust to 67 mph was recorded in Boulder with a gust to 58 mph measured at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. No damage was reported. Northwest winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

11-12

In 1903…a sharp cold front on the 11th plunged temperatures from a high of 59 degrees to a low of 15 degrees…produced northeast winds sustained to 42 mph along with gusts as high as 60 mph…and produced 1.3 inches of snow overnight. The high temperature on the 12th was only 25 degrees.

In 1968…strong winds buffeted the eastern foothills and plains and caused light…but widespread property damage. Wind gusts of 50 to 75 mph were reported. West winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

11-13

In 1940…5.4 inches of snow fell across downtown Denver. This was the only snowfall of the month. Temperatures were quite cold on the 13th with a high of 6 degrees and a low of 2 degrees below zero.

In 1984…up to 6 inches of new snow fell over metro Denver… Hampering flight operations at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 3.8 inches and east winds gusted to 25 mph on the 11th.

12

In 1937…a thunderstorm…rare in December…produced 0.09 inch of rain in advance of a cold front.

In 1973…high winds occurred across all of metro Denver with the foothills area being hit the hardest. A wind gust to 120 mph was recorded in Boulder where damage to residences…mobile homes…fences…and buildings totaled 100 thousand dollars. A northwest wind gust to 66 mph occurred at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…strong winds were recorded in Boulder. Peak wind gusts reached 70 mph at Table Mesa and 61 mph in east Boulder. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

12-13

In 1916…snowfall totaled 5.7 inches in downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 28 mph on the 12th.

In 1992…an upslope snowstorm whitened metro Denver. While snowfall totaled only 4.1 inches at Stapleton International Airport…7 inches of new snow fell in Morrison…with 12 inches measured in Castle Rock. North winds gusted to 23 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 13th.

In 1995…strong winds gusting to nearly 100 mph whipped across the foothills west of Denver. The strongest wind gusts included 98 mph atop squaw mountain and 75 mph at the Eldora Ski Area. West-northwest winds gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.

12-15

In 1921…downslope Chinook winds produced warm temperatures in the city…which resulted in 4 temperature records. High temperatures of 72 degrees on the 13th and 68 degrees on the 15th were record maximums for the dates. Low temperatures of 47 degrees on both the 12th and 13th were record high minimums for the dates. West winds were sustained to 38 mph on the 12th and to 25 mph on the 13th.

13

In 1955…strong winds raked the foothills. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats northwest of Denver. Some damage occurred in Boulder. Northwest winds were sustained to speeds of 23 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1988…high winds again occurred in Boulder where winds were clocked to 66 mph. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

13-14

In 1902…heavy snowfall totaled 6.4 inches in the city overnight. North winds were sustained to 18 mph with gusts to 20 mph on the 13th.

In 1925…heavy apparent post-frontal snowfall totaled 7.8 inches across downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 34 mph with gusts to 42 on the 13th… And north winds were sustained to 33 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 14th.

In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 5.9 inches at Stapleton Airport.

In 1987…a snowstorm dropped 2 to 8 inches of snow along the Front Range foothills. Eight to 12 inches fell just south of Denver. Icy streets and highways contributed to many traffic accidents across metro Denver and flights were delayed at Stapleton International Airport where 2.7 inches of snow fell and northeast winds gusted to 17 mph.

In 1991…high winds pummeled metro Denver. Wind gusts to 93 mph were recorded at Rollinsville. Wind speeds across metro Denver were generally 35 to 50 mph. Northwest winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 13th.

14

In 1926…an intrusion of cold air resulted in temperatures remaining below zero. The high temperature of one degree below zero was a record low maximum for the date. The low temperature was 11 degrees below zero. North winds were sustained to 17 mph.

In 1985…a wind gust to 61 mph was recorded at Table Mesa in Boulder.

In 1996…high winds gusting from 60 to nearly 80 mph moved off the Front Range foothills and over the northeast Colorado plains in the wake of a fast moving cold front. The strongest wind gusts included 79 mph at Golden Gate Canyon and 70 mph near Table Mesa in southwest Boulder. At Denver International Airport…west-northwest winds gusted to only 39 mph.

» Click here to read the rest of December 10 to December 16: This week in Denver weather history

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