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Thornton’s weekend starts with some light snow, then clears up but with breezy winds

Friday, December 18th, 2020 5:05am MST

Not a particularly great weekend of weather for us although not horrible either. We will see a quick bit of snow today then warm up for the rest of the weekend but wind will be a bit of a feature.

For today, mostly cloudy to cloudy skies start us off as a cold front pushes through this morning. With it, some light snow is expected but only with minimal accumulations, likely less than a half inch. Snow will end by mid to late afternoon and skies will slowly begin to clear. Highs today will only be in the low to mid-30s. Tonight, skies will be mostly clear with lows in the teens.

Saturday sees temperatures rebound to near, perhaps a bit above, normal. Mostly sunny skies will be above. However, we do expect to have some breezy winds from late morning through the balance of the day. Saturday night into Sunday morning winds will be slightly breezy with mostly clear skies above. Lows will dip to the low 20s.

Sunday offers similar conditions to Saturday. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs again reaching the mid-40s. Breezy winds will be seen throughout the day though. Have a great weekend.

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Temperatures near normal, a good bit of cloud cover for Thornton’s Thursday

Thursday, December 17th, 2020 4:57am MST

Today would have been a pretty mild day but the snow cover lingering on the ground coupled with clouds above are going to keep things on the cool side.

Partly clear skies start us off and then cloud cover will increase with most of the day seeing mostly cloudy conditions. Winds will be out of the southwest this morning, shifting to come from the northwest in the afternoon. High temperatures today will top out in the low to mid-40s.

Tonight, cloud cover will ease a bit with overnight lows in the mid-20s.

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December 13 to December 19: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 8:04am MST

This Week in Denver Weather History

December can of course be cold and that is why Chinook winds are sometimes welcomed as they bring warm air to the Front Range.  However, those winds can also cause a great deal of damage if they blow too hard and we see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.  Particularly notable were winds on December 14th & 15th which caused accidents, toppled power poles and fences, ripped off roofs and more.

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.

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.

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.

12-13

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.

14-15

In 1988…a snow storm again whitened metro Denver. Snowfall along the Front Range was in the 6 to 12 inch range.  Snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 38 mph.

In 1990…high winds howled across metro Denver behind a strong pacific cold front.  Boulder was hardest hit by the high winds.  A wind gust to 120 mph was recorded in south Boulder where winds stripped the roof off a garage…a vacant gas station…and a house under construction. Elsewhere in Boulder…several trees were blown down.  In Boulder canyon…the winds toppled two cinder block walls on a house under construction.  Four Boulder County women were treated for injuries caused by the wind.  The injuries were confined to a broken wrist…a mild concussion…bruises…and facial cuts.  Two semi-tractor trailers were blown over by the fierce winds south of Boulder.  Another truck rollover occurred southeast of Golden.  Drivers of all three trucks suffered only cuts and bruises.  Several vehicles were trapped in a blinding dust storm on the Denver-Boulder Turnpike near Broomfield.  Drivers were forced to stop along the highway for several minutes during the storm and witness their vehicles being pelted with sand and gravel. A wind gust to 97 mph was recorded in Golden.  High winds were also reported in Arvada…Boulder…and Lakewood.  Winds toppled a number of utility poles and wooden fences…blew out windows…and caused structural damage to a large apartment complex on the west side of Golden.  Wind gusts of 70 to 100 mph caused considerable damage to several large billboards north of Golden…as well as damaging the paint…trim…and glass on numerous vehicles in the area. A west wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

15

In 1999…high winds developed in and near the foothills as a strong upper level jet moved into the area.  Although most wind gusts were in the 70 to 80 mph range…a weather spotter located 1 mile south of Fritz Peak near Rollinsville measured a peak wind gust to 124 mph.  Other wind reports included wind gusts to 77 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and atop Blue Mountain and 70 mph at the national wind technology center on Rocky Flats south of Boulder.  West winds gusted to only 32 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…high winds developed in the foothills of Boulder County…but winds were strong across all of metro Denver. Winds gusted as high as 72 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on the mesa just southwest of Boulder. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of December 13 to December 19: This week in Denver weather history

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Wednesday warms up a bit, brings temps near normal, mostly sunny skies

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 5:18am MST

A pretty good-looking day ahead for Thornton. While it won’t be particularly warm, temperatures will be near average for the date and we will have a good bit of sun above.

Partly to mostly sunny skies start us off then by mid-morning, what clouds there are will begin to ease. Conditions will be largely calm although winds may be a bit breezy at times, particularly in the afternoon. High temperatures will top out in the low to mid-40s.

Tonight, skies remain mostly clear and overnight lows will drop to around 20 degrees.

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Storm system moves out Tuesday, cold temperatures and breezy winds will linger

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 5:01am MST

Thornton received 1.0 inch of light, fluffy snow last night. Later today blue skies will return but it will remain cold and with some wind it will feel colder than what it is.

Cloudy skies start us off and a few flakes of snow may still fall before 9:00am. No additional accumulation is expected. Mid-morning will see cloud cover decrease and the afternoon should offer mostly sunny skies. Highs today will only top out in the low to mid-30s. We will see some breezy winds from mid-morning into the afternoon making it seem a good bit colder.

Tonight, skies will be clear initially then a few clouds arrive in the pre-dawn hours. Overnight lows will drop to the mid to upper teens.

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Monday continues the chilly temperatures, light snow expected tonight

Monday, December 14th, 2020 6:08am MST

No warm up on tap for Thornton just yet as we will continue to see temperatures below normal today. This evening another round of snow will arrive although its effects will be minimal.

Mostly cloudy skies will be the rule for the day today. Those clouds coupled with the snow cover are going to work to suppress temperatures. Look for highs today only in the mid-30s. Given the factors mentioned, it would not be surprising to see temps fall short of even that.

The coming storm system arrives late afternoon / early evening and with it we do expect to see light snow for much of the overnight period. The worst of it will be to our south. Here in Thornton we are expecting less than an inch of accumulation with only an outside chance for more. Lows tonight will drop to the teens.

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Thornton’s weekend weather to offer much colder temps, some light snow for parts of it

Friday, December 11th, 2020 5:22am MST

The first of three systems to affect us over the next 36 hours or so is wrapping up this morning. Each will bring bits of snow and then by the end of the weekend we will see a return of the sun.

As of 4:00am this morning, Thornton had received 0.6 inches of snow. Some additional, light amounts may be possible this morning as the second system pushes through although we aren’t expecting much. Highs today will stay below the freezing mark.

Tonight, any lingering flurries will end by about 9:00pm and we will see some clearing. Overnight lows will be dropping to the upper teens.

Saturday will start out calm with partly cloudy skies and dry conditions. Highs will be in the mid-30s. The third system arrives in the afternoon / evening and with it, another chance for some light snow. Like the previous ones, we aren’t expecting much of the white stuff, maybe an inch or two, mainly Saturday evening.

Saturday night, snow will end late and skies will quickly clear. Lows will dip to the mid-teens.

Sunday sees the sun return with clear to mostly clear skies above. Temperatures will remain cold though with highs in the mid to upper 30s.

Have a great weekend! All the latest on our Winter Weather Briefing Page here.

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Thursday brings a turn toward colder weather, snow likely tonight

Thursday, December 10th, 2020 5:08am MST

We are done with the unusually warm weather of recent days and take a turn toward readings closer to normal today. Additionally, tonight brings a much-needed opportunity for snow.

Partly clear skies start us off then cloud cover will increase through the day with mostly cloudy to cloudy skies ending the day. Temperatures today will top out right near the average high for the date of 43 degrees. Winds will be slightly breezy and out of the northwest making it seem cooler.

This evening we begin to see some slight chances for snow then by about 9:00pm we should see widespread coverage of the white stuff. Overnight accumulations look to be around an inch or so then a similar amount tomorrow morning before noon. Lows tonight will drop to around 20 degrees.

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Thornton to enjoy one more mild day Wednesday, then colder weather arrives

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 5:23am MST

Hopefully you have been able to get out and take advantage of the recent warm weather. If not, get out there today, as things look to turn colder starting tomorrow.

For today, sunny skies start us off and will be with us through the morning. This afternoon will bring just a few, high clouds. Overall conditions will be calm and dry. Highs will reach toward the lower 60s.

Tonight, cloud cover will increase as a cold front moves in. Overnight lows will be in the mid-20s.

Looking ahead, tomorrow will be dry but temps will be closer to seasonal norms. Then, we see some chances for light snow Friday and Saturday. Get more details in the extended weather forecast here.

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December 6 to December 12: This week in Denver weather history

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 5:02am MST

This Week in Denver Weather History

Denver and Colorado are certainly known for their varied weather conditions and as always, looking back at the weather history books highlights that.  On these dates we have seen Arctic cold and balmy temperatures in the 70’s.  We have seen hurricane force winds and even a rare December thunderstorm.  And as one would expect, there has been plenty of snow.

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.

4-6

In 1960…heavy snowfall totaled 12.0 inches over the 3 days with 5.1 inches on the 4th…5.2 inches on the 5th…and 1.7 inches on the 6th.  Rain changed to snow early on the 4th and ended by early afternoon.  Snow started again early on the 5th and continued through midday on the 6th.  West northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 4th.  Post cold frontal temperatures cooled from a high of 38 degrees on the 4th to a low of 7 degrees below zero on the 6th.

5-6

In 1883…a major snow storm hit the city.  Heavy snow fell from 10:00 am on the 5th to 7:30 am on the 6th.  The amount of snowfall was not recorded…but precipitation from melted snow totaled 1.75 inches…which would give an estimated snowfall of nearly 18 inches.  Temperatures during the storm were in the 30’s…so some of the snow May have melted as it fell.  However…railroads were blocked and telegraph lines were downed in all directions.  Telephone wires and poles were nearly all broken down.  The company manager estimated the damage at 30 thousand dollars.  Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph in the city.

In 1892…heavy snow totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.0 inches…fell on the 6th.

In 2001…high winds developed in the foothills northwest of Denver.  Winds gusted to 74 mph at aspen springs.  West- northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Denver International Airport…where the temperature warmed to a high of 55 degrees on the 6th.

5-7

In 1978…a major storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 8.5 inches…northeast winds gusted to 46 mph…and temperatures plunged from a high of 49 degrees on the 5th to a low of only 6 degrees on the 6th.  Maximum temperature of 6 degrees on the 7th was a new daily record low maximum reading.  Most of the snow…6.7 inches…fell on the 5th.

5-8

In 1983…high winds occurred in and near the foothills each day.  Wind gusts to 63 mph were registered in Golden Gate Canyon on the evening of the 5th.  On the evening of the 6th…winds knocked down trees…snapped power lines…and blew out windows across metro Denver.  Gusts were clocked to 102 mph in southwest metro Denver…while wind gusts to 38 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.  On the 7th…winds overturned a tractor trailer near Castle Rock. After midnight on the 8th…gusts to 97 mph were reported in southeast Boulder.  Wind speeds of 60 to 70 mph were reported in other parts of metro Denver.

6

In 1939…high temperature of 73 degrees was a record maximum for the date.  Low temperature of 44 degrees was a record high minimum for the date.

In 1967…strong west winds produced blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport where a wind gust to 55 mph was recorded.  A heavy windstorm caused minor damage in Boulder. In Denver…some structural panels were blown from a building… And the screen of an outdoor theater was severely damaged. There were unofficial reports of wind gusts to 75 mph in metro Denver.

In 1977…wind gusting to 85 mph raked the foothills from Boulder to Morrison.  A few houses under construction were blown down.  Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1991…high in the atmosphere…a volcanic ash cloud was clearly visible in the direction of the sun during the late morning and early afternoon.

6-7

In 1953…high winds buffeted the eastern foothills.  Wind gusts to 80 mph occurred on Lookout Mountain.  In Denver winds gusted to 65 mph.  Damage in Boulder totaled 15 hundred dollars.

7

In 1897…west winds were sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 66 mph.  The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 62 degrees…the warmest day of the month.

In 1957…a vigorous cold front produced a dust storm as it moved south across metro Denver.  West-northwest wind gusts to 59 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where the surface visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust.  Light snowfall of only 0.8 inch followed the passage of a secondary Canadian cold front.

In 1958…the worst wind storm in several years caused 10 thousand dollars damage in Boulder where wind gusts were estimated to 75 mph.

In 1977 winds up to 115 mph were reported in the Boulder area where one house was unroofed and another damaged. One woman was knocked down by the wind and injured. Several families were evacuated from homes in Boulder. Damage to trailers and motor vehicles was widespread. West winds gusted to 54 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.

In 1987…strong winds buffeted the Front Range foothills. A peak gust to 93 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.  Nearby…a metal shed was blown over a fence into a tree two houses away.  Wind gusts of 70 to 80 mph were common in Boulder.

In 1988…4 to 8 inches of snow fell across metro Denver and caused traffic gridlock conditions on area highways.  The 3.9 inches of snow at Stapleton International Airport caused two-hour flight delays.  Northeast winds gusted to 25 mph.

In 2005…a brief cold snap resulted in record breaking temperatures.  The low temperature of 13 degrees below zero was a record minimum for the date.  The high temperature of only 3 degrees was a record low maximum for the date.  The cold temperatures were accompanied by 1.4 inches of light snow that was measured at Denver Stapleton overnight on the 6th and 7th.

» Click here to read the rest of December 6 to December 12: This week in Denver weather history

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