Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedTue, 26-Sep-2023 12:55am MDT 


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Tuesday cools down a bit in Thornton, offers a bit of a chance for a storm

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023 5:02am MDT

Increased moisture aloft is going to bring in a bit of cloud cover today and that will help to keep the mercury at bay. While it isn’t much of a chance, we may get a PM thunderstorm to help cool it down.

The day starts with mostly sunny skies then the afternoon will see cloud cover increase. There will be some blue throughout but enough cloud cover that high temperatures should reach “only” the mid-90s.

After 3:00pm we expect to see some isolated thunderstorms although coverage will be thin. This evening, chances for storms increase a bit between 5:00pm and 8:00pm. Again, activity isn’t expected to be widespread and gusty winds will be the most notable threat.

A few thunderstorms may linger into the overnight hours under partly clear skies. Look for lows in the low 60s.

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The heat is on for the start of Thornton’s workweek

Monday, July 17th, 2023 4:51am MDT

Thus far this season Colorado has avoided the heat that has gripped so much of the rest of the nation. Today that ends, at least briefly, as we see the mercury climb.

Largely sunny skies start us off and then mostly sunny skies will be around for the afternoon. That little bit of cloud cover likely won’t do much to inhibit the heat, however. Look for highs to push close to, if not hit, the 100-degree mark. A Heat Advisory will be in effect from 10:00am to 8:00pm. If you are outside, please take appropriate precautions.

Tonight, skies will be partly clear with lows in the mid-60s.

Keep an eye on the thermometer with our live gauges here.

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July 16 to July 22: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, July 16th, 2023 4:53am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Our weekly look back at Denver weather history always has interesting items but this week one stands out in particular. Denver has never officially recorded snow during the month of July. However, before official records began in 1882, the U.S. Army Signal Service weather observer reported snow on July 17, 1872!

From the National Weather Service:


In 1934…a streak of 15 consecutive days of 90 degrees ranked 5th on the list of hot streaks. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.


In 2008…a streak of 24 consecutive days of 90 degrees shattered the previous record of 18 consecutive days established in 1901 and 1874. Ironically…no new single day record high temperatures were set in the month of July. In August however…a record of 104 degrees was set on the 1st…and another record of 103 degrees was set on the 2nd. In addition…a record low min of 70 degrees was set on August 2nd.


In 2006…a brief mid July hot spell resulted in two 100 plus degree high temperatures and two daily maximum temperature records. The high temperature climbed to 101 degrees on the 15th and 103 degrees on the 16th at Denver International Airport.


In 1911…thunderstorm winds were sustained to 44 mph from the northwest.

In 1959…a thunderstorm produced 3/8 inch diameter hail and a wind gust to 60 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1972…two tornadoes were sighted by the public to the southeast of Aurora. No damage was reported.

In 1978…a thunderstorm wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1980…a severe thunderstorm ripped through metro Denver… Producing torrential rain…large hail…and strong winds. In Aurora…winds gusted to 65 mph with hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and half an inch of rain in just 10 minutes. Stapleton International Airport was closed for an hour. Large hail also fell in southeast Denver…Lakewood…Parker… And Castle Rock. Up to 1 1/2 inches of rain fell in just 40 minutes. Heavy rains in wheat ridge flooded a shopping center…breaking windows and doors…while causing 100 thousand dollars in damage. Some roofs and windows were damaged throughout metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport where west winds gusted to 49 mph…1/4 inch hail and 0.77 inch of rain fell.

In 1983…severe thunderstorms dumped large hail over much of metro Denver. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Littleton and Northglenn…with 3/4 to 1 inch hail in Arvada…1 to 1 1/2 inch hail in extreme northwest Denver…1 3/4 inch hail in Lakewood…1 1/2 inch hail in south Arvada and just northeast of Aurora…and 1 5/8 inch hail on Green Mountain.

In 1994…spotters reported a brief tornado touchdown in an open field just north of Fort Lupton. No damage or injuries were reported.

In 2000…very moist and unstable weather conditions…along with low level upslope flow during the late afternoon and evening…combined to produce heavy thunderstorm rainfall… Which caused urban and small stream flooding across metro Denver. Rainfall amounts generally ranged from 1 to 3 inches with the heaviest rainfall occurring during the evening hours. Two miles east of white ranch in northern Jefferson County… An automated rain gage measured 3.86 inches of rain. Since the rain fell in a relatively open area…no flood damage was reported. However…in greenwood village near the intersection of Peoria and Belleview…the streets were closed for several hours with as much as 2 feet of standing water covering the roadways. Two campers near Mt. Evans were injured by lightning and stranded overnight by the inclement weather. Both received minor injuries.

In 2003…the high temperature of 101 degrees was a record maximum temperature for the date.

In 2004…locally heavy rainfall of unknown amount caused parts of the Virginia Canyon Road near Idaho Springs to wash out. The road had to be closed temporarily.

In 2005…the temperature climbed to a high of 102 degrees at Denver International Airport. This was a new record maximum temperature for the date at the time.


In 1997…an extended hot spell resulted in 3 temperature records being set. The maximum temperature reached 98 degrees on each of the days…setting records on the 16th and 18th. The low temperature of 71 degrees on the 17th was a record high minimum for the date. The high temperature reached 100 degrees on the 17th at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. » Click here to read the rest of July 16 to July 22: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend starts out a bit cooler, heats back up near the end

Friday, July 14th, 2023 5:05am MDT

A weak front will be moving in this morning providing a little bit of a break from the heat for today and tomorrow. It will be short-lived with the mercury rebounding on Sunday.

For today, we will enjoy sunny skies this morning then some clouds in the afternoon. Highs will top out in the mid-80s. The afternoon brings a slight chance for a thunderstorm with better opportunities coming this evening and overnight. Tonight, some storms will be possible with lows around 60 degrees.

Saturday will be the coolest day of the period with highs a couple degrees cooler than today. Mostly sunny skies start us off then the usual increase in coverage in the afternoon. A few sprinkles of rain may be seen during the day with a chance for afternoon thunderstorms. Tomorrow evening, storm chances will subside. Overnight Saturday night, lows will dip to 60 degrees under mostly clear skies.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the period and should remain dry. Look for highs around 90 degrees with sunny skies above. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday to offer up very warm temperatures, just a slight chance for a thunderstorm

Thursday, July 13th, 2023 4:46am MDT

Thornton will continue its string of warmer-than-normal mercury readings today. We do see just a slight chance for relief in the form of a thunderstorm.

We start out with sunny skies and those will be with us through mid-afternoon. High temperatures will top out a few degrees above the average high for the date of 90 degrees. From mid-afternoon through the evening we may see a thunderstorm develop but chances are not that great.

Tonight, once any storm activity ends, skies will become mostly clear. Overnight lows will dip to the low 60s.

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July 9 to July 15: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, July 9th, 2023 5:08am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at this week in Denver weather history demonstrates why July is considered the Mile High City’s stormiest month. Many instances of flooding rains, damaging wind and hail and dangerous lightning are seen in our past.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1874…a streak of 18 consecutive days of 90 degrees tied for second with another streak that was later set in the summer of 1901. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.


In 2012…it was the hottest July on record in Denver since weather records began in 1872. The average temperature for the month was 78.9 degrees which was 4.7 degrees above normal. There were 27 days in which the high temperature equaled or exceeded 90 degrees…which established a new record. There were also 7 days in which the temperature equaled or exceeded 100 degrees which tied the record set in 2005.


In 1901…a streak of 18 consecutive days of 90 degrees tied for second with another streak set in the summer of 1874. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.


In 1934…a streak of 15 consecutive days of 90 degrees ranked 5th on the list of hot streaks. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.


In 1872…a very brisk wind between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm spread a cloud of dust and sand into the city.

In 1874…northeast winds at sustained speeds up to 36 mph blew immense clouds of dust from the prairie through the streets of the city around mid-morning. The houses across the street from the weather station were not visible at the peak of the storm.

In 1875…heavy thunderstorm rains caused stream flooding… Which damaged nearly all railroads into the city. Rainfall in the city was only 0.14 inch.

In 1953…heavy thunderstorm rains caused an estimated 2 million dollars damage from flooded stores and basements across metro Denver. The flood waters reached a depth of 3 feet on streets in some sections of the city…damaging streets and automobiles. The heavy rainfall at Lowry Air Force Base totaled 3.90 inches. At Stapleton Airport where the heavy rain briefly reduced the surface visibility to 1/2 mile…only 1.05 inches of rain were measured. North winds gusting to 52 mph caused some damage in east Denver.

In 1982…two small tornadoes were spotted east of Rocky Flats… And a tornado touched down briefly 5 miles east of Brighton. No damage was reported.

In 1984…heavy rain fell over southern sections of metro Denver. Rainfall totaled 1.50 inches in just 15 minutes between Littleton and Sedalia.

In 1987…a thunderstorm microburst produced a wind gust of 58 mph at Erie north of Denver.

In 1988…hail to 3/4 inch in diameter piled up 2 to 4 inches deep in Idaho Springs. Some basements were flooded and several thousand gallons of fuel were contaminated when water flooded a gasoline storage tank. A tornado sighted near Manilla 5 miles west of Bennett remained on the ground for 9 minutes. No damage was reported.

In 1990…a severe thunderstorm produced a tornado and heavy rain over northeast metro Denver. As much as 4 inches of rain fell in just 20 minutes in Commerce City…causing the South Platte River to rise quickly and flood lowland areas. The raging flood waters caused extensive damage to a 30-foot stretch of railroad track embankment…destroyed a railroad trestle and a nearby garage…and washed away a vintage 1960’s show car near East 58th Avenue and York Street. The car was found a couple of miles downstream in a pool of deep mud and murky water. Rainfall totaled 1.34 inches at Stapleton International Airport where 1/2 inch diameter hail fell. The same thunderstorm produced a brief tornado in a vacant field near 64th Avenue and Tower Road just east of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. No damage was reported from the twister. Lightning from the storm caused power outages to as many as 7 thousand homes and businesses.

In 1996…a tornado (F0) was reported 5 miles south of Hudson. No damage was reported. Twin weak tornadoes (F0) formed for a short time near the northeast runways at Denver International Airport. Less than 15 minutes later…a weak tornado (F0) touched down in the employee parking lot at DIA. Several car windows were blown out…and a few vehicles sustained minor body damage from flying debris. Several signs were also blown down. Later…twin weak tornadoes (F0) touched down again in open country between DIA and Watkins.

In 2004…severe thunderstorms produced hail to 3/4 inch in diameter near tiny town and wind gusts to 66 mph in Bennett. A thunderstorm wind gust to 56 mph was measured at Denver International Airport.

In 2005…a thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 54 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2020…severe thunderstorms produced damaging winds and large hail over parts of Adams…Arapahoe…and Weld counties. The hail generally ranged from 1 to 1 3/4 inches. The largest reports included 2 inch hail in Watkins…with 2 1/2 inch hail…11 miles east of Arapahoe Park. Near Brighton and Henderson…thunderstorm wind gusts up to 60 mph caused minor tree damage. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 36 mph was observed from the northwest. In addition…0.03 inches of rainfall was reported.


In 1980…a series of severe thunderstorms hit metro Denver… Dumping heavy rain and producing a spectacular lightning display lasting for several hours. A number of homes were damaged by lightning. Winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton International Airport where about half an inch of rain fell in just 10 minutes along with 1/4 inch diameter hail. The evening thunderstorms continued into the early morning hours with total rainfall of 1.35 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1998…thunderstorm rainfall totaled 2.04 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.


In 1878…a lunar rainbow was observed during a light mist and fog.

In 1895…the temperature warmed to a high of only 53 degrees… The all-time record lowest maximum temperature for the month of July.

In 1967…golf ball size hail damaged aircraft at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield.

In 1983…two people were injured when struck by lightning just southwest of Morrison. A man was injured when he was swept downstream by a flash flood on a tributary of clear creek in the canyon 8 miles west of Golden. Heavy thunderstorm rains caused mudslides which closed several roads. Rainfall amounts included: 1.75 inches in 20 minutes in southeast Denver…1.26 inches in 35 minutes in Boulder…2.14 inches in 2 hours in Lakewood…1.70 inches in 45 minutes in Aurora…and 1.25 inches in 30 minutes atop Floyd Hill in the foothills west of Denver.

In 1992…storm spotters reported 3/4 inch diameter hail near the construction site of the new Denver airport just northeast of the city.

In 1995…microburst winds toppled a pine tree 60 feet high and 2 feet in diameter in Denver. The tree fell and injured a man nearby. Microburst winds to 59 mph broke the glass on a door at the national weather service forecast office at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 1998…thunderstorm rainfall totaled 2.35 inches at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…three children were injured…one critically…when lightning hit a nearby tree at panorama point atop Flagstaff Mountain just west of Boulder. Lightning hit the tree…entered the ground…then struck the children. Lightning sparked a grassfire that burned about 50 acres at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility. Also… Lightning sparked at least 6 fires in the Hudson and Keenesburg areas as thunderstorms…accompanied with heavy rain…large hail…and tornadoes…moved through southern Weld County. Over 2 inches of very heavy rain caused flooding along an I-76 exit ramp near Keenesburg. The fire department rescued 15 stranded motorists as high water inundated sections of the exit ramp and adjacent highway. Basements were also flooded in Keenesburg. One home reportedly had 7 feet of standing water in the basement before the rain subsided. A weak tornado (F0) touched down briefly near Brighton…but caused no damage.

In 2001…a severe thunderstorm dumped 7/8 inch diameter hail in wheat ridge.

In 2002…severe thunderstorms pelted the southern suburbs of metro Denver with large hail. Hail as large as 3 inches in diameter fell 6 miles southeast of Parker. Other large hail reports included 2 inch diameter hail around centennial airport and 3/4 inch hail near Sedalia and Deckers. Hail as large as 3/4 inch was also reported in Broomfield. Runoff from heavy thunderstorm rainfall in the Hayman fire burn area flooded lost creek ranch with up to 18 inches of water just off State Highway 126. Floodwaters damaged a very expensive rug in the lodge. A driveway to a residence was washed away. In Douglas County…runoff damaged forest access roads in the Turkey Creek drainage.

In 2011…a severe thunderstorm produced intense microburst winds in southeast Boulder County. A peak wind gust to 75 mph was recorded in Superior with gust to 58 mph…2 miles south of Lafayette. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust of 31 mph was recorded.


In 1872…heavy rainfall started at 4:00 pm and continued into the night. The heavy rainfall damaged homes and buildings in all parts of the city. Rainfall totaled 1.64 inches.

In 1888…the temperature reached 100 degrees in downtown Denver.

In 1954…the high temperature climbed to 102 degrees at Stapleton Airport.

In 1970…a girl walking in a park in southeast Denver received eye and facial injuries when lightning struck nearby. Lightning also caused numerous power outages and heavy rainfall produced local flooding at several locations across metro Denver.

In 1974…large hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell in Thornton.

In 1990…the worst hailstorm in American history in terms of dollar damage at the time battered metro Denver. Storm damage totaled 605 million dollars…as it cut a 5-to 10-mile wide swath from just southeast of Estes Park to northeast of Colorado Springs. Hail as large as baseballs (2.75 inches) pounded metro Denver. Hardest hit areas were southeast Boulder County…the Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield… Arvada…east Wheat Ridge…southwest and south-central Westminster…west Thornton…northwest…west-central and downtown Denver…northeast and east-central Lakewood…just east of Littleton…portions of Arapahoe County west of I-25… And northern and central Douglas County near Castle Rock and Franktown. Golf ball to baseball size hail severely damaged roofs on thousands of homes and buildings…battered tens of thousands of automobiles…windows…signs…street lights…and traffic signals…stripped paint…awnings…and trim from buildings…punched holes in the roofs of two homes in Arvada…knocked out power and telephone service to thousands of homes and businesses…defoliated thousands of trees…ripped up greens and fairways on a number of golf courses…and severely damaged several aircraft tied down at Jefferson County Airport. Hail the size of baseballs fell for several minutes in old town Arvada. Later…golf ball size hail and heavy rain pummeled two northwest Denver amusement parks. Hardest hit was Elitch Gardens Amusement Park where 47 people were injured and received treatment for bumps…cuts…and bruises at local hospitals. Many of the injured were stranded on rides during the storm when power failed. Hail clogged storm sewers…causing rain water to back up 3 to 6 feet deep on some roads and intersections in Arvada. Several basements were flooded. In some places hail was washed into drifts several feet deep. In addition… The storm spawned 2 small tornadoes. One touched down briefly in Lakewood near 6th avenue and Kipling Blvd….but did no damage. In Castle Rock…a tornado (F1) did heavy damage to some homes and vehicles in the Founders Village development near Ridge Road.

In 2001…lightning struck two homes in Thornton. Most of the damage was confined to the attics of both homes. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Keenesburg…Longmont… And near Boulder.

In 2011…severe thunderstorms developed over parts of Adams and Denver Counties. At Denver International Airport…a severe thunderstorm produced a peak wind gust to 66 mph…with another gust to 59 mph measured in Denver. In Commerce City…the intense winds blew down a large tree.

In 2015…a peak wind gust to 55 mph was measured from the northwest at Denver International Airport. A trace of rainfall was also observed.


In 1872…heavy rain from 4:00 pm until 2:00 am caused much damage. Rainfall totaled 1.76 inches.


In 1881…during the early evening…a brisk rain fell for 30 minutes from a nearly clear sky containing not one tenth of clouds with the sun shining brightly. Rainfall was 0.16 inch.

In 1885…thunderstorms produced widespread lightning across the city during the evening. Several people were injured when their homes were struck by lightning.

In 1954…the high temperature reached 101 degrees at Stapleton Airport.

In 1962…lightning struck and killed a Denver man…while he was assisting a co-worker with his car.

In 1971…the temperature climbed to a high of 101 degrees at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1974…hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Castle Rock.

In 1991…hail to 2 inches in diameter fell in Thornton with golf ball size hail in Brighton. Dime size hail was recorded in the city of Denver. Very heavy rain caused flooding across metro Denver. Water was up to 2 feet deep in parts of Golden where one foot of water was reported in the lot of a mobile home park. Flood water washed away part of a parking lot at the Colorado school of mines in Golden. Heavy rain caused a rock slide and flooding along I-70 in the foothills just west of Denver. Flood waters were a foot deep at the intersection of I-70 and I-25 just north of downtown Denver. A funnel cloud was sighted just east of the rocky mountain arsenal.

In 1996…very heavy rainfall from a fast moving thunderstorm dumped 2 to 3 inches of rain within an hour over southern Jefferson County. Two people were killed near the town of Buffalo Creek when a 20-foot wall of water flooded the area. Utility poles and trees were uprooted; cars… Propane tanks…and bridges were destroyed in the flood’s path. Entire buildings were moved from their foundations and heavily damaged by the floodwaters. The first fatality occurred along State Highway 126 when the driver of a pick-up truck was washed off the road by the deadly wall of water. The second death occurred farther upstream when a man in a 5th-wheel trailer was washed away. This was the second disaster to strike the area in the last couple of months. The community was already recovering from a wildfire which burned about 12 thousand acres of forest land in late May. With the forest burned by fire…very little vegetation was available to slow the storm’s runoff…which resulted in the flash flood. Power…water…and sewer service were heavily damaged in the flood and…in some cases…beyond repair. The cost of repairing the roads and water system in the area was estimated at around a half million dollars. Elsewhere across metro Denver…severe thunderstorms produced hail…damaging winds…and small tornadoes. Weak tornadoes (F0) were reported in Broomfield… 3 miles east of Englewood…and in Dacono. No damage was reported…except a trampoline was blown into a window and several trees were downed in Broomfield. Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated as high as 60 mph blew a fence down in Louisville where winds also toppled a tree near a house. The house received only minor damage. Large hail…strong winds and heavy rain caused substantial property damage in portions of southeastern Boulder and northern Jefferson counties. Damage estimates in the Broomfield area alone were about 1 million dollars. Winds gusted to 81 mph in Broomfield. Large hail…3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell in Evergreen…Lakewood…Englewood…Broomfield…near Morrison…northeast of Boulder…and just east of Denver International Airport.

In 2000…heavy rain fell across a portion of the hi meadow fire burn area near buffalo creek…causing localized flooding. About 3/4 inch of rain fell in 30 minutes over miller gulch. Some culverts become plugged by debris from the fire. As a result…small sections of a U.S. Forest Service road along Miller Creek were washed out. Lightning struck a home in Castle Rock…causing extensive damage to the roof…attic…and second floor.


In 2006…the high temperature of 99 degrees on the 13th equaled the record maximum temperature for the date first set in 1994. The high temperature of 102 degrees on the 14th was a new record maximum temperature for the date.


In 2008…a streak of 24 consecutive days of 90 degrees shattered the previous record of 18 consecutive days established in 1901 and 1874. Ironically…no new single day record high temperatures were set in the month of July. In August however…a record of 104 degrees was set on the 1st…and another record of 103 degrees was set on the 2nd. In addition…a record low min of 70 degrees was set on August 2nd.


In 1902…west winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1910…an apparent dry microburst produced northeast winds sustained to 41 mph.

In 1961…hail as large as 1 inch in diameter was reported near Commerce City.

In 1982…a tornado touched down briefly south of Parker. No damage was reported.

In 1985…thunderstorms drenched the Highlands Ranch area of northern Douglas County with 1.50 inches of rain in just 30 minutes. Half an inch of rain fell in 15 minutes in Littleton.

In 1986…a lightning bolt struck a church steeple in Littleton…toppling it to the ground.

In 1989…thunderstorm winds blew down trees and bent a metal basketball fixture just north of Castle Rock in the Surrey Ridge area.

In 1993…1 inch diameter hail was measured in Lakewood.

In 1995…lightning struck and injured an assistant coach during a baseball game at Highlands Ranch south of Denver.

In 1996…3/4 inch diameter hail fell in Lochbuie with 1 1/2 inch hail measured in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 69 mph at Bennett. The strong winds were responsible for flipping three semi-trailer trucks onto their sides along I-70…3 miles east of Bennett. A few cars were also overturned.

In 2001…heavy thunderstorm rain caused flash flooding over south metro Denver. Three inches of rain reportedly fell near the greenwood village police department in the span of 15 minutes. The heavy rain caused toll gate creek to overflow…flooding low lying areas along Parker road. Heavy rainfall also caused local flooding along streets near the Denver technology center. A severe thunderstorm dumped hail to 1 3/4 inches in diameter near Castle Rock.

In 2003…maximum temperature of 100 degrees was a record high for the date.

In 2009…severe thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 70 mph near Parker and Strasburg. At Denver International Airport…west-northwest winds gusted to 40 mph.

In 2011…severe thunderstorms produced extensive damage as they moved across the Urban Corridor. At Denver International Airport alone…large hail up to golfball size…very heavy rain and wind gusts to 59 mph caused substantial damage to 40 planes and stranded approximately 1500 passengers overnight. Frontier and United Airlines were hardest hit as dozens of planes were taken out of service for repairs; forcing the cancellation of at least 220 flights over the next several days. Damage to the aircrafts alone was nearly five million dollars. In addition…83 cars in airport parking lots were damaged… along with some police cars and maintenance vehicles. In Watkins…two people suffered minor injuries and 35 to 40 homes were damaged. As many as two hundred residents in a mobile home park were left homeless by the storm…forcing the Red Cross to open a shelter at Bennett High School. The trailer park contained 52 mobile homes…14 recreational vehicles…3 houses and a commercial building. Hailstones the size of softballs cratered the north sides of the mobile homes. Some farmers in the area said they lost as much as 85 percent of their total wheat crop. Power lines were also damaged which affected about 1200 customers in Watkins. The strong winds also flipped over a tractor-trailer rig on I-70 near Watkins Road. Insurance claims for the Watkins…Bennett and Brighton areas was estimated to be seventeen million dollars. The total damage estimate across the entire Urban Corridor…was near one hundred sixty five million dollars…and included 17200 automobile claims and 12600 homeowner claims. In addition…thunderstorms producing very heavy rainfall…caused flash flooding in the Four Mile Canyon burn scar west of Boulder. Three homes reportedly had water up to the windows with water flowing into structures at Fourmile Canyon Road and Gold Run Road. The heavy rain caused a 4-ft surge along Fourmile Creek through Orodell and into the entry of Boulder Creek. Several roads were affected which restricted access to the area. Roads were closed due to water and debris. Private bridges and drives were washed out and several residents were stranded and later rescued. Numerous cars were damaged in debris flows and several structures suffered flood damage but were not destroyed.

In 2019…a severe thunderstorm produced hail up to 1.0 inch in diameter in Broomfield…with 7/8 inch size hail reported in Arapahoe County near Buckely AFB.


In 1878…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees in downtown Denver.

In 1906…a thunderstorm produced north winds sustained to 52 mph and 0.53 inch of rain in 10 minutes.

In 1912…a heavy thunderstorm cloudburst in the late afternoon combined with a similar storm to the south of the city to produce widespread flooding on Cherry Creek in downtown Denver…which resulted in two deaths and several injuries. The flooding was the worst since 1864 and covered around 3 square miles of lower downtown. Bridges along Cherry Creek were washed out and water lapped at the floor of the Broadway bridge over the South Platte River…causing authorities to declare it unsafe except for pedestrians. By nightfall… Union Depot was under 2 to 3 feet of water…and railroad and street car traffic was stalled. Those forced from their homes by the surging flood waters took refuge in the Denver auditorium. The flood waters caused great damage to the sewerage system…parkways…bridges and residences and commercial warehouses near Cherry Creek in the wholesale district. Flood damage was estimated at several million dollars. Heavy thunderstorm rainfall of 2.00 inches…of which nearly 1.75 inch fell in 30 minutes in central Denver… Was accompanied by severe thunderstorm winds sustained to 55 mph with gusts as high as 74 mph.

In 1933…thunderstorm rainfall was only 0.01 inch…but northwest winds sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 47 mph produced a dust storm for about 10 minutes during the late afternoon.

In 1967…heavy rain flooded areas of north and west metro Denver…and high water closed street intersections in the city. Crops were damaged…and 200 chickens drowned by flooding northwest of Denver where farm buildings and irrigation facilities were also damaged.

In 1969…a thunderstorm wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1975…heavy rains caused locally heavy flash flooding along Niver Creek south of Thornton and in other parts of north metro Denver. Over 40 thousand dollars in damage to public property was reported…and numerous homes and yards were damaged.

In 1986…thunderstorm winds blew down a power line in west- central Jefferson County. The storm…as it moved into Denver…snapped tree limbs and damaged a fence near Washington Park. Wind gusts in the area were estimated at 80 to 85 mph.

In 1990…thunderstorm wind gusts to 58 mph were recorded at Buckley Field in Aurora. No damage was reported. Winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…a severe thunderstorm moved across southern sections of metro Denver. Dime size hail fell in Lakewood…and hail up to one inch diameter was measured at Cheery Creek Reservoir. Later in the afternoon…hail to one inch diameter fell in Golden and Arvada.

In 1994…hail to 1 1/4 inches in diameter fell north of Bennett.

In 1998…dry microburst winds estimated to 70 mph snapped tree branches up to 4 inches in diameter in Brighton where some road signs were twisted and blown down. At Denver International Airport…dry microburst winds gusted to 61 mph.

In 1995…thunderstorm winds gusted to 62 mph near Strasburg.

In 2001…a severe thunderstorm dumped hail to 3/4 inch in diameter in the foothills about 10 miles northwest of Golden.

In 2011…severe thunderstorms in the Denver metropolitan area produced very heavy rain…large hail and damaging winds. The strong winds toppled a few trees and the heavy rain caused street flooding and minor flash flooding. Several cars were stranded at the intersection of Santa Fe Drive and Oxford…and near Broadway and U.S. Highway 285. A 16-yr old teenager was seriously injured when he tried to retrieve a ball along the banks of West Toll Gate Creek. He was pulled from the swollen creek and died several days later. Hail up to one inch in diameter was reported around the area. The thunderstorms also produced frequent lightning. One strike sparked a fire at Aspen Academy…a private school in Greenwood Village. Most of the damage was confined to the roof and attic. In Englewood…a 40-ft tree was blown into a house and knocked down some power lines. At Denver International Airport…a severe thunderstorm produced sustained winds of 47 mph and a peak wind gust to 68 mph.

In 2019…a Denver man was killed and his wife injured after he was struck by lightning when they were hiking near the Bear Peak West Ridge Trail. The man was likely hit from a direct lightning strike to his upper body. His wife was not directly hit…but injured by the electrical current from the strike that hit her husband.


In 1985…thunderstorms dumped heavy rain and hail at numerous locations along the Front Range from Denver north. Some of the heaviest rain fell in northern and western suburbs of Denver. Up to 2.6 inches of rain drenched Arvada…and Thornton was soaked with 2 inches in 45 minutes. At least 5 homes in Arvada suffered extensive damage from water and mud…and many streets and basements were flooded. In southern Jefferson County…11 homes were struck by lightning.


In 1879…a terrific hail storm occurred in the vicinity of Buffalo Station on the South Park Railroad in the South Platte River canyon about 39 miles south of Denver. Stones as large as hen’s eggs fell thick and fast and broke nearly every pane of glass in the windows of the building. A “waterspout” or cloudburst caused much loss of property from flash flooding on a nearby gulch. The torrent of water caused a deafening roar as it uprooted trees and carried huge Boulders and other debris. It struck the house and sawmill simultaneously and carried them away like straws…leaving little behind. The water continued to rush down the gulch for several hours. Serious damage was done to the South Park Railroad. The track and roadbed were destroyed for several miles. At about the same time…heavy rains in the vicinity of the headwaters of Cherry Creek produced a rapid rise in the creek…which drowned a few head of cattle and washed away two footbridges and some fences. Only 0.10 inch of rainfall was recorded in Denver.

In 1896…a thunderstorm produced sustained southwest winds to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph.

In 1902…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees in downtown Denver…which was a record maximum for the date.

In 1929…a thunderstorm did considerable damage to property in the eastern portion of the city. Heavy hail ranging in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch in diameter…severe lightning… And high winds accompanied the heavy rain. Basements were flooded…and streets were impassable in places for several hours due to the heavy rainfall. Lightning damaged several telephone poles. Hail did extensive damage to gardens and flowers. The hail was up to a foot deep in places. There was no estimate of damage from the storm. A thunderstorm produced only a trace of rain and east winds to 24 mph in downtown Denver.

In 1959…thunderstorm rain totaled 0.41 inch in 8 minutes and winds gusted to an estimated 50 mph near downtown Aurora where half inch diameter hail was also reported. After the storm moved to the east…complete double rainbows were observed from the weather bureau office at Stapleton Airport.

In 1962…hail pelted the area in Adams County around Henderson and Brighton…causing extensive damage to corn…grain…beets…and row crops. Crop damage was estimated at 250 thousand dollars.

In 1963…a man received severe burns when struck by lightning while painting a building in south Denver.

In 1965…a state patrolman sighted a tornado near Bennett. It touched down over open ground…but caused no damage.

In 1967…heavy rains flooded streets and underpasses in south Denver. Heavy rain and minor wind damage were reported in Wheat Ridge…Aurora…Englewood…and Littleton. Basements were flooded and power disrupted. The clouds and rain resulted in a high temperature of only 72 degrees…which was a record low maximum for the date.

In 1974…a severe lightning storm damaged several homes and caused a number of power outages in both Denver and western Arapahoe counties.

In 1975…lightning killed a girl west of Boulder.

In 1982…winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton International Airport…and strong winds blew down walls at a construction site in Aurora where a nearby tree was uprooted.

In 1985…0.79 inch of rain fell in 30 minutes at Castle Rock. Much of the town lost power when lightning struck the town’s transformer.

In 1992…a man was struck by lightning while horseback riding near Castle Rock. Two people were struck by lightning near Highlands Ranch in south metro Denver. A man was struck by lightning while riding in the back of a pick-up truck in Franktown. All received minor injuries. Strong thunderstorms moved through east metro Denver…producing large hail and flash flooding. Hail up to 1 1/4 inches in diameter fell near Buckley Air National Guard base. Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches fell in Aurora in less than an hour…leaving water up to 18 inches deep in some areas. Thunderstorm rainfall was measured at 0.97 inch at Stapleton International Airport…where 3/8th inch diameter hail fell and south winds gusted to 44 mph.

In 1993…dime size hail fell in Golden. National weather service observers at Stapleton International Airport sighted a small rope-like funnel overhead for about 3 minutes before it dissipated.

In 1994…a small…short-lived tornado caused damage to a house under construction in Parker.

In 1995…thunderstorm winds of unknown strength downed trees and branches…damaging a porch and nearby cars in Denver.

In 1998…hail to 7/8 inch in diameter fell near Keenesburg.

In 2000…this date marked the end of a near record hot streak for metro Denver. The high temperature at Denver International Airport equaled or exceeded the 90-degree mark for 17 consecutive days…from June 29th. This was one day short of equaling the all time record. The record of 18 consecutive days was set in two different years…July 1st-18th…1874 and July 6th-23rd…1901.

In 2005…severe thunderstorms produced large hail over southeast metro Denver. Hail as large as 1.75 inches in diameter fell in southwest Aurora along with 7/8 inch hail in centennial. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured near Centennial Airport and near Watkins.

In 2015…A severe thunderstorm produced a peak wind gust to 60 mph from the northwest at Denver International Airport. In addition…0.06 inches of rainfall was also observed.

In 2016…large hail ranging in size from 1 to 2 inches in diameter struck Aurora…Castle Rock…Centennial…Greenwood Village and southeast Denver. The hail shattered


In 2006…a brief mid July hot spell resulted in two 100 plus degree high temperatures and two daily maximum temperature records. The high temperature climbed to 101 degrees on the 15th and 103 degrees on the 16th at Denver International Airport.

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Time for some rest and relaxation

Friday, July 7th, 2023 12:00pm MDT

Out of the Office and in the Mountains

Time for a break! We will be largely incommunicado for a few days as we take a break and disconnect from the online world to rest and recharge. In the meantime, be sure to visit the website regularly for the latest forecasts, radar, current conditions and more. Don’t worry, we will return.  ?  See you soon!

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Thornton’s weekend offers up a couple days of storms then drier, warmer weather

Friday, July 7th, 2023 5:18am MDT

We know folks are getting kind of weary of the daily storms but hang in there, relief is on the way. We will endure a couple more unsettled days then things should settle down, dry out and warm up.

For today, it looks to be much like yesterday. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s under partly clear skies. The afternoon and evening again offer a chance for thunderstorms, some could turn severe with large hail. Tonight, most storm activity should be done by about 11:00pm. Lows will be in the mid-50s.

Saturday looks to be a similar day to today. Partly sunny skies will be above with highs in the mid to upper 70s. The afternoon (again) brings some thunderstorm activity. Saturday night, skies will begin to clear in the late evening. Lows will be in the mid-50s.

Sunday looks to be the most pleasant day of the three day period. Look for highs in the mid-80s under mostly sunny skies.

Beyond that, look for even warmer temperatures through the first half of next week with minimal chances for storms. See the extended forecast here.

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Thursday to warm up but offer a chance for severe storms

Thursday, July 6th, 2023 5:01am MDT

After a cool, damp day yesterday, today we see things warm up some. Notable, however, will be a chance for severe storms meaning everyone should be on alert.

This morning we start with some fog and a Dense Fog Advisory is in effect until 9:00am so be careful on the roads. Partly clear skies will be above this morning then partly clear to mostly cloudy conditions in the afternoon. High temperatures will top out around 80 degrees.

This afternoon, scattered thunderstorms will develop, with best chances coming from 2:00pm to about 9:00pm. Some of these storms will have the potential to turn severe with strong wind, heavy rain, hail and possibly tornadoes. The greatest threat will be to our south and east but you will need to be sure to be aware and watch for changing conditions.

Tonight, storm activity will settle down after 9:00pm but a few storms may linger into the night. Skies will be partly clear and lows will dip to the mid-50s.

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Cool temperatures, some showers for Wednesday in Thornton

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023 4:57am MDT

Following yesterday’s downpour, today will be much less dramatic. It will, however, be much cooler and we will see some showers.

With the passing of yesterday’s cold front, we will see highs only in the mid-60s today. Skies will be cloudy this morning, perhaps a slight breakup in the coverage in the afternoon.

Some showers will be possible throughout the day with some thunder in the afternoon. Most of the drama should remain to our south so, at this time, we expect only light showers.

Tonight, skies remain mostly cloudy. Shower activity will be possible, mainly before midnight. Overnight lows will be in the mid-50s.

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