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Thornton, Colorado, USA
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Snow early Tuesday then Thornton will dry out, remain chilly

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 5:14am MDT

We are waking up to a light blanket of white today but that the snow won’t amount to much. It will be coming to an end later this morning and we will remain cold.

The day starts out with cloudy skies and light snow. The snow will be coming to an end by mid-morning and then the cloud cover will begin to break up a little bit. Additional accumulations will be minimal. High temperatures today will top out around the 40 degree mark.

Tonight, skies will be partly to mostly clear with overnight lows in the low to mid-20s.

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Monday to offer up mild temperatures but with a healthy dose of wind

Monday, March 29th, 2021 5:32am MDT

A bit of good and bad for Thornton’s weather today. While we will enjoy our warmest temperatures in weeks, we also will be subject to a good bit of wind.

The day starts off with sunny to mostly sunny skies and we will see similar throughout the daytime hours, a few more clouds in the PM. High temperatures today will climb to the low 70s. As for those winds, they will be gaining speed this morning and by early afternoon, gusts to 40mph or so will be possible.

Tonight, the wind will persist for much of the nighttime period but decreasing in speed. Overnight lows will drop to the low to mid-20s. A cold front arrives by late evening and with it we will have a chance for snow. Accumulations overnight, if any, will be light.

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March 28 to April 3: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, March 28th, 2021 4:48am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Looking at historical weather records can oftentimes provide insight into what weather we can expect over a given period of time.  As we saw this past week, while the calendar says spring, Old Man Winter can return very quickly.  Our look at this week in Denver weather history we see much of the same – major snowstorms and blizzards that impact travel and knock out power to residents.  Also, these spring snowstorms are often moisture-laden and their sheer weight can be damaging.

27-28

In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 6.5 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 38 mph on the 27th and 41 mph on the 28th.

In 1972…heavy snowfall of 6.2 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport…where northeast winds gusted to only 21 mph.

In 1980…a major blizzard struck the northeastern Colorado plains…closing both I-70 and I-76 to the east of Denver for a time.  Some areas received 1 to 2 feet of snow.  Drifts were 4 to 8 feet high.  The storm killed many young livestock.  At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 6.7 inches from the storm and north winds gusted to 29 mph.

In 2002…high winds developed in the foothills west of metro Denver.  Winds gusted to 81 mph near Fritz Peak…72 mph at Rollinsville…and 70 mph at Blackhawk.  West winds gusted to 51 mph on the 27th and to 45 mph on the 28th at Denver International Airport where the temperature warmed to a high of 69 degrees on the 28th.

27-29

In 1948…high winds raked Boulder.  A wind gust to 75 mph was recorded at Valmont.  Sustained winds in excess of 35 mph were estimated in Boulder.  Minor damage was reported.

In 1961…heavy snowfall totaled 9.5 inches at Stapleton Airport over the 3 day period.  Most of the snow…5.3 inches…fell on the 28th.  Winds were generally light and gusted to only 22 mph from the north.

28

In 1886…the lowest recorded temperature in March…11 degrees below zero…occurred.

In 1911…a thunderstorm produced snowfall of 0.4 inch…which was the only measurable snowfall of the month…making the month the second least snowiest March on record.

In 1962…a vigorous cold front produced strong winds across eastern Colorado.  North winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton Airport where visibility was briefly reduced to 3/4 mile in blowing dust.  A construction worker was injured in Aurora when he was struck by a windblown piece of plywood.

28-29

In 1891…rain changed to snow and totaled 9.7 inches in the city.  Northeast winds were sustained to 12 mph with gusts to 28 mph on the 28th.

In 1910…a strong cold front brought much wind…rain…and snow to the city.  Rain on the 28th changed to snow early on the 29th.  Snowfall totaled only 2.8 inches…but north winds were sustained to 50 mph on the 29th. Precipitation from the storm totaled 0.96 inch.

In 1994…moist upslope winds combined with an upper level system to dump 5 to 7 inches of snow along the eastern foothills and across metro Denver.  Snowfall totaled 6.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph.  Thirteen inches of new snow were measured at the Eldora Ski Area west of Boulder.

28-30

In 1949…a major winter storm dumped 11.3 inches of snow over downtown Denver.  Snowfall totaled 10.4 inches at Stapleton Airport.  North to northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph.

In 1985…a slow moving snow storm moved across the state. Denver received only 4.0 inches of snowfall with amounts in the foothills totaling 1 to 2 feet.  Still…this was enough snow in Denver to cause flight delays of up to 6 hours at Stapleton International Airport on the night of the 29th. East winds gusted to 28 mph on the 28th.

29

In 1887…west winds sustained to 44 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 62 degrees.

In 1921…post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 52 mph.

In 1925…southeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 48 mph.  These were the strongest winds of the month that year.  The winds warmed the temperature to a high of 72 degrees.

In 1934…a construction worker was killed by lightning as he walked with a shovel on his shoulder along Cherry Creek in the city.  The thunderstorm produced light rain.

In 1967…a southwest wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.  The warm Chinook winds warmed the temperature to 79 degrees equaling the record for the date.

In 1979…a tornado touched down 4 miles southwest of Parker… But caused no reported damage.

In 1998…four children attending a birthday party in Denver were injured when an apparent dry microburst produced a sudden strong wind gust which blew an inflatable playhouse they were occupying into a neighbor’s yard.  The playhouse scraped the roof of the host’s two-story house…then landed in the adjoining yard.  The children were treated for minor head injuries and cuts.

29-30

In 1938…overnight heavy snowfall was 6.3 inches over downtown Denver.

In 1982…strong winds buffeted metro Denver…breaking windows and damaging roofs.  Wind gusts to 90 mph were recorded in Boulder and 51 mph at Stapleton Airport.  The strong winds flattened a condominium under construction in Lakewood.

In 1991…1 to 6 inches of snow fell across metro Denver with the heaviest snow confined to the foothills.  Six inches of snow was recorded at South Platte in the foothills southwest of Denver and 3 inches at Castle Rock.  Snowfall totaled only 0.7 inch at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 29th.

29-31

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

30

In 1895…rain changed to sleet…then snow…and totaled 8.0 inches in downtown Denver.  Strong post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 61 mph. Temperatures hovered around 30 degrees all day.

In 1968…microburst winds associated with virga and brief light rain gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1983…winds gusted to 82 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph in the foothills.  Minor damage occurred at a construction site and to some homes in Boulder.  West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

» Click here to read the rest of March 28 to April 3: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend starts out cool and unsettled, then finally warms up

Friday, March 26th, 2021 4:54am MDT

A bit of a mixed bag of weather for us. Our third weak storm system of the week impacts us today but then we start to see things dry out and Sunday brings some real warmth.

For today, the passing system is not very strong so its effects will be limited. Mostly cloudy skies will be above with highs in the upper 40s. Light rain / sprinkles will be possible throughout the daytime hours. Early this AM and then this evening there may be some snow mixed in but no accumulations. Tonight, any showers will end by midnight and skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. Overnight lows will be in the mid to upper 20s.

Saturday finally sees things dry out but we will remain on the cool side. Highs will be in the lower 50s under mostly sunny skies. Saturday night, mostly clear skies will be above with overnight lows around 30 degrees.

Sunday finally sees us experience a bit of a warm up. Highs will be in the low to mid-60s under sunny skies. Overall conditions will be calm and warm.

Have a great weekend!

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Cool temperatures for Thornton’s Thursday, chance for late PM showers

Thursday, March 25th, 2021 5:10am MDT

The day today starts out relatively nice with chilly temps but a good dose of sun. Later today though a weak system will increase the clouds and bring a chance for showers.

Mostly sunny skies start us off then after about 10:00am, cloud cover will increase leading to mostly cloudy skies by late afternoon. Highs today will top out right around the 50 degree mark.

Late afternoon, after about 5:00, we may see a sprinkle of rain. Then, overnight, some light snow may fall. No accumulations are expected but if there are some, they will be minimal. Overnight lows tonight will be below freezing.

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Thornton’s Wednesday continues the unsettled weather conditions, chilly temperatures

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 5:10am MDT

A little bit of a surprise in the amount of snow overnight as we received 2.1 inches (as of 4:00am). Today, some additional light snow is possible but little, if any, accumulation is expected.

Cloudy skies start us off and, like yesterday, we may see the sun make of a bit of an appearance late in the day. Light snow / flurries will be possible throughout the day, especially this morning, but little / no accumulation is expected.

Any showers will wrap up by the early evening and we will be left with partly cloudy skies overnight. Lows tonight will drop to the low 20s.

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Chilly temperatures, some light snow late in the day for Tuesday

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 4:58am MDT

Another day of unsettled weather for Thornton. A weak system will keep mercury readings well below normal and we may see a dusting of snow later in the day and tonight.

Mostly cloudy skies start us off and will be the general rule throughout the day. High temperatures will top out in the low to mid-40s. Conditions will initially be calm but then breezy, north winds will kick in this afternoon. The afternoon also brings with it a few snow flurries although they are not expected to amount to much.

This evening, chances for snow increase and will continue overnight. However, minimal, if any, accumulation is expected. Skies will remain mostly cloudy tonight and lows will drop to the upper 20s.

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Light snow early Monday to come to an end, some sun by end of the day

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 5:06am MDT

Our latest weather maker is wrapping up right now. As of 4:00am Thornton had received 3.6 inches of heavy, wet snow and we will see additional, light accumulations this morning.

The day starts off with cloudy skies and light snow. Mid-afternoon will see that cloud cover start to break and the sun peek out. Highs today will top out around the 40 degree mark.

Additional accumulations of less than an inch will be seen between now and noon. A few, lingering showers of snow / rain may be seen in the early afternoon. A Winter Weather Advisory does remain in effect until noon.

Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy with overnight lows in the low to mid-20s.

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March 21 to March 27: This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, March 21st, 2021 5:07am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

This may be the first full week of spring officially but as any longtime Colorado resident will tell you, spring-like weather is not a given this time of year.  As we look back at this week in Denver weather history, it is very clear that oftentimes Old Man Winter insists on hanging around for a bit longer.

18-21

In 1907…a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature records.  Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and 80 degrees on the 20th.  Record high minimum temperatures of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54 degrees on the 21st.

19-21

In 1888…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches over downtown Denver.  North winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 19th.

20-21

In 1878…warm days with high temperatures in the lower 70’s in the city…caused snow to melt on the palmer divide…which caused the waters in Cherry Creek to rise. The high…rapid running water damaged a home and eroded bridge footings and abutments.  Some bridges became unsafe for the passage of trains.

In 1904…southwest winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 68 degrees on the 20th.  The high was only 42 degrees on the 21st behind a cold front…which produced 1.3 inches of snow and northeast winds sustained to 27 mph overnight.

In 1923…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 8.2 inches over the city.  North winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 20th. This was the second major snow in a week.

In 1932…rain changed to heavy snow…which totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver.  North winds gusted to 22 mph on the 21st.

In 1948…heavy snowfall totaled 7.2 inches over downtown Denver.

In 1952…a major snow storm produced north wind gusts to 35 mph and dumped 16.9 inches of snowfall on Stapleton Airport.  The maximum snow depth on the ground was 13 inches due to melting.

In 2000…heavy snow fell in and near the foothills of Douglas and Jefferson counties.  Snowfall totals included:  9 inches near tiny town and 7 inches in Littleton.  Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

20-22

In 1944…heavy snow fell over metro Denver for a total of 36 hours.  The storm dumped 18.5 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver and 12.2 inches at Stapleton Airport. Fortunately…there were no strong winds with the storm. North winds to only 19 mph were recorded on the 21st.

21

In 1898…an apparent Canadian cold front produced strong winds and plunged temperatures from a high of 56 degrees to a low of 8 degrees late in the day.  North winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph.

In 1908…light snowfall of 1.3 inches produced 0.10 inch of precipitation.  This…along with the 0.01 inch of precipitation on the 8th…resulted in the driest March on record with a total of 0.11 inch of precipitation.

In 1916…southwest winds were sustained to 46 mph with a gust to 48 mph.  The Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 62 degrees.

In 1923…heavy snowfall totaled 8.0 inches in downtown Denver.

In 1953…northwest winds gusting to 57 mph briefly reduced visibility to 3/4 miles in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1981…rain changed rapidly to snow…but totaled only 2.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport.  North winds gusting to 35 mph produced much blowing snow and reduced the visibility to a half mile at times.  Over the higher elevations of south metro Denver…4 to 6 inches of snow were measured.

21-22

In 1955…wind gusts to 98 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats south of Boulder.  Some damage and a few minor injuries were reported in Boulder.  Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 39 mph at Stapleton Airport on the 22nd.

In 1966…a vigorous cold front produced only 1.7 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport…but northeast winds gusted to 49 mph on the 21st.  Temperatures cooled from a maximum of 66 degrees on the 21st to a minimum of 14 degrees on the 22nd.  Strong winds occurred on both days.

In 1992…an arctic cold front produced upslope snow across metro Denver mainly west of I-25.  Castle Rock reported 6 inches of snow with 3 inches at Evergreen.  At Stapleton International Airport…only 1.5 inches of snowfall were measured and northeast winds gusted to 18 mph on the 21st.

22

In 1905…apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 49 mph.

In 1922…a vigorous cold front with north winds sustained to 41 mph brought only 0.6 inch of snowfall to the city. These were the highest winds of the month.

In 1966…high winds caused extensive blowing snow that impeded traffic and closed highways over a wide area of eastern Colorado.  Wind damage was widespread…but minor. North wind gusts to 47 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where visibility was reduced as low as 1/8 mile in blowing snow.

In 1975…a strong west wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport…while east of Denver the strong winds caused minor property damage and considerable blowing dust which closed several roads.

In 1979…near-blizzard conditions paralyzed the northeastern quarter of the state.  Strong winds and drifting snow closed many roads…including I-25 and I-70.  Power outages darkened sections of metro Denver.  Snow accumulations of 4 to 12 inches were measured over the plains with drifts several feet deep.  Only 3.5 inches of snow were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph causing some blowing snow.

In 1995…strong winds associated with a fast moving pacific cold front moved from the mountains into metro Denver. Winds estimated at 60 to 75 mph picked up rocks and shattered the windows of a car in Louisville.  The strong winds blew down and partially destroyed two houses under construction just north of Thornton.  West winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver International Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust.

In 2016…two brief but powerful gustnadoes developed along a convergence line that formed in the suburbs just north and west of Denver. Three power poles were knocked down. In addition…a small storage shed was destroyed.

22-23

In 1936…heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches was measured in downtown Denver.  The heavy wet snowfall formed a thick coating of snow on trees and shrubs…but caused little damage.  North winds were sustained to 15 mph.

In 1984…around a half foot of new snow fell across metro Denver…causing flight delays at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 6.0 inches and north winds gusted to 31 mph.  Up to a foot of snow fell in the foothills.  Icy roads produced numerous traffic accidents.

In 2011…strong bora winds developed along the Front Range following the passage of a storm system. Peak wind gusts included: 87 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 82 mph…6 miles northwest of Boulder; 72 mph at Front Range airport in Broomfield; 71 mph at Longmont; and 64 mph…4 miles west of Lakewood. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust of 48 mph from the west was observed on the 22nd.

In 2013…a wet early spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to parts of the Front Range foothills and urban corridor. The heaviest snowfall occurred near the Front Range foothills and palmer divide. Near blizzard conditions forced the closure of interstate 70 east of Denver. In the foothills… Storm totals included: 14.5 inches near Conifer; 14 inches just southwest of Eldorado Springs and Intercanyon; 13 inches near Indian Hills; 12.5 inches near Pinecliffe; 11.5 inches near Golden; 11 inches near Jamestown and Roxborough; 10.5 inches near Brookvale and 10 inches at Genesee. Across the urban corridor and Palmer Divide… Storm totals included: 12.5 inches…8 miles southeast of Watkins; 10.5 inches in Boulder…Centennial and Northglenn; 9.5 inches…just south of Aurora; 9 inches in Westminster; 8 inches at Lafayette; 7.5 inches near Morrison; 7 inches in Arvada…Bennett…Brighton; 6 inches in Highlands Ranch… Longmont…Louisville and Thornton. Officially…11.6 inches of snow fell at DIA from the evening of the 22nd to the afternoon of the 23rd…which set a new two-day snowfall record in Denver for the date. In addition…a peak wind gust to 33 mph was observed from the east on the 22nd with a gust to 30 mph from the north on the 23rd.

In 2016…a powerful blizzard developed across the Front Range of Colorado late on the 22nd and continued through much of the 23rd. The storm tracked east-southeast across Utah on the 22nd…and then into southeast Colorado by the morning of the 23rd. The storm rapidly intensified as it reached eastern Colorado…producing extremely heavy and intense snowfall with snowfall rates exceeding 3 inches per hour at times. In addition to heavy snow…strong winds gusting in excess of 50 mph east of I-25 produced widespread blizzard conditions and zero visibilities. The storm initially began with rain on the plains…but quickly changed over to snow during the early morning hours of the 23rd. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour were common…with several inches of snow already accumulating for the morning commute. Many roads became impassable due to the depth of fallen snow…drifting snow…and near zero visibilities during the day. During the peak of the storm… snowfall rates reached or exceeded 3 inches per hour. Widespread road closures occurred…including I-76 from northeast of Denver to the Nebraska state line…I-70 east of Denver to the Kansas state line…and much of I-25… from near Castle Rock to Colorado Springs. The Colorado Department of Transportation estimated over two thousand vehicles became trapped on I-25 near Monument Hill alone… with hundreds of stuck or abandoned cars elsewhere. Numerous power outages occurred as heavy wet snow accumulated on trees…despite the strong winds. At the peak…several hundred thousand residents along the Front Range were without power. Denver International Airport was closed for 7 hours during and just after the peak of the blizzard…with around 1300 cancelled flights. The power outages shut down the fuel farm pumps…the deicing facility…as well as train service to the concourses at the airport. Pea Boulevard…the main road to the airport…was impassable for much of the day. It was the first time since December 21…2006 that Denver International Airport had been shut down due to extreme winter weather conditions. One to 2 feet of snow fell across much of the Front Range Foothills and Urban Corridor. In the foothills of northern Jefferson County…31.5 inches of snowfall measured at Pinecliffe. Most of the snow fell within a 12-hr period from the early morning into the afternoon. A peak wind gust of 59 mph recorded at Denver International Airport. South of Denver…over the Palmer Ridge…12 to 18 inches of snow was reported…with 6 to 10 inches across the adjacent plains. The official snowfall measurement at Denver International Airport was 13.1 inches. In addition…the snow was very heavy and wet…with many areas receiving 1 to 2 inches precipitation. In the foothills…some locations received nearly 3 inches of water from this storm.

» Click here to read the rest of March 21 to March 27: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s weekend starts out milder, next chance for snow arrives Sunday

Friday, March 19th, 2021 5:01am MDT

A bit of a mixed bag of weather for Thornton and the weekend. Warming temperatures will be seen Friday and Saturday but then Sunday sees our next storm system arrive with a good chance for snow.

For today, we will see some early fog and then that will give way to mostly sunny to sunny skies. Overall conditions will be calm with highs climbing to the low 50s. Tonight, it will be partly cloudy with overnight lows around freezing.

Saturday will be the warmest day we have seen in a while. Mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the low to mid-60s. Saturday night into Sunday morning, look for lows around freezing under partly clear skies.

Our next system starts making itself felt Sunday morning when we could see some light rain / drizzle, perhaps with a few flakes of snow mixed in. Activity should pick up in the afternoon, again, initially as a rain / snow mix. Then, as temperatures cool later in the day, a transition to snow will occur.

Depending on the track and timing of the storm, we could pick up a few more inches of snow between Sunday PM and Monday AM. Highs on Sunday will be in the upper 30s / low 40s.

Have a great weekend!

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