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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedSun, 24-May-2020 6:20pm MDT 
 

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Thornton’s weekend weather starts unsettled, will end seasonal

Friday, March 13th, 2020 5:03am MDT

A little bit of a mixed bag of weather for us over the three day period. Today brings cold temperatures and perhaps a bit of snow. The balance of the weekend though will see a return of the sun and temperatures at or above normal.

For Friday, cloudy to mostly cloudy skies will be above. High temperatures today will top out around the 40 degree mark. Some periods of light snow, rain this PM will be possible. Little, if any accumulation is expected. Tonight, any showers will end early and skies will slowly clear. Low temperatures will dip to below freezing.

Saturday will see skies continue to clear. High temperatures will be right near the average high for the date of 54 degrees. Saturday night into Sunday, partly cloudy skies will be above with overnight lows around freezing.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the period with highs close to 60 degrees under mostly sunny skies.

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Cold front to push through Thursday bringing cooler temps, slight chance for showers

Thursday, March 12th, 2020 5:03am MDT

A bit of a change from the recent warm weather. Today sees temperatures return closer to normal and might offer just a little bit of precipitation.

Partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies will be above throughout the day. Winds will be breezy and out of the northeast, mainly from late morning into the evening. High temperatures today should top out in the low 50s.

As for precipitation, we see just a slight chance for a shower this afternoon although at this time we aren’t expecting any activity to amount to much.

Tonight, skies remain mostly cloudy with overnight lows around 30 degrees. The pre-dawn hours tomorrow may see some freezing drizzle, possibly leading to a rough AM commute Friday.

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Warm temperatures Wednesday with lots of sun but also some wind

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 5:30am MDT

A little bit of good and not-so-good in the weather forecast for Thornton today. While we will enjoy high temperatures about 15 degrees above normal, the afternoon and evening will bring some breezy winds.

Clear skies start us off and then we see a few clouds arrive later this morning and afternoon. Temperatures will warm to a high in the upper 60s, well above the average high for the date of 53 degrees.

Winds will be light initially then begin picking up speed later this morning and in the early afternoon. Gusts to 30mph or so will be seen by mid-afternoon. Winds will taper off around sunset.

Tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with overnight lows dipping to the mid to upper 30s.

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Mild temperatures, some breezy winds for Thornton’s Tuesday

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 5:25am MDT

A pretty good looking day ahead for us. We will have a good bit of sun and mild temperatures but also with some breezy winds in the afternoon.

Mostly sunny skies start of the morning and will continue throughout the day. Temperatures today will top out in the low to mid-60s. Winds will be light this morning but then pick up the pace in the afternoon and into the evening with gusts to 30mph being possible during that period.

Tonight, winds will calm down after sunset.  Skies will be mostly clear with overnight lows in the mid-30s.

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March 8 to March 14: This week in Denver weather history

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 4:50am MDT

This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at Denver weather history for the week reminds us that although the calendar says it is March, it is still very much winter.  Numerous mentions of snow, blizzards and related winter conditions are quite prevelant and we are reminded that March after all is our snowiest month.

From the National Weather Service:

6-8

In 1932…snowfall totaled 6.3 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…5.2 inches…fell on the 8th. Northeast winds gusted to 20 mph on the 6th.

7-8

In 1878…snow from the evening of the 7th until noon of the 8th totaled only 5 inches in downtown Denver. Apparent heavier snow over the plains along with strong winds drifted the snow into high drifts…which delayed trains for several days and caused a great loss of livestock. Melting of the snow caused a rise in Cherry Creek…which resulted in much damage. Precipitation from the storm totaled only 0.50 inch in Denver.

In 2000…high winds developed in and near the Front Range foothills…as well as parts of the northeast Colorado plains as another pacific storm system moved across the area. Several trees and power lines were downed near Blackhawk…Boulder…and in Coal Creek Canyon. About 30 homes in the Pinebrook Hills subdivision in Boulder were evacuated when downed power lines sparked a grassfire. The winds eventually shifted the fire onto itself…thus allowing firefighters to contain the two acre blaze. Several roofs were blown off barns…sheds… And garages. Two semi-trailers were blown over…one along c-470 between Golden and Morrison and another north of Denver on I-25. Wind gusts reached 101 mph on Rocky Flats…100 mph at the nearby National Wind Technology Center…90 mph at Blackhawk and atop Blue Mountain…92 mph in south Boulder…73 mph in Coal Creek Canyon…72 mph in Golden…and 70 mph at Louisville. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph on the 7th and to 49 mph on the 8th at Denver International Airport.

8

In 1878…winds started to increase at 4:00 am and blew steadily at sustained speeds of 36 to 40 mph with a maximum sustained speed of 60 mph around 11:00 am. Snowfall of 5.0 inches occurred in the city…but much more snow fell on the plains…which blockaded trains bound for the city for several days.

In 1898…northwest winds sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 67 degrees.

In 1908…light snowfall of 0.8 inch produced only 0.01 inch of precipitation. This along with the 0.10 inch of precipitation on the 21st resulted in the driest March on record with a total of 0.11 inch of precipitation.

In 1986…temperatures climbed from a record high minimum of 45 degrees to a record maximum of 72 degrees for the day.

In 2005…a vigorous cold front moved a wall of blowing dust across metro Denver during the mid-morning. At Denver International Airport…north winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph…along with very light rain which changed to snow…briefly reduced the surface visibility to 1 mile. A thunderstorm formed over Arvada. With the passage of the cold front…the temperature plunged 11 degrees in just 16 minutes at Denver International Airport where precipitation was only 0.01 inch along with 0.1 inch of snow.

8-9

In 1992…a major blizzard struck metro Denver. The storm was preceded by thunderstorms with small hail during the afternoon of the 8th. By evening…with the passage of a strong arctic cold front…snow began falling. Strong north to northeast winds at 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 52 mph produced near zero visibilities in blizzard conditions across metro Denver. By the morning of the 9th…snowfall amounts up to a foot and a half were reported with drifts of 2 to 4 feet. Many roads were closed including I-70 east of Denver and I-25 both north and south of Denver. Many homes and stores were temporarily without power. Snowfall amounts included: 18 inches at Conifer…13 inches in Boulder and Denver…12 inches at Brighton and Morrison…and 10 inches at Aurora. Snowfall totaled 12.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting as high as 52 mph reduced the visibility to zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.

In 2002…high winds occurred in the foothills west of Denver. Winds gusted to 95 mph near Fritz Peak and to 73 mph near Nederland.

8-10

In 1989…unusually warm weather set four daily temperature records in Denver. The high temperature of 74 degrees on the 8th exceeded the record. Records were equaled on the 9th with a high of 77 degrees and the 10th with a high of 79 degrees. The low temperature of 42 degrees on the 10th set a new record high minimum for the date.

9

In 1918…northwest winds sustained to 44 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph occurred during the early morning hours.

In 1960…west-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1980…high winds were recorded in the foothills with a wind gust to 84 mph at Wondervu. Northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…strong Chinook winds buffeted the foothills in Boulder. Wind gusts of 60 to 90 mph toppled a microwave dish antenna and blew the shell off a camper. West winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1986…high winds in the foothills with gusts of 60 to 70 mph were reported at Golden Gate Canyon and in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

9-10

In 1904…strong Chinook winds raked the city for 2 days. On the 9th…west winds sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 62 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees. On the 10th…west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 54 mph. The high temperature was 58 degrees.

In 2013…a storm system brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range mountains and foothills where storm totals included: 13 inches at Berthoud Pass SNOTEL…12 inches at Arapahoe Ridge; 11 inches…5 miles southwest of Golden; 10.5 inches near Kittridge; 10 inches at Lake Eldora and Pine Junction; 9.5 inches near Conifer…9 inches…near Bailey and 9 miles east-northeast of Nederland…Joe Wright and Strontia Springs. Along the urban corridor…some storm totals included: 8.5 inches at Highlands Ranch and near Morrison; 8 inches in Arvada; 7 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster; 6.5 inches at Centennial…lone tree and Wheat Ridge; 6 inches in west Denver…Hygiene…Lyons and Thornton…5.5 inches in Broomfield; with 5 inches in Aurora and the former Stapleton International Airport. Across the Palmer Divide and northeast plains of Colorado…storm totals ranged anywhere from 2 to 10 inches. The combination of snow and strong wind produced blizzard conditions and forced the closure of Interstate 70 east of Denver. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph produced near zero visibilities at times and snowpacked roads. Snowdrifts from 2 to 4 feet deep were reported. As a result…many of the roadways became impassable. Officially…Denver international recorded 5.4 inches of snowfall on the 9th. In addition…a peak wind gust to 38 mph was observed from the north.

9-11

In 1927…rain changed to heavy snow behind a cold front and totaled 7.7 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 37 mph with an extreme velocity to 38 mph on the 11th.

In 1955…a strong windstorm raked the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 95 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats with a gust to 60 mph measured at Valmont. Damage in Boulder totaled 10 thousand dollars. Minor injuries also occurred. The strong winds were associated with a vigorous cold front that produced northwest winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 3/4 mile in blowing dust on the 10th.

In 1968…5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 24 mph on the 10th.

9-19

In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.

10

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.

In 1948…the high temperature warmed to only 6 degrees… The all-time record low maximum for the month of March. The same reading also occurred on March 6…1920.

In 1970…5.0 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph.

10-11

In 1886…snowfall of 3.5 inches was measured in downtown Denver. Apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 43 mph on the 11th.

In 1977…a major blizzard struck metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds at speeds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph frequently reduced visibilities in blowing snow to 1/4 mile or less. Most of the snow…7.7 inches…fell on the 10th. The snow ended by daybreak on the 11th…but strong north winds persisted through the day.

In 1988…a late winter storm produced heavy snow and wind… Mainly north of Denver. Wind gusts reached 62 mph at Keenesburg and produced a lot of blowing snow…closing schools in southwest weld County. The storm closed I-70 east of Denver. Only 1.1 inch of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…but north winds gusted to 39 mph.

10-12

In 1924…snowfall was heavy and totaled 9.9 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 11th.

In 2001…heavy snow fell over northeast Colorado and metro Denver when a combination of upslope winds and convective snow bands formed over the area. Storm totals included: 11 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort; 10 inches at Genesee; 8 inches at Elizabeth…atop Lookout Mountain…near Sedalia… And at Strasburg; 7 inches near Castle Rock and Evergreen; and 6 inches in Aurora…atop Crow Hill…and in Parker. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 2 to 5 inches with 3.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.

» Click here to read the rest of March 8 to March 14: This week in Denver weather history

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Thornton’s Monday to see clearing skies, above normal temperatures

Monday, March 9th, 2020 5:01am MDT

Following last night’s nice dose of rain (0.45 inches), we will dry out today. Skies will be clearing and temperatures will climb to above normal levels.

The day will start with a good bit of cloud cover, perhaps some fog in a few spots. That will soon clear and mostly sunny skies will be the rule for much of the day.

Overall conditions will be calm and dry. High temperatures today will top out right around the 60 degree mark, a good bit above the average high for the date of 53 degrees.

Tonight, skies will be mostly cloudy with overnight lows dropping to 34 degrees.

What does the rest of the workweek hold? Much of it will be dry with above normal temps but we do see just a bit of a chance for some snow toward the latter part of the week. See here for more details.

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National Weather Service announces storm spotter training dates for 2020

Monday, March 9th, 2020 4:00am MDT

On June 3, 1981 a tornado struck Thornton in what is the worst twister to have struck the Denver metro area. Are you ready should disaster strike again? Image courtesy the City of Thornton archives.

Severe weather is a fact of life in Colorado – from blizzards to tornadoes we can and do see it all.  Each year the weather is responsible for claiming lives in our state and across the nation and the threat is very real.  Storm spotter training allows you to learn how to protect yourself and your family while providing a public service.

Education is key to knowing how to protect you and your family.  Whether you want to be an official storm spotter or maybe just want to learn more about severe weather, storm spotter training can provide you an incredible opportunity to learn.

The National Weather Service Denver / Boulder office has announced a series of Skywarn storm spotter training dates for Colorado for the 2020 season.

The storm spotter program is a nationwide program with more than 280,000 trained spotters.  These volunteers report weather hazards to their local National Weather Service office providing vital information when severe strikes.  Data from spotters include severe wind, rain, snow measurements, thunderstorms and hail and of course tornadoes.

Storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

By completing one of these training classes you can become an official storm spotter.  When severe weather strikes, you can report it by calling a special toll free number or submit your report via the National Weather Service’s website.

These are great sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the severe weather we experience in Colorado, whether you want to be an official spotter or not.  All training is free.  Topics include:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

To learn more about the program, see here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/awebphp/spotter.php

Below are the dates, times and locations announced thus far.  The embedded calendar should automatically update with new dates and changes but be sure to check the National Weather Service site for the latest.


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‘Springing forward’ as Daylight Saving Time to begin Sunday, March 8th

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 6:10am MDT
The United States returns to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00am Sunday, March 8, 2020.

The United States returns to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00am Sunday, March 8, 2020.

The biannual ritual of changing our clocks to adjust for Daylight Saving Time occurs this Saturday night providing yet another signal of the changing of seasons.  The United States will ‘spring forward’ one hour at 2:00am Sunday morning as we begin Daylight Saving Time.

The ritual of changing our clocks twice a year can be met with some resistance as some people struggle to adjust their body’s internal clock.  The start of Daylight Saving Time can be particularly problematic given the one hour less sleep people receive on the night of the change.

However, longer days as we head into the milder months are a very real benefit and for many worth the inconvenience of a lost hour of sleep.  The time change definitely has big effects on how much daylight we enjoy during our normal waking hours.

On Saturday, prior to the change, sunset will occur at 5:59pm but on Sunday the sun won’t disappear over the horizon until 7:00pm.  This affords folks more time in the evening to get started on those spring-time chores and allows us to get outside and enjoy the warming weather.

The March Equinox is also on the horizon.  Spring officially begins at 9:49pm on Thursday, March 19.

This year Daylight Savings Time will come to an end on November 1.

Some of the recent history of Daylight Savings Time (from Wikipedia):

Daylight saving time in the United States was first observed in 1918. Most areas of the United States currently observe daylight saving time, with the exceptions being the states of Arizona and Hawaii along with the territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

From 1987 to 2006, daylight saving time in the United States began on the first Sunday of April and ended on the last Sunday of October. The time was adjusted at 2:00 AM (0200) local time (as it still is done now).

Since 2007, daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, with all time changes taking place at 2:00 AM (0200) local time.

Daylight Savings Time Schedule

Year DST Begins 2 a.m.
(Second Sunday in March)
DST Ends 2 a.m.
(First Sunday in November)
2020 8 March 2020 1 November 2020
2021 14 March 2021 7 November 2021
2022 13 March 2022 6 November 2022
2023 12 March 2023 5 November 2023
2024 10 March 2024 3 November 2024
2025 9 March 2025 2 November 2025
2026 8 March 2026 1 November 2026
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Thornton’s weekend weather to offer up very spring-like conditions

Friday, March 6th, 2020 4:57am MDT

We technically have a couple more weeks of winter to go but Mother Nature is giving us a bit of a preview of the season to come. The weekend will feature unseasonably warm temperatures with lots of sun for much of it, showers to close it out.

Friday we will enjoy sunny to mostly sunny skies above. High temperatures will push to the mid to upper 60s. Overnight tonight, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the mid-30s.

Saturday offers up a day much like today with lots of sun. Highs will again be in the upper 60s, perhaps crack the 70 degree mark. Saturday night into Sunday morning, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the upper 30s.

A weak system moves through Sunday and that will bring increased cloud cover and just a chance for afternoon and evening rain showers. Temperatures will remain unseasonably warm with highs in the mid-60s.

Enjoy the weather and have a great weekend!

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Thursday brings cooler temperatures, conditions remain calm

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 4:48am MDT

A cold front moved through last night and that will bring a brief interruption to the warmup we have been experiencing. Temperatures will return to near normal levels but it will be calm.

The day starts off with a good bit of cloud cover but those should decrease quickly this morning leading to sunny skies for much of the day. High temperatures today will be in the low to mid-50s.

Tonight, mostly clear skies will be above with low temperatures around the 30 degree mark.

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