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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedWed, 17-Jul-2019 12:20pm MDT 
 

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December 2016 weather recap: A colder, wetter month finally arrives

Thursday, January 5th, 2017 12:56pm MDT

For the three previous months we had seen warmer and drier than normal conditions.  December finally brought an end to that streak with temperatures well below normal and precipitation almost doubt the average for the month.

The month was largely an unsettled one as a series of storm systems moved across the region.  Two significant blasts of Arctic air sent the mercury plummeting.  The first, from the 6th to the 8th, brought little snowfall but the second from the 16th to the 18th was quite generous.  The balance of the month saw things warm up with 10 of the last 13 days seeing above normal mercury readings.

Overall, Thornton saw an average monthly temperature of 28.1 degrees.  This was well below Denver’s 30 year average (1981 – 2000) for the month of December of 30.0 degrees.  Out at DIA where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, the month averaged 27.8 degrees.

Temperatures ranged from a high of 65.7 degrees on the 30th down to a bone-chilling low of 10.7 degrees below zero on the morning of the 17th.  Denver saw its warmest temperature of 65 degrees and coldest of 15 degrees below zero on the same dates.

That low reading in Denver on the 17th was also a record low for the date.  Additionally, the airport saw a high temperature of only 3 degrees that day setting a new record low maximum for the 17th.

In all, Thornton saw five days where the high temperatures failed to climb above freezing and four days with temperatures below zero.  Denver recorded six and four respectively.

In terms of precipitation, Denver averages 0.35 inches of liquid precipitation during December.  Thornton easily bested the average with 0.64 inches for the month while Denver fared better with 0.78 inches.

Both Thornton and Denver saw above average levels of snowfall.  The Mile High City averages 8.5 inches in December. In 2016, Thornton saw 8.9 inches while DIA recorded 9.7 inches.

Click here to view Thornton’s December  2016 climate report.

Thornton, Colorado's December 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s December 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado's December 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s December 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

From the National Weather Service:

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
718 AM MST SUN JAN 1 2017

................................... 

...THE DENVER CO CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2016... 

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1872 TO 2016

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................ 
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH              79   12/05/1939
 LOW              -25   12/22/1990
                        12/24/1876
HIGHEST            65   12/30        43      22       69  12/09
LOWEST            -15   12/17        17     -28        0  12/28
                                                          12/17
AVG. MAXIMUM     42.7              42.8    -0.1     40.9
AVG. MINIMUM     12.9              17.1    -4.2     17.9
MEAN             27.8              30.0    -2.2     29.4
DAYS MAX >= 90      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MAX <= 32      6               5.8     0.2       10
DAYS MIN <= 32     30              29.4     0.6       28
DAYS MIN <= 0 4 2.0 2.0 2 PRECIPITATION (INCHES) RECORD MAXIMUM 5.21 1913 MINIMUM 0.00 1881 TOTALS 0.78 0.35 0.43 0.71 DAILY AVG. 0.03 0.01 0.02 0.02 DAYS >= .01         6               4.1     1.9        5
DAYS >= .10         2               1.1     0.9        3
DAYS >= .50         0               0.1    -0.1        0
DAYS >= 1.00        0               0.0     0.0        0
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    0.63   12/16 TO 12/17

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
TOTALS            9.7   2016        8.5 NORMAL
RECORDS          57.4   1913
                    T   1905 1906 2002

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL    1146              1086      60     1097
 SINCE 7/1       2042              2468    -426     2187
COOLING TOTAL       0                 0       0        0
 SINCE 1/1        878               769     109      877

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/08/1962        10/07
 LATEST       06/08/2007        05/05
............................................................... 

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              9.2
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   3/167
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    37/260    DATE  12/05
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    46/260    DATE  12/05

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.50
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            7
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             18
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY          6

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     57

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM              0     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                0     RAIN                       0
LIGHT RAIN                1     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                2     SNOW                       3
LIGHT SNOW                7     SLEET                      0
FOG                      11     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      3
HAZE                      6

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

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