June means severe weather in Colorado and our look back at this week showcases that fact. Numerous, historical events have occurred during this week in the past including the disastrous Hayman fire and the infamous 1988 Denver tornadoes.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1979…rain…at times with thunder on the 7th…fell almost continuously through the morning of the 9th. Rainfall totaled 2.28 inches at Stapleton International Airport over the 3 days. High temperature of only 49 degrees on the 8th was a record low maximum for the date.
In 1900…an apparent cold front produced north winds to 42 mph with gusts to 47 mph.
In 1923…heavy rainfall totaled 2.18 inches in downtown Denver…where northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph. Heavy rain also fell in Boulder…causing flooding on Boulder and south Boulder creeks.
In 1939…post-frontal sustained northwest winds to 35 mph produced some blowing dust…which reduced the visibility to one mile at times during the afternoon. Dusty conditions prevailed into the early evening. The airport station reported a maximum wind of 56 mph. A few minor injuries and some damage resulted. A few trees were uprooted…some fruit was blown from trees…and a section of power lines was blown down.
In 1959…dry thunderstorm winds…estimated to near 70 mph… Toppled a 40-foot-high poplar tree…which was 4 to 5 inches in diameter…near Cherry Creek dam. The Colorado state patrol reported a possible tornado 1 mile south of the dam.
In 1960…strong gusty winds tore the roofs from 2 patios in Aurora. One of the roofs was blown over a house and landed on a car damaging its top. A house trailer was also overturned. Other minor damage was reported to roofs… Windows…and trees in Aurora. A thunderstorm wind gust to 43 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.
In 1963…golf ball size hail fell at Cheery Creek Reservoir.
In 1967…a small tornado damaged trees and a dwelling in south Denver. The storm touched down at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Harrison Street and moved northeast to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Albion Street. Damage included 3 small roofs removed…15-20 large trees uprooted…one car overturned and thrown against a house… Plus other minor damage. A funnel cloud reported at the same time 10 miles north of Denver possibly touched ground. Later…funnel clouds were reported 12 miles south-southeast of Stapleton International Airport…10 miles southwest…and 5 miles north. A tornado was sighted 3 1/2 miles east of Stapleton International Airport by weather bureau personnel for a duration of 5 minutes. Heavy rain and some hail fell over much of the area.
In 1974…the start of the shortest seasonal snow free period on record…94 days…occurred with the last snow of the season…a trace…on the 8th. The first snow of the next season occurred on September 11th when a trace of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport. A funnel cloud was observed just east of Aurora and a small funnel was sighted just northeast of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1985…a thunderstorm wind gust to 62 mph was reported at Golden Gate Canyon in the foothills west of Denver.
In 1986…a thunderstorm…which dumped heavy rain and caused some street flooding across north metro Denver…produced a small tornado 5 miles east of Brighton. No damage was reported.
In 1987…strong thunderstorm wind gusts in Conifer destroyed a porch on a house; the wind gust apparently picked up the porch and dropped it on a man…killing him. The wind also damaged the roof of the house and a nearby barn. The same thunderstorm spawned a tornado…which touched down briefly just south of Lakewood. No damage was reported. Up to 3 inches of rain fell in a short time 8 miles southwest of Littleton. A few businesses in Englewood suffered minor water damage. A tornado was sighted between Watkins and Bennett. It was on the ground for 15 minutes. A weak tornado also touched down 4 miles southwest of Castle Rock. The twister tossed an aluminum shed into the air and carried it about 100 feet. A funnel cloud was sighted 15 miles east-northeast of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988…golf ball size hail fell in Conifer along with 1.30 inches of rain. Three miles north of Louisville…1.10 inches of rain fell in 20 minutes. Ping pong ball size hail was measured in Arvada.
In 1990…3/4 inch hail fell in Castle Rock.
In 1991…hail two inches in diameter fell near Evergreen. Hail to 1 inch diameter fell in Lakewood where a funnel cloud was also sighted. One inch diameter hail was also reported in Aurora.
In 2002…high temperatures…low relative humidities…and strong gusty winds allowed the Hayman wildfire…located in the foothills to the southwest of Denver…to become the largest wildfire in the state’s history. Although the fire was initially started by a U.S. Forest Service employee…the ongoing drought and dry conditions allowed the fire to spread rapidly out of control. The wildfire consumed nearly 138 thousand acres of forest land and 133 homes before it could be contained and finally extinguished on June 30th. About 1800 households had to be evacuated during the blaze. Southwest winds aloft swept the smoke plume directly over metro Denver…creating poor air quality and blocking the sun. Much of metro Denver choked on smoke with the southern suburbs receiving the most. Smoke and ash restricted surface visibilities to a mile or less at times in the Denver and Castle Rock areas and to 2 miles at Denver International Airport.
In 2003…thunderstorm winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport. The storm produced only a trace of rain.
In 2004…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across portions of metro Denver for the second day in a row. The most extensive damage occurred across southern sections of metro Denver in Aurora…Lakewood…Littleton…and south Denver. The combined damage to homes and vehicles…not including commercial buildings…was estimated at 146.5 million dollars…making the event the 4th costliest insurance disaster in the state’s history. Hail as large as 2 1/4 inches in diameter fell near southern Aurora with hail to 1 3/4 inches in the city of Denver and in Lakewood. Hail to 1 1/2 inches fell near Morrison with 1 inch hail measured in Thornton…near Buckley Air Force Base…and near Roggen. Hail to 3/4 inch diameter fell in Littleton and near Conifer. A small tornado touched down near Bennett…but did no damage.
In 1864…high water from melting snow combined with heavy rains over the upper reaches of the South Platte River forced the river over its banks and caused flooding of low lying areas along the river in the city. The amount of rainfall in the mountains and in the city is unknown.
In 1943…a man was killed by lightning while using a surveying instrument at Buckley Field.
In 1969…hail stones 2 to 3 inches in diameter caused extensive damage to buildings and automobiles in an area from northeast of Boulder to Longmont. Two funnel clouds were reported near Castle Rock. A funnel cloud and 1 inch hail stones were reported 10 to 20 miles southeast of Stapleton International Airport. Hail stones to 1 3/4 inches fell 3 miles west of Littleton. Hail to 3/4 inch diameter fell over southeast Denver.
In 1988…thunderstorm winds clocked to 60 mph unroofed a porch and downed a fence at a home near Stapleton International Airport. A small tornado touched down briefly in northeast Aurora. Another small tornado touched down for 3 minutes in southeast Aurora. No damage was reported from either twister.
In 1989…a National Weather Service observer saw lightning strike 2 storage tanks at 40th and Havana…3/8 mile northeast of Stapleton International Airport. The strike temporarily knocked out some weather observing equipment at the National Weather Service.
In 1991…a tornado was sighted 2 miles south of Castle Rock. No damage was reported. The funnel cloud associated with the tornado was sighted for 5 minutes by national weather service observers at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1994…lightning struck a home in Denver…which started a fire in the attic and caused minor damage.
In 1997…lightning struck a security guard at the castle pines golf course near Castle Rock. He received only minor injuries.
In 1999…severe thunderstorms rolled off the foothills over metro Denver…producing large hail and damaging winds. Hail to 1 inch diameter fell near Evergreen with 1 3/4 inch hail measured west of Golden. Hail to 1 1/2 inches fell in Commerce City with one inch hail in Lakewood…Wheat Ridge… The city of Denver and at Denver International Airport where thunderstorm winds gusted to 58 mph. As the storms moved east…3/4 inch hail was reported in Aurora…and damaging thunderstorm winds developed between Bennett and Strasburg. Winds gusting as high as 69 mph blew half a metal roof from a shed in a Bennett lumberyard. A small barn was also leveled between Bennett and Strasburg. Winds also gusted to 58 mph near Manilla.
In 2000…a dry microburst produced a wind gust to 58 mph at Jefferson County Airport. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 55 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2003…hail as large as 1 3/4 inches was measured at Centennial Airport and near Parker.
In 2005…hail to 7/8 inch in diameter was reported near Parker with 3/4 inch hail measured near Castle Rock.
In 2009…lightning struck an apartment complex…a veterinary hospital in Boulder and caused minor damage. Lightning also struck two oil tanks…one in Boulder and the other at Front Range airport north of Watkins. The oil tanks in both instances were set on fire and suffered extensive damage.
In 2010…a complex of severe thunderstorms hammered portions of eastern Arapahoe…eastern Douglas and western Elbert counties. The hail ranged from 1 inch to 3 inches in diameter. The largest hail was observed near Elizabeth. Areas in and around Aurora…byers…Parker and Thornton were also impacted by large hail. One weak tornado touched down near prospect valley but did no damage. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 35 mph was observed from the northwest.
10-11 in 1882…heavy thunderstorm rains on the morning of the 10th caused a rapid rise in dry creek…which enters the South Platte River at Fairview in present day south Denver. This…combined with additional heavy rainfall on the 11th caused the South Platte River to overflow. Five people drowned and several houses were destroyed. Total losses in the city and suburbs was estimated at 75 thousand dollars. Total rainfall in central Denver was 2.21 inches over the 2 days.
In 1947…a trace of snow fell over downtown Denver. Low temperature of 34 degrees was a record minimum for the date.
In 1962…hail caused extensive crop damage near Hudson northeast of Denver.
In 1970…stratiform rainfall totaled 3.16 inches at Stapleton International Airport. This was the greatest amount of precipitation ever recorded on a calendar day in June. In addition…it was the greatest amount of precipitation ever measured during any 24-hour period in June. The high temperature climbed to only 51 degrees…which was a record low maximum for the date.
In 1973…large hail from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell west of Boulder.
In 1977…golf ball size hail was reported just south of Arapahoe County airport…now Centennial Airport. Lightning struck a home in Lakewood.
In 1988…a 30-year-old man was seriously injured by lightning while mowing his lawn in Denver.
In 1992…lightning started two house fires in the southern Denver suburbs where 3/4 inch hail fell and a funnel cloud was sighted.
In 1999…severe thunderstorms formed over the palmer divide and moved across Douglas…Elbert…and Adams counties. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter was reported in and near Castle Rock…Sedalia…Franktown…and Aurora. Hail as large as golfballs accumulated several inches deep and caused a large section of a corrugated metal roof of a greenhouse complex to collapse near Franktown. About a third of the roof covering the 30 thousand square foot building collapsed. Thirty-five workers were trapped in the debris…but only 3 were treated for minor injuries. Hail 1 to 2 feet deep blocked the roadways and slowed the arrival of emergency vehicles. Damage to the building was estimated to be around 3 million dollars.
In 2006…a man was struck and killed by lightning as he was returning to his car after leaving the mile high flea market near Henderson. Two others were knocked down…but not injured by the lightning strike. Severe thunderstorms produced large hail across the northern portion of metro Denver. Hail to 1 1/4 inches in diameter was measured in Arvada…with 1 inch diameter hail reported near Fort Lupton. Hail to 7/8 inch in diameter was recorded near Brighton…and hail…3/4 inch in diameter…fell near Keenesburg.
In 2009…large hail pummeled portions of Adams…Arapahoe… Elbert and Douglas counties. Hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was measured near Parker.
In 2010…severe thunderstorms producing very large hail pummeled portions of Front Range foothills and urban corridor. The large hail ranged in size from 1 to 2 1/2 inches…caused extensive damage to home and vehicles. The hardest hit areas included: Brighton… Castle Rock…Greenland…Idledale…Mountain View and Thornton. The combination of heavy rain and hail destroyed 50 thousand acres of cropland in southeast weld County. Flash flooding forced the closure of State Highway 52…east of prospect valley. Several County roads were either flooded or completely washed out. At Denver International Airport…0.69 inches of rainfall was observed.
In 1999…damage from several hailstorms in and near metro Denver totaled 35 million dollars. About 17.5 million dollars was from automobile claims with another 17.5 million in homeowner claims. The areas hardest hit by the storms included Castle Rock…Commerce City…Evergreen… And Golden.
In 1901…south winds were sustained to 45 mph with an extreme velocity to 47 mph.
In 1917…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
In 1927…flooding on little dry creek in Englewood resulted in two deaths.
In 1947…a trace of snow fell over downtown Denver during the early morning. This was the latest last snow of the season (trace or more). This also marked the end of the longest snow season…264 days…from the first snow…a trace…on September 22…1946. High temperature of 43 degrees was a record low maximum for the date. Minimum temperature of 33 degrees was a record low for the date.
In 1971…a funnel cloud sighted over Arvada possibly touched down at the base of the foothills. The public reported 3/4 inch to 1 inch diameter hail over the city of Denver.
In 1974…strong thunderstorm winds caused damage to power lines in metro Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1975…a thunderstorm wind gust to 56 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982…three small tornadoes were sighted near Bennett. One of the twisters caused minor crop and road damage along its path. A brief tornado was sighted by national weather service observers at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1983…3/4 inch hail fell in Boulder. Golf ball to 3/4 inch size hail fell in Arvada…denting cars and house roofs. Over a thousand hail damage insurance claims were filed from the area. Golf ball size hail also fell in Northglenn and Bennett…1 to 2 inch hail in Thornton…2 1/2 inch hail in northeast of Denver. A tornado was sighted 10 miles northeast of Stapleton International Airport; it was only on the ground for 1 to 2 minutes.
In 1984…large hail pelted many parts of southern metro Denver. Fifteen aircraft were damaged by golf ball size hail at Centennial Airport. Golf ball size hail was reported in south Denver…and 3/4 inch hail was measured in southeast Aurora.
In 1987…a small weak tornado touched down for about 3 minutes near the intersection of I-70 and Colorado Blvd. In northeast Denver. No damage was recorded. A microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991…in the city of Denver…lightning struck a tree under which seven people were picnicking. One person was critically injured. The others received only minor injuries.
In 1992…golf ball size hail fell in Evergreen.
In 1994…microburst winds gusting to 53 mph kicked up some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1996…lightning struck a house in Parker…which sparked a fire. The bolt was strong enough to blow nails out of the drywall in one room. About 85 percent of the house was damaged. No dollar estimate of the damage was available. Lightning also struck a power line in Boulder…which left 250 customers without electricity for a short time.
In 1997…a tornado touched down near Parker…damaging some construction equipment. Hail to 2 inches in diameter was measured in Henderson. One inch diameter hail fell in the city of Denver with 3/4 inch hail measured in Lakewood.
In 1999…hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter struck Hudson. A funnel cloud was sighted by ramp personnel to the east of Denver International Airport.
In 2003…lightning blew a hole in the roof of a house in Highlands Ranch. The bolt knocked several holes in the bedroom ceiling and damaged the home’s electrical system.
In 2004…lightning struck a home in Louisville…but caused only minor damage.
In 2006…a strong microburst wind gust…estimated at 69 mph… Ripped the roof off a horse barn near the intersection of Havana Street and Smith Road in Denver. A 13 year old girl was injured…when she was thrown from a horse inside the barn at the time the roof was being torn off. A thunderstorm produced a microburst wind gust to 54 mph and a trace of rainfall at Denver International Airport. A severe thunderstorm produced hail to 0.75 inch near Watkins.
In 2000…two large wildfires developed in the Front Range foothills as careless campers and very dry conditions proved to be a dangerous combination. Strong winds gusting in excess of 60 mph on the 13th fanned the flames… Spreading both wildfires out of control. Winds gusted to 78 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the continental divide west of Boulder. The Hi Meadows wildfire…about 35 miles southwest of Denver…consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 80 structures…mostly high priced homes. The bobcat wildfire…located about 12 miles southwest of Fort Collins… Consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 22 structures. Late on the 16th…a strong cold front moved south over the great plains into northeastern Colorado. Low level upslope conditions developed in the wake of the front…producing 2 to 4 inches of snowfall overnight at elevations above 8 thousand feet. Firefighters were able to contain both fires shortly thereafter.
In 1956…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 59 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1957…an unconfirmed tornado appeared to touch the ground in the vicinity of Franktown. No damage was reported from the twister.
In 1968…a violent gust of wind…possibly associated with a thunderstorm…caused 75 hundred dollars damage in Boulder.
In 1973…hail…1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter…fell over Lakewood. Flash flooding occurred in west Denver from the same storm.
In 1974…a thunderstorm wind gust to 64 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1977…hail the size of table tennis balls…1 1/2 inches in diameter…was reported in Boulder.
In 1981…large hail to golf ball size fell in Denver… Northglenn…and Brighton. Hail as large as baseballs was reported in federal heights.
In 1984…one of the worst hailstorms ever experienced in metro Denver struck the northwestern suburbs of Arvada…Wheat Ridge…and Lakewood…but large hail also fell in Golden… Southeast Denver…and Aurora. Homes and other buildings sustained around 200 million dollars in damage. Thousands of cars were battered by giant hailstones…and total damage to vehicles was estimated at 150 million dollars. In some areas…golf ball size hail fell continuously for 30 to 40 minutes. Some places were pelted with a few stones as large as grapefruits! Roofs on thousands of structures were severely damaged. Uncounted car windshields were broken; two-thirds of Arvada’s police cars were rendered inoperable. Torrential rains…with as much as 4.75 inches in Lakewood clogged drains and caused widespread damage from flooding. In some places hail was washed into drifts several feet deep. About 20 people were injured by the giant hailstones. One couple was hospitalized. A woman drowned when she was trapped under a trailer by high water. Only pea size hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988…2 inch hail fell in Parker. Soft hail 1 inch in diameter fell at the mouth of Turkey Creek Canyon 5 miles southeast of Morrison. Hail between 1 inch and 1 3/4 inches fell at both Bennett and Strasburg. A tornado touched down briefly at Strasburg. A brief funnel cloud was sighted by national weather service observers 15 miles southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991…a Boulder man was injured when struck by lightning while in a tent. He received only minor burns.
In 1997…lightning struck a home in Denver. The extent of the damage was unknown. A home in Littleton was also struck. The house caught fire…but the extent of the damage was not known.
In 1998…a strong mountain wave produced a brief period of high winds along the Front Range. A small building atop squaw pass west of Denver was blown down. Tree limbs were downed across metro Denver. Peak wind gusts included: 80 mph on squaw pass…69 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…and 60 mph in Westminster and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. West-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2001…high winds developed briefly in Boulder County. A peak wind gust to 76 mph was recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research atop the mesa in Boulder. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded at southern hills middle school in Boulder. Lightning started a small fire…which damaged the roof of a house in greenwood village.
In 2009…severe thunderstorms produced hail up to one inch in diameter near Arvada and byers…as well as 7 miles north-northwest of Front Range airport near Watkins.
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 1877…an evening thunderstorm produced lightning which struck several houses and killed a cow in the bottom land of the South Platte River
In 1886…hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in the city. Precipitation was only 0.10 inch.
In 1887…south winds were sustained to 41 mph.
In 1900…a thunderstorm produced northwest winds to 51 mph with gusts to 61 mph…but only a trace of rain.
In 1923…a severe thunderstorm pelted the city with hail. The stones ranged in diameter from 0.2 to 0.8 inch. Gardens and greenhouses suffered considerable damage. Rainfall was only 0.14 inch downtown.
In 1960…one workman was killed and 4 others injured in Lakewood when a partly built apartment building collapsed in strong winds. Microburst wind gusts to 54 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1967…tornadoes touched down briefly 3 miles west of Franktown and 4 miles northeast of Parker. No damage was reported. Numerous funnel clouds were reported over south metro Denver…one 5 miles south of Denver…one 2 to 3 miles north of Castle Rock…and two near Littleton.
In 1968…a microburst wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1972…1 3/4 inch hail was reported in Wheat Ridge.
In 1976…high winds…unusually strong for this late in the season…raked metro Denver. Wind gusts estimated to 100 mph tore 24 boats from their moorings and damaged a total of 47 boats at Boulder reservoir. Wind gusts to 82 mph were recorded in Boulder. The strong winds toppled the wind mast at a radio station in Boulder. An automobile was smashed by a fallen tree in Boulder. Other damage in Boulder was minor…but power outages occurred when tree limbs fell on power lines. At Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…wind gusts to 78 mph were recorded with 87 mph gusts clocked at Rocky Flats nuclear plant south of Boulder. Wind gusts to 66 mph were observed in Littleton… And northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds collapsed a barn near Arvada. Several horses received minor injuries. Thirty trees were uprooted or broken in Denver. Four major power outages occurred from west Denver and Lakewood to the foothills.
In 1982…the worst hailstorm in 17 years struck Commerce City. The storm left 4 to 8 inches of hail on the ground. A few of the stones were as large as golf balls. Many vehicles were dented…and some windshields were shattered. Roofs of homes were damaged. Total damage was estimated at over one million dollars. Hail to 1 inch in diameter also fell in Littleton. Only 1/4 inch hail was measured at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988…lightning ripped a small hole in the roof of a home in the southern part of Boulder. There were some power outages in the area.
In 1992…an off duty national weather service employee reported hail to 1 inch diameter in Westminster.
In 1997…one inch diameter hail fell in Bennett…and 3/4 inch hail was measured in Littleton.
In 1999…hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter hit Aurora. Lightning sparked two small fires at separate residences near the Hiwan Country Club in Evergreen.
In 2004…lightning sparked two small fires near Jamestown. One was in Geer Canyon and the other 7.5 miles up sunshine canyon. Both were quickly contained and caused no damage to structures in the area.
In 2009…a complex of severe thunderstorm produced large hail damaging thunderstorm and funnel clouds across parts of the urban corridor. The line formed along a boundary over the western suburbs of Denver then moved east. The boundary produced at least one well defined funnel cloud that could be observed by stadium full of baseball fans at Coors Field. Large hail…up to 1 3/4 inches in diameter…was reported in Arvada…Broomfield…Denver…federal heights and Northglenn.
In addition…the storm produced peak wind gusts from 60 to 74 mph. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 58 mph was observed from the west-northwest.
In 1907…south winds were sustained to 40 mph. The winds were strong all day.
In 1908…the hail storm was unusually severe. Heavy clouds moved over the city from the north and northwest…and by late morning the weather had become very threatening. Heavy rain with intermittent hail from pea to 3/4 inch in diameter fell near noon. The fall of rain and hail totaled 0.68 inch of precipitation with 0.35 inch in just 5 minutes. The temperature fell from 71 degrees to 51 degrees during the storm. The hail did considerable damage to trees…gardens…and hot houses. On sidewalks with northern exposures…the hail ranged in depth from 2 to 6 inches. West winds were sustained to 29 mph during the storm.
In 1956…strong southeast winds raked metro Denver all day. Sustained winds at 44 mph with gusts as high as 61 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 2 miles.
In 1984…golf ball size hail pelted southern and central Aurora. Rainfall of 2.06 inches over central Aurora in just over an hour produced local street flooding.
In 1987…golf ball size hail fell in the southern part of Lakewood.
In 1988…several tornadoes developed across metro Denver. One tornado touched down just northeast of the rocky mountain arsenal. The twister moved very slowly and did no damage…except to demolish a small electrical substation… Even though it was on the ground for nearly 30 minutes. Later…another tornado was sighted east of Brighton about 2 miles north of Barr Lake. An F2 tornado cut a swath through northeast Denver. The main path went through a thickly wooded area for about 6 blocks and uprooted about 500 city owned trees…many of them large elms 75 to 100 years old. Hundreds of privately owned trees were also sucked from the ground by the slow moving twister…which was filmed by a news team in a helicopter as it uprooted trees. The replacement cost to the city owned trees was estimated at 1.5 million dollars. The twister did little damage to buildings. Some homes suffered roof and chimney damage…a gas main was ruptured…and some cars were damaged by falling trees. The uprooted trees also caused curb and sidewalk damage and cut some electrical wires. The funnel cloud passed close to Stapleton International Airport. Aircraft operations were shut down…and the tower was evacuated. The tornado was on the ground for almost 25 minutes. An F3 tornado cut an erratic path through south Denver for about 25 minutes…causing extensive damage in at least 3 areas. The twister damaged about 85 buildings… 20 severely; the total loss was estimated at 5 to 10 million dollars. Many cars were severely damaged; at least 15 vehicles were overturned. One trailer was lifted onto the top of a building that had just been unroofed; numerous antique cars inside the building were damaged. A ford bronco was blown over a church…and landed 100 yards away. A metal storage shed was deposited far above the ground in some power lines. The tornado uprooted many trees on a golf course. No one was seriously hurt…although seven people suffered minor injuries from flying debris. A golfer was thrown 40 feet…but was not hurt; a man clinging to a telephone pole was unscathed…but lost both shoes…a sock…and buttons off his shirt. A woman holding a baby was sucked through a broken convenience store window… But was unhurt. A dog…tethered to the ground by its leash… Was suspended in the air by the twister. Uprooted trees crushed cars and damaged curbs and sidewalks. People in downtown Denver could see three tornadoes occurring simultaneously. Hail as large as 1 3/8 inches in diameter fell in extreme southeast Aurora.
In 1997…a tornado touched down briefly at the Colorado National Speedway near Dacono north of Denver. The tornado ripped through the south grandstand causing at least 50 thousand dollars in damage to a shed…kiosk… Bleachers…and several concession stands.
In 2004…a tornado touched down briefly near Castle Rock and blew the roof off a machine shop. A tornado near Elizabeth destroyed a barn and caused roof damage to a home. Two other barns on nearby properties were damaged extensively. The twister also caused widespread tree damage in the area. A tornado also touched down near Bennett and Strasburg…but did no damage.
In 2009…thunderstorm winds knocked a tree on to two vehicles in Boulder. One of the drivers was injured when the tree smashed into the windshield of her car.
In 1963…heavy rain and hail ravaged metro Denver. In southeast Denver…heavy rain flooded homes and streets. Hail to a depth of 4 inches on the ground stripped trees and plants and drifted to depths of 3 to 4 feet in some areas. Flood waters on the valley highway were 19 feet deep in places…trapping many cars. Many creeks were running over their banks. On the 15th…the main thunderstorm cell passed over south Denver…dumping as much as 4 inches of rain in 90 minutes. Precipitation at Stapleton Airport totaled 0.91 inch on the 15th and 1.31 inches on the 16th. A funnel cloud was sighted briefly 4 miles to the south-southeast of Stapleton Airport on the 15th. Damage from hail and flooding amounted to near a million dollars.