As we enter Denver’s second snowiest month, we of course see plenty of events involving that dominant weather condition. Sadly we also see two occassions when the winter-like weather turned deadly.
- Don’t miss: November 2009 weather preview
From the 29th to the 1st:
In 1972…heavy snowfall totaled 15.5 inches at Stapleton International Airport. However…the heaviest snow occurred on Halloween night when 7 inches fell on trick-or-treaters during a short 3-hour period. I-25 was closed south of Denver. North winds gusting to 29 mph caused some blowing snow on the 1st. The snow started late on the 29th and ended during the mid afternoon on the 1st. The greatest snow depth on the ground at Stapleton International Airport was 13 inches on the 1st.
From the 31st to the 1st:
In 1951…6.4 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton Airport.
In 1989…a Halloween storm dropped 3 to 6 inches of snow on metro Denver with the adjacent foothills receiving 5 to 10 inches. Snowfall totaled 4.5 inches at Stapleton International Airport…where north winds gusted to 31 mph on the 31st. Most of the snow fell on the evening of the 31st…but the storm left icy streets throughout metro Denver on the morning of the 1st…making it a “spooky” commute for many motorists.
In 2004…heavy snow fell in and near the foothills of Jefferson and Douglas counties. Storm total snowfall included: 14.5 inches in Aspen Park…10 inches at Roxborough State Park and near Sedalia…8 inches near Bergen Park…and 7 inches in Highlands Ranch. Snowfall totaled only 3.2 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Post-frontal northeast winds gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport.
On the 1st:
In 1896…northwest Chinook winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees in the city.
In 1973…wind gusts to 92 mph were recorded in Boulder. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 70 degrees.
In 1989…a 39-year-old Lakewood man in a motorized wheelchair was found dead of exposure early in the morning after an overnight snowfall dumped 3 to 6 inches of snow across metro Denver.
From the 1st to the 2nd:
In 1892…snowfall totaled 5.0 inches in downtown Denver. This was the only snow of the month.
In 1956…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches at Stapleton Airport. The storm was accompanied by much blowing and drifting snow. North winds gusted to 47 mph.
In 1991…the storm system which hit the Front Range at the end of October finished the job during the start of November. Six inches of new snow were recorded at both Rollinsville and Morrison…while 2.9 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 17 mph. The temperature climbed to a high of only 19 degrees on the 2nd…setting a record low maximum for the date.
In 1995…a winter storm dropped 5 to 8 inches of snow in the Front Range foothills. The exception was at Golden gate canyon where a foot of new snow was measured. Icy roads…fog…and blowing snow along I-70 in the foothills west of Denver caused dozens of accidents. One man was killed when he lost control of his vehicle and was ejected when his truck hit a median and rolled over. At least 20 other accidents involved minor injuries. Only 1.0 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where some freezing rain also fell.
On the 2nd:
In 1939…a trace of snow fell over downtown Denver. This snow…along with a trace of snow on the 9th…was the only snow of the month…ranking it…along with other months…the second least snowiest November on record.
In 1967…post-cold frontal heavy snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 29 mph…briefly reducing the visibility to 1/8 mile.
In 1992…the first major snowfall of the season dumped 4.6 inches of snow at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 26 mph. Heavier amounts of snow fell in and near the foothills with 8 inches at Conifer… Empire…and bailey…6 inches at Rollinsville and Golden Gate Canyon…and 4 inches at Morrison and Wheat Ridge.
From the 2nd to the 3rd:
In 1974…heavy snowfall totaled 6.1 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 23 mph on the 3rd. Most of the snow fell on the 3rd. Maximum snow depth on the ground was 5 inches.
In 1990…a winter storm dumped 3 to 8 inches of heavy wet snow across metro Denver. In the foothills snow amounts ranged from 4 to 10 inches. Slushy snow and ice-covered roads snarled traffic. The snow…ice…and poor visibilities were blamed for numerous traffic accidents. Low clouds… Fog…and snow delayed air traffic at Stapleton International Airport for at least 90 minutes on the afternoon of the 2nd. Snowfall totaled 5.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph.
From the 2nd to the 5th:
In 1946…a major snow storm dumped 30.4 inches of heavy snowfall downtown and 31.0 inches at Stapleton Airport. The winter storm closed schools and disrupted all forms of transportation in the city. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was 28 inches at the airport. The duration of the snowfall…from 4:22 am on the 2nd to 3:08 am on the 5th… A total of 70 hours and 46 minutes…is the second longest period of continuous precipitation on record and the second heaviest snowfall of record at the time in Denver. The 17.7 inches of snowfall on the 2nd and 3rd was the greatest 24- hour snowfall ever recorded during the month of November. Buses and street cars had a difficult time…and many cars were abandoned along roadsides and streets for several days. Secondary roads in rural areas were blocked for 2 to 3 weeks. Several buildings in the city collapsed or were damaged from the weight of the heavy snow. Football games were canceled. Livestock losses were high over eastern Colorado. The precipitation from this storm alone exceeded the greatest amount ever recorded in Denver during the entire month of November previously. The precipitation recorded downtown was 2.03 inches…and the previous record for the entire month of November was 1.95 inches in 1922. North winds were sustained to 26 mph on the 2nd.
On the 3rd:
In 1940…the longest period without snow…200 days…ended on this date with the first snow of the season…a trace…on November 4…1940. The last snow of the previous season… Also a trace…occurred on April 17…1940.
In 1959…a rare thunderstorm in November occurred around sunrise. Rainfall measured only 0.02 inch at Stapleton Airport.
In 1993…periodic high winds buffeted the foothills west of Denver. Wind gusts to 90 mph were recorded at Rollinsville in the foothills southwest of Boulder…while gusts to 85 mph were observed atop Squaw Mountain near Idaho Springs. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1996…a rare November thunderstorm during the early evening produced 0.10 inch of rain at Denver International Airport and only 0.06 inch of rain at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
In 2005…strong winds developed over the urban corridor. While the damaging winds were in the Fort Collins area… High winds also developed to the south of Denver in Douglas County. Peak wind reports included 70 mph at Franktown…65 mph in Castle Rock…and 61 mph in Sedalia. West winds gusting as high as 47 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 69 degrees at Denver International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty for most of the daytime hours across metro Denver.
From the 3rd to the 5th:
In 1994…a fast moving snow storm dumped 8 to 9 inches of snow on Boulder…Broomfield…and Lafayette. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where on the 3rd east winds gusted to 20 mph and some freezing drizzle fell.
On the 4th:
In 1940…a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver. This marked the start of the shortest snow season on record… 167 days…through April 19…1941…when 0.4 inch of snow fell.
In 1959…high winds caused damage in many areas of the eastern plains. In Denver…winds averaged 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Some damage was reported to utility lines…signs…and vehicles. Northeast winds were sustained to 30 mph at Stapleton Airport.
From the 4th to the 5th:
In 1933…the first measurable snow of the season totaled only 2.5 inches. This was the only measurable snow of the month. Northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 4th.
In 1951…heavy snowfall of 5.7 inches was measured at Stapleton Airport where northwest winds gusted to 32 mph.
On the 5th:
In 1896…west Chinook winds sustained to 44 mph with gusts to 46 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees in the city.
In 1919…a rare November thunderstorm produced a mixture of rain and snow during the evening. Precipitation totaled only 0.14 inch with only a trace of snow. Northeast winds were sustained to 39 mph with gusts to 44 mph.
In 1948…a west-northwest wind gust to 50 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.
In 1994…winds gusted to 76 mph on the summit of Squaw Mountain…5 miles south of Idaho Springs.
In 2000…snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and across the southern suburbs. Snow totals included 6 inches near Evergreen…11 miles southwest of Morrison… And 7 miles south of Tiny Town and 5 inches in Aurora and Parker. Snowfall totaled 5.5 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 26 mph at Denver International Airport where the visibility was reduced to 1/4 mile in heavy snow at times.
From the 5th to the 6th:
In 1938…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 16 mph with gusts to 19 mph on the 5th.
From the 5th to the 7th:
In 1918…rain was mixed with and changed to snow…which became heavy and totaled 8.1 inches in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 21 mph with gusts to 23 mph.
On the 6th:
In 1962…west winds gusted to 55 mph…briefly reducing the visibility to 1 1/2 miles in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport. The strong winds blew all day.
In 1989…high winds to 62 mph were recorded in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991…strong westerly Chinook winds blew into metro Denver with gusts to 88 mph recorded at Rollinsville and to 51 mph in Boulder. Later…northeast winds with gusts of 30 to 40 mph were common across all of metro Denver behind a cold front…which produced only 0.2 inch of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport.
On the 7th:
In 1958…a strong cold front produced northeast wind gusts to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport where some blowing dust was observed.
In 1980…Chinook winds at sustained speeds of 40 mph were recorded with a peak gust to 71 mph measured at Wondervu southwest of Boulder. West winds gusted to 25 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1989…strong winds buffeted many foothills areas. Wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph were recorded in Boulder and Longmont. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1996…wind gusts to 75 mph were recorded at Golden gate canyon and at the rocky flats environmental test facility northwest of Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1998…upslope conditions…coupled with a moist and unstable air mass…allowed heavy snow to develop in the foothills west of Denver. Snowfall generally ranged from 4 to 6 inches…but 7 inches were measured 4 miles south of Evergreen. Only 1.2 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This was the first measurable snow of the season.
From the 7th to the 8th:
In 1969…wind gusts to 48 mph in downtown Boulder caused minor damage.