Late spring and early summer continue Colorado’s severe weather season. Looking back at this week in Denver weather history we see we experience a wide variety of conditions from record-setting heat to damaging thunderstorms with hail, wind and flooding.
From the National Weather Service:
In 1874…a thunderstorm pelted the city with hail and brief heavy rain. Rainfall was 0.30 inch in 10 minutes. Total rainfall was 0.36 inch for the day. Hail to 1/4 inch in diameter destroyed the strawberry fields near the limits of the city. The thunderstorm dropped the temperature from 93 degrees to 80 degrees in 5 minutes.
In 1887…north winds were sustained to 42 mph.
In 1954…the temperature climbed to a high of 102 degrees… Setting a record for the date.
In 1962…lightning struck and injured a man near Buffalo… southwest of Denver…while he was riding in the back of a pick-up truck. He suffered multiple bruises…cuts…and shock.
In 1965…an apparent tornado was reported 18 miles east of Denver. No damage was reported.
In 1975…hail up to 3/4 inch in diameter fell at Stapleton International Airport and over other parts of metro Denver. Four funnel clouds were sighted: 10 miles northeast of Denver…south of Boulder…southeast of Boulder…and south of Aurora.
In 1976…heavy rain and eroding water collapsed a retaining wall in Thornton.
In 1981…a thunderstorm produced wind gusts to 60 mph in Littleton.
In 1982…two separate bolts of lightning injured three men in southwest Denver. Two buildings were slightly damaged.
In 1987…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across metro Denver. Golf ball size hail fell in Littleton…near Morrison…and in southeast Aurora with 1 1/2 inch hail recorded in south Lakewood and 1 inch hail reported in Littleton…Arvada…and at Cherry Creek dam. Two funnel clouds were sighted 20 miles southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1993…non-convective high winds developed along the Front Range foothills. Wind gusts to 70 mph were common near the foothills with numerous tree limbs broken by the winds. North winds gusting to 36 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1999…hail as large as 1 inch in diameter was measured in the city of Denver with 3/4 inch hail in Littleton.
In 2001…a severe thunderstorm produced large hail in south metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 1/2 inch in diameter fell in Littleton with 1 1/4 inch hail near Sheridan.
In 2009…hail up to 1 inch in diameter was observed near Parker. At Denver International Airport…a total of 1.64 inches was measured in a 24-hr period…setting a new record for the date.
In 1873…there was a great deal of smoke from a fire in the mountains to the southwest of the city during the late afternoon.
In 1875…smoke from forest fires in the mountains to the southwest could plainly be seen from the city.
In 1958…a strong cold front produced a north wind gust to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 1 mile.
In 1982…one inch diameter hail pelted west Denver. A half inch of rain drenched the suburb of Englewood in 10 minutes. Hail piled up to 5 inches deep…snarling rush hour traffic and damaging some stores in a shopping center when the roof started leaking.
In 1988…lightning destroyed the chimney of a house near Evergreen. Another bolt demolished a radio transmitter in the area.
In 1989…golf ball size hail cut a swath 2 1/2 miles wide through open country 14 miles southwest of Bennett. The storm also dropped 1.75 inches of rain on the area. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter damaged the car of a storm chaser just south of Bennett.
In 1996…a funnel cloud was sighted near Hudson where hail up to 1 3/4 inch diameter fell. Lightning struck a home in Littleton…which sparked a small fire on the roof. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 64 mph were recorded in Castle Rock.
In 2005…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell near Castle Rock and Thornton. Hail to 3/4 inch was measured near Northglenn and Fort Lupton.
In 2006…severe thunderstorms raked metro Denver. Hail as large as 2 1/2 inches in diameter shattered automobile windshields in and near Boulder. Hail to 1 3/4 inches pounded areas in and near Lakewood and Morrison. Hail to 1 inch was measured in Wheat Ridge along with 7/8 inch hail in Arvada. Severe thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 69 mph snapped power lines for a distance of one quarter mile near Castle Rock. Severe thunderstorm winds were measured to 60 mph in Sedalia. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell near Evergreen and Castle Rock. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in Louviers and near Conifer.
In 1873…forest fires produced a great deal of smoke in the mountains to the southwest of the city.
In 1958…an unusually cold day for summer set two temperature records for the date. Under cloudy skies with occasional drizzle…a record low maximum temperature of 55 degrees was established along with a record minimum temperature of 42 degrees.
In 1959…a waitress…working at a kitchen sink…was injured by a bolt of lightning…which struck the rear of a tavern in Denver. She was hospitalized.
In 1971…a tornado touched down briefly at a high school football field in Brighton…but caused no damage.
In 1981…3/4 inch hail pelted Wheat Ridge and hail to 1 1/4 inches fell in Louisville. A brief funnel cloud was sighted by national weather service personnel 4 miles east of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982…a bolt of lightning struck a cabin in the foothills west of Denver. The resulting fire totally destroyed the cabin.
In 1987…golf ball size hail fell near Bennett.
In 1988…a tornado touched down 1 mile south of Watkins and was on the ground for 4 minutes. Another tornado was spotted just southeast of Barr Lake and was on the ground for 5 minutes. No damage was reported from either tornado. Lightning struck two rock climbers near Eldorado Springs. A 25-year-old man was killed…and a 21-year-old man suffered extensive injuries. Thunderstorm winds knocked over two elm trees near downtown Denver. One fell on a house destroying most of it. A nearby building was unroofed…and two cars were damaged. A truck that had been severely damaged by one of the Denver tornadoes 10 days before was hit again. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 51 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees… Setting a new record for the date.
In 1997…one inch diameter hail fell in Arvada and 1 1/2 inch hail in Boulder. Hail as large as 3/4 inches fell in Denver…Louisville…Westminster…and near Broomfield.
In 1999…thunderstorm winds gusted to 58 mph near Fort Lupton toppling an oil rig. A 37-year-old man was killed when he fell 55 feet from the derrick of the rig.
In 2001…four golfers and one construction worker received minor injuries from a nearby lightning strike on the Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.
In 2002…hail to 1 inch in diameter was measured in Greenwood Village.
In 2005…hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell near Bennett and Roggen. A thunderstorm wind gust to 61 mph was recorded near Golden.
In 2009…lightning struck the Darlington Prismatic Electric Fountain in City Park’s lake. The damage was estimated to be approximately $25000.
In 2010…wind gusts associated with a dry microburst downed several trees in the vicinity of 14th and federal…and near Bayaud St. and Clarkson St. In Denver. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 45 mph was observed from the southwest.
In 1969…high winds raked Boulder causing one fatality and some injuries. One man was injured by a falling tree limb. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder… Sustained winds of 55 to 60 mph with wind gusts to 123 mph were recorded. In downtown Boulder…winds averaged 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Widespread minor damage occurred… Especially in the Table Mesa area of south Boulder. Much tree damage occurred in the older areas of Boulder where several trees were uprooted. A mobile home was overturned by the winds. At Stapleton Airport…west winds gusted to 43 mph on the 25th and 37 mph on the 26th.
In 1975…strong winds damaged utility lines…buildings… Vehicles…trees…and power lines in Boulder and other communities to the north of Boulder. Microburst winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 25th.
In 1983…heavy rain fell in the foothills west of Denver with 1.50 inches in 30 minutes at Intercanyon. Heavy rain continued over metro Denver on the 26th with two-day storm totals at many locations ranging from 1.00 to 2.50 inches. Rainfall totaled 1.37 inches at Stapleton International Airport on the 26th.
In 1985…one to two inches of rain fell over metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…rainfall totaled 0.93 inches…thunderstorm winds gusted to 44 mph…and 7/10 inch hail was measured. The air mass was unusually cold for the season…and snow fell in the foothills above 8 thousand feet. The high temperature of only 63 degrees on the 26th equaled the record low maximum reading for the date.
In 1873…there was a great deal of smoke from a large forest fire in the mountains to the southwest of the city and a smaller fire directly to the west.
In 1874…fires at timberline to the west were visible from the city. New and extensive fires were continually started from south to northwest along the ridge line. Carelessness of tourists was the apparent cause of the fires. Large and valuable tracts of timber had already been destroyed.
In 1890…the only thunderstorm of the month produced a trace of rain. A trace of rain also fell on 7 other days. This was the only precipitation recorded during the month… Making it the driest June on record.
In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 48 mph.
In 1971…a microburst wind gust to 58 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. Dust devils were sighted.
In 1980…strong gusty thunderstorm winds damaged several mobile homes in Thornton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1986…hail piled up 1 1/2 inches deep in Golden Gate Canyon and covered roadways an inch deep in Evergreen.
In 1988…a tornado touched down 2 miles north of Watkins. It was on the ground for 15 minutes and did no reported damage.
In 1989…two inch diameter hail fell at Kassler…1 inch hail at Louviers…and 1 1/2 inch hail at Tiny Town.
In 1991…high winds…not associated with thunderstorms… Damaged a home in the green mountain area. The strong winds picked up a heavy metal and glass table on the deck of a house and threw it into the house. The table was destroyed and the house received considerable damage.
In 1992…3/4 inch diameter hail fell in south Aurora and near Buckley Air National Guard Base. Golf ball size hail was reported in Parker.
In 1994…the all-time highest recorded temperature in June and the second highest temperature ever recorded in Denver… 104 degrees occurred. This was the hottest day in Denver since August 8…1878…when the temperature reached 105 degrees.
In 2005…strong thunderstorm winds gusting to 58 mph damaged a garage and some nearby trees near Fort Lupton. Winds also gusted to 58 mph near Watkins. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 60 mph near Roggen. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured in southwest Aurora.
In 2009…severe thunderstorms moving through Denver and the surrounding metro area produced intense thunderstorm winds. At Denver International Airport…a wind gust blew a luggage car into a southwest airlines airplane causing some damage. Peak wind gusts included: 68 mph at Denver International Airport…4 miles west of rocky mountain metropolitan airport and 12.5 miles north of Lowry AFB; 64 mph near Arvada and Parker; and 60 mph in Aurora/cherry.
In 1965…wind gusts to 38 mph were recorded in downtown Boulder…causing widespread minor damage. A microburst wind gust to 41 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1873…Pikes Peak was hidden from view by smoke from forest fires in the mountains to the southwest of the city.
In 1927…the temperature cooled to a low of only 72 degrees… The all-time record high minimum for the month.
In 1980…lightning injured 4 people on a baseball diamond in Broomfield. The bolt seriously injured the pitcher while also striking (out) the batter…catcher and second baseman.
In 1987…a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1990…the temperature reached a high of 102 degrees… Setting a new record maximum for the date.
In 1993…thunderstorm winds gusted to 60 mph across parts of metro Denver. A wind gust to 50 mph blew over a 30-foot canvas tent at an amusement park southeast of Denver. Fifteen people…mostly children…were injured. Microburst wind gusts to 33 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2002…heavy rain…up to 3/4 inch…fell across sections of the Hayman burn area near Cheeseman Reservoir. Several forest service roads were washed out and many culverts were plugged by debris.
In 2004…heavy rain producing thunderstorms caused rock and mud slides across the overland fire burn area in Jamestown. An estimated 50 tons of sand…dirt…rock…and ash slid into town…filling a culvert under Main Street. The slide covered 150 to 225 feet of Main Street. The flood was produced by half an inch of rain in 30 minutes. A deluge of very heavy rainfall from nearly stationary thunderstorms caused flooding and flash flooding problems over parts of Jefferson and Douglas counties. An automated rain gage in Golden measured 3.60 inches of rainfall in one hour. Numerous homes were flooded in Golden…including one that was 146 years old. The home was listed as a complete loss. State Highway 93 had to be closed from the pine ridge subdivision to the Golden Gate Canyon road. At the height of the storm…about 4 feet of water covered State Highway 93 through Golden… Forcing its temporary closure. Several intersections were also flooded and impassable. Rock and mud slides were reported in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. At the deer creek golf course at Colorado 470 and Kipling…the greens were completely inundated by floodwaters. Some backyards near the golf course were partially washed out. In Douglas County…water up to a foot deep covered the roadways in Roxborough State Park. The Waterton Canyon road also had to be closed due to high water.
In 2010…a severe thunderstorm produced hail up to 1 inch in diameter near Strasburg. Hail up to 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in Aurora and Buckley Air Field.
In 1873…there was a great deal of smoke over the city from forest fires in the mountains.
In 1875…smoke from forest fires in the foothills south of Denver were visible from the city.
In 1913…an apparent dry microburst produced southwest winds sustained to 44 mph with gusts to 48 mph in the city.
In 1925…a thunderstorm produced north winds sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 44 mph.
In 1958…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 58 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1964…lightning struck several homes in metro Denver… Sparking fires. Some flooding occurred in the stockyards area…at west 45th avenue and St. Paul Street…and along Harvard Gulch.
In 1997…strong microburst winds of unknown speed downed several trees…signs…and at least one light pole in the Fort Lupton area. Two trees knocked over by the storm downed power lines causing scattered outages.
In 2002…a thunderstorm wind gust to 60 mph was recorded in Parker.
In 2005…severe thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 66 mph near Longmont and to 60 mph near Niwot. No damage was reported. A thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 55 mph at Denver International Airport during the afternoon.
In 1874…eight different fires in mountain forests were visible from the city. All of the fires were extensive… And the volume of smoke from each was immense. Three of these fires had been burning from the 18th with varied intensity.
In 1911…an apparent dry microburst produced sustained winds to 45 mph.
In 1960…a strong gust of wind blew a small foreign sedan off the highway near Brighton…injuring the driver. East winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1961…thunderstorm winds estimated as high as 40 to 50 mph occurred over southeast Denver. No significant damage was reported.
In 1962…heavy rain and small hail caused some flooding in southwest Denver.
In 1995…upslope cloudiness with rain and fog cooled temperatures to record levels. Low temperature of 47 degrees equaled the record for the date. High temperature of only 54 degrees set a new record low maximum for the date. Rainfall totaled 0.90 inch at Denver International Airport and 0.41 inch at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
In 2003…a severe thunderstorm in Parker produced hail to 1 inch in diameter.
In 2011…two airmen from the Colorado national guard suffered minor injuries when they were struck by lightning. They were hit while on duty at a flight line at Buckley Air Force Base. At Denver International Airport…a microburst produced a peak wind gust to 72 mph.
In 1990…almost a year to date after the record breaking heat in early July 1989…the third longest heat wave in Denver history started. From June 29th through July 2nd the temperature reached 100 degrees or more on four consecutive days. The highest reading of 102 degrees occurred on the 29th…30th…and 1st. Combined with the 102 degree reading on June 27th this would have been the longest heat wave on record…but the temperature climbed to only 98 degrees on June 28th.
In 2000…the 29th marked the beginning of a near record hot streak for metro Denver. The high temperatures…as recorded at Denver International Airport…exceeded the 90 degree mark for 17 consecutive days from June 29th through July 15th. The record of 24 consecutive 90 degree or above days was set from July 13th through August 5th…2008.