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June 26 to July 2 – This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 5:50am MDT
June 26 to July 2 - This Week in Denver Weather History

June 26 to July 2 - This Week in Denver Weather History

Our look back at this week in Denver weather history certainly has plenty of the usual suspects related to severe weather. Most notable however are the many occurrences of lightning strikes and the effects they can have from sparking fires to causing significant injury and death.

From the National Weather Service:

25-26

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.

26

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.

26-27

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.

27

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.

28

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.
29

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.

29-2

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.

29-15

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.

30

In 1879…dense smoke from mountain forest fires covered the city and obscured the sun as it set behind the mountains.

In 1900…a thunderstorm produced northwest winds to 44 mph with gusts to 58 mph…but only a trace of rain.

In 1917…north winds were sustained to 47 mph with gusts to 52 mph.

In 1942…a strong thunderstorm produced hail and heavy rainfall in south Denver. Leaves were stripped from trees and heavy rain caused street flooding which halted traffic. Hail of unknown size reached a depth of 9 inches on the ground.

In 1965…funnel clouds were observed to the south of Stapleton International Airport and in Jefferson County…15 miles southwest of the airport. Later…a tornado touched down briefly 1 mile east of Littleton…causing only minor damage. Another tornado was observed 12 miles southwest of Stapleton International Airport in Jefferson County. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell in the bear valley area…12 miles south- southwest of Stapleton International Airport. Yet another tornado was sighted 10 miles northwest of the airport. Cloudbursts accompanied by hail battered areas of Arapahoe and Adams counties east of Denver…damaging ripening grain fields. At Lafayette…3.50 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes…causing some flooding.

In 1982…numerous funnel clouds were observed over southwest metro Denver. Only one funnel touched down near the intersection of Jewell and Kipling. The tornado was on the ground for about 5 minutes and caused no damage except for uprooting some trees. In addition…thunderstorms produced heavy rain and hail in the foothills west of Denver. Over an inch of rain fell in a short time near Idaho Springs… Causing Clear Creek to overflow its banks and flood a few low lying areas of the town. A few people were evacuated… And water and mud entered several stores. The heavy rain also washed out several roads. Hail piled up to a depth of 3 to 4 inches near Idaho Springs. Hail to 3/4 inch was reported at many places across metro Denver including Stapleton International Airport. Lightning struck a chemistry building on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder and started a small fire. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 60 mph were reported near Brighton.

In 1984…heavy rain caused some street and basement flooding in Littleton. One location received 1.56 inches of rain in 75 minutes.

In 1987…a weak tornado near Watkins stayed on the ground for 5 minutes.

In 1990…a small twister touched down in an open field just north of the rocky mountain arsenal. No damage was reported.

In 1998…hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell near Evergreen.

In 2005…a severe thunderstorm produced hail as large as 3/4 inch near Roggen. The hail destroyed a wheat field.

In 2006…the temperature reached a high of 98 degrees at Denver International Airport. This marked the 19th day in June with a maximum temperature of 90 degrees or more setting a new all-time record for the month.

30-1

In 1873…heavy rainfall overnight totaled 1.42 inches. Mountain peaks to the southwest of the city were covered with fresh snow on the morning of the 1st.

1

In 1915…northeast winds sustained to 41 mph with gusts to 50 mph occurred just before a thundershower in the evening. Rainfall was only 0.07 inch.

In 1941…unusually heavy thunderstorm rains flooded basements and blocked traffic. Water was curb high on many downtown streets. The thunderstorm also pelted the city with hail of unknown size. Rainfall in downtown Denver totaled 0.72 inch…but greater amounts likely occurred in other parts of the city.

In 1960…a severe dust devil moving through an Adams County suburban area blew over a fireworks stand…injuring an 11- year-old boy customer and two women operators of the stand. The boy was found under the demolished stand 100 feet away.

In 1961…hail as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter was reported over east Denver.

In 1967…golf ball size hail fell over portions of metro Denver. Hail stones to 2 inches in diameter damaged roofs and broke windows in northeast Boulder. Marble to golf ball size hail fell at the Boulder airport. A funnel cloud was sighted over the foothills near Boulder. Hail stones of 1 to 2 inches in diameter were measured at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. Marble size hail fell in the vicinity of Arvada and Westminster.

In 1982…severe thunderstorms dropped large hail in Denver… Boulder…Commerce City…Lakewood…Wheat Ridge…Golden…and Arvada. Most locations reported hail size from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

In 1990…the high temperature reached 102 degrees at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1998…hail to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell near Bennett.

In 2001…the temperature climbed to a high of 101 degrees at Denver International Airport.

1-18

In 1874…a streak of 18 consecutive days of 90 degrees tied for second with another streak that was later set in the summer of 1901. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.

2

In 1879…a severe hail storm produced considerable damage in the vicinity of Arvada. Some of the stones were unusually large…measuring 6.5 inches in circumference (2 inches in diameter) with an average weight of 1 ounce. The stones were uniformly large with one side concave. The greatest damage was to early wheat…cabbage…and vines. A tree just to the south of the weather station in downtown Denver was struck by lightning. Residents in the house 15 feet away were affected by the strike.

In 1885…thunderstorm winds were sustained to 50 mph in the city.

In 1892…an apparent cold front produced sustained northeast winds to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

In 1955…a apparent microburst wind gust to 69 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport where the brief strong wind reduced the visibility to zero in blowing dust.

In 1965…hail…up to 2 inches in diameter…struck southwest Adams and northeast Denver counties…damaging cars…windows… And foliage. Hail accumulated up to a foot deep. Wind gusts to 48 mph and hail to 1 inch in diameter fell at Stapleton International Airport where the large hail broke three storm windows and shredded shrubs at the U.S. Weather Bureau Upper Air building.

In 1968…a pilot reported a tornado 10 miles southeast of Parker.

In 1971…one inch diameter hail stones were reported in Adams County about 30 miles east of Denver.

In 1987…a large tornado touched down 10 miles northeast of Stapleton International Airport. The tornado was vertical and thick and kicked up a large dust and debris cloud. Later…it developed a sinuous rope-like shape as it slowly dissipated. The tornado was visible for 15 minutes. The twister occurred in open country and did only minor damage to a metal shed…porch…and mailbox. A man was killed by lightning in southwest Aurora. He was in his backyard and had a shovel in his hand at the time of the strike. A group of soccer players were hit by lightning on a field in Boulder. A 10-year-old boy was critically injured and hospitalized; fortunately he recovered. Six other people were knocked to the ground by the strike. Two of these were slightly injured. Golf ball size hail fell just east of Littleton and at Highlands Ranch. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter was reported in Aurora and Parker and near Hudson and Franktown.

In 1988…a 45-year-old man was injured by lightning at Cheery Creek Reservoir. Administration of CPR probably saved his life.

In 1990…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…thunderstorm winds blew a roof off a barn near Parker…causing an estimated 15 hundred dollars damage.

In 1994…thunderstorm winds downed power lines in Boulder… Causing power outages. Winds gusted to 66 mph in Boulder… 64 mph in Arvada…and 60 mph in Golden.

In 1998…a small tornado touched down briefly near Barr Lake… But caused no damage.

In 2002…hail as large as 1 3/4 inches in diameter fell in the city of Denver and in Arapahoe County near Littleton. The low temperature of 69 degrees equaled the record high minimum for the date.

In 2006…lightning struck a teenager in Castle Rock as he was mowing his lawn and listening to an iPod. The teen suffered burns to his hands and feet…and had blood running from his ears when he was found. The victim’s eardrums were ruptured…which damaged his hearing. Lightning also struck a house in Castle Rock causing extensive damage to the roof and side of the home. Heavy rains caused flash flooding at Castlewood Canyon State Park near Franktown. The floodwaters destroyed four footbridges along the high trail. A culvert and several roads were washed out in the area. In addition… Two driveways crossing Cherry Creek were washed out near Prairie Canyon Ranch. Heavy rainfall also caused minor flooding on murphy and sand creeks…just east of Buckley AFB. Gun Club Road was closed between Alameda and Mississippi avenues…north of the Murphy Creek Golf Course…where 3 feet of standing water reportedly covered the road. A severe thunderstorm produced large hail to 7/8 inch in diameter in south Aurora near Cherry Creek.

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