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May 10 to May 16 – This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 9:41am MDT
May 10 to May 16 - This week in Denver weather history

May 10 to May 16 - This week in Denver weather history

As we move further into spring we begin to less winter-like weather and more spring weather.  In looking at Denver weather history we can see that transition with more mentions of severe rains, flooding, tornadoes and other spring and summer-like severe weather.

8-10 

In 1979…4.3 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 8th. Most of the snowfall…2.3 inches…occurred on the 9th. High temperature of only 35 degrees on the 9th equaled the record low maximum for the date.

9-10 

In 1889…heavy rainfall totaled 2.15 inches in downtown Denver.  The cold rain was mixed with snow at times overnight.  Temperatures on the 10th ranged from a high of 38 degrees to a low of 32 degrees with north winds sustained to 22 mph.
 
In 2003…a late spring snowstorm hammered the mountains… Eastern foothills…and urban corridor.  The heaviest snowfall occurred north of interstate 70.  The heavy wet snow caused damage to trees throughout metro Denver and downed power lines.  About 40 thousand people along the urban corridor were without power.  Storm total snowfall amounts included:  11.5 inches in Louisville… 8 inches in Boulder and Broomfield; 7 inches in Thornton…Broomfield…at Denver International Airport… And at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport; and 6 inches 4 miles east of Denver.  Snowfall ranged from 4 to 9 inches across extreme southern weld County.  In the foothills…15 inches of snow fell near Jamestown…9 inches at Rollinsville and Rawah…with 8 inches at Chief Hosa and atop Lookout Mountain. The snow was accompanied by thunder on the afternoon of the 9th at Denver International Airport where west winds gusted to 25 mph on the 9th and north winds gusted to 22 mph on the 10th.

10

In 1875…a windstorm sand-blasted the city from 10:00 am until midnight.  Northwest winds sustained to 60 mph brought clouds of sand…which caused high damage to unfinished buildings.
 
In 1912…a vigorous cold front produced strong north winds and rain.  North winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.  Rainfall totaled 1.10 inch.
 
In 1935…no precipitation occurred…making this one of only two days without precipitation during the entire month.  The other day was the 21st.  Precipitation totaled 4.95 inches for the month.
 
In 1956…northwest winds gusted to 53 mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust.
 
In 1974…strong winds caused 30 thousand dollars in damage to a building under construction in Lakewood.  Microburst winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1988…lightning struck a house in Boulder…setting it afire.  The house…valued at 170 thousand dollars…was a total loss.
 
In 1989…golf ball size hail fell over southeast Denver near the junction of I-25 and I-225.  Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell over southeast Aurora.  Only 3/8 inch hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1991…high winds up to 63 mph raked the eastern foothills. Winds estimated to 50 mph tore a roof from a home in Lafayette.  A tower at Jefferson County stadium in west metro Denver was blown over by the high winds.  No injuries were reported.  Southeast winds gusting to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing dust.  The temperature climbed to a high of 86 degrees… Equaling the record maximum for the date.
 
In 2005…severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 2 inches in diameter in and near Longmont.

10-11

In 1918…post-frontal snowfall totaled 4.7 inches in downtown Denver.  Northwest winds gusted to 19 mph on the 10th.
 
In 1923…winds were strong and gusty on both days.  Northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 44 mph on the 10th.  North winds were sustained to 39 mph with gusts to 46 mph behind an apparent cold front on the 11th.

11   

In 1879…an apparent cold front during the afternoon produced sustained north winds as high as 60 mph and great clouds of blowing dust.  The dust filled the air until the thunderstorm rain began…which produced 1.46 inches of rainfall.  The rain ended during the evening.
 
In 1900…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph.
 
In 1958…a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport.
 
In 1963…south-southwest winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton Airport.  Winds May have been stronger over west Denver where some buildings were damaged.
 
In 1998…large hail fell over south metro Denver.  Hail as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter was measured in Parker with 1 inch hail recorded in Littleton and 4 miles south of Lakewood in Jefferson County.  Hail to 3/4 inch diameter was measured in Douglas County…11 miles west- northwest of Parker.

12   

In 1875…two forest fires on the eastern slope of the foothills were visible from the city.
 
In 1904…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.
 
In 1950…brilliant and complete primary and secondary rainbows arching across the sky were observed from Stapleton Airport.
 
In 1951…a wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.
 
In 1984…winds gusted to 69 mph in Boulder.  Northwest winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1987…a small weak tornado touched down for about 2 minutes in southeast Denver.  The twister hit a car dealership…blowing about a dozen windows out of cars and shattering four skylights on the building.  Some tin roofing was blown off a patio a block and a half away.  The tornado also downed a power pole.  Damage at the dealership was estimated at 10 thousand dollars.  A man was slightly injured by lightning in northwest Aurora.
 
In 1995…several funnel clouds were sighted near Parker. One of the funnels produced a short-lived debris cloud on the ground in an open field.  No damage was reported.

12-13

In 1907…the temperature warmed to a high of 73 degrees on the 12th…before a cold front produced a thunderstorm… Northeast winds sustained to 40 mph…and rain changing to light snow overnight.  Snowfall totaled only 2 inches…but the high temperature on the 13th was only 39 degrees.
 
In 1961…a storm that covered metro Denver with rain and snow started as thunderstorms on the evening of the 12th.  Hail to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was reported 10 miles northwest of Stapleton Airport.  Rain continued overnight and changed to snow on the 13th.  Snowfall totaled 6.4 inches and precipitation (rain and melted snow) 1.96 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph.  The rain and heavy wet snow caused icing damage to utility lines.  Heavy snow occurred in the foothills.
 
In 1982…a major storm dumped 1.50 to 3.50 inches of rain across northeast Colorado and deposited prodigious amounts of snow in the foothills.  Coal Creek Canyon southwest of Boulder was buried under 46 inches of snow with 39 inches at Nederland.  The heavy wet snow downed many powerlines in the foothills.  In Thornton…the roof of a school was damaged by water from the heavy rain.  At Stapleton International Airport…1.49 inches of rain were measured over the two day period.  The heavy rain ended a severe and prolonged drought.
 
In 2004…a winter storm produced heavy snow in excess of a foot in the foothills above 6 thousand feet while heavy rain fell across the city.  The heaviest snow occurred in the high country of Boulder County.  Storm total snowfall was 14.5 inches near Jamestown.  Rainfall totaled 0.81 inch at Denver International Airport with 0.94 inch recorded at Denver Stapleton.  A trace of snow was recorded at both locations.  East winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver International Airport on the 12th.

13   

In 1905…a thunderstorm produced hail during the late afternoon.  Precipitation totaled 0.57 inch.

13-14

In 1912…heavy snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over the city. Most of the snow…9.9 inches…fell on the 13th…which was the greatest 24 hour snowfall in May at the time.  This was the last snowfall of the season.  The low temperature dipped to 27 degrees on the morning of the 14th.
 
In 1989…a spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the foothills.  Metro Denver was soaked with 1 to 2 inches of rain.  Rainfall totaled 1.26 inches at Stapleton International Airport.  In the foothills…Echo Lake received 20 inches of snow.  A 30-ton Boulder slid onto I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel…closing the freeway for 2 hours.

14   

In 1910…a thunderstorm produced strong winds during the afternoon.  Northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.
 
In 1913…light moist snow and light hail fell during short intervals…although no thunder was heard.  The trace of snowfall was the only snow of the month.  Precipitation… Mostly rain…totaled 0.44 inch.
 
In 1984…a pilot reported a tornado 16 miles east of Stapleton International Airport.  No damage was reported. A thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1989…lightning struck a home in evergreen…setting it afire.
 
In 1992…strong thunderstorm winds of unknown velocity… Knocked over and damaged the infield tote board at Arapahoe Park Racetrack just southeast of Aurora. Damage was estimated at 200 thousand dollars.  No injuries were reported.  Lightning started two house fires…causing 35 hundred dollars in damage in Adams County just 9 miles north-northwest of Denver.
 
In 1994…a sudden wind gust…estimated at 40 mph…blew a portion of the roof off a shopping center in Lafayette. The roof also damaged two parked cars in an adjacent lot.
 
In 2001…a construction worker in Castle Rock received minor injuries when lightning struck close-by.
 
In 2002…a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport.
 
In 2007…severe thunderstorms producing large hail…very heavy rain…and tornadoes impacted the urban corridor and adjacent plains.  Heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm caused flooding along a small tributary draining into the South Platte River.  The incident took place at 13th and Decatur St….near Invesco Field.  The floodwaters inundated the bike trail adjacent to the creek. A woman with her child sought refuge under a bridge and became trapped by the high water.  The woman slipped and the stroller containing the child was swept into the swift current.  The child drowned.  Rainfall totaled 0.42 inches at Denver International Airport.  Elsewhere…golfball hail was reported near Hudson.  Hail…up to one inch in diameter…was observed in Boulder and Lyons. Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 70 mph were reported near Buckley Air Force Base…with a peak wind gust to 37 mph observed at Denver International Airport.  A small tornado touched down near Ft. Lupton but did no damage.

14-15

In 1977…high winds up to 100 mph felled hundreds of trees in Gilpin County and caused extensive damage to telephone and power lines.  Lumber and steel tanks were blown around in Boulder canyon.  West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 15th.

14-18

In 1996…a period of unusually warm weather resulted in 4 record maximum temperatures in 5 days.  The record high temperatures were 87 degrees on the 14th…89 degrees on the 15th…and 93 degrees on both the 16th and 18th.  The temperature climbed to only 81 degrees on the 17th which was not a record.

15   

In 1894…southwest winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 50 mph.
 
In 1910…an apparent cold front produced sustained northeast winds to 48 mph.
 
In 1986…a thunderstorm dumped an inch of rain in an hour over the eastern part of Aurora.  Total rainfall from the storm was 1.62 inches.
 
In 1989…a 47 year old man…a Lakewood police officer…was struck and injured by lightning.  Small hail piled up 3 to 4 inches deep near Golden.  There was reported street flooding from heavy thunderstorm rains over western metro Denver.  Rainfall totaled 0.76 inch at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1990…a thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 69 mph at Jefferson County airport in Broomfield.  Thunderstorm winds gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing dust.
 
In 1991…a funnel cloud was sighted near Morrison.  Later… Hail up to 2 inches deep covered U.S. Highway 285 at South Turkey Creek Road in west metro Denver.  Baseball size hail was reported on the east side of Littleton.  Dime size hail was reported in Boulder.
 
In 1993…lightning started a fire which damaged a home in Boulder.  No one was injured.
 
In 1997…a wind gust to 58 mph was recorded at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.  A street sign was blown down at the Havana Street exit along I-70.
 
In 1999…lightning ignited a small fire in a 3-story structure in sunshine canyon above Boulder.  The fire was quickly extinguished and caused only minor damage.
 
In 2003…thunderstorms produced very heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding in the foothills of central Boulder County.  Rainfall ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in less than 2 hours.  Water ranging in depth from 6 to 9 inches covered state highway 119 in Boulder canyon.  Dirt and rocks also washed over the roadway.  Some basements were flooded in the sugarloaf area.  Rockslides were also reported at Boulder falls…Lefthand Canyon…and Fourmile Canyon.

15-16

In 1957…heavy snowfall totaled 8.8 inches at Stapleton Airport. The greatest amount on the ground was 3 inches.
 
In 1986…a spring storm dumped 1 to 2 inches of rain over metro Denver…but 2.71 inches fell at Buckley Field in Aurora.  Rainfall only totaled 0.84 inch at Stapleton International Airport.  Snow fell in the foothills with 7 inches recorded in coal creek canyon southwest of Boulder.

16   

In 1875…a heavy hail storm turned into heavy rain during the afternoon.  Rainfall totaled 0.86 inch in just 37 minutes…while the temperature dropped 22 degrees in 22 minutes.  Precipitation totaled 0.90 inch.
 
In 1894…west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 56 mph.
 
In 1949…a tornado was observed for 16 minutes…20 miles to the southeast of Stapleton Airport.  The tornado moved 5 miles to the northeast before dissipating.  No damage was reported.
 
In 1963…intense lightning started several forest fires in the foothills southwest of Denver near Deckers and Cheeseman Lake.  Little precipitation fell from the storms to alleviate the unusual dry conditions so early in the season.
 
In 1978…thunderstorm winds caused damage in southeast Aurora.  Winds of 60 to 80 mph blew down numerous fences and damaged several homes under construction.  High winds tore docks loose at Cheery Creek Reservoir…sinking 3 or 4 boats and damaging about 15 others.  At Stapleton International Airport where winds gusted to 60 mph…a 727 jet suffered 15 hundred dollars damage when wind toppled a runway light onto it.  The public reported an unconfirmed tornado 7 miles south-southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1990…a line of thunderstorms moving across metro Denver uprooted a large ash tree…which fell and blocked the outside doors to a Denver elementary school…briefly trapping the students inside.  Thunderstorm wind gusts to 69 mph were reported at Jefferson County airport. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
 
In 1991…two tornadoes touched down briefly in Castle Rock… But no injuries or damage were recorded.  Heavy thunderstorm rains of 0.50 to 1.10 inches in a couple of hours caused Lena Gulch near Golden to flood.  No damage was reported.
 
In 1996…dry microburst winds of unknown strength overturned a trailer and damaged storage sheds in Strasburg east of Denver.

16-17

In 1981…a heavy rain storm dumped 1 to 2 1/2 inches of rain across metro Denver.  Rainfall totaled 1.27 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 38 mph on 17th.
 
In 1983…a very strong late spring storm dumped heavy snow over the Front Range.  Strong winds with the storm produced blizzard conditions at times.  Sustained winds were 20 to 40 mph with a peak gust to 55 mph at Stapleton International Airport.  The foothills received 1 to 2 feet of snow with 4 to 12 inches along the foothills.  Howling winds whipped the snow into drifts several feet deep…closing schools and highways.  Stapleton International Airport was forced to reduce flight operations…closing 2 of 4 runways and stranding hundreds of travelers.  Most of the damage and inconvenience caused by the storm was in power outages… Which occurred when wind and heavy wet snow caused hundreds of power poles to snap and topple.  About 20 square miles of Denver were blacked out.  Precipitation from the storm totaled 1 to 3 inches.  At Stapleton International Airport… Snowfall totaled 7.1 inches with a maximum snow depth on the ground of only 2 inches due to melting.  The high temperature of 40 degrees on the 17th was a record low maximum for the date.  Due to the heavy moisture content of the storm…widespread street flooding occurred on the 18th when much of the snow melted under the warm May sun and temperatures climbed to a high of 57 degrees.
 
In 1995…significant moisture and upslope flow caused flooding across metro Denver.  Moderate to heavy rains… Which began on the evening of the 16th…developed in the foothills and spread eastward over metro Denver throughout the night.  The heavy rains brought many creeks and small streams to bankfull or slightly over.  Locations along the foothills received between 3 and 4 inches of rainfall from the storm.  Boulder received 3.60 inches of rainfall for the 24-hour period…causing minor street flooding near small streams.  To the northwest of Boulder…a bridge which crossed Fourmile Creek was washed out.  Numerous rock and mudslides occurred in foothills canyons…closing portions of U.S. Highways 6 and 40 and state highway 119 for a few hours at a time.  Rocks were piled 6 feet deep on a stretch of state highway 119 along with Boulders as large as cars on U.S. Highway 6.  A parking lot near a creek in Golden caved in leaving a hole the size of an 18-wheeler.  Rushing water washed out a 50-foot stretch of a road in Westminster. Rainfall totaled 1.75 inches at Denver International Airport…but only 1.42 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

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