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May 9 to May 15 – This week in Denver weather history

Sunday, May 9th, 2010 5:38am MDT
May 9 to May 15 - This week in Denver weather history

May 9 to May 15 - This week in Denver weather history

As we get further into spring our look back at Denver weather history begins to show more typical severe weather.  This week in Denver weather history we see plenty of hail, heavy rainfall, a tornado or two and lightning that caused serious injuries. 

8-9  

In 1957…intense heavy rain caused flash flooding on toll gate creek in Aurora where 3 people were killed in a car. Up to 4 inches of rain fell in 5 hours in the Toll Gate Creek basin.  The rain also caused flash flooding on Sand Creek in Aurora and Denver.  Rainfall totaled 3.29 inches at Stapleton Airport with most of the rain…2.34 inches… Occurring on the 9th.

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

In 1875…a heavy windstorm swept across the city for most of the day.  West-northwest winds averaged a sustained speed of 31 mph between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm.  The peak wind was sustained to 45 mph at 9:50 am.
 
In 1918…post-frontal winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts as high as 43 mph.  Only a trace of rain fell.
 
In 1941…a tornado was noted at 2:20 pm to the northeast of downtown and was followed by another similar shaped cloud or dust roll estimated 3 miles behind.  Thick dust followed with heavy gusts of wind.  The temperature fell 15 degrees in 10 minutes following the twister.  The mild tornado did little damage except to unprotected frame structures.  Winds were sustained to 50 mph with the passing of the tornado at Stapleton Airport.  It was visible to observers for 10 minutes and was lost from sight as it traveled east into huge rolls of dust.  Hail and rain followed with a few hailstones as large as 1/2 inch in diameter downtown.  No damage was reported from the hail.  Thunderstorm winds sustained to 31 mph produced blowing dust downtown.  Precipitation was only 0.07 inch.
 
In 1983…streams swollen by recent rain and snowmelt caused an earthen dam to collapse…washing out portions of State Highway 67 near Deckers in southern Douglas County.
 
In 1992…three boys…ages 11…12…and 16…were struck by lightning while taking cover under a large tree during a thunderstorm in Jefferson County…just 7 miles northwest of Denver.  The three were seriously injured.

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…golf ball 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.

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