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November 10 to November 16: This Week in Denver Weather History

Sunday, November 10th, 2019 4:56am MST
This week in Denver weather history

November 10 to November 16: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wintry weather is not unusual this time of year but as our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows, high winds can be just as common and oftentimes more damaging.

From the National Weather Service:

8-10

In 1985…Indian summer came to an abrupt end when a winter storm dumped 10 to 18 inches of snow in the Front Range foothills and 6 to 10 inches across metro Denver…snarling traffic and causing flight delays of up to 3 hours at Stapleton International Airport. The temperature plunged from a high of 66 degrees on the 8th to a low of only 13 degrees on the 9th…after the passage of a vigorous cold front with northeast winds gusting to 32 mph. The temperature climbed to only 19 degrees on the 10th…setting a record low maximum for the date. Snowfall totaled 7.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport with most of the snow…7.1 inches…falling on the 9th.

10

In 1897…west Chinook winds sustained to 51 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 64 degrees.

In 1915…southwest winds were sustained to 41 mph with gusts as high as 44 mph.

In 1955…strong winds raked the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 80 mph was recorded atop Rocky Flats south of Boulder where some damage occurred.

In 1995…snowfall totaled 6 to 9 inches in the foothills west of Denver…while only 2.2 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1998…strong bora winds gusting from 70 to 92 mph coupled with blowing snow created whiteout and slick black ice conditions at the base of the foothills west of Denver. State Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder and C-470… Near the Morrison interchange were closed for several hours due to multiple car accidents. Dozens of motorists were stranded until weather conditions improved. A small motor home was a total loss when it caught fire after being blown on its side by strong crosswinds. A man was injured when he was blown off a vehicle while attempting to rescue the occupants. Wind gusts included: 92 mph atop Blue Mountain near Coal Creek Canyon…83 mph atop Fritz Peak near Rollinsville…and 77 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. West winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…freezing drizzle was widespread across northeastern Colorado with the heaviest amounts near the foothills in the evening. The freezing drizzle made many highways icy and slick…which contributed to a number of traffic accidents. Some highways across metro Denver were closed at times…including portions of State Highway 119 between Boulder and Longmont and U.S. 36 between Westminster and Boulder. State Highway 93 between Boulder and Golden atop Rocky Flats became nearly impassable due to a coating of ice by late evening.

10-11

In 1911…a strong cold front produced snow and a cold wave. The temperature dropped 68 degrees from a high of 66 degrees at 12:40 pm on the 10th to a low of 2 degrees below zero at 7:15 am on the 11th. The low temperature of 23 degrees at midnight on the 10th was also the high temperature on the 11th. Northeast winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 51 mph. Snowfall was only 2.5 inches.

In 1982…up to 4 inches of snow fell over the higher terrain between Denver and Colorado springs. Winds gusted to 50 mph along the foothills. Rainfall totaled 0.27 inch with only 0.1 inch of snow on the 11th at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph. Dense fog with visibilities as low as zero persisted all day on the 10th.

10-14

In 2014…an Arctic cold front on the 10th…associated with a strong storm system over the northern Rockies blasted into northeast Colorado. The temperature in Denver plummeted from the high of 64 degrees at 4:37 pm to 34 degrees by 5:53 pm. The temperatures continued to fall and dropped into the teens by early evening. The Arctic airmass remained entrenched over the region through the morning of the 14th…with the high temperatures failing to reach the teens from the 11th through the 13th. This was the first time since records have been taken in Denver…dating back to 1872…that there were three consecutive days with the maximum temperatures remained below 20 degrees in the month of November. In addition to the frigid temperatures…0.1 inch of snowfall was observed on 11th at Denver International Airport…which marked the first measureable snowfall for the season. An additional 2.2 inches of snowfall was measured on the 12th. Several temperature records were broken. A record low max of 16 degrees on the 11th broke the previous record of 19 set back in 1916. A record low max of 6 degrees on the 12th broke the previous record of 9 degrees…also set in 1916. The record low of -13 on the 12th…shattered the previous record of -4 degrees set back in 1872. Even more impressive…the record low of -14 degrees on the 13th broke the previous record of -3 degrees set back in 1916. The sudden drop in temperatures on the 10th…followed by several days of sub-freezing temperatures chilled trees to the core. The record drop in temperatures…preceded by mild fall temperatures…damaged or killed scores of trees across the Urban Corridor and Northeast Plains. At the time…the trees were not finished with the hardening process that enables them to withstand winter weather. Many were instantly flash-frozen…and some would not show signs of damage until spring of 2015. Of the 2.2 million trees in the city of Denver alone…tens of thousands were killed from the November frost. Denver estimated a citywide loss of more than 10 million dollars.

11

In 1901…a trace of rain fell in the morning…and a trace of snow fell in the afternoon. This was the only snowfall and precipitation for the month…ranking it the driest November on record…along with November of 1899 and 1949. The month also ranks as the second least snowiest November…along with Novembers in other years.

In 1903…northwest winds sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 56 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees.

In 1912…rain changed to snow…which became heavy…and totaled 6.5 inches over downtown Denver. Precipitation was 1.02 inches…the greatest calendar day precipitation ever recorded in November. Northeast winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 29 mph.

In 1919…light snow fell from an apparent clear sky during the early afternoon. The first snow was observed at about 12:40 pm and continued at least 30 minutes before clouds could be seen forming…followed by the sky becoming totally cloudy. During this time the temperature fell from 50 degrees at noon to only 18 degrees at 100 pm and plunged to 6 degrees at 5:45 pm. A low temperature of 2 degrees was recorded overnight. Northeast winds were sustained to 33 mph with gusts to 36 mph between noon and 1:00 pm behind an apparent arctic cold front. Snowfall was only 0.1 inch.

In 1949…north winds gusted to 50 mph at Stapleton Airport. A trace of rain fell. Another trace of rain on the 15th was the only precipitation of the month…making the month one of the driest Novembers on record and the least snowiest with no snow. This was the first November since 1882 without snow.

In 1959…strong northwest winds struck Boulder and the foothills causing some damage. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1995…strong downslope winds gusting to 84 mph blew out a few car windows in Boulder County. Winds gusted to 69 mph at Golden…Lakewood…and Table Mesa in Boulder. West-northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2000…heavy snow occurred in the foothills southwest of Denver and over monument ridge south of Denver. Snowfall totals included: 6.5 inches near Parker… 6 inches near Bergen Park…5 inches at Genesee and near Sedalia…and 4 inches at Coal Creek Canyon and St. Mary’s glacier. Snowfall totaled 1.6 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…strong downslope winds developed along the Front Range. Peak wind reports included 91 mph atop Blue Mountain near Wondervu and 75 mph in Boulder. Damaging winds downed power lines in Boulder County. North of Golden…a semi-truck was blown over by the winds near the intersection of State Highways 72 and 93 atop Rocky Flats. At the same location…blowing rocks shattered several car windows at an RTD Park and Ride. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport.

11-12

In 1922…a major storm dumped 14.1 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver. The most snow on the ground was 10.5 inches at 6:00 pm on the 12th. North winds were sustained to 21 mph on the 11th. Temperatures were generally in the teens and 20’s.

In 1964…strong winds in Boulder caused power outages and minor damage. Winds gusted to 42 mph in downtown Boulder. At Stapleton International Airport west winds gusted to 36 mph on the 11th and 35 mph on the 12th.

In 1976…snow and freezing drizzle caused icing on bridges… Overpasses and some main roads. The elevated portion of I-70 was closed for a time during the afternoon of the 11th. Snowfall totaled only 0.8 inch at Stapleton International Airport…where northeast winds gusted to 20 mph on the 11th.

In 1989…the temperature climbed to a maximum of 76 degrees on both days…setting new record highs for each day.

In 1995…hurricane force downslope winds whipped across the Front Range foothills overnight. The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder registered a peak wind gust to 124 mph with several more wind gusts over 100 mph. Utility poles and power lines were downed…leaving several hundred homes in Boulder without power. Windows were blown out of cars in Boulder. Other reports of strong wind gusts included: 108 mph atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver…104 mph at Table Mesa in Boulder…99 mph at Golden Gate Canyon… 85 mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site… 69 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield…and 62 mph in Lakewood. West-northwest wind gusts to 40 mph were recorded at Denver International Airport on the 12th.

11-14

In 1970…heavy snowfall totaled 7.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph on the 12th and 14th. Most of the snow… 4.2 inches…fell on the 12th.

12

In 1894…northeast winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 48 mph behind an apparent dry cold front.

In 1903…west winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 45 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 57 degrees. A trace of snow was observed.

In 1922…heavy snowfall of 8.5 inches was measured over downtown Denver.

In 1974…strong winds gusting to over 80 mph caused local damage to houses and property along the foothills from Denver north. Automobiles…homes…and power lines suffered damage in Boulder. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

12-13

In 1961…heavy snowfall totaled 5.6 inches at Stapleton Airport. East-northeast winds gusted to only 20 mph.

In 2011…hurricane force winds…up to 115 mph…downed trees in and power lines across the Front Range mountains and foothills. Scattered outages were reported in Gilpin County. In Boulder…a woman received minor injuries when she was struck in the head by a falling tree limb. Three women near Georgetown received minor injuries when they were pelted by glass shards after a barrage of wind driven rocks and dirt shattered their windshield. Peak wind gusts included: 109 mph…6 miles north-northwest of Berthoud Pass; 101 mph atop Kenosha Pass…100 mph…2 miles south- southwest of Loveland pass; 99 mph…7 miles west-northwest of Berthoud; 92 mph at Blackhawk; 90 mph…3 miles south- southwest of Boulder; 87 mph…2 miles west-northwest of Aspen Springs and at pickle gulch; 84 mph at Loveland pass and Lyons; 82 mph at the national wind technology center; 80 mph at Dumont and 78 mph near Rollinsville and Ward. At Denver International Airport…west winds gusted to 52 mph on the 12th.

12-15

In 1909…light snowfall totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver over the 4 days. This was the first measurable snowfall of the season. Northeast winds were sustained to 15 mph on the 12th.

13

In 1951…northwest wind gusts to 50 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1983…winds gusted to around 60 mph in and near the foothills. There were scattered power outages and a few broken windows across metro Denver. The strong winds did 10 thousand dollars in damage to awnings at the brown palace hotel in downtown Denver. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
13-14 in 1925…heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.4 inches overnight in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 13th.

In 1974…northwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton International Airport…warming the temperature to 60 degrees shortly after midnight on the 13th. A cold front cooled temperatures into the 20’s by late morning and produced snowfall of 3.7 inches. The low temperature dipped to 14 degrees on the 14th.

In 1993…an upper level low pressure system combined with a weak but moist upslope flow to produce heavy snow across metro Denver. Snowfall amounts averaged 6 to 8 inches with up to 16 inches in the foothills at the Eldora Ski Area. Snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to only 20 mph on the 14th. Most of the snow fell on the 14th.

In 1994…heavy snow developed rapidly along the Front Range urban corridor with the heaviest snow over northwest metro Denver. Sixteen to 18 inches of snow fell in Boulder… Lafayette…and Louisville. This was the second heavy snowfall over northwest metro Denver in 10 days. Eleven to 14 inches of snow were measured from Longmont southward into Aurora. Snowfall totaled 12.1 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 29 mph on the 13th. Most of the snow…9.0 inches…fell on the 14th.

In 1997…heavy snow fell overnight in portions of Jefferson and Boulder counties. About 5.5 inches of snow were reported in Boulder…while 4 inches were measured 12 miles southwest of Morrison and 6 miles southwest of Golden. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 26 mph at Denver International Airport.

14

In 1874…west winds blew at gale speeds from midnight until mid-afternoon when the winds abated. The maximum sustained velocity was 48 mph.

In 1928…strong winds caused 3 hundred to 5 hundred dollars damage in Boulder. Wind gusts to 70 mph were recorded at Valmont just east of Boulder.

In 2006…an upper level jet stream combined with a high surface pressure gradient behind a cold front to produce strong winds across metro Denver. A wind gust to 66 mph was recorded in Longmont. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 52 mph at Denver International Airport where winds were strong and gusty most of the day.

14-15

In 1917…overnight rainfall was 0.03 inch. This was the only measurable precipitation of the month…making it the 5th driest November on record.

In 1985…3 to 6 inches of snow fell across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 3.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to only 13 mph.

In 2005…a winter storm that brought heavy snow to the mountains also spread heavy snow into the foothills to the west of Denver. Snowfall totals included: 14 inches at Aspen Springs…13 inches near Pinecliffe…and 12 inches near Nederland. Interstate 70 along with U.S. Highway 40 had to be closed near Idaho Springs due to snow…poor visibility in blowing snow…numerous accidents…and an increased avalanche danger. High winds were recorded in the foothills on the 14th. Winds gusted to 89 mph at Georgetown and to 91 mph on Sugarloaf Mountain west of Boulder. Strong microburst winds associated with a dissipating rain shower gusted to 61 mph at Denver International Airport on the 14th.

In 2009…a storm system produced heavy snow over parts of Front Range foothills…urban corridor and Palmer Divide. Storms totals in the Front Range foothills included: 13.5 inches…6 miles southwest of Evergreen and near Genesee; 13 inches…3 miles northwest of Idledale; 12 inches…3 miles north of Conifer and near Kittredge; 11 inches…12 miles southwest of Boulder and 3 miles southeast of Indian Hills and at Strontia Springs Dam; 10 inches near Bailey…Bergen Park and Crow Hill; 9.5 inches near Blackhawk and 4 miles east-northeast of Nederland. Across the urban corridor and Palmer Divide storm totals included: 12 inches at Highlands Ranch…11 inches…5 miles south-southwest of Arapahoe Park and Louviers; 10 inches…4 miles south of Denver; 9 inches near Englewood…Lakewood…and Wheat Ridge; 8 inches at Aurora and 3 miles south-southwest of Castle Pines; 7.5 inches…3 miles southeast of Denver; with 7 inches 2 miles north-northeast of Commerce City. At Denver International Airport…7.3 inches of snowfall was observed.

14-18

In 1964…the first measurable snowfall of the season totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 32 mph on the 14th. Most of the snow…4.2 inches…fell on the 14th. This was the only measurable snow of the month.

15

In 1902…4.0 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snow of the month. Northeast winds were sustained to 18 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

In 1906…strong winds howled and roared across Boulder… Causing several thousand dollars in damage. The strong winds caused one fatality and minor injuries to others. West winds were sustained to 46 mph in downtown Denver where the strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 74 degrees.

In 1944…the low temperature dipped to 32 degrees. This is the latest date of the first freeze in Denver.

In 1949…a trace of rain fell. Another trace of rain on the 11th was the only precipitation of the month…making the month one of the driest Novembers on record and the least snowiest with no snow. This was the first November since 1882 without snow.

In 1960…strong winds caused 2 thousand dollars damage to a new school building in Boulder where wind gusts were estimated to 70 mph. Wind gusts to 40 mph were recorded in downtown Denver. Damage occurred to utility lines…signs… And trees. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1986…strong Chinook winds howled over the Front Range foothills. The highest wind gust…81 mph…was recorded at Table Mesa in Boulder. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1987…the first measurable snow of the season was also a major snowstorm. The snow combined with strong winds to close I-70 east of Denver and I-25 to Colorado Springs. Snow accumulations ranged from 6 to 9 inches across metro Denver with 10 to 20 inches in the foothills. At Stapleton International Airport…6.1 inches of snow fell and north winds gusted to 47 mph reducing the visibility to as low as 1/8 mile in heavy snow. Strong north winds at 20 to 30 mph with frequent gusts to 40 mph and temperatures hovering around 30 degrees plunged wind chill temperatures to 5 below zero.

In 1988…the season’s first snow storm hit metro Denver. The storm dumped 2 to 5 inches of snow…which caused numerous traffic snarls and accidents. North wind gusts to 43 mph caused some blowing snow. Snowfall totaled 2.5 inches at Stapleton International Airport. This was the latest first snow of the season. No traces of snow had occurred earlier in the season.

In 2010…the combination of light snow…wind…black ice and careless driving resulted in a 34-vehicle crash along interstate 25 north of monument. Five tractor-trailers were involved in the pileup. Although there were no fatalities… 18 people were seriously injured and taken to nearby hospitals. The northbound lanes of I-25 were closed for several hours…snarling the traffic between Denver and Colorado springs.

15-16

In 1894…winds behind an apparent strong cold front were sustained to 60 mph with gusts to 75 mph on the 15th. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches in the city. Temperatures plunged from a high of 72 degrees on the 15th to a low of only 5 degrees on the 16th. The high temperature on the 16th was 24 degrees…which occurred shortly after midnight.

In 1996…around a foot of new snow fell in the foothills west of Denver with 3 to 6 inches at lower elevations across metro Denver. Some of the snowfall totals included: 15 inches at Georgetown…12 inches at Idaho Springs…10 inches at Chief Hosa…and 9 inches in Coal Creek Canyon. Snowfall totaled 2.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 23 mph at Denver International Airport on the 16th.

15-17

In 1991…a strong winter storm dumped heavy snow over metro Denver. Snowfall amounts totaled 15 inches at Castle Rock and Conifer…14 inches at Morrison and Parker…12 inches in southeast Aurora…and 11.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Winds were light with the storm.

16

In 1899…a trace of rain fell in the city. This…together with a trace of precipitation on the 21st and 23rd…was the only precipitation of the month…making the month the driest on record. The record was equaled in November of 1901 and 1949.

In 1926…rain changed to snow behind a cold front and totaled 2.0 inches. North winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph.

In 1930…strong winds occurred in Boulder causing minor damage. At Valmont just east of Boulder…winds gusted to 52 mph. West winds were sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 46 mph in downtown Denver.

In 1948…a west-northwest wind gust to 50 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

16-17

In 2010…the combination of snow and strong winds produced dangerous driving conditions in the mountains west of Denver. Near blizzard conditions forced the closure of U.S. Highway 6 at Loveland pass and U.S. Highway 40 at Berthoud Pass. Blowing and drifting snow closed a 65-mile stretch of Interstate 70…between Idaho Springs and Vail Pass. Peak wind gusts included: 68 mph atop Niwot Ridge…62 mph at Loveland pass…55 mph near Blackhawk and 52 mph at Berthoud Pass.

16-18

In 1921…heavy snowfall totaled 6.5 inches over downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snow of the month. East winds were sustained to 14 mph on the 17th.

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