February 2024 weather recap: Much warmer and wetter than normal

Thornton, Colorado's February 2024 temperature Summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)
Thornton, Colorado’s February 2024 temperature Summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

The past month was one that started out with some excitement in the form of snow (after rain) but then became far calmer and warmer.

On the third of the month, we saw a system move in that initially offered precipitation in the form of rain, and a good bit of it. That eventually transitioned to snow giving us 3.2 inches. Our biggest snowfall of the month of 4.2 inches followed on the 10th. We then saw a few other, smaller snowfalls, enough to put the month above average in terms of snowfall and precipitation.

Temperatures never really got all that cold. There was only one single digit reading for the month, less than you would expect and, particularly toward the latter part of the month, spring-like mercury readings were pretty common.

Thornton’s average temperature for the month came in at 38.5 degrees. That was far above our 18 year running average for February of 31.8 degrees. That put February 2024 into the books in a tie with February 2016 for the second warmest February. Number one is February 2017 at 40.1.

Out at Denver International Airport where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, the month saw an average temperature of 37.6 degrees. That too was well above their long term average for February of 32.7 degrees.

Temperatures in Thornton ranged from a high of 68.6 degrees on the 20th down to a low of 8.9 degrees on the 17th. Denver twice saw its warmest reading of 65 degrees and its coldest reading was 7 degrees.

Precipitation was bountiful, not only due to some decent snow but mainly due to the rain on the third. Thornton saw 1.67 inches of liquid precipitation for the month, a full inch above the 18 year February average of 0.67 inches.

Denver was drier, but not by a lot. The airport recorded 1.46 inches of liquid precipitation. This versus the Mile High City’s long term February average of 0.41 inches.

In terms of snowfall, we lacked any big storms but the littler ones added up. Thornton recorded 11.8 inches of the white stuff, just above the 18 year running average of 11.6 inches.

Denver bested us on the snowfall front recording 13.7 inches, well above their long term February average of 5.7 inches.

Click here to view Thornton’s complete February 2024 climate summary report.

Thornton, Colorado's February 2024 precipitation Summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)
Thornton, Colorado’s February 2024 precipitation Summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Overall mild temps for Thornton’s weekend but with wind and a chance for precipitation

Spring-like temperatures certainly sound like a great way to kick off the month of March. However, winds and elevated fire danger are going to dampen the enthusiasm.

Friday looks to be the most pleasant day, relatively speaking. We will see highs in the mid-60s under mostly sunny skies. Winds will be breezy throughout the day. Tonight, winds ease and skies will be mostly clear. Overnight lows will dip to the mid-30s.

Saturday looks to be the warmest day of the period – but also the windiest. Sunny to mostly sunny skies will be above with highs in the mid-60s. Wind speeds will ramp up, particularly in the afternoon, when gusts could hit 40+ mph. The fire danger will be increasing and it would not be surprising to see a Red Flag Warning issued. Saturday night, cloud cover will increase as a front approaches. Lows will dip to the mid-30s and there is a slight chance to see some rain / snow after midnight.

Sunday, some snow will be possible in the morning. Accumulations look to be minimal, if at all, but there is an outside chance we see a more powerful band move through like we did earlier this week. The afternoon brings just a slight chance for a rain shower. Highs will reach the low to mid-50s under partly clear skies.

Have a great weekend!

Thornton’s March 2024 preview: Temps warm considerably but snow is often abundant

The month of March in Denver is usually one that is welcomed heartily by residents. We begin to shake off the cold of winter with warmer temperatures and calmer conditions. That does not mean we are done with snow and cold by any means.

March usually offers healthy snowfall giving us an opportunity to add to our seasonal totals.  While there is good snow potential in March, the month also typically brings much warmer temperatures.

March is historically Denver’s snowiest month and brings about 20% of our annual snowfall.  Heavy, wet spring snow storms can oftentimes bring the entire month’s snowfall total in one monstrous snow.

We also start the transition to spring and severe weather season and the month typically brings our first thunderstorms of the year.  Temperatures climb throughout the month and by the end our average daytime highs are near 60 degrees.

For a complete look at what lies ahead in March 2024, click here.

February 2024 Top Shots: Monthly Photo Slideshow

February 10, 2024 - A snowy scene in Thornton. (Nay Martin)
February 10, 2024 – A snowy scene in Thornton. (Nay Martin)

February signifies the start of the climb toward warmer temperatures for the year.  Cold and snow though do intrude but, coupled with milder conditions, there are lots of photo opportunities as can be seen in our monthly slideshow.

The month is one of our least snowiest of the year but it isn’t unusual to see the landscape blanketed in white.  Warming temperatures through the month can bring the onset of spring fever and gives residents the opportunity to enjoy some prolonged time outdoors on the mild days.

Cold or mild, snowy or dry, our scenery is almost always gorgeous – and photo worthy.

  • Slideshow updated February 27, 2024
  • To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

February 25 to March 3: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

In the past week Denver has seen its fair share of wind and snow and looking back at this week in Denver weather history, we see both are common conditions.

From the National Weather Service:

22-29

In 1960…heavy snowfall of 6.1 inches at Stapleton Airport on the 22nd and 23rd marked the beginning of a protracted cold spell which lasted until the end of the month. The cloudy… Cold weather was accompanied by occasional light snow or flurries and fog. New record low temperatures for the dates were set on the 24th thru the 29th with the lowest temperature of 11 degrees below zero on the 28th. The seven consecutive days of low temperatures of zero or below had been exceeded in duration only 4 times previously. New low maximum temperatures for the dates were set on the 23rd… 24th…and the 26th thru the 29th with the lowest maximum temperature of 8 degrees recorded on the 26th.

23-25

In 1912…a severe winter storm dumped 14.2 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver. Snow fell continuously from 9:40 am on the 23rd until 9:15 pm on the 25th with most of the snow… 9.2 inches…on the 24th. Temperatures were mostly in the 20’s. Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 24th.

24-25

In 2021…moderate to heavy snow developed in and near the foothills of Boulder…Douglas and Jefferson counties which included Denver and surrounding metro area. Storm totals included: 16.3 inches in Englewood; 15.5 inches near Cherry Hills Village; 14 inches near Highlands Ranch…13 inches Littleton; 12.5 inches near Ken Caryl…12 inches near Chatfield Reservoir and southeast Denver; 11 inches near Federal Heights…Thornton and Westminster; 10.5 inches in Arvada…10 inches near Eldorado Springs…9.5 inches near Lafayette and Louisville; 9 inches in southwest Boulder and near Foxfield and Strasburg; 8.5 inches near Broomfield; 7 inches near Wheat Ridge. The official measurement at Denver International Airport was 9.6 inches.

25-26

In 1971…a wind gust to 100 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The cold west winds gusted to 53 mph in downtown Boulder. No damage was reported. Northwest winds gusted to 31 mph on the 25th and to 38 mph on the 26th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…a heavy snow storm left 1 to 2 feet of new snow in the foothills west of Denver. I-70 was closed…stranding skiers returning from the mountains. Most had to spend several hours in Idaho Springs. The snow spread over metro Denver with 9 inches at Littleton…Castle Rock…and Boulder and up to 5 inches in Aurora and Denver. Snowfall totaled only 3.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph.

26

In 1884…heavy snowfall totaled 6.0 inches in downtown Denver.

In 1908…a duststorm occurred in the city during the afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained from 14 to 24 mph.

In 1918…pre-frontal Chinook winds from the southwest… Sustained to 43 mph with a maximum velocity to 52 mph… Warmed temperatures to a high of 62 degrees.

In 1954…strong Chinook winds gusting to 52 mph during the morning warmed the temperature in Denver to a balmy 65 degrees by early afternoon. A vigorous Canadian cold front during the late afternoon produced north winds at sustained speeds of 52 mph with gusts as high as 65 mph and billows of blowing dust…which reduced the visibility to as low as 1 mile at Stapleton Airport. Showers left half an inch of snow on the ground as the temperature dipped to a low of 27 degrees before midnight.

In 1989…a brief rain shower produced a microburst wind gust to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1997…snowfall totaled 4 to 6 inches in and near the foothills. Only 0.8 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 29 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2013…a storm system produced heavy snow in the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 12 inches near Black Mountain and Pine Junction…10 inches near Conifer and Nederland; 9 inches…12 miles northwest of Golden; 8 inches near Evergreen…with 6 inches near Eldorado Springs. Snow and blowing snow produced blizzard conditions along and south of the Interstate 70 corridor…just east of Denver.  Storm totals generally ranged from 3 to 7 inches. North winds of 25 to 30 mph were reported with gusts around 40 mph. Roads became impassable as snow and blowing snow produced 3 to 4 ft snow drifts. Interstate 70 was closed from Aurora to the Kansas state line. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 31 mph was reported along with 1.0 inch of snow.

26-27

In 1893…heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.7 inches…fell on the 27th. Northeast winds were sustained to 18 mph with gusts to 30 mph behind an apparent cold front.

In 1939…heavy snowfall of 8.1 inches was the heaviest of the month in downtown Denver. North winds sustained to 21 mph on the 26th and to 28 mph on the 27th caused much drifting. The greatest snow depth on the ground was 7.8 inches at noon on the 27th.

In 1987…a snowstorm dropped 4 to 8 inches of snow across metro Denver…causing flight delays at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 3.8 inches and north winds gusted to 24 mph. Both I-70 and I-25 were closed for a time to the east and south of Denver.

27

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 58 mph.

In 1902…northwest winds were sustained to 50 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. The high temperature was 44 degrees.

In 1918…a post-frontal heavy snow storm developed over downtown Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.4 inches and north winds were sustained to 30 mph with a maximum velocity to 32 mph.

In 1963…west winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton Airport.

In 1974…a wind gust to 99 mph was recorded in Boulder. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2009…a strong wind gusts blew a trailer in the path of two vehicles along State Highway 36…between Boulder and Lyons. The two vehicles were in the northbound lane when a wind gust blew a fifth-wheel trailer into their path… As it approached from the opposite lane. The trailer left the road surface…and collided with the top left side of the first car; causing extensive damage. A van following the first vehicle then struck the trailer. The driver of the van suffered facial injuries.

27-28

In 1918…heavy snowfall totaled 9.6 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…8.4 inches…fell on the 27th.

In 1931…a major winter storm dumped 12.0 inches of heavy snowfall over downtown Denver. This is the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded during the month of February. North winds gusted to 18 mph on the 28th.

In 2006…a warm spell resulted in 3 temperature records. The high temperature of 73 degrees on the 27th equaled the record high for the date. High temperature of 77 degrees on the 28th was a record high for the date and equaled the all time record high temperature for February first set on February 4…1890.

28

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 54 mph with gusts to 65 mph. The winds warmed the temperature to a high of 56 degrees. This was the second consecutive day of strong winds in the city.

In 1958…at Stapleton Airport…snowfall totaled 5.3 inches and northeast winds gusted to 24 mph.

28-29

In 2012…another round of high winds occurred along the Front Range Foothills. Peak wind gusts included: 84 mph at the National Wind Technology Center; 77 mph…3 miles south-southwest of Boulder; and 75 mph…3 miles southwest of Rocky Flats. At Denver International Airport…west winds gusted to 36 mph on the 28th and 35 mph on the 29th.

28-1

In 1875…6 inches of snow fell from 3:15 pm on the 28th to 1:00 am on the 1st. Precipitation for the two days was 0.50 inch.

Continue reading February 25 to March 3: This week in Denver weather history

Internet down February 29, real-time data currently unavailable – FIXED

Update, 7:30am – We are back up and running! Whew!

Unfortunately, the Internet connection that allows the updating of the website with real-time data from our weather station is currently down. We have no ETA at this time as to when it will return to operation.

Much of our website, other than the real-time data, remains fully functional. This includes the forecasts, watches / warnings and more.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday in Thornton starts with a chill, will warm up nicely

In the wake of yesterday’s cold front, we do begin the day with some cold temperatures. A nice recovery will be in store, however, but also with some breezy winds.

Sunny skies start us off and will be with us throughout the day. We will be dry but some breezy winds from the south will be seen. High temperatures will top out right near the 50 degree mark.

Tonight, lows will dip to the mid to upper 20s under mostly clear skies.

Tuesday in Thornton chills out, offers up some light snow

The cold front is working its way south, a bit delayed, but still on its way. With its arrival around 7:00am, a much cooler day than recent ones is on tap.

Mostly cloudy to cloudy skies will be above for most of the day. We have actually already seen our high for the day with temperatures cooling a few degrees as the front arrives. Daytime highs will be in the mid-30s.

We begin to see chances for precipitation around 8:00am and then continuing into the late afternoon / evening. There isn’t much to work with here so don’t expect much – maybe a half inch, an inch if we are lucky.

Tonight, skies will clear after dark and we will dry out. Overnight lows will drop to the teens.

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