April 9 to April 15: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

April can be a very eventful weather month and we see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. Particularly notable are many major snow events including two in recent history – one in 2001 and another in 2005.

From the National Weather Service:

7-9

In 1913…heavy snowfall totaled 10.9 inches in downtown Denver behind a cold front. Most of the snow fell on the 8th. Northeast winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 9th.

In 1935…moderate dust blew into the city around 9:00 pm on the 7th and persisted until early afternoon on the 9th. Southeast winds were sustained to around 20 mph on the 7th and 8th. Winds shifting to the west at sustained speeds to 20 mph cleared the dust from the air on the 9th.

7-12

In 1959…snow falling over a 5-day period totaled 20 to 30 inches just east of the mountains…while over the plains blizzard conditions closed schools and blocked highways. The second big storm in two weeks dumped 16.4 inches of snowfall on Stapleton Airport with the most…11.6 inches… Occurring on the 8th. East winds gusted to 37 mph on the 9th. Temperatures dipped into the single digits on the mornings of the 7th and 12th when 7 degrees were registered. Low temperature records for the dates were set on the 9th…10th…and 12th. The cold temperatures caused streets to glaze with ice…resulting in the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a car in Denver. Three people died from heart attacks while shoveling the heavy… Wet snow.

8-9

In 2013…heavy snow developed in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide as an upper level trough made its way across southern Colorado. Snowfall was enhanced locally with the presence of an upper level jet. Storm totals included: 23 inches near Eldorado Springs…18 inches just west of Boulder…16.5 inches near Orodell…15 inches…4 miles west-northwest of Boulder; 13 inches at Gold Hill; 12 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder…11 inches in Ken Caryl; 8.5 inches near Morrison; 8 inches at Genesee and Roxborough Park; 7.5 inches near Arapahoe Park; with 6.5 inches at Denver International Airport.

8-10

In 1999…a windstorm caused 20 million dollars in damage along the Front Range urban corridor from Fort Collins south to pueblo and to the east over the plains…making the storm equal to the costliest windstorm ever…which occurred in Boulder on January 17…1982. In metro Denver… Several homes were damaged as shingles were blown off roofs. Large pieces of a roof torn off a strip mall in Lakewood damaged several cars in a parking lot. Most of the damage to homes consisted of broken fences…awnings…doors…and windows. Scores of automobiles suffered broken or cracked windshields and paint damage from flying debris. Multiple accidents were triggered as several tractor-trailer rigs were blown on their sides by the strong cross-winds. Blowing dust and dirt caused near zero visibilities at times. Both I-25 and I-76 were closed north and northeast of Denver. State Highway 93 was closed between Golden and Boulder. Several trees…power poles…and power lines were downed…causing a number of outages as well as sparking a few small grass fires. Highest wind gusts reached 112 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the continental divide west of Boulder…102 mph at Wondervu…100 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab in Boulder…98 mph at the national wind technology center near Broomfield…96 mph on Rocky Flats…92 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield and on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder…and 90 mph at Highlands Ranch in southwest metro Denver. Winds gusted to 48 mph at Denver International Airport.

9

In 1950…strong southwest winds gusting to 58 mph reduced the visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport. Scattered minor wind damage…consisting of falling tree branches and damage to signs…occurred across metro Denver.

In 1989…6 to 12 inches of snow fell at many locations in the Front Range foothills. Boulder received 6 to 8 inches. Five inches (5.0 inches) of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…causing 2 hour flight delays. I-25 south of Denver was closed for 4 hours due to a 100- car traffic pileup. North winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport where the maximum snow depth on the ground was only 3 inches due to melting.

9-10

In 1900…rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 6.8 inches in downtown Denver overnight. A thunderstorm occurred on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 32 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 10th. Precipitation totaled 1.39 inches.

In 1933…post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 9.4 inches in downtown Denver. East winds were sustained to 21 mph with gusts to 22 mph on the 9th.

In 1944…7.0 inches of snow fell on downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 9th.

In 1977…the two warmest days of the month resulted in two temperature records being set. High temperature of 81 degrees on the 9th set a new record maximum for the date. High temperature of 80 degrees on the 10th equaled the record maximum for the date. The unusually warm weather for so early in April produced a late afternoon thunderstorm on the 10th.

In 1993…strong downslope winds occurred along the Front Range. While the strongest winds were in the foothills north of Denver…wind gusts to 69 mph were recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2004…a spring storm brought heavy snow to metro Denver. The heaviest snow fell in the foothills and over and near higher terrain. Snowfall totals included: 20 inches near Jamestown; 18 inches atop gold hill; 17 inches near Evergreen; 15 inches at Nederland and Eldora; 13 inches at Blackhawk; 11 inches at Aspen Springs; 9 inches in Louisville; 8 inches at Ken Caryl; 6 inches at Niwot… Near Sedalia…and in Thornton; 5 inches in Lakewood… Lyons…and Westminster. Snowfall was 4.4 inches at Denver Stapleton. Northwest winds gusted to 21 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2008…a very moist storm brought heavy snow to parts of the Front Range foothills. Storm totals included: 12.5 inches at Aspen Springs…11 inches…4 miles west- southwest of conifer; with 10.5 inches…3 miles north of central city and 6 miles southwest of Evergreen. Lesser amounts of 5 to 9 inches were observed elsewhere. North winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th…and 1.8 inches of snow fell at the former Stapleton International Airport.

9-11

In 1951…heavy snowfall totaled 9.4 inches at Stapleton Airport. The storm was accompanied by strong northeast winds gusting to 43 mph.

In 1953…heavy snowfall occurred at Stapleton Airport where 7.9 inches of snow were measured. North winds gusted to 29 mph.

In 1994…6 to 14 inches of heavy snow buried much of eastern Colorado…closing many schools and I-70 from east of Denver to the Kansas border. Rain changed to snow on the 9th…and snow continued through the 11th. Snowfall totaled 5.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport…but maximum snow depth on the ground was only 3 inches on the 10th due to melting. East winds gusted to 26 mph on the 9th.

In 1995…a major spring storm dumped 8 to 16 inches of snow in the foothills west of Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.3 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…but most of the snow melted as it fell with the maximum snow depth on the ground of only 2 inches. Five-to 6-inch snow accumulations occurred over southern portions of metro Denver and eastward onto the plains. Northeast winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th. I-70 was closed for several hours east of Watkins to the Kansas border due to drifting snow and near whiteout conditions. High temperature of only 29 degrees on the 10th was a record low maximum for the date.

9-12

In 1901…rain changed to snow and totaled 10.8 inches in downtown Denver over the 4 days. Northeast winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 31 mph on the 11th. Temperatures hovered in the 30’s.

10

In 1896…southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. The apparent Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 76 degrees.

In 1899…northwest Chinook winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. The downslope winds warmed the temperature to a high of 73 degrees in the city.

10-11

In 1979…a heavy snow storm produced near-blizzard conditions across eastern Colorado with 10 to 20 inches in the foothills and 4 to 8 inches over the plains. Winds to 35 mph combined with the snow to produce drifts at least 3 feet deep…closing many roads and causing power outages. Travel was interrupted south of Denver when the storm closed both I-25 and State Highway 83. Snowfall totaled only 3.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted 37 mph…causing some blowing snow on the 11th.

In 2001…a potent spring storm dumped heavy snow over metro Denver and the adjacent foothills…while a blizzard roared across the plains to the east of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged up to a foot and a half across metro Denver and in the foothills. North to northwest winds at sustained speeds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph piled the snow into drifts of 3 to 6 feet deep. I-25 southbound was closed at Lincoln Avenue. I-70 to the east was closed at gun club road. The combination of heavy wet snow and damaging winds resulted in widespread electrical outages. Denver International Airport was completely shut down for the first time in its brief 6-year history. Power surges and outages crippled the airport’s massive computer systems. The airport was closed at 5:00 am and did not re-open until mid-afternoon on the 11th. The power outages resulted in businesses and schools closing. Over all of northeastern Colorado…there were 220 thousand customers without power… The worst outage in Xcel Energy’s history. Repairs totaled 1.6 million dollars. Across metro Denver…snow totals included: 18 inches in southeast Aurora…16 inches at centennial airport and Parker…14 inches at Broomfield… 13 inches in Louisville…12 inches at Lakewood and Morrison… 11 inches at Ken Caryl and Thornton…10 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport and in Wheat Ridge…9 inches in Westminster…and 8 inches in Littleton. Thunderstorms preceded the start of the snow on the afternoon of the 10th and were embedded in the snow storm during the early morning hours of the 11th at Denver International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 60 mph on the 11th. Snow storm totals in the foothills included: 17 inches at Genesee…16 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Intercanyon…13 inches in Coal Creek Canyon and near Evergreen…11 inches at Aspen Springs and Chief Hosa…10 inches at Blackhawk…and 9 inches atop Crow Hill.

In 2005…a strong spring storm produced blizzard conditions in areas to the east of Denver and south of I-76 and near- blizzard conditions across metro Denver. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds forced the closure of Denver International Airport…stranding thousands of travelers. Long stretches of I-25…I-70…and I-76 were also closed due to extensive blowing and drifting snow. Snow amounts ranged from 1 to 2.5 feet in and near the eastern foothills and over the Palmer Divide. Drifts were 2 to 5 feet in depth. Downed power lines caused scattered electrical outages. Storm total snowfall amounts in and near the foothills included: 31 inches near conifer; 27.5 inches in Aspen Springs; 25.5 inches near Sedalia and Blackhawk; 25 inches near Bergen Park and around Genesee; 24.5 inches at pine junction and Roxborough Park; 24 inches southwest of Boulder; 23.5 inches at Ken Caryl; 23 inches atop Crow Hill and near Larkspur…Evergreen…and Nederland; 21 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 18 inches at Eldorado Springs and near Castle Rock; 17 inches near Chatfield Reservoir and Perry Park; and 16 inches near Jamestown. Across the city storm total snow amounts were: 22.5 inches in Aurora; 22 inches at Bennett; 20 inches near Arapahoe park and in centennial… Littleton…and south Denver; 17.5 inches near Bennett; 16 inches in Thornton; 15 inches in Lakewood; 14.5 inches in wheat ridge and near Englewood; 14 inches at lone tree and in Arvada; and 9.9 inches at Denver Stapleton. North winds were sustained from 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th. Continue reading April 9 to April 15: This week in Denver weather history

March 2023 weather recap: Thornton sees its second coldest March in recent history

Thornton, Colorado's March 2023 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)
Thornton, Colorado’s March 2023 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Normally, March sees a considerable warmup as we start the transition to spring. If you felt like that was not the case this March, you would be correct.

Thornton’s average temperature for March 2023 came in at 37.1 degrees. This was 5.1 degrees below our running 16-year average. In fact, the month goes in the books as the second coldest March over that same period with only March 2019 being colder (35.1 degrees).

Out at Denver International Airport where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, it was actually colder with an overage of 35.9 degrees. That was well below the long term March average for Denver of 41.6 degrees.

Thornton’s temperatures ranged from a high of 73.9 degrees on the 15th down to a low of 15.9 degrees on the 18th. Denver saw a max of 71 degrees on the 15th and its lowest reading of 13 degrees on the 28th.

In terms of precipitation, Thornton ended up pretty much near average. 1.14 inches was recorded between rain and snow melt. That was just shy of the 1.24 inches 16-year average for March.

Denver came in drier with 0.49 inches in the bucket, well short of the long term Denver average for March of 0.86 inches.

Snow was not a big factor during the month, despite the cold. Thornton saw 7.5 inches of the white stuff, well below the running March average of 10.7 inches.

Out at the airport, Denver recorded 5.1 inches, less than half ther March average of 11.5 inches.

Click here to view Thornton’s complete March 2023 climate summary report.

Thornton, Colorado's March 2023 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)
Thornton, Colorado’s March 2023 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton’s April 2023 weather preview: Winter, spring and summer all in one month

Thornton's April weather previewApril marks a transition between winter and summer for most of the country but for Denver it is especially true as we can see a stunning variety of weather.

The proverbial April showers are certainly a possibility for Denver. Snow? Tornadoes? Thunderstorms? You bet – all can happen!

For good measure throw in a chance for hail and even dust storms and April gives every type of weather condition you could like – or hate.

April 2 to April 8: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

As we pointed out in our April weather preview, the month can bring just about any type of weather condition and we see that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history. From powerful, damaging winds to Arctic cold to heavy snowfall this has been an eventful week in the past.

From the National Weather Service:

31-2

In 1980…the second major blizzard in 5 days buried much of eastern Colorado under 6 to 12 inches of snow. Some drifts were up to 22 feet high. Hundreds of travelers were stranded. Over 3000 families were without power. Livestock losses were high. Metro Denver escaped the main brunt of this storm. At Stapleton International Airport…only 6.3 inches of snow fell over the 3-day period and north winds gusted to only 22 mph on the 1st.

31-3

In 1979…total snowfall of 6.6 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph on the 31st. The greatest accumulation of snow on the ground was 3 inches on the 1st.

31-4

In 1905…much rain and some snow occurred over the 5 days behind an apparent cold front. Precipitation totaled 2.00 inches. There was a thunderstorm on the 3rd. Snowfall totaled 3.0 inches on the 4th. North winds were sustained to 34 mph on the 1st and 2nd and to 30 mph on the 3rd. High temperatures during the period ranged from the upper 30’s to the lower 40’s. Low temperatures were in the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.

1

In 1987…a vigorous cold front produced 2.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph. The temperature dropped from a maximum of 59 degrees at mid-morning to a low of 25 degrees at midnight.

1-2

In 1963…strong winds buffeted metro Denver…while wind- whipped fires consumed grassland on the plains. A child was injured by a windblown falling tree in Castle Rock. Southwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport… Causing some blowing dust. The worst fire storm burned over 25 thousand acres of grazing land in southern Weld County near Roggen northeast of Denver.

In 1984…a snowstorm with near-blizzard conditions over eastern Colorado closed many roads…including I-70 and I-76 east of Denver and I-25 between Denver and Colorado springs. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled only 2.5 inches…but north winds gusted to 45 mph on the 2nd.

In 1999…moist upslope conditions allowed heavy snow to develop in the Front Range foothills where snowfall totals included: 10 inches at Aspen Park and Evergreen; 9 inches at Turkey Creek; 8 inches at Idaho Springs and Genesee; 7 inches at Aspen Springs…Crow Hill…Intercanyon…and Lake George. In metro Denver snowfall totals included: 10 inches south of Sedalia; 8 inches in Littleton; 7 inches at Morrison; 6 inches at Highlands Ranch; and 4 to 5 inches in Northglenn…Parker and near Louisville. Snowfall totaled 4.7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

1-3

In 1945…snow fell across metro Denver for a total of 51 consecutive hours. While the storm was not accompanied by excessive snow…the long duration made the event a heavy snow producer. Snowfall totaled 10.7 inches in downtown Denver with 9.5 inches recorded at Stapleton Airport. North winds were sustained to 21 mph on the 1st; otherwise winds were not strong. The air mass was very cold for April. The high temperatures of 26 on the 2nd and 17 on the 3rd were record low maximums for the dates. The latter was also a record low maximum for the month. Warm weather following the storm quickly melted the snow.

In 1973…heavy snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where 8.7 inches were measured. Snow began late on the 1st and continued through early morning on the 3rd. Thunder accompanied the snow during the late morning and afternoon of the 2nd. North winds gusted to 33 mph on the 2nd and 37 mph on the 3rd. Snow only accumulated to a depth of 5 inches on the ground due to melting.

In 1977 a foot of snow fell in Boulder and Broomfield. The Denver-Boulder turnpike was closed for an hour after numerous minor traffic accidents. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 4.7 inches and southeast winds gusted to 32 mph on the 2nd. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was only 3 inches due to melting.

2

In 1894…northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 48 mph. The warm Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 70 degrees.

In 1925…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph.

In 1957…a heavy snow storm dumped 17.3 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport. Strong gusty north winds to 31 mph reduced visibilities to 1/8 mile at times and created blizzard conditions. The 24-hour snowfall had been exceeded only twice in previous records…and the 24 hour precipitation of 2.05 inches was the third heaviest of previous record during April.

In 1959…a cold front produced strong gusty winds across metro Denver. North winds gusting to 50 and 60 mph caused some minor damage to power lines and signs and caused dust storms on the plains east of Denver. A wind gust to 49 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1966…northwest winds gusting to 52 mph produced blowing dust…which briefly reduced the visibility to 1 mile at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1975…the all-time lowest recorded temperature in April… 2 degrees below zero…occurred. This is also the latest below zero reading for the season.

In 1982…a strong windstorm struck all of metro Denver… Causing minor damage. Wind gusts to 127 mph were recorded at Rocky Flats south of Boulder…116 mph at Wondervu…100 mph at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield…and 56 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds whipped up blowing dust…briefly reducing the visibility to 3/4 mile.

In 1986…heavy thunderstorms produced wind gusts to about 70 mph in Boulder. A severe thunderstorm wind gust to 62 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds kicked up thick clouds of blowing dust severely restricting surface visibility.

In 1997…a pacific storm left heavy snow in the foothills with lesser amounts across the city. Snowfall totaled 12 inches near Blackhawk…11 inches at Golden Gate Canyon…10 inches at Conifer and Crow Hill…9 inches at Evergreen…5 inches at Sedalia…and 4 inches at Castle Rock and Morrison. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northwest winds gusted to 21 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 1998…a major spring storm brought heavy snow to metro Denver and the foothills. Snowfall totals ranged from 12 to 22 inches in the foothills with 4 to 12 inches across metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 22.5 inches near conifer; 13 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 12 inches near Blackhawk…Eldora…and Genesee; 10 inches near Evergreen and Nederland; 9 inches in Lakewood; 8 inches in Broomfield and northwest Denver; and 7.0 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2002…snowfall was only a trace at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This was the only snowfall of the month…ranking the month…along with previous months… The 2nd least snowiest on record.

2-3

In 1955…strong west to southwest winds raked metro Denver on both days. Sustained winds as high as 37 mph with gusts to 60 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1974…a heavy snowfall of 6.7 inches was accompanied by northeast wind gusts to 33 mph which produced some blowing snow across metro Denver. Over eastern Colorado many highways and schools were closed due to near-blizzard conditions from the storm.

In 1986…the worst snow storm of the season blasted metro Denver. Heavy snow and high winds combined to close roads… Schools…and airports. Portions of all interstate highways out of Denver were closed at times. The snow came after an exceptionally mild late winter and early spring; trees and bushes had already bloomed and leafed out. The snow and wind snapped many of these…causing power outages. Total snowfall amounts in metro Denver ranged from 1 to 2 feet with 2 to 3 feet in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 12.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting to 39 mph reduced the visibility to 1/8 mile in snow and blowing snow. Most of the snow fell on the 3rd when temperatures hovered around 30 degrees for most of the day. The heavy snow halted traffic and closed businesses. A 59- year-old man was found dead from exposure in northwest Denver. The roof of a toy store in Northglenn collapsed. A 100 thousand square foot section of a greenhouse roof collapsed in Golden…destroying over a million dollars worth of plants.

In 2000…a combination of strong instability and moist upslope winds allowed for a heavy…wet spring snowstorm to develop in and near the Front Range foothills. The heaviest snow occurred in southern Jefferson County. Storm totals included: 14 inches near Conifer…12 inches near Evergreen and on Floyd Hill; 11 inches near Blackhawk…Morrison…and tiny town; 10 inches at Aspen Springs and Eldora Ski Area; 9 inches at Chief Hosa; and 8 inches at both Golden Gate Canyon and Rollinsville. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport on the 2nd.

In 2014…a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the Front Range Mountains…Foothills and Urban Corridor. Storm totals in the mountains and foothills included: 21.5 inches…8 miles north of Blackhawk; 15.5 inches near Rollinsville; 15 inches at Aspen Springs; 14.5 inches near Ward; 12 inches…6 miles southwest of Evergreen; 11 inches at Cabin Creek and 12 miles south-southwest of Georgetown; 10 inches at Winter Park; 8 inches near Conifer…Georgetown and Gross Reservoir; with 7.5 inches at Bailey and Intercanyon. In the Urban Corridor…storm totals included:  9.5 inches near Highlands Ranch…7 inches at Boulder… 6 inches near Castle Rock…with 5.5 inches at Lakewood and near Morrison. At Denver International Airport…3.4 inches of snowfall was observed.

2-4

In 1934…snowfall totaled 8.2 inches in downtown Denver from the afternoon of the 2nd through the early morning of the 4th. Most of the snow…6.8 inches…fell on the 3rd. Rain changed to snow behind a strong cold front on the afternoon of the 2nd. The cold front first appeared as a long-cigar shaped squall cloud to the north of the city. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 33 mph with gusts to 43 mph produced much blowing dust and an abrupt fall in temperature…from a high of 68 on the 2nd to a low of 22 on the 3rd.

In 1964…a major storm dumped 10.9 inches of heavy wet snow on Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 35 mph. Most of the snow…10.0 inches…fell on the 3rd.

2-5

In 1918…snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 3rd and 4th. Temperatures were in the 20’s and 30’s. Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 2nd. Continue reading April 2 to April 8: This week in Denver weather history

March 26 to April 1: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

March is one of our snowiest months and our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows a number of notable snowfall events.

From the National Weather Service:

24-26

In 1959…the second major spring storm in less than a week dumped 10 to 20 inches of wet snow across northeastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 14.3 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph…causing near- blizzard conditions with visibilities frequently reduced to 1/2 mile in snow and blowing snow. Many travelers were marooned when trains…planes…and buses were unable to make their schedules. Utility lines were again damaged as a result of the storm.

25-26

In 1899…a major storm dumped 13.1 inches of heavy snow over downtown Denver. Rain changed to snow around mid- morning on the 25th. Snowfall became heavy and continued until late evening on the 26th. North to northeast winds gusted to 30 mph on both days. The cold air mass plunged temperatures from a high of 55 degrees on the 25th to a low of 8 degrees on the 26th.

In 1995…a potent early spring storm produced heavy snow in the mountains…but skipped over metro Denver…before producing blizzard conditions and 6-foot drifts over eastern Colorado…causing the closure of I-70 and other highways. Only 0.7 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport on the 25th.

In 2001…a persistent band of moderate to heavy snow showers with a few embedded thunderstorms formed in the foothills around Estes Park and spread to the southeast across Boulder and Denver and on the plains to the east of Denver. Thunder and snow was reported at Jefferson County…Centennial…and Denver International Airport during the evening of the 25th. Snowfall totals included: 7 inches at Boulder and Louisville; 6 inches at Broomfield…Niwot…and Westminster; 5 inches at Eldorado Springs…Nederland…and near Strasburg. Only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

25-27

In 1904…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches in downtown Denver.

26

In 1899…a major winter storm dumped 11.3 inches of snow over downtown Denver.

In 1910…west winds were sustained to 42 mph. A snow shower produced a trace of snow.

In 1935…a severe dust storm swept across the city. The dense dust blew in on a gale from the east-northeast. The dust “bank” was first visible on the northeastern horizon at about 2:00 pm. It advanced toward the city as a rolling…swirling…yellowish-to smoke-black cloud. At 2:06 pm…the cloud of dust enveloped the station. Before the storm the visibility was unlimited. At 2:08 pm…the visibility was reduced to 1/8th mile. By 2:25 pm…the visibility was increasing and was above 1000 feet at 3:10 pm. Thereafter…the sun appeared as a dim “ball of fire” at times. The dust was partially gone at 8:30 pm. During the storm…northeast winds were sustained to 32 mph with gusts as high as 35 mph.

In 1971…the highest recorded temperature in March…84 degrees…occurred. This was the highest temperature recorded so early in the season. Previously…84 degrees had not been reached until April 21st. The temperature also exceeded the previous daily record of 75 degrees set in 1960. Strong northwest Chinook winds gusting to 37 mph at Stapleton International Airport were partially responsible for causing the extremely warm weather so early in the season.

In 1985…strong winds occurred along the foothills. A wind gust to 76 mph was recorded in Boulder. A dust storm produced by the strong winds caused a 35-car pileup on I-25 north of Denver. In Denver…the high winds blew out windows in a few downtown buildings. West winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1993…strong winds from high based thunderstorms blew a roof off an Englewood business onto several parked cars. The winds also caused half of a furniture warehouse roof to collapse in north Denver…ripped a mechanical shed off the roof of a building in downtown Denver…and downed power lines in Commerce City. Wind gusts ranging from 55 to 68 mph were recorded. At Stapleton International Airport… Where no thunder was heard…a microburst wind gust to 55 mph briefly reduced the visibility to zero in blowing dust.

In 1994…heavy snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and over the palmer divide to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 11 inches at both the Eldora Ski Area and at Idaho Springs. Only 1.3 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 28 mph.

In 2006…post-frontal strong winds quickly dissipated the dense morning fog across metro Denver. West to northwest winds were strong and gusty from mid-morning until sunset. West winds were sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.

26-27

In 1886…heavy snowfall totaled 7.1 inches in downtown Denver.

In 1911…post-frontal north winds were sustained to 48 mph on the 26th and to 47 mph on the 27th.

In 1931…a cold front brought snow and very cold weather to the city. Snowfall totaled 7.3 inches over downtown Denver with most of the snow…6.4 inches…occurring on the 26th… When northwest winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 44 mph. High temperature of 31 degrees on the 26th equaled the low temperature of the previous day as the temperature plunged to a low of 1 degree below zero. High temperature of only 15 degrees on the 27th was a record low maximum for the date. Low temperature of 2 degrees below zero on the 27th was not a record.

In 1975…a major pre-Easter blizzard…the worst since the vicious storm of 1949…battered northeastern Colorado and left livestock losses in millions of dollars…but metro Denver escaped the main brunt of the storm and received only 5.0 inches of snowfall. North winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport where temperatures plunged from a high of 50 degrees to 18 degrees by midnight on the 26th.

In 1991…heavy snow fell over portions of the eastern foothills with 9 inches recorded at Lake Eldora west of Boulder. The snow spread across metro Denver…but snowfall totaled only 1.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north to northeast winds gusting to 31 mph on both days produced some blowing snow.

In 2018…a storm system produced a period of moderate to heavy snowfall in and near the southern Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals included: 12.5 inches at Aspen Springs…12 inches near Elizabeth…11 inches at Echo Lake… 10 inches near Pinecliffe…9 inches near Floyd Hill…8 inches near Arapaho Park…Conifer and Crescent Village; 6 inches at Cheesman…Evergreen and Gross Reservoir. The official snowfall measurement at Denver International Airport was 2.1 inches. Continue reading March 26 to April 1: This week in Denver weather history

March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

March is of course one of Denver’s snowiest months, oftentimes bringing our biggest snowfalls of the season. We see this fact bear out in our look back with many events having delivered extraordinary snowfall totals.

From the National Weather Service:

9-19

In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.

17-19

In 1933…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th and continued through mid-day of the 19th. Snowfall totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in the city. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to 43 mph on the 19th.

In 2003…one of the worst blizzards since historic records began in 1872 struck metro Denver with a vengeance. Heavy wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation to a near standstill. North winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the city. The estimated cost of property damage alone…not including large commercial buildings…was 93 million dollars… Making it the costliest snowstorm ever. Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said…”this is the storm of the century…a backbreaker…a record breaker…a roof breaker.” Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy wet snow. The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east of gun club road. The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes and businesses to collapse. The snow also downed trees…branches…and power lines. Two people were injured when the roofs of their homes collapsed. In Denver alone…at least 258 structures were damaged. In Arvada…a roof collapse at West Gate Stables killed a horse. Up to 135 thousand people lost power during the storm…and it took several days for power to be restored in some areas. Denver International Airport was closed…stranding about 4000 travelers. The weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion of the tent roof…forcing the evacuation of that section of the main terminal building. Avalanches in the mountains and foothills closed many roads…including I-70…stranding hundreds of skiers and travelers. Along I-70…an avalanche released by the Colorado department of transportation…blocked the interstate in both directions for several hours. Several residences between Baskerville and Silver Plume were evacuated because of the high avalanche danger. At Eldora Ski Area…270 skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access road. After the storm ended…a military helicopter had to ferry food to the resort until the road could be cleared. The heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills homes in Jefferson County for several days. Two homes burned to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences. Some schools remained closed well into the following week. The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…the most snowfall from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5 inches on December 4-5…1913. The storm made March 2003 the snowiest March on record…the 4th snowiest month on record… And the 5th wettest March on record. The 22.9 inches of snow on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded in the city during the month of March. The storm was also a drought-buster…breaking 19 consecutive months of below normal precipitation in the city. Snowfall across metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet. The highest amounts included: 40 inches in Aurora…38 inches in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker…37 inches at Buckley AFB…35 inches in southwest Denver…34 inches in Louisville… 32 inches in Arvada…31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster… And 22.5 inches in Boulder. In the foothills…snowfall ranged from 3 feet to more than 7 feet. Some of the most impressive storm totals included: 87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in Rollinsville…83 inches at cabin creek…74 inches near Bergen Park…73 inches northwest of Evergreen…72 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…70 inches at Georgetown…63 inches near Jamestown…60 inches near Blackhawk…55 inches at Eldora Ski Area…54 inches 8 miles west of Sedalia…and 46.6 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch. The storm was the result of a very moist…intense slow moving Pacific system which tracked across the four corners and into southeastern Colorado…which allowed deep easterly upslope flow to form along the Front Range.

18-19

In 1927…heavy snowfall was 6.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph on the 18th.

In 1974…heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 19th.

In 2018…a storm system brought locally heavy snowfall to the Palmer Divide south of Denver.  Storm totals included 10.5 inches in Franktown…10 inches near Elizabeth and The Pinery…9 inches at Ponderosa Park…with 5 inches in Lone Tree. At Denver International Airport…just 0.7 inch of snowfall was observed.

18-20

In 2020…a powerful storm system brought blizzard conditions to the plains east of Interstate 25. Numerous roads closures were posted east of Interstate 25 and over the Palmer Divide. Highways closings included portions of eastbound interstates 70 and 76 due to strong winds and whiteout conditions. I-70 was also closed westbound into the mountains due to heavy snow and numerous accidents. In the Front Range Foothills…storm totals included:  23 inches near Nederland…22 inches at Aspen Springs…18.5 inches near Jamestown…17 inches at Genesee…15 inches at Evergreen and 12 inches at Bergen Park.  Along the urban corridor…storm totals included:  11 inches at Centennial and Ponderosa Park; 10.5 inches at Lone Tree…10 inches near Commerce City…with 5 to 9 inches elsewhere including 6 inches at Denver International Airport. At Greeley and Denver International Airport…north-northwest winds gusted to 49 mph.

18-21

In 1907…a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature records. Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and 80 degrees on the 20th. Record high minimum temperatures of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54 degrees on the 21st.

19

In 1969…high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. A freight train was derailed near the entrance to a canyon 20 miles west of Denver when some empty cars were caught on a curve by a gust of wind. Two light planes were heavily damaged at Jefferson County Airport. Winds gusted to 105 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…62 mph in downtown Boulder…and 80 to 90 mph at Boulder airport. Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…northwest winds gusted to 55 mph in Denver with stronger winds along the foothills. The strong cold winds kicked up some blowing dust…reducing the visibility to near zero at times at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…high winds across metro Denver caused minor damage to a few mobile homes at Lowry Air Force Base. West wind gusts reached 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport where visibility was briefly reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1995…strong winds associated with a pacific cold front blew across metro Denver. A west wind gust to 48 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport. Winds gusted to 59 mph at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2010…a storm system produced deep upslope and brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range. The foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties were the hardest hit. Storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…25.5 inches…4 miles southeast of Conifer; 25 inches at Genesee…24.5 inches near Kittredge… 23.5 inches…6 miles east of Nederland…20.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown…5 miles southeast of Aspen Park and 5 miles southeast Idaho Springs; and 18 inches near Ralston buttes. In and around Denver…storm totals included: 15 inches in Golden; 12.5 inches in Boulder…11.5 inches at Lone Tree; 10.5 inches near Castle Pines; 11 inches…6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 10 inches near Englewood…Highlands Ranch and 3 miles southwest of wheat ridge; 9 inches…4 miles west of Arvada…Broomfield…Centennial…Elizabeth and Westminster; 8.5 inches…in southeast Denver and Littleton; 7.5 inches in Louisville and near Thornton; 7 inches…4 miles south of Aurora…Lakewood and Niwot; 6.5 inches…4 miles northwest of Castle Rock…4 miles northwest of Denver and Northglenn; 6 inches in Brighton and 5 miles southeast of Sedalia. Officially… 1.7 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.

19-20

Iin 1912…post-frontal heavy snowfall of 6.3 inches was measured in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 19th. The strong cold front plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees on the 19th to a low of 1 degree on the 20th.

In 1959…a major storm dumped heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches on Stapleton Airport where north winds gusting to 44 mph caused much blowing and drifting snow. Many highways were blocked…and there was damage to phone lines along the South Platte River. The storm started as rain and changed to heavy wet snow…which froze on the lines causing the poles to break. The storm caused 2 deaths over eastern Colorado.

In 2006…strong northerly winds…associated with a surface low pressure system that intensified as it moved into the central Great Plains…brought heavy wet snow to the eastern foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. The hardest hit areas included the foothills of Boulder and Gilpin counties. Storm totals included: 15 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Aspen Springs…12.5 inches near Nederland…and 5.7 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Strong winds…heavy snow…and poor visibility forced the closure of interstate 70 from Denver east to the Kansas state line. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 19th.

19-21

In 1888…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 19th. Continue reading March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

March 12 to March 18: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

March is usually our snowiest month and our look back at this week in Denver weather history provides evidence of this. It was this week in 2003 that the Denver was struck by a massive snowstorm – the costliest in Denver history. Also, six years ago, we saw significant snowfall this same week. Below is a complete look at those and other events.

From the National Weather Service:

9-19

In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.

10-12

In 1924…snowfall was heavy and totaled 9.9 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 11th.

In 2001…heavy snow fell over northeast Colorado and metro Denver when a combination of upslope winds and convective snow bands formed over the area. Storm totals included: 11 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort; 10 inches at Genesee; 8 inches at Elizabeth…atop Lookout Mountain…near Sedalia… And at Strasburg; 7 inches near Castle Rock and Evergreen; and 6 inches in Aurora…atop Crow Hill…and in Parker. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 2 to 5 inches with 3.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver International Airport on the 10th.

11-12

In 1929…heavy snowfall totaled 9.3 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 31 mph with gusts to 34 mph on the 11th.

In 1947…heavy snowfall totaled 7.0 inches in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 15 mph on the 11th.

In 1963…snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north-northwest winds gusted to 25 mph on the 11th.

In 1993…a strong storm dumped heavy snow in the mountains and 4 to 8 inches of snow over metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 3.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 35 mph.

12

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 44 mph.

In 1952…northwest winds sustained at 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where 3.2 inches of snow also fell.

In 1954…strong winds raked metro Denver all day producing areas of blowing dust…snow…and blowing snow. At Stapleton Airport…north-northeast winds at sustained speeds of 40 to 45 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph were recorded. Snowfall totaled only 0.4 inches.

In 1982…a windstorm hit the foothills from Boulder north. The highest recorded wind gust of 90 mph occurred in Boulder. Wind gusts to 47 mph were recorded at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1985…only 1.0 inch of snow fell in Denver…but strong winds produced near-blizzard conditions and caused the closure of I-70 from Aurora to Limon for an hour in the evening. North winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1999…heavy snow fell in and near the Front Range foothills. Snowfall totals included: 8.5 inches at Genesee…6 inches about 8 miles northwest of Evergreen… 4.5 inches in Boulder…4 inches in Littleton…and only 2.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

12-13

In 2005…a winter storm brought heavy snow to the eastern foothills and western metro Denver overnight. Storm total snowfall included: 15 inches in Jamestown…13 inches near Blackhawk…11 inches in the foothills southwest of Boulder and near Nederland…10.5 inches at Gross Reservoir…9.5 inches at Eldorado Springs…9 inches at Roxborough Park… 8.5 inches near Longmont…8 inches in Boulder…7.5 inches at Centennial…7 inches in Louisville…3.3 inches at Denver Stapleton. At Denver International Airport…west winds gusted to 46 mph on the 12th before the passage of the cold front and north winds gusted 31 mph on the 13th.

12-16

In 1880…a protracted cold spell resulted in 8 temperature records being set. Record low temperatures for the date were set when the temperature dipped to 10 degrees below zero on the 13th and 14th…8 degrees below zero on the 12th and 15th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 16th. Daily record low maximum temperatures were set with 11 degrees on the 12th…12 degrees on the 13th…and 19 degrees on the 15th. Continue reading March 12 to March 18: This week in Denver weather history

Time to ‘spring forward’ as Daylight Saving Time begins March 12

Daylight Saving Time
The United States returns to Daylight Saving Time at 2:00am Sunday as Standard Time comes to an end.

The biannual ritual of changing our clocks to adjust for Daylight Saving Time occurs this Saturday night providing yet another signal of the changing of seasons.  The United States will ‘spring forward’ one hour at 2:00am Sunday morning as we begin Daylight Saving Time.

The ritual of changing our clocks twice a year can be met with some resistance as some people struggle to adjust their body’s internal clock.  The start of Daylight Saving Time can be particularly problematic given the one hour less sleep people receive on the night of the change.

However, longer days as we head into the milder months are a very real benefit and for many worth the inconvenience of a lost hour of sleep.  The time change definitely has big effects on how much daylight we enjoy during our normal waking hours.

On Saturday, prior to the change, sunset will occur at 6:02pm but on Sunday the sun won’t disappear over the horizon until 7:03pm.  This affords folks more time in the evening to get started on those spring-time chores and allows us to get outside and enjoy the warming weather.

Similarly, sunrise on Saturday is at 6:17am but shifts to 7:16am on Sunday.

The March Equinox is also on the horizon.  Spring officially begins at 3:24pm on Monday, March 20.

This year Daylight Savings Time will come to an end on November 6.

Some of the recent history of Daylight Savings Time (from Wikipedia):

Daylight saving time in the United States was first observed in 1918. Most areas of the United States currently observe daylight saving time, with the exceptions being the states of Arizona and Hawaii along with the territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

From 1987 to 2006, daylight saving time in the United States began on the first Sunday of April and ended on the last Sunday of October. The time was adjusted at 2:00 AM (0200) local time (as it still is done now).

Since 2007, daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, with all time changes taking place at 2:00 AM (0200) local time.

Daylight Savings Time Schedule

Year DST Begins 2 a.m.
(Second Sunday in March)
DST Ends 2 a.m.
(First Sunday in November)
2023 12 March 2023 5 November 2023
2024 10 March 2024 3 November 2024
2025 9 March 2025 2 November 2025
2026 8 March 2026 1 November 2026
2027 14 March 2027 7 November 2027
2028 12 March 2028 5 November 2028
2029 11 March 2029 4 November 2029

March 5 to March 11: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

March is Denver’s snowiest month and it is not unusual for us to receive heavy, wet snows during this time. Our look back at this week in Denver weather history highlights many such events.

From the National Weather Service:

3-5

In 1961…snowfall totaled 8.3 inches at Stapleton Airport over the 3-day period with most of the snow…4.4 inches… falling on the 3rd. Winds were generally light gusting to only 23 mph.

 

4-5

In 1971…heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 7.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 28 mph.

In 1992…snow spread from the mountains into the eastern foothills where 19 inches fell in Coal Creek Canyon. Rain fell over lower elevations of metro Denver with 1.12 inches of precipitation recorded at Stapleton International Airport and only one half inch of snow. North winds gusted to 32 mph.

In 2004…snowfall totaled 1.8 inches at the Denver Stapleton site. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month. Northeast winds gusted to 29 mph at Denver International Airport.

4-6

In 1931…a cold front with north winds gusting to 35 mph on the evening of the 4th brought snowfall on the 5th into the early morning of the 6th. Heavy snowfall totaled 6.2 inches. Temperatures plunged from a high of 58 degrees on the 4th to a low of only 22 degrees by midnight…which was also the high reading on the 5th.

In 1983…a slow moving moisture laden storm produced heavy snow and rain. Two to three feet of snow fell in the foothills at Wondervu and Nederland. The southern portion of metro Denver was buried with 26 inches of snow in southeast Aurora…25 inches at Franktown…and 19 inches at Littleton. Snowfall totaled 18.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport with most of the snow…18.0 inches… Falling on the 5th. Brighton received only 11 inches of new snow. Boulder was drenched by rain and received no snow. Precipitation from the storm totaled 3.06 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 28 mph. The heavy wet snow snapped many tree limbs…which fell on power and phone lines causing many outages. Numerous highways were closed. Two thousand travelers were stranded at Stapleton International Airport where only one runway was open for a time. Many flights were canceled. One home in Denver was severely damaged when its roof collapsed under the weight of the heavy snow. The 2.68 inches of precipitation on the 5th was the greatest calendar day precipitation ever recorded in the city during March. The 2.79 inches of precipitation on the 4th and 5th was the greatest 24 hour precipitation ever measured during March.

5

In 1887…the longest snow-free period on record…232 days…  Began.  The last measurable snowfall of the season…0.1 inch…occurred on the 4th.  The first measurable snow of the next season…0.3 inch… Occurred on October 23rd.

In 1900…northwest winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts to 60 mph.  The strong Bora winds warmed the temperature to a high of 44 degrees.

In 1926…post-frontal north winds were sustained to 44 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph.  The cold front also produced a thunderstorm.

In 1990…the southern portion of metro Denver was hit by a line of thunderstorms.  Heavy rain…0.90 to 2.40 inches…  And pea to marble size hail piled to a depth of 2 to 3 inches over portions of northern and eastern Douglas and western Arapahoe counties.  Thunderstorm winds to 50 mph were clocked at Centennial airport.  Thunderstorm rainfall was 0.62 inch at Stapleton International Airport.

5-6

In 1935…3.0 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snow of the month. Northwest winds gusted to 29 mph on the 5th.

In 1940…heavy snowfall totaled 9.1 inches over downtown Denver. North winds gusted to 22 mph.

In 2000…high winds developed in and near the foothills just prior to the passage of an upper level storm system moving in from the west. Peak gusts from the windstorm included: 88 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research near Boulder…82 mph in Boulder…80 mph at the national wind technology center south of Boulder…79 mph on Rocky Flats…and 71 mph in Golden Gate Canyon. Several power lines were downed causing a few brief outages. Thunderstorms produced southeast wind gusts to 51 mph at Denver International Airport on the 5th.

In 2003…high winds spread from the mountains down the eastern slopes. The highest wind gusts were 85 mph atop the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder and 70 mph at the national wind technology center on Rocky Flats west of Broomfield. West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International Airport on the 6th.

In 2018…high winds developed in and near Denver. Peak wind gusts included 79 mph in Applewood…60 mph at Denver International Airport…and 59 mph near Bennett.

6

In 1900…west winds were sustained to 41 mph with gusts to 49 mph.

In 1920…the high temperature warmed to only 6 degrees… The all-time record low maximum temperature for the month of March. The same reading also occurred on March 10…1948.

In 1972…a wind gust to 100 mph was recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield. Winds gusted in Boulder at speeds of 50 to 65 mph. A light plane was overturned… And there was damage to other planes at Boulder airport. The roof of a garage was blown off…and a mobile home was overturned in Boulder. A truck was blown off the highway 15 miles east of Boulder. West winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The warm Chinook winds were responsible for setting a new record high temperature for the date of 75 degrees…exceeding the old record of 72 degrees set in 1925.

In 1990…a blizzard pummeled metro Denver. Snow fell at a rate of 2 to 3 inches an hour. Gusty north winds whipped the snow into 2- to 3-foot drifts by noon. During the afternoon many stores and schools closed. By rush hour sustained winds of 35 to 46 mph and gusts to 58 mph reduced visibilities to near zero and whipped the new snow into 3- to 4-foot drifts. Many residential as well as secondary and primary roads became impassable. I-25 and I-70 were closed in and out of the city. Road crews cleared drifts as high as 12 feet in southeast Boulder and northwest Adams counties. Several hundred rush hour commuters…including the state’s governor…were caught in the blizzard conditions along a 15-mile stretch of the Denver-Boulder turnpike. Many remained snowbound in their vehicles up to 8 hours until rescued by police and the National Guard. The highway remained closed until mid-day on the 7th. Shelters for stranded commuters and travelers were opened in Broomfield and Castle Rock. Many workers didn’t even try to go home…but filled downtown hotels to near capacity. By early evening…Stapleton International Airport was shut down after an airliner with 82 passengers aboard skidded off a runway. Snowfall totals for the storm varied from 18 to 50 inches in the foothills above 6 thousand feet…9 to 24 inches west of I-25…and 2 to 12 inches over eastern metro Denver. Snowfall from the storm totaled 11.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where the maximum snow depth on the ground was 7 inches due to melting.

In 2004…very strong downslope winds developed in and near the eastern foothills…causing numerous traffic accidents and extensive property damage to roofs and aluminum sheds. Three semi-trucks were toppled by the strong winds near the I-70 and C-470 interchange. One of the trucks was carrying a modular home…while another was hauling hazardous material. I-70 had to be closed in both directions until the accidents could be cleaned up. Strong winds forced the closure of State Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder…when the road became icy and snowpacked from localized ground blizzards. Another semi- truck was blown over near the intersection of State Highways 72 and 93 atop Rocky Flats. Scattered power outages were reported across northern and western sections of metro Denver…affecting around 2000 residents. In Boulder…several pine trees were uprooted by the high winds.

In 2017…strong winds combined with very dry conditions produced extreme fire danger across the region. In Aurora… fire crews responded to a brush fire near Gun Club Road and Jewell Avenue. It burned approximately 290 acres before it was contained. Strong winds also downed a tree which crushed a parked car in a driveway. Peak wind gusts included: 83 mph…5 miles south of Berthoud; 63 mph at Centennial… 58 mph near Bennett and at Denver International Airport.

6-7

In 1981…a storm dumped 4 to 8 inches of snow over higher elevations between Denver and Colorado springs. At Stapleton International Airport…north winds gusted to 16 mph and snowfall totaled only 2.5 inches.

In 1998…heavy snow fell over portions of metro Denver and the adjacent foothills. Snowfall totals included 11 inches at Chief Hosa…10 inches near Evergreen…8.5 inches in Broomfield…8 inches at Bailey…and 7 inches at both Standley Lake and Thornton. Elsewhere…snowfall across metro Denver ranged from 3 to 6 inches with 4.9 inches measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 26 mph at Denver International Airport on the 7th. Several accidents occurred along area roads and highways when they became icy and snowpacked.

6-8

In 1932…snowfall totaled 6.3 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…5.2 inches…fell on the 8th. Northeast winds gusted to 20 mph on the 6th.

7

In 1872…heavy rain started shortly after midnight and soon turned to sleet…which continued to just after sunrise…the ground at that time not even being white. At about 7:00 am the worst snow storm of the winter commenced and continued until 10:00 pm…snowing heavily nearly all the time. North winds averaged a sustained speed of 25 mph. About 8 inches of snow fell…but it drifted too much to obtain a direct measurement.

In 1901…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high of 70 degrees.

In 1902…northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 53 mph.

In 1950…strong north winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph produced a dust storm across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport…blowing dust reduced visibility to as low as 1/4 mile for most of the day.

In 1972…northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The Chinook winds warmed temperatures to a high of 64 degrees.

In 1984…a wind gust to 63 mph was recorded at Golden Gate Canyon west of Denver. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2017…strong winds occurred across the north central and northeast Colorado. In west Greeley…a building under construction completely collapsed. The 5000 square-foot addition to a church swayed under the force of the wind then collapsed. Some of the debris pinned a construction worker; he suffered minor injuries. Peak wind gusts included: 81 mph at Berthoud Pass and Genesee; 75 mph near Jamestown…60 mph…2 miles south-southeast of Denver International Airport and 55 mph at Greeley Airport. Officially…a peak wind gust to 46 mph was measured at Denver International Airport from the northwest. Continue reading March 5 to March 11: This week in Denver weather history

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