April 23 to April 29: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

Certainly April can bring pleasant weather but it also can bring thunderstorms and even heavy, damaging snow as we see in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

20-23

In 1989…unusually warm weather resulted in several daily temperature records being broken in Denver. The high temperature of 89 degrees on the 21st exceeded the record maximum for the month at that time. Daily record high temperatures were either exceeded or equaled with 83 degrees on the 20th…88 degrees on the 22nd…and 85 degrees on the 23rd. The low temperature of 55 degrees on the 22nd equaled the record high minimum for the date.

21-23

In 1999…a spring snowstorm dumped heavy snowfall over metro Denver and in the foothills. Nearly 3 feet of snow fell in the foothills with over a foot in the city. The heavy wet snow downed power lines in Douglas and Elbert counties. Scattered outages were reported at Parker…Franktown… Sedalia…and Castle Rock. Some residents were without electricity for as long as 20 hours. The inclement weather was blamed…at least in part…for several traffic accidents along the I-25 corridor between Denver and Castle Rock. Snowfall totals included: 32 inches at Idaho Springs; 31 inches on Crow Hill; 29 inches near Evergreen; 26 inches at Chief Hosa and Coal Creek Canyon; 25 inches at Bailey; 24 inches at Floyd Hill; 23 inches at conifer…Genesee…Golden Gate Canyon…North Turkey Creek…and Pine Junction; 13 inches at Broomfield and near Sedalia; 12 inches in Boulder; 11 inches at Louisville and Parker; and 9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2004…heavy snow fell across metro Denver…when low level upslope conditions developed against the foothills and Palmer Divide. Snowfall totals included: 18 inches in the foothills southwest of Boulder…17 inches at Intercanyon and near Conifer…10 inches near Blackhawk and Parker…9 inches at Castle Rock and near Sedalia…7 inches in Centennial… Littleton…and near Lone Tree. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall generally ranged from 2 to 5 inches. Snowfall was 4.7 inches at Denver Stapleton. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Denver International Airport on the 21st.

22-23

In 1885…the worst snow storm since station records began in 1872 dumped a total of 24.0 inches of snowfall on the city. The 23.0 inches of snow recorded on the 22nd and 23rd was the greatest 24-hour snowfall ever recorded during the month of April. Streets were impassable…roofs caved in… Telegraph and telephone wires were downed…railroads were blocked and trains delayed…and most business came to a complete standstill. Estimated losses were reported to 50 thousand dollars. The total snowfall was partly estimated due to melting. Precipitation from the storm totaled 2.79 inches.

In 1915…post-frontal rain during the day and overnight totaled 2.00 inches. Most of the rain fell on the 22nd.

In 1945…6.7 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver. This was the third major snow in a little over 3 weeks…which made this month the 4th snowiest on record. Northeast winds were sustained to 25 mph and light hail fell on the 22nd.

In 2013…a spring storm brought heavy snow to the mountains… with period of moderate to heavy snow to portions of the Front Range Foothills and Urban Corridor. In the mountains and foothills…storm totals included: 18 inches at Niwot Ridge SNOTEL; 16.5 inches near Ward; 13 inches at Arapahoe Basin and Roach SNOTEL…12 inches near Blackhawk; 11.5 inches near Nederland; 11 inches near Allenspark and at Loveland Ski Area; 10 inches near Idaho Springs and Pinecliffe; with 9.5 inches and near Silverthorne. Along the Urban Corridor storm totals included: 7.5 inches near Morrison; 7 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder and Niwot; 6.5 inches near Arapahoe Park and Superior; with 6 inches at Lafayette and Lakewood. At Denver International Airport…4.7 inches of new snowfall was observed.

22-24

In 2010…a potent spring storm brought heavy…wet snow to areas in and near the Front Range foothills and widespread rainfall across the adjacent plains. In the Front Range foothills and north-central mountains east of the Continental Divide…storm totals ranged from 15 to 30 inches. Storm totals included: 29.5 inches…3 miles southeast of Pinecliffe; 27 inches…8 miles northeast of four corners; 23 inches at Willow Creek; 22.5 inches… 13 miles northwest of Golden; 21 inches at Never Summer; 17 inches at Eldorado Springs; 16.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown. Denver International Airport reported just a trace of snowfall…but measured 2.01 inches of rainfall for the duration of the storm. In addition…a peak wind gust to 54 mph from the northwest was observed at the airport on the 23rd. Continue reading April 23 to April 29: This week in Denver weather history

April 16 to April 22: This week in Denver weather history

This Week in Denver Weather History

As we enter the latter half of April the weather history calendar starts to reflect shift in the type of weather events we see. There are still plenty of significant snowfall events. However spring severe weather starts to appear with greater frequency including heavy rain, hail and even tornadoes.

From the National Weather Service:

13-17

In 2001…a huge dust storm over southern and Inner Mongolia during April 3rd through the 6th lifted desert dust into the jet stream. This dust cloud moved over metro Denver on the 13th and persisted through the 17th. The cloud created widespread haze…giving the sky a milkish cast due to the scattering of incoming solar radiation.

15-16

In 1900…heavy rainfall totaled 2.33 inches. A trace of snow was mixed with the rain at times.

In 1950…thunderstorms and heavy rain behind a cold front produced 2.13 inches of rain in 24 hours at Stapleton Airport.

In 2003…a fast moving pacific storm system moved across Colorado allowing strong winds to develop over the eastern foothills and metro Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 59 mph at Denver International Airport late in the evening of the 15th.

In 2016…1.22 inches of precipitation was measured at Denver International Airport which was the greatest daily amount for the month.

In 2020…a potent storm system dropped out of the northern Rockies and produced moderate to heavy snow over portions of the Front Range mountains…foothills and adjacent plains. The heaviest snow fell in and near the foothills north of I-70. In the mountains and foothills…storm totals included: 30 inches near Jamestown…27 inches near Nederland…22 inches near Allenspark…21 inches near St Mary`s Glacier…18 inches in Estes Park…16 inches near Crescent Village and Deer Ridge…15.5 inches near Aspen Springs…and 15 inches near Pinecliffe. In Boulder…16.9 inches of snow helped to establish a new seasonal snowfall record of 151.2 inches. The previous seasonal snowfall record in Boulder was 142.9 inches in 1908-1909. Along the I-25 corridor…storm totals included: 14.5 inches in Niwot…13.5 inches in Frederick…13 inches in Broomfield… 12 inches in Lafayette and near Longmont…10.5 inches in Arvada…10 inches in Erie…Louisville…and Westminster…7 inches in Brighton…6.5 inches in Edgewater and Northglenn…and 5.5 inches in Greeley. Snowfall totaled 1.9 inches at Denver International Airport. In 2021…a storm system produced bands of heavy snow in and near the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 13.8 inches at St. Mary`s Glacier…12.9 inches at Aspen Park…10 inches in Genesee…9.5 inches at Ken Caryl…9 inches in Crescent Village…8.5 inches in Arvada and Westminster…8 inches at Evergreen and Sedalia…with 3 to 7 inches elsewhere. At Denver International Airport… 5.7 inches inches of snowfall was observed.

In 2021…a storm system produced bands of heavy snow in and near the Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 13.8 inches at St. Mary`s Glacier…12.9 inches at Aspen Park…10 inches in Genesee…9.5 inches at Ken Caryl…9 inches in Crescent Village…8.5 inches in Arvada and Westminster…8 inches at Evergreen and Sedalia…with 3 to 7 inches elsewhere. At Denver International Airport… 5.7 inches inches of snowfall was observed.

15-17

In 1922…heavy snowfall totaled 9.0 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.0 inches…fell on the 16th. This was the third major snow storm in a week. Northwest winds were sustained to 43 mph with gusts to 47 mph on the 15th.

In 2016…a powerful spring snowstorm brought heavy…wet snow to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals generally ranged from 2 to 4 feet in the foothills with 1 to 2 feet in the mountain west of Denver and along the Palmer Divide. Along the I-25 Corridor storm totals ranged from 6 to 20 inches…with highest amounts across the western and southern suburbs. Some of those totals included: 16 inches in Aurora and Superior…15 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder… 14.5 inches in Broomfield…13.5 inches in Westminster… officially 12.1 inches at Denver International Airport…12 inches in Louisville…11.5 inches in Arvada…11 inches near Englewood…and 10.5 inches near Wheat Ridge. At Denver International Airport…there were 852 flight cancellations… most of which occurred on the 16th. The heavy wet snowfall broke trees limbs and caused scattered power outages. Over five thousand customers were without power on the 16th…and over two thousand on the 17th. Xcel Energy brought in extra crews from surrounding states to help restore power and minimize outage times through the storm. Numerous but mostly temporary road closures from 1 to 5 hours occurred throughout the storm. This included portions of I-70 east and west of Denver…Highway 103 from Idaho Springs to Evergreen and Highway 119 through Black Hawk.

16

In 1960…a wind storm struck all of metro Denver. Estimated wind gusts up to 80 mph were registered in Boulder. At Stapleton Airport sustained west-northwest winds over 50 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph produced some blowing dust. The high winds damaged buildings…power and telephone lines…and signs. Five people were injured in metro Denver as a result of the wind storm. Blowing dust reduced visibility at times. The winds were strong and gusty for most of the day.

16-17

In 1944…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 16th.

16-18

In 2009…a potent spring storm brought heavy snow to locations in and near the Front Range foothills. A deep easterly upslope produced nearly 5 feet of snow in parts of the foothills. The heavy snow resulted in the closure of Interstate 70…from Golden west to Vail…for approximately 16 hours. The heavy snow snapped power lines in Evergreen and Nederland. The ensuing outages affected 14200 residents. In the Front Range foothills…storm totals included: 56 inches…3 miles south of Rollinsville; 54 inches…3 miles southeast of Pinecliffe…43 inches at Aspen Springs…42 inches at Evergreen…38 inches near conifer; 37 inches at St. Mary’s glacier…and 34 inches near Nederland. Along the urban corridor and Palmer Divide…the heaviest snow occurred above 5500 feet on the 17th. Storm totals included: 22 inches…8.5 miles southwest of Franktown; 18 inches…10 miles south-southeast of Buckley Air Force Base; 17 inches near Cherry Creek and 7 miles south of Sedalia… 16 inches…6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 15 inches near Beverly Hills; 12 inches near Highlands Ranch and Lafayette…with 11 inches in Broomfield. Elsewhere storm totals ranged from 4 to 10 inches. Officially…only 2.6 inches of snow was observed at Denver International Airport. The 24-hr precipitation for the day however was 1.16 inches… Which established a new record for April 17th.

17

In 1889…northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph.

In 1899…apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph.

In 1935…light dust moved over the city behind an apparent dry cold front…which produced northeast winds to 19 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

In 1978…winds estimated to 70 mph occurred in Morrison. Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2000…strong pre-frontal winds and widely scattered thunderstorms caused high winds to develop across northern metro Denver and portions of the northeast plains. Peak wind gusts included 75 mph at Louisville. South winds gusted to only 28 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2002…strong southwest winds in advance of a cold front gusted to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2003…severe thunderstorms produced 1 inch diameter hail 7 miles east of Brighton. Strong thunderstorm winds blew out an auto windshield near Denver International Airport where south winds gusted to 48 mph. Continue reading April 16 to April 22: This week in Denver weather history

Denver sets record high minimum for April 13

Record High Temperature

Along with a few days of summer-like heat, nighttime temperatures stayed quite warm for this time of year as well. In fact, they were extraordinarily warm today.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City’s low temperature today was only 55 degrees. This sets a new record warm minimum for the date, breaking the old record of 53 degrees set inn 1932.

Thornton stayed even warmer with a low of 59 degrees soon after sunrise.

Denver sets record high temperature for April 12, second record in as many days

Record High Temperature

And another high temperature record bites the dust in Denver today.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City’s temperature topped out at 85 degrees. This easily bested the previous record high for the date of 79 degrees last set in 2018 and is the second day in a row with a record high.

Here in Thornton, we again topped Denver’s mark with a high of 87.5 degrees.

Denver sets record high temperature for April 11

Record High Temperature

After a long stretch of largely below normal temperatures, spring popped up in a big way today delivering summer-like temperatures that broke records.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City’s temperature topped out at 85 degrees. This easily bested the previous record high for the date of 80 degrees last set in 1982.

Here in Thornton, we topped Denver’s mark with a high of 86.9 degrees.

More heat is on tap as we are likely to set a record high tomorrow as well.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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