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

February 2023 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Lenticular clouds float above the Rocky Mountains. (Katie Cox)
Lenticular clouds float above the Rocky Mountains. (Katie Cox)

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

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

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

  • Slideshow updated February 27, 2023
  • To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

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

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

[flickr_set id=”72177720306310590″]

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

February 26 to March 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

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

From the National Weather Service:

22-29

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

25-26

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

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

26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26-27

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

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

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

27

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

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

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

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

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

In 2009…a strong wind gusts blew a trailer in the path of two vehicles along State Highway 36…between Boulder and Lyons. The two vehicles were in the northbound lane when a wind gust blew a fifth-wheel trailer into their path… As it approached from the opposite lane. The trailer left the road surface…and collided with the top left side of the first car; causing extensive damage. A van following the first vehicle then struck the trailer. The driver of the van suffered facial injuries. Continue reading February 26 to March 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

Denver sets record low maximum for February 23

Record Cold Temperatures

Two very cold days and a third cold weather record has been set with this latest Arctic blast.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City’s high temperature today topped out at only 7 degrees. This easily breaks the previous record low maximum for the date of 10 degrees set in 1874.

Here in Thornton, we were able to see the mercury climb a bit higher topping out at 13 degrees.

The record low maximum follows on the heels of record low temperatures set today and yesterday.

Denver sets record low temperature for February 23

Record Cold Temperatures

Our latest Arctic plunge is coming to an end and with it, a record is broken.

As measured at Denver International Airport, the Mile High City bottomed out at -11 degrees this morning. That breaks the old record low for the date of -7 degrees set just last year in 2022.

Here in Thornton we were similar cold with a low of -10 degrees.

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