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May 12 to May 18: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

The snow is gone (for now?) but as our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows, it could return. That however is unlikely and more typical spring severe weather is far more common.

From the National Weather Service:

10-12

In 2011…a spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to the Front Range foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals included: 18 inches…4 miles south-southeast of Pinecliffe; 16 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 15 inches…4 miles west-southwest of Eldorado Springs; 13 inches at Gold Hill…12 inches…4 miles west-southwest of Conifer and 4 miles northwest of Elizabeth; 11.5 inches…6 miles southwest of Evergreen and 4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 11 inches…3 miles east of Jamestown and 10.5 inches…3 miles east of Franktown and 3 miles south of Golden and 10 inches…10 miles north of Elizabeth. At Denver International Airport… 1 inch of snowfall was observed.

In 2023…a slow moving storm system produced a period of moderate to heavy rainfall across the urban corridor…Palmer Divide and adjacent plains. A 24-hr daily record of 2.92 inches occurred at Denver International Airport on the 11th…with a 2-day total of 3.75 inches on the 11-12th…and 3-day total of 4.40 inches from the 10-12th. The prolonged period of rainfall resulted in flooding…flash flooding and washed out roadways… including Cherry Creek State Park and the National Wildlife Refuge at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Three-day rainfall amounts south and southeast of Denver ranged from 4.00 to 7.00 inches. In the Front Range west of Denver…above 10 thousand feet…heavy wet snowfall ranged from 1 to 2 feet. The 3-day event propelled Denver into 4th place for rainfall in month of May…with a total of 5.53 inches.

11-12

In 2014…from the 11th to the 12th…a strong storm system moved from southwest Colorado and produced heavy snow in and near the Front Range Foothills and metro Denver.  The snow was heaviest in the foothills where up to 2 1/2 feet of snow was observed. In the foothills…storm totals included: 30 inches near Pinecliffe; 29 inches… 8 miles northeast of Four Corners; 28 inches near Pingree Park; 27 inches near Allenspark; 20.5 inches near Idaho Springs; 19.5 inches at Gold Hill; 19 inches near Genesee; 18 inches near Blackhawk; 17 inches at Aspen Springs; 16.5 inches near Ward; 13.5 inches at Bergen Park; with 11 inches at Evergreen.  Along Urban Corridor and Palmer Divide…storm totals included: 10.5 inches at Eldorado Springs; 10 inches at Ken Caryl; 9 inches at Superior; 8 inches near Morrison; 7.5 inches in Broomfield and Highlands Ranch; 7 inches in Denver… near Franktown…Golden…Lakewood and Highlands Ranch; 6 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster…7 miles south of Lyons and near Parker; with 5.5 inches at Aurora. At Denver International Airport…1.1 inches of snowfall was observed… along with 0.9 inches of water.

In 2023…a slow moving storm system produced a period of moderate to heavy rainfall across the urban corridor…Palmer Divide and adjacent plains. A 24-hr daily record of 2.92 inches occurred at Denver International Airport on the 11th…with a 2-day total of 3.75 inches on the 11-12th. The prolonged period of rainfall resulted in flooding…flash flooding and washed out roadways; including Cherry Creek State Park and the National Wildlife Refuge at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

12

In 1875…two forest fires on the eastern slope of the foothills were visible from the city.

In 1904…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.

In 1950…brilliant and complete primary and secondary rainbows arching across the sky were observed from Stapleton Airport.

In 1951…a wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1984…winds gusted to 69 mph in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1987…a small weak tornado touched down for about 2 minutes in southeast Denver. The twister hit a car dealership…blowing about a dozen windows out of cars and shattering four skylights on the building. Some tin roofing was blown off a patio a block and a half away. The tornado also downed a power pole. Damage at the dealership was estimated at 10 thousand dollars. A man was slightly injured by lightning in northwest Aurora.

In 1995…several funnel clouds were sighted near Parker. One of the funnels produced a short-lived debris cloud on the ground in an open field. No damage was reported.

In 2015…a man suffered minor injuries when the tree he took shelter under was struck by lightning. He was jogging at City Park Golf Course when the incident occurred. The jogger was taken to the hospital for observation.

12-13

In 1907…the temperature warmed to a high of 73 degrees on the 12th…before a cold front produced a thunderstorm… Northeast winds sustained to 40 mph…and rain changing to light snow overnight. Snowfall totaled only 2 inches…but the high temperature on the 13th was only 39 degrees.

In 1961…a storm that covered metro Denver with rain and snow started as thunderstorms on the evening of the 12th. Hail to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was reported 10 miles northwest of Stapleton Airport. Rain continued overnight and changed to snow on the 13th. Snowfall totaled 6.4 inches and precipitation (rain and melted snow) 1.96 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph. The rain and heavy wet snow caused icing damage to utility lines. Heavy snow occurred in the foothills.

In 1982…a major storm dumped 1.50 to 3.50 inches of rain across northeast Colorado and deposited prodigious amounts of snow in the foothills. Coal Creek Canyon southwest of Boulder was buried under 46 inches of snow with 39 inches at Nederland. The heavy wet snow downed many power lines in the foothills. In Thornton…the roof of a school was damaged by water from the heavy rain. At Stapleton International Airport…1.49 inches of rain were measured over the two day period. The heavy rain ended a severe and prolonged drought.

In 2004…a winter storm produced heavy snow in excess of a foot in the foothills above 6 thousand feet while heavy rain fell across the city. The heaviest snow occurred in the high country of Boulder County. Storm total snowfall was 14.5 inches near Jamestown. Rainfall totaled 0.81 inch at Denver International Airport with 0.94 inch recorded at Denver Stapleton. A trace of snow was recorded at both locations. East winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver International Airport on the 12th.

13

In 1905…a thunderstorm produced hail during the late afternoon. Precipitation totaled 0.57 inch.

13-14

In 1912…heavy snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over the city. Most of the snow…9.9 inches…fell on the 13th…which was the greatest 24 hour snowfall in May at the time. This was the last snowfall of the season. The low temperature dipped to 27 degrees on the morning of the 14th.

In 1989…a spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the foothills. Metro Denver was soaked with 1 to 2 inches of rain. Rainfall totaled 1.26 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

In the foothills…Echo Lake received 20 inches of snow. A 30-ton Boulder slid onto I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel…closing the freeway for 2 hours.

14

In 1910…a thunderstorm produced strong winds during the afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.

In 1913…light moist snow and light hail fell during short intervals…although no thunder was heard. The trace of snowfall was the only snow of the month. Precipitation… Mostly rain…totaled 0.44 inch.

In 1984…a pilot reported a tornado 16 miles east of Stapleton International Airport. No damage was reported. A thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…lightning struck a home in Evergreen…setting it afire.

In 1992…strong thunderstorm winds of unknown velocity… Knocked over and damaged the infield tote board at Arapahoe park racetrack just southeast of Aurora. Damage was estimated at 200 thousand dollars. No injuries were reported. Lightning started two house fires…causing 35 hundred dollars in damage in Adams County just 9 miles north-northwest of Denver.

In 1994…a sudden wind gust…estimated at 40 mph…blew a portion of the roof off a shopping center in Lafayette. The roof also damaged two parked cars in an adjacent lot.

In 2001…a construction worker in Castle Rock received minor injuries when lightning struck close-by.

In 2002…a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport.

In 2007…severe thunderstorms producing large hail…very heavy rain…and tornadoes impacted the urban corridor and adjacent plains. Heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm caused flooding along a small tributary draining into the South Platte River. The incident took place at 13th and Decatur St….near Invesco Field. The floodwaters inundated the bike trail adjacent to the creek. A woman with her child sought refuge under a bridge and became trapped by the high water. The woman slipped and the stroller containing the child was swept into the swift current. The child drowned. Rainfall totaled 0.42 inches at Denver International Airport. Elsewhere…golf ball hail was reported near Hudson. Hail…up to one inch in diameter…was observed in Boulder and Lyons. Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 70 mph were reported near Buckley Air Force Base…with a peak wind gust to 37 mph observed at Denver International Airport. A small tornado touched down near Ft. Lupton but did no damage.

14-15

In 1977…high winds up to 100 mph felled hundreds of trees in Gilpin County and caused extensive damage to telephone and power lines. Lumber and steel tanks were blown around in Boulder canyon. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 15th.

14-18

In 1996…a period of unusually warm weather resulted in 4 record maximum temperatures in 5 days. The record high temperatures were 87 degrees on the 14th…89 degrees on the 15th…and 93 degrees on both the 16th and 18th. The temperature climbed to only 81 degrees on the 17th which was not a record.

Continue reading May 12 to May 18: This Week in Denver Weather History

May 5 to May 11: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

This time of year the focus is usually on spring severe weather with lightning, tornadoes and hail being the highlight. Our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows many of those types of events. Also notable are the few, unusually late in the season snow events, some of which were quite heavy.

From the National Weather Service:

1-5

In 1898…snowfall totaled 15.5 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…6.2 inches…fell on the 3rd. Most of the snow melted as it fell. The greatest snow depth on the ground was only 2.5 inches on the 3rd at 8:00 pm. This was the only snowfall during the month. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 1st.

2-5

In 2001…a very slow moving pacific storm system became parked near the four corners region…which allowed heavy snow to develop above 6500 feet in the foothills with a mix of rain and snow over lower elevations of metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 21 inches atop Crow Hill and at Idaho Springs; 19 inches near Blackhawk; and 18 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…Genesee…and 11 miles southwest of Morrison. Snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 2.09 inches at Denver International Airport where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 2nd.

3-5

In 1908…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 3rd and continued through the early evening of the 5th. Snowfall totaled 10.0 inches over downtown Denver. This was the last measurable snow of the season. Precipitation totaled 1.51 inches. North winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 3rd…33 mph on the 4th…and 21 mph on the 5th. Three temperature records were set. High temperatures of 30 degrees on the 4th and 38 degrees on the 5th were record low maximum temperatures for the dates. The reading on the 4th was also the all-time record low maximum for the month of May.

In 2007…a slow moving pacific storm system…from the desert southwest…brought a period of unsettled weather to the region. During the 3-day period…locally heavy snow was reported over parts of the Front Range foothills. Storm totals included: 15 inches near Conifer…14.5 inches west of Jamestown…13.5 inches; 6 miles southwest of Evergreen…and 12.5 inches at pine junction. Severe thunderstorms…producing large hail…up to one inch in diameter were observed in the vicinity of Boulder and Hudson. Lightning struck a residence in Jefferson County. The roof was hit…causing the attic to catch fire. At Denver International Airport…lightning struck a United Airlines jet as it was pushing away from the gate. The passengers were taken off the jet and put on another plane.

4-5

In 1986…high winds buffeted the foothills. Wind speeds of 60 to 75 mph were recorded in Boulder. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 45 mph on the 4th and to 40 mph on the 5th.

In 2000…a brief warm spell resulted in setting two daily high temperature records. The temperature climbed to highs of 87 degrees on the 4th and 89 degrees on the 5th.

4-8

In 1969…heavy rains caused flooding on Boulder creek in Boulder…which resulted in one death on the 7th. Flooding also occurred on bear creek in Sheridan and on the South Platte River in Denver. Rain over most of the eastern foothills started late on the 4th and continued with only brief interruptions in many areas until the morning of the 8th. Very high rates of rainfall occurred on the 6th and 7th with the greatest intensities in a band along the foothills from about 25 miles southwest of Denver northward to Estes Park. Storm totals by both official and unofficial measurements exceeded 10 inches over much of this area and were over 12 inches in some localities. Heavy snow fell in the higher mountains and in the foothills later in the period. The saturation of the soil resulted in numerous rock and landslides…and the heavy run-off caused severe damage along many streams and flooding on the South Platte River. Many foothill communities were isolated as highways were blocked and communications disrupted. Roads were severely damaged over a wide area…and a large number of bridges washed out. Many roads were closed due to the danger from falling rocks. A building in Georgetown collapsed from the weight of heavy wet snow. In Boulder…a man drowned when caught by the flooding waters of Boulder Creek…and a patrolman was injured. Rainfall totaled 7.60 inches in Boulder with 9.34 inches recorded at the Public Service Company electric plant in Boulder Canyon. In Morrison…rainfall totaled 11.27 inches in 4 days. Heavy rainfall totaled 4.68 inches at Stapleton International Airport over 3 days from the 5th through the 7th. Rainfall of 3.14 inches was recorded in 24 hours on the 6th and 7th. Downstream flooding continued along the South Platte River until the 12th when the flood crest reached the Nebraska line.

5

In 1903…apparent post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph.

In 1950…a northwest wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1969…a funnel cloud was observed for 2 to 3 minutes just north of Parker. Two other funnel clouds were sighted in the same area. The public sighted a tornado 15 miles east of Stapleton International Airport. No damage was reported.

5-6

In 1907…rain changed to snow on the 5th…continued through the night…and totaled 3.50 inches. Northeast winds were sustained to 15 mph on the 5th.

In 1917…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 12.5 inches over downtown Denver. Most of the snow… 12.0 inches…fell on the 5th and this was the greatest 24-hour snowfall ever measured during the month of May. This was also the only measurable snow of the month that year. Low temperatures of 27 degrees on the 5th and 23 degrees on the 6th were record minimums for the dates. High temperatures on both days were in the lower 40’s. Southeast winds were sustained to 24 mph with an extreme velocity to 26 mph.

In 1964…high winds gusted to 54 mph in Boulder and to 80 mph at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph were common over all of eastern Colorado. Buildings…power lines…trees…and vehicles were damaged by the wind. South-southwest wind gusts to 54 mph caused some blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 2 miles.

In 1973…a heavy driving rain storm with embedded thunderstorms…produced 1 to 5 inches of rain and caused local flash flooding along the east slopes of the Front Range. The greatest flash flooding occurred in metro Denver where rainfall totaled 3.56 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Flooding in metro Denver occurred on Clear Creek and the South Platte River…already swollen from heavy snowmelt. Numerous basements were flooded… Roads and streets were washed out…a bridge was demolished… And miscellaneous other damage was reported. North winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport during the storm. The storm produced major downstream flooding along the South Platte River all the way to the Nebraska border during the next two weeks. One person died and total damage was estimated at around 120 million dollars.

In 1978…heavy wet snow of around 24 inches collapsed an office and hotel building in Boulder. Many cars were abandoned in the city. Denver received 14 inches of heavy wet snow with Evergreen and Golden reporting 12 inches. Snowfall totaled 12.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport with a total accumulation of snow on the ground of 8 inches due to melting. Southeast winds gusted to 23 mph on the 5th. Temperatures both days remained in the lower to mid-30’s.

6 Continue reading May 5 to May 11: This Week in Denver Weather History

April 28 to May 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

As we begin to enter the month of May, Denver’s weather starts to make the move toward spring severe weather and snow becomes less common. Looking back at this week in Denver weather history, there has been some snow but lightning and hail are more typical of the types of extreme weather we would expect to see.

From the National Weather Service:

27-28

In 1919…rainfall totaled 2.03 inches for the two days… Along with a trace of snowfall. Northwest winds were sustained to 24 mph with gusts to 26 mph on the 27th.

In 1975…high winds gusting to 85 mph severely damaged a mobile home in Boulder and caused other minor damage. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 28th.

In 1996…heavy snow fell over portions of the Front Range foothills west of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged from 4 to 7 inches. Only 0.3 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport on the 27th.

28

In 1894…southwest winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

In 1896…apparent post-frontal bora winds from the northwest were sustained to 43 mph with gusts as high as 56 mph. Rainfall totaled 0.22 inch.

In 1990…high winds raked the northeastern plains and eastern foothills from Boulder north. Wind gusts to 70 mph were recorded in Boulder. West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2001…a 21-year-old man was struck by lightning along the shoulder of I-225 near Parker road. His brother’s car had broken down and he stopped to help. The bolt briefly stopped the man’s heart and caused the right side of his body to go numb.

In 2003…severe thunderstorms produced large hail across southern metro Denver. Hail to 1 3/4 inches in diameter fell in Englewood and 2 miles east of Centennial Airport. Hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell in Aurora near Cherry Creek. Other large hail reports included 1 inch hail near Bennett…and 7/8 inch hail in greenwood village and at centennial airport.

28-29

In 1950…snowfall totaled 6.3 inches at Stapleton Airport…but only 3.5 inches over downtown Denver.

In 1960…heavy snow fell at Stapleton Airport where 8.6 inches of snow were measured. North winds gusted to 38 mph. Most of the snow…6.9 inches…fell on the 29th.

In 2017…a late spring storm brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals included: 25 inches near Genesee…19 inches at Evergreen…18 inches near Nederland…16.5 inches near Idledale…16 inches near Pinecliffe…15 inches at Kittredge…14 inches at Ken Caryl and near Roxborough State Park…12.5 inches near Elizabeth…12 inches in Eldorado Springs…11 inches near Brookvale and 12 miles northwest of Golden…with 10.5 inches at Lone Tree. Heavier snow occurred over the western and southern suburbs of Denver. Storm totals included: 10 inches in Littleton…8 inches at Centennial…3 miles southeast of Denver and near Greenwood Village…7 inches near Wheat Ridge…6 inches in Arvada and Castle Pines…with 5 inches in Boulder. Across the northern part of Denver…lesser amounts of 1 to 4 inches were reported. At Denver International Airport…2.4 inches of snowfall was observed.

29

In 1898…apparent thunderstorm winds were sustained from the southwest to 58 mph with gusts to 66 mph.

In 1909…north winds were sustained to 44 mph behind an apparent cold front. These were the strongest measured winds of the month that year.

In 1962…heavy snowfall totaled 6.4 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to only 17 mph. Snow fell all day…but the most on the ground was only 1 inch due to melting.

In 1991…two men were struck by lightning while golfing in Cherry Hills just south of Denver. The two received only minor burns. Shortly afterward…lightning struck a home in cherry hills village several times…leaving numerous holes in the roof. No injuries were reported.

In 1993…localized strong winds occurred at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield where gusts to 63 mph were recorded. The strong winds were the result of a probable microburst.

In 2000…several severe thunderstorms producing large hail and destructive winds rumbled across northern metro Denver. Thunderstorm wind gusts reached 81 mph near Hudson with hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter at Longmont. Several homes and vehicles sustained damage. The strong winds uprooted trees and downed utility poles…causing scattered outages. Lightning sparked a house fire in Boulder. The fire damaged a portion of the roof and a bedroom on the third floor. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2003…lightning struck a chimney at a residence in Hiwan in Evergreen…sending stones flying as far as 150 feet. Electrical equipment in some nearby homes also failed. Damage to the residence…in addition to electrical equipment…was estimated at 100 thousand dollars. Severe thunderstorms produced large hail to 1 inch in diameter near Hudson and Sedalia and to 3/4 inch near Parker. Hail as large as 1 3/4 inches was measured 9 miles north of Sedalia.

In 2014…high winds occured east of Interstate 25. Peak wind gusts included: 71 mph just north of Strasburg; 68 mph at Denver International Airport; 62 mph near Elizabeth; 58 mph at Front Range Airport in Watkins and 11 miles east of Parker.

29-30

In 1964…several weeks of dry weather and windy conditions across the Great Plains to the east caused noticeable suspended dust to invade metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport east winds gusted to 28 mph and visibility was reduced to 5 miles.

In 1989…a late season snowstorm dropped 2 to 4 inches of snow across metro Denver with 6 to 12 inches in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 3.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 23 mph and the greatest snow depth on the ground was 2 inches due to melting.

In 1991…a pacific storm dumped heavy wet snow across metro Denver. The foothills were hit the hardest where snowfall amounts ranged from 16 inches at Evergreen to 5 inches at Idaho Springs. Lower elevations of metro Denver received 5 to 9 inches of snowfall with 5 inches in Boulder and 7.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 25 mph. The weight of the snow caused power lines to fall and tree limbs to snap…producing power outages in parts of Denver…Aurora…and Westminster.

In 1999…heavy snow fell overnight in the foothills above 7500 feet elevation. Snowfall totals included: 13 inches near Rollinsville…10 inches near Evergreen…8 inches at Blackhawk and Nederland…and 7 inches at Conifer. Only rain fell across the city with 2.13 inches recorded at Denver International Airport.

29-2

In 1954…a major storm dumped 10.1 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow…7.5 inches…fell on the 29th and 30th. The maximum snow depth on the ground was 5 inches on the 30th due to melting. No strong winds accompanied the storm.

30

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 55 mph with gusts as high as 64 mph in the city.

In 1960…the minimum temperature dipped to 22 degrees at Stapleton Airport. The sub-freezing cold damaged fruit trees and some other crops in the area.

In 1967…west winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty across all of metro Denver.

In 1972…hail 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter fell at Stapleton International Airport. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph.

In 1980…a cold air funnel touched down several times near Louisville.

In 1983…mothball-size hail fell in Wheat Ridge.

In 1992…the all-time highest recorded temperature in April… 90 degrees…occurred. This is also the earliest 90 degree reading for the season.

In addition…the temperature dipped to a low of only 56 degrees…setting a record high minimum for the date.

In 1995…hail…up to 3/4 inch in diameter…fell at Denver International Airport. The hail was soft…lasted for only 8 to 10 minutes…and caused no damage.

In 2002…drought conditions started to have an effect on greater metro Denver. April…normally the third snowiest month of the year in Denver averaging just over 9 inches of snow…ended with only a trace of snow…ranking the month… Along with previous Aprils…the 2nd least snowiest on record. The month ended with only 0.23 inch of liquid precipitation making the month the 3rd driest on record. Mountain snowpack was less than half of normal for this time of year. A statewide drought emergency was declared by the governor.

In 2003…a small tornado touched down 10 miles east of Hudson… But did no damage. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Aurora near Cherry Creek.

In 2004…post-frontal upslope flow produced light snowfall across metro Denver. Snowfall was 4.0 inches at Denver Stapleton…while the temperature hovered in the lower 30’s all day. The high temperature was only 33 degrees…a record low maximum for the date. The low temperature of 30 degrees was not a record. North winds gusted to 20 mph at Denver International Airport.

Continue reading April 28 to May 4: This Week in Denver Weather History

April 21 to April 27: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

While significant snow events become less frequent this time of year, our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows that they can still occur even toward the end of April. Thrown into the mix is a variety of spring severe weather including tornadoes and deadly lightning.

From the National Weather Service:

19-21

In 1984…a large snowstorm buried most of Colorado under a thick mantle of wet snow. Total snow amounts ranged from 10 to 20 inches across metro Denver and a whopping 20 to 40 inches in the adjacent foothills. The snow closed roads and damaged electrical transformers…causing numerous power outages. Nearly 14 inches (13.6) of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where the combination of snow and wind closed all but one runway…resulting in the cancellation of many flights. Both I-70 and I-76 were closed to the east of Denver.

19-22

In 1933…a major storm dumped 16.8 inches of snowfall over downtown Denver when rain changed to snow during the early morning of the 20th and continued through midday of the 22nd. Most of the snow fell on the 21st. Due to melting… The most snow on the ground was 10.5 inches at 6:00 pm on the 21st. Before the snow started…a strong cold front on the evening of the 19th produced north winds sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 37 mph. The strong winds deposited a thin layer of dust on the city. North to northwest winds were sustained to 31 mph with gusts to 35 mph on the 20th and to 29 mph with gusts to 32 mph on the 21st.

20-22

In 1957…strong and gusty south to southeast winds raked metro Denver each day. The strongest wind gust of 55 mph occurred on the 21st when blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 3/4 mile at Stapleton Airport.

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

In 1885…rain changed to snow during the early morning and was the heaviest snow of the season. Total snowfall was estimated at 8.0 inches over downtown Denver…but the snow melted rapidly on the ground as it fell. However… The weight of the snow…as well as northwest winds sustained to 29 mph downed telegraph and telephone wires. Several large branches of trees were also broken by the weight of the snow. Precipitation totaled 1.01 inches from the storm.

In 1887…west winds were sustained to 47 mph.

In 1932…the temperature dipped to a low of only 60 degrees… The all-time record high minimum for the month.

In 1988…a small tornado was observed by National Weather Service employees about 3 miles northwest of Thornton. It was on the ground for about 2 minutes. No damage was reported. Later…lightning struck two 14-year-old girls on a softball field in Westminster. One was killed…while the other suffered moderate injuries. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport behind a cold front.

In 2010…severe thunderstorms produced large hail…strong winds and a tornado across parts of Adams…Arapahoe… Elbert…and weld counties. The hail…up to 1.50 inches in diameter…came down so heavy along parts of I-70 and I-76 that snowplows had to be called out to remove it. Numerous vehicles were damaged by hail. In weld County…very heavy rain and hail accompanied thunderstorm winds up to 75 mph. Hail up to 1.50 inches was reported near Bennett; 1.25 inches…5.3 miles east of Englewood; 1.0 inch size hail near Buckley Field; with 0.88 inch size hail near Boulder. A weak tornado touched down briefly in Elbert County…about 9 miles southwest of Deer Trail…but did no damage. Several minor accidents were reported with snowpacked and slick road conditions along with very low visibilities. Minor street flooding was reported in southeast Aurora. Denver International Airport recorded 0.30 inches of rainfall. Also…a peak wind gust to 36 mph from the southeast was observed at the airport.

21-22

In 1910…north winds were sustained to 45 mph behind a cold front. Rainfall totaled 0.63 inch.

In 1923…snowfall of 2.0 inches in the city was the only snow of the month and the last measurable snow of the season. Northwest winds were sustained to 25 mph on the 21st.

In 1952…heavy snowfall totaled 7.6 inches at Stapleton Airport. The storm was accompanied by north winds gusting to 33 mph.

In 2001…the second major snow storm in 11 days moved into metro Denver with blizzard conditions developing again across the plains to the northeast of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged up to 9 inches in metro Denver with up to 23 inches in the foothills. Northwest winds were sustained at 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 36 mph at Denver International Airport which was again shut down for nearly an hour by power outages on the 22nd. The outages affected lighting in the concourses…train operations…de-icing and refueling operations…flight information displays…and security screenings. Navigational aids were also affected… Resulting in the cancellation of 58 arriving and departing flights which stranded about 5000 passengers. Across metro Denver storm totals included: 9 inches at Eldorado Springs; 7 inches in Boulder; 6 inches at Ken Caryl…Northglenn and near Sedalia; and 5 inches in Arvada and Morrison. Only 1.7 inches of snow were measured at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. In the foothills snow totals included: 23 inches near Fritz Peak south of Rollinsville…17 inches near Jamestown…16 inches near Blackhawk…14 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…13 inches at Idaho Springs and near Nederland…11 inches at Aspen Springs…and 10 inches near Bergen Park.

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.

Continue reading April 21 to April 27: This Week in Denver Weather History

April 14 to April 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

Springtime in Colorado can certainly be pleasant but it can also bring an amazing array of interesting weather. Our look back at this week contains everything from snowstorms and damaging wind to severe thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes.

From the National Weather Service:

10-14

In 1927…post-frontal rain on the 10th changed to snow on the 11th and continued through the 14th. Snowfall totaled 8.5 inches from precipitation of 1.28 inches. North winds were sustained to 26 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 13th.

12-14

In 1933…heavy snowfall of 5.6 inches occurred in downtown Denver on the 12th and 13th behind a vigorous cold front… Which presented an awe-inspiring spectacle as it approached the station during the late afternoon of the 12th. Brilliant white wind-torn cumulus clouds were sandwiched by a brownish- tan dust cloud at the surface and dark blue cumulus clouds above. The dust cloud storm rapidly enveloped the station with northeast winds sustained to 38 mph and gusts to 44 mph producing much blowing dust…which was accompanied by rapidly falling temperatures and rising pressure. Moist snowfall started in about an hour and continued to midday on the 13th. Record low temperatures of 17 and 15 degrees occurred on the 13th and 14th respectively. The high temperature of only 27 degrees on the 13th was a record low maximum for the date.

12-15

In 1927…snowfall totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 14th. Northwest winds were sustained to 27 mph during the storm.

13-14

In 1968…high winds struck Boulder. Sustained winds of 50 mph with gusts as high as 102 mph were recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research…while in downtown Boulder winds peaked to 73 mph. The winds damaged a building under construction and some homes in south Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 13th.

In 1996…a potent spring storm strengthened just east of Denver. Blizzard conditions developed over eastern Adams and eastern Arapahoe counties. Strong northerly winds ranging from 25 to 50 mph…cold temperatures…and heavy snowfall combined to create very hazardous conditions. The strong winds whipped snow in drifts 3 to 4 feet high. High winds and heavy wet snow downed power lines and caused traffic accidents. Some roads were closed. Snowfall totaled 15 inches at Strasburg…while only 2.1 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver International Airport on the 13th.

In 2011…a potent spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to Front Range mountains and foothills. Storm totals included: 16.5 inches near Blackhawk; 16 inches at Nederland; 15.5 inches at Coal Creek Canyon and 5 miles northeast of Ward; 15 inches at Allenspark; 12.5 inches… 5 miles northwest of Idaho Springs; 12 inches at Echo Mountain ski area; and 10.5 inches near Georgetown.

13-15

In 1945…heavy snowfall totaled 9.8 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…4.8 inches…fell on the 14th. Snow fell for a total of 53 consecutive hours. This was the second big snow in less than 2 weeks. The air mass was very cold for April. High temperatures of 21 degrees on the 14th and 32 degrees on the 15th were record low maximums for those dates.

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.

14

In 1872…high winds damaged buildings in the city. At 9:00 am west winds commenced to blow a perfect gale… Averaging 40 mph sustained until 9:00 pm.

In 1904…west winds sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 48 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 74 degrees.

In 1918…a thunderstorm produced hail that covered the ground to a depth of 1/2 inch. The stones varied in size from small shot to a cherry stone. Rain and melted hail totaled 0.70 inch. There was no reported damage.

In 1935…northeast winds sustained to 30 mph caused a dust storm across the city. The visibility was greatly reduced by blowing dense dust.

In 1970…strong winds caused mostly light but widespread damage to trees…roofs…power lines…and other property across the northeastern Colorado plains. Wind gusts of 45 to 60 mph were common. Southwest wind gusts to 44 mph occurred at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1995…high winds spread from the foothills onto the plains. West winds gusted between 70 and 90 mph in the foothills and 50 to 70 mph on the plains. West winds were clocked to 51 mph at Denver International Airport. Most of the significant wind damage occurred north and east of metro Denver.

14-15

In 1873…north winds blew a gale during the afternoon on both days. Winds were brisk throughout each day.

In 1902…snowfall totaled 6.0 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow melted as it fell. Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph.

In 1910…strong winds occurred on both days. Northeast winds were sustained to 52 mph on the 14th. North winds were sustained to 44 mph on the 15th.

In 1921…heavy snowfall and strong winds produced near- blizzard conditions in the city. Snowfall totaled 10.0 inches. Strong north winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 54 mph on the 15th produced drifts to several feet in depth. The heavy wet snow caused extensive damage to trees…utility poles…and buildings. Precipitation from the storm was 1.73 inches. Very heavy snow also fell in the foothills. At silver lake…in the mountains west of Boulder…95 inches of snow fell in 32.5 hours on the 14th and 15th.

In 1935…dense dust…apparently behind a dry cold front… Enveloped the city at 1:00 pm on the 14th and persisted through the night. The dust blew into the city on northeast winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 32 mph. By mid-morning on the 15th…the dust had become light and continued as such into the evening. North winds were sustained to only 13 mph on the 15th.

In 1999…a spring storm dumped heavy snow over portions of metro Denver. Nearly 2 feet of snow fell in the foothills with half a foot to a foot over western and southern suburbs. The heavy snow alleviated drought conditions and associated high fire danger that prevailed during much of the winter season. Snowfall totals included: 22 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…20 inches at Wondervu…19 inches at Genesee…17 inches near Evergreen and Nederland and at Idaho Springs and tiny town…14 inches at Georgetown…13 inches at Morrison…10 inches near Sedalia…9 inches in south Boulder… 8 inches at Highlands Ranch and Wheat Ridge…and 7 inches at Littleton and Parker. Only 3.4 inches of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North- northwest winds gusted to 41 mph on the 15th at Denver International Airport.

15

In 1874…light snow developed around daybreak and became moderate to heavy by mid-morning and continued into the early evening. While most of the snow melted as it fell… Total precipitation from the melted snow was 0.95 inch. This would make the estimated snowfall nearly 10 inches.

In 1963…high winds were widespread across metro Denver. West winds gusted to 63 mph in Denver at Stapleton Airport with sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts to 70 mph in downtown Boulder. The winds caused extensive damage to buildings and other property. Visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1998…another spring storm brought heavy snow to the foothills. Thirty to 40 vehicles were involved in accidents along I-70 near Georgetown. The combination of poor visibilities…slick roads…and careless drivers led to the multi-car pileups. Only minor injuries were reported. The accidents forced the closure of all of I-70’s eastbound lanes. Snowfall totals included 12 inches at Genesee and 10 inches at Aspen Springs…Chief Hosa…Georgetown…near Morrison…and on North Turkey Creek. Only 0.1 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. East winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport.

In 2002…unseasonable warm weather resulted in two records being broken. The high temperature of 84 degrees was a record maximum for the date. The low temperature of 57 degrees was a record high minimum for the date.

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; 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.

Continue reading April 14 to April 20: This Week in Denver Weather History

April 7 to April 13: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

While the calendar may say spring, wintry weather can and often does appear and many times it has a big impact. We clearly see this in our look back at this week in weather history where wind and snow make many appearances.

From the National Weather Service:

4-7

In 1909…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow on the afternoon of the 4th and continued through mid-morning of the 7th. Total snowfall was 18.7 inches…but most of the snow…14.0 inches…fell from 6:00 pm on the 4th to 6:00 pm on the 5th. North to northeast winds were sustained to 32 mph on the 4th and to 30 mph on the 7th. Total precipitation from the storm was 1.78 inches.

5-7

In 1916…rain changed to snow behind a cold front on the 5th and totaled 4.5 inches in the city. A thunderstorm produced snow on the 6th. North winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 38 mph on the 7th.

6-7

In 1872…rain changed to snow overnight. Snow with high north winds continued all day on the 7th. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 0.50 inch. Due to problems on the lines…the morning weather report was not sent by telegraph until 3:10 pm and the midnight report was not sent at all.

In 1957…heavy snowfall totaled 6.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 46 mph. This was the second heavy snow event in less than 4 days.

In 1969…winds gusting as high as 50 to 60 mph caused only light damage along the eastern foothills. The strong winds contributed to the spread of a forest fire near Boulder. Sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts to 53 mph were recorded in Boulder. Southwest winds gusted to 38 mph on the 6th and 44 mph on the 7th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1980…high winds howled along the foothills each day. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded in Lakewood. The strong winds blew a camper top off a pickup truck in Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…west winds gusted to 41 mph on both days.

In 1998…a spring storm brought a mix of snow and thunder to metro Denver…the foothills…and Palmer Divide. Conifer and Elizabeth both measured 4 inches of new snow. On the 6th…only 0.1 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport where thunder was heard on both days. Precipitation totaled 0.60 inch at Denver International Airport where west winds gusted to 43 mph on the 6th.

6-8

In 1973…a major spring snow storm dumped 11.6 inches of snowfall over metro Denver. North wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph produced some blowing snow. Most of the heavy wet snow… 10.1 inches…fell on the 7th when temperatures remained in the 20’s. Snow accumulated on the ground to a maximum depth of 9 inches. Low temperature of 5 degrees on the 8th was a new record minimum for the date and the lowest for so late in the season.

7

In 1906…north winds were sustained to 48 mph in the city.

In 1958…strong south winds blew most of the day across metro Denver. A wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport.

In 1962…strong gusty winds associated with a cold front caused considerable damage to power lines…signs… Buildings…and trees across metro Denver. In Boulder…an outdoor movie screen…valued at 10 thousand dollars…was wrecked. In Denver…a youth was injured when a car was blown off a jack…pinning him underneath. Wind gusts to 61 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where visibility was reduced to 1/2 mile in blowing dust. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at Stapleton Airport.

In 1971…wind gusts to 69 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. In downtown Boulder…winds peaked to 54 mph. West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1989…high winds occurred in the foothills west of Denver. At Nederland west of Boulder…high winds damaged roofs… Toppled trees…and caused power outages. Winds estimated as high as 90 mph in Georgetown overturned campers and even semi-trailers on I-70 and damaged road signs. Three trailer homes were blown off their foundations and a 50-foot tree toppled onto the roof of a home…causing considerable damage. Winds reached 94 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

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.

Continue reading April 7 to April 13: This Week in Denver Weather History

March 31 to April 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

Early spring can bring a wide variety of conditions from wintry storms to severe weather. Our look back at this week in Denver weather history shows that just about any type of weather condition can occur this time of year.

From the National Weather Service:

29-31

In 1970…snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Heavy snow accumulation in Boulder on the 29th caused the collapse of a carport at an apartment building…damaging 11 automobiles. Northeast winds gusted to 24 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

30-31

In 1896…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 26 mph.

In 1897…rain changed to snow during the early morning of the 30th and totaled 6.2 inches before ending during the late morning of the 31st. Northwest winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph.

In 1929…heavy snowfall of 7.0 inches was recorded over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 23 mph on the 30th.

In 1953…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches at Stapleton Airport where northeast winds gusted to 23 mph.

In 1955…a vigorous cold front produced north winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 54 mph at Stapleton Airport. Rain and snow showers and blowing dust accompanied the front. Snowfall totaled only 0.1 inch at Stapleton Airport on the 31st.

In 1988…snow began falling on the afternoon of the 30th and continued through the 31st…burying metro Denver. Twelve to 18 inches of snow fell in the foothills to the west of Denver and Boulder with 6 to 12 inches across the rest of metro Denver. The storm disrupted aircraft operations at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 7.1 inches and north winds gusting to 32 mph reduced the visibility to less than 1/4 mile at times…causing air traffic delays of 2 to 3 hours.

In 2000…heavy snow once again developed over the foothills and the higher terrain to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totals from the storm included: 16 inches atop Squaw Mountain…15 inches near Rollinsville…13 inches near Evergreen…12 inches near Morrison…11 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…10 inches near Blackhawk and in Eldorado Springs…9 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch and Larkspur… And 8 inches near Elizabeth. Snowfall totaled only 4.1 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 30th.

In 2005…a strong spring storm intensified over the eastern plains of Colorado and produced near-blizzard conditions to the east and southeast of Denver overnight. North to northwest winds from 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph produced extensive blowing snow and caused near zero visibilities at times and snow drifts from 2 to 4 feet in depth. Snowfall amounts included: 12 inches near Bennett…8 inches around Castle Rock… 7 inches near Sedalia…and 6 inches near Parker. Only 0.3 inch of snow was reported at Denver Stapleton. At Denver International Airport…north winds gusted to 37 mph on the 30th and 36 mph on the 31st.

In 2014…on the evening of the 30th…high based showers and thunderstorms produced microburst winds over northern Jefferson…eastern Boulder and southwest Weld Counties. Peak wind reports included: 77 mph at White Ranch Open Space; 72 mph…2 miles north of Longmont; 67 mph near Erie and Firestone; 60 mph near Mead and 59 mph…5 miles northwest of Henderson; with 53 mph at Denver International Airport. The wind downed power lines in Weld County which sparked a small fire. High winds then developed in the Front Range Foothills and Urban Corridor through the morning of the 31st. Peak wind gusts included: 98 mph near Gold Hill; 77 mph near Eldorado Springs; 61 mph at Centennial Airport; 59 mph at Buckley Air Force; with 44 mph at Denver International Airport.

31

In 1873…high winds damaged buildings in the city. Northwest winds with sustained velocities to near 40 mph blew from 9:00 am until sunset.

In 1937…north to northeast winds sustained to 25 mph with gusts to 32 mph produced a light dust storm in the city during the afternoon.

In 1971…wind gusts to 92 mph were recorded in the south hills area of Boulder. At the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder sustained winds of 46 mph with gusts to 83 mph were measured. Damage was minor. Northwest winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1983…high winds with gusts to 70 mph in Boulder caused minor damage.

31-1

In 1876…heavy snow began during the night and lasted all day on the 31st and through the morning of the 1st. The average depth of snow fall was 10 to 12 inches…but strong winds whipped the snow into drifts of 8 to 10 feet deep on the streets of the city. Precipitation from the storm was 1.03 inches on the 31st and 0.37 inch on the 1st.

In 1891…heavy moist snowfall totaled 18.0 inches in the city. Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph with gusts to 24 mph on the 31st.

In 1936…northeast winds sustained to 21 mph produced a light dust storm in the city.

In 1975…a major storm dumped 9.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 41 mph. Rain changed to snow on the afternoon of the 31st…reducing the visibility to as low as 1/8 mile. Snow continued all day on the 1st and accumulated to a depth of 8 inches on the ground. The minimum temperature of 10 degrees on the 1st set a new record low for the date.

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.

Continue reading March 31 to April 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

March 24 to March 30: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

As we have witnessed earlier this month, significant snow events can make an appearance in Denver during the month of March and there have been a number of them in our past. Also not unusual and appearing are powerful, damaging winds. These types of events as well as thunderstorms, hail and even a tornado have occurred during this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

22-24

In 1965…a vigorous cold front swept across metro Denver late on the afternoon of the 22nd with east-northeast winds gusting to 38 mph causing some blowing dust. Snowfall from the storm totaled 4.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport. Temperatures on the 22nd dropped from a maximum of 63 degrees to 18 degrees in just 10 hours and dipped to 3 degrees below zero on the morning of the 24th. Maximum temperatures warmed to only 19 degrees on the 23rd and 18 degrees on the 24th.

23-24

In 1909…post-frontal rain on the 23rd changed to heavy snow during the evening and continued through the morning of the 24th. Snowfall totaled 13.8 inches. Rain and melted snow… Totaled 2.43 inches…which was the record greatest 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in March at that time. A thunderstorm of moderate intensity occurred on the 23rd in advance of the cold front. North winds were sustained to 27 mph overnight.

In 1990…several hours of freezing drizzle covered roadways with a thin layer of “black ice” which caused nearly 100 traffic accidents across metro Denver. In Boulder…snow and freezing rain caused numerous accidents and brief power outages. Snow in Boulder ranged from an inch east of town to 4 to 5 inches near Table Mesa. At times thunder was heard during the snow. Snowfall totaled only 0.6 inch at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 23rd.

In 1995…high winds developed late on the 23rd and continued through the 24th. A few windows were blown out of a Denver high rise building…spraying glass on the sidewalks and streets below. Southeast winds gusted to 48 mph at Denver International Airport on the 23rd.

In 1996…the third storm in 10 days brought heavy snow to the mountains…foothills…and metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 18 inches at Golden Gate Canyon and 10 inches at Nederland in the foothills. Across metro Denver… Snowfall ranged from 4 to 8 inches. At the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 6.5 inches with most of the snow occurring on the 24th. North winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver International Airport. As the storm moved east on the 24th and 25th… Blizzard conditions developed over northeastern Colorado closing both I-70 and I-76 east of Denver.

In 2010…a powerful spring snowstorm swept across northern Colorado. The heaviest snowfall occurred in and near the Front Range foothills and deep upslope developed. The heavy…wet snow clung to tree limbs and power lines…which caused 36500 electrical outages throughout Denver and the surrounding metro area. Power outages also occurred in Douglas and Elbert counties. In addition…approximately 5 thousand travelers were stranded at Denver International Airport due to flight cancellations and delays. Initially… The snow fell at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour…between Boulder and Denver…bringing the evening rush hour to a complete halt. Countless motorists were stuck on U.S. Highway 36 for several hours. Other road closures included I-70…from Idaho Springs to Genesee and I-25 in both directions…from Lincoln Avenue south to Greenland… Or about 15 miles south of Castle Rock. In and near the Front Range foothills and Palmer Ridge…storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…23.5 inches…3 miles south of Evergreen; 22 inches at Aspen Springs…13 miles northwest of Golden and 3 miles west of Jamestown; 21.5 inches…3 miles north of Blackhawk…20 inches at Genesee; 16 inches near Nederland; 14 inches near Elizabeth and Strontia Springs dam; 13 inches at Bergen Park and 3 miles southeast of Indian Hills; 12.5 inches… 3 miles southwest of Conifer; 11.5 inches at St. Mary’s Glacier. In Denver and the surrounding suburbs…storm totals included: 15 inches at lone tree; 14 inches near Highlands Ranch; 13 inches near Louisville…12.5 inches at Aurora…Commerce City…Englewood and 5 miles west of Littleton; 12 inches at Erie and Greenwood Village; 11 inches at Ralston Reservoir and Westminster; 10.5 inches at the national weather service in Boulder…10 inches… 4 miles northeast of Castle Rock…Fredrick…Lakewood…3 miles southeast of Morrison and 4 miles southeast of Watkins; 9.5 inches…3 miles southeast of Denver; 9 inches in Broomfield…Lafayette…Northglenn and Thornton; 8.5 inches near Federal Heights; 8 inches in Arvada… Brighton and Wheat Ridge; 6 inches…5 miles southwest of Hudson. Officially…10.8 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.

23-25

In 1891…rain changed to snow and totaled 8.8 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 24th. Winds were light.

In 1964…heavy snowfall of 5.8 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport. North-northeast winds gusted to 21 mph behind a cold front.

24

In 1909…a major winter storm dumped 13.8 inches of snow over downtown Denver.

In 1915…a cold front produced post-frontal winds to 41 mph.

In 1919…some unusually soft but rather large hail fell with the beginning of precipitation from the first thunderstorm of the season early in the evening. Only a trace of rain was observed.

In 1937…a light to moderate dust storm began at 1:30 pm and continued until 8:30 pm. The storm reduced the visibility to 3/4 mile at times. Northeast winds were sustained to 29 mph with gusts to 34 mph.

In 1970…a vigorous cold front produced a northeast wind gust to 60 mph at Stapleton International Airport where 3.2 inches of snow fell following the frontal passage. The strong winds caused minor damage from Denver northward…and billows of blowing dust reduced visibility at times. Following the passage of the cold front…the temperature dropped 25 degrees in an hour from 65 to 40 degrees.

In 1982…a strong cold front roared across metro Denver. Northeast winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport. The strong winds behind the front created a huge cloud of dust at least one thousand feet high…which briefly reduced visibilities to less than one mile.

In 1987…near-blizzard conditions over northeastern Colorado closed both I-70 and I-76 east of Denver. While only a trace of snow fell in Denver…northeast winds gusted to 37 mph.

In 1997…an early spring storm brought snow to metro Denver. The heaviest snow fell in the foothills and over the Palmer Divide. Snowfall at Conifer totaled 5 inches. A woman was killed when she lost control of her vehicle on snow packed and slick roads near Castle Rock. Snowfall totaled only 1.3 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 46 mph at Denver International Airport.

Continue reading March 24 to March 30: This Week in Denver Weather History

March 17 to March 23: This Week in Denver Weather History

This Week in Denver Weather History

March weather can be gorgeous but it can also be nasty with a healthy dose of any of the four seasons. Our look back at this week highlights this with a number of notable weather events from powerful, damaging winds to landspout tornadoes and of course monstrous snow storms.

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

In 1966…high winds caused extensive minor damage across metro Denver. A light plane was overturned at Stapleton International Airport where northwest wind gusts to 55 mph were recorded. Winds gusted to 56 mph at Table Mesa in Boulder

In 1989…strong winds raked metro Denver. West wind gusts to 49 mph were clocked at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2003…the first tornado of the season was sighted near Strasburg. The small landspout touched down briefly…but caused no damage.

17-18

In 1923…4.2 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 49 on the 17th. Low temperature of zero degrees on the 18th was the lowest of the month that year.

In 1944…heavy snow fell across metro Denver. The storm started as rain on the 17th…but soon turned to snow. Snowfall amounts totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver and 11.0 inches at Stapleton Airport. The highest wind recorded during the storm was 23 mph on the 17th.

In 1961…a major winter storm dumped 10.7 inches of snow at Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow…9.7 inches…fell on the 18th. Winds were light.

In 1994…strong winds buffeted metro Denver. West winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. Other significant wind gusts included 85 mph atop Squaw Mountain south of Idaho Springs…and 82 mph at Rollinsville southwest of Boulder…both on the 18th.

In 1996…a second storm in less than 3 days dumped heavy snow in the mountains and foothills again…but snowfall amounts across metro Denver ranged from only 2 to 4 inches. The heavy snowfall resulted in several traffic accidents along I-25 and I-70…south and west of Denver respectively. The major accidents involved at least 30 cars and resulted in several minor injuries. The accidents closed both highways for a time. Snowfall totals included 13 inches at Evergreen and 10 inches at Conifer. Snowfall totaled only 0.7 inch at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. At Denver International Airport… North winds gusted to 28 mph on the 17th and 39 mph on the 18th.

In 2016…a combination of enhanced banding associated with a strong upper level jet stream…and low level upslope following the passage of a cold front…produced heavy snowfall in northern mountains as well as in and near the foothills of Boulder County. Storm totals included: 19.5 inches near Ward…16 inches near Allenspark…13.5 inches near Eldorado Springs; 13 inches at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder and 5 miles east of Boulder; 12.5 inches at Winter Park Ski Resort…12 inches at Eldora Ski Area; 11 inches…7 miles south of Lyons and at Rollinsville; 10.5 inches at Aspen Springs… and 9.5 inches near Blackhawk. In Denver and the surrounding suburbs…storm totals included: 8.5 inches in Broomfield…Lafayette and 5 miles northeast of Westminster; 7 inches near Northglenn…6.5 inches in Thornton and northwest Denver; with 6 inches at Firestone. At Denver International Airport…an official measurement of 4.7 inches of snow was observed.

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 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 Bakerville 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

In 1883…0.3 inch of snow fell in downtown Denver. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month.

In 1903…rain changed to sleet and then to snow…which became heavy. Post-frontal snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over the city. North winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

In 1905…northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.

In 1914…northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 56 mph behind a strong cold front. Snowfall was 3.4 inches over the city…but most of the snow melted as it fell. The estimated amount of melted snow was 8.1 inches.

In 1920…a terrific windstorm occurred along the eastern foothills. Two deaths were attributed to the storm and some damage occurred. Both Denver and Boulder were affected by the strong winds. West winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts as high as 66 mph in downtown Denver. The strong winds did considerable damage to property… Wires…plate glass windows…and indirectly loss by fire. The wind caused the death of one young girl by toppling the side of a brick building on her as she was standing on a corner waiting for a car. The wind was also responsible for several severe auto accidents due to blowing debris into the streets and blowing dust and dirt into the eyes of drivers.

In 1954…west winds at sustained speeds of 40 mph and gusts as high as 56 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.

In 1979…heavy snow totaled 4 to 12 inches along the Front Range from Denver north. I-25 was closed for a brief time between Denver and Cheyenne. New snowfall totaled 4.3 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 29 mph.

In 1998…a major winter storm dumped heavy snow over areas west from I-25 to the continental divide as strong upslope conditions developed. Two to 3 1/2 feet of snow fell in the foothills with 1 to 2 feet reported in west metro Denver. Snowfall totals included: 38 inches at Silver Spruce Ranch…2 miles south of Ward; 35 inches at Aspen Springs; 33 inches near Blackhawk; 30 inches at Eldora; 29 inches in Coal Creek Canyon; 27 inches at Conifer… Chief Hosa…and Nederland; 25 inches at Rollinsville and Gross Reservoir; 21 inches at Evergreen; and 15 to 19 inches at Broomfield…Lakewood…and Table Mesa in Boulder. Elsewhere across metro Denver…snowfall ranged from 8 to 14 inches. Snowfall totaled only 7.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. East winds gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.

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

In 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.

20

In 1915…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph. Only a trace of snow fell.

In 1989…2 to 6 inches of snow fell along the Front Range urban corridor with up to 9 inches in Boulder. Only 1.6 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph.

Continue reading March 17 to March 23: This Week in Denver Weather History

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

This Week in Denver Weather History

Heavy, wet snow is the hallmark of March in Denver and we see many events containing just that in our look back at this week in Denver weather history.

From the National Weather Service:

8-10

In 1989…unusually warm weather set four daily temperature records in Denver. The high temperature of 74 degrees on the 8th exceeded the record. Records were equaled on the 9th with a high of 77 degrees and the 10th with a high of 79 degrees. The low temperature of 42 degrees on the 10th set a new record high minimum for the date.

9-10

In 1904…strong Chinook winds raked the city for 2 days. On the 9th…west winds sustained to 53 mph with gusts to 62 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees. On the 10th… West winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 54 mph. The high temperature was 58 degrees.

In 2013…a storm system brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range Mountains and Foothills where storm totals included: 13 inches at Berthoud Pass SNOTEL…12 inches at Arapahoe Ridge; 11 inches…5 miles southwest of Golden; 10.5 inches near Kittridge; 10 inches at Lake Eldora and Pine Junction; 9.5 inches near Conifer…9 inches…near Bailey and 9 miles east-northeast of Nederland…Joe Wright and Strontia Springs. Along the Urban Corridor…some storm totals included: 8.5 inches at Highlands Ranch and near Morrison; 8 inches in Arvada; 7 inches…5 miles northeast of Westminster; 6.5 inches at Centenniel…Lone Tree and Wheat Ridge; 6 inches in West Denver…Hygiene…Lyons and Thornton…5.5 inches in Broomfield; with 5 inches in Aurora and the former Stapleton International Airport. Across the Palmer Divide and northeast plains of Colorado…storm totals ranged anywhere from 2 to 10 inches. The combination of snow and strong wind produced blizzard conditions and forced the closure of Interstate 70 east of Denver. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph produced near zero visibilities at times and snowpacked roads. Snowdrifts from 2 to 4 feet deep were reported. As a result…many of the roadways became impassable. Officially…Denver International recored 5.4 inches of snowfall on the 9th. In addition…a peak wind gust to 38 mph was observed from the north.

9-11

In 1927…rain changed to heavy snow behind a cold front and totaled 7.7 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 37 mph with an extreme velocity to 38 mph on the 11th.

In 1955…a strong windstorm raked the eastern foothills. A wind gust to 95 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats with a gust to 60 mph measured at Valmont. Damage in Boulder totaled 10 thousand dollars. Minor injuries also occurred. The strong winds were associated with a vigorous cold front that produced northwest winds at 40 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 3/4 mile in blowing dust on the 10th.

In 1968…5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 24 mph on the 10th.

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

In 1893…northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.

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

In 1970…5.0 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph.

10-11

In 1886…snowfall of 3.5 inches was measured in downtown Denver. Apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to 43 mph on the 11th.

In 1977…a major blizzard struck metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.0 inches at Stapleton International Airport where north winds at speeds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph frequently reduced visibilities in blowing snow to 1/4 mile or less. Most of the snow…7.7 inches…fell on the 10th. The snow ended by daybreak on the 11th…but strong north winds persisted through the day.

In 1988…a late winter storm produced heavy snow and wind… Mainly north of Denver. Wind gusts reached 62 mph at Keenesburg and produced a lot of blowing snow…closing schools in southwest weld County. The storm closed I-70 east of Denver. Only 1.1 inch of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport…but north winds gusted to 39 mph.

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

In 1896…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 56 mph.

In 1991…the passage of a strong pacific cold front produced winds in excess of 60 mph across metro Denver. Blowing dust reduced the visibility to 2 miles at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 49 mph. A blizzard across eastern Colorado closed I-70 from Watkins to the east…but Denver escaped the storm with only a trace of snowfall.

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.

Continue reading March 10 to March 16: This Week in Denver Weather History