Tag Archives: october

Thornton begins digging out from early winter storm

This image from the ThorntonWeather.com webcam was captured at the height of the storm.
This image from the ThorntonWeather.com webcam was captured at the height of the storm.

A two-day storm that saw areas around Denver measuring snow in terms of feet has moved out of the area and onto the plains. The lingering effects of the storm will be felt Friday in terms of slick roads in Denver and blizzard conditions to the east.

The early winter storm, while not entirely unusual, was the first major snow storm of the season and put Coloradoans to the test. Mercifully, the snow never fell at a particularly heavy rate and while it lingered for a long time, it allowed road crews and residents time to stay on top of the snowfall. Most schoolchildren were pleased to have received at least one snow day from the storm and many were the recipients of two unplanned days off.

At Denver International Airport, initial success at holding the storm’s effects at bay on Wednesday began to whither under the white onslaught on Thursday as winds picked up and the storm shifted east. Hundreds of flights were canceled from the airport’s major carriers including United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

At the height of the storm’s effects, the airport was reduced to two operating runways from the usual six and delays of up to four hours were occurring. All airlines anticipate being able to operate a normal flight schedule today.

How much snow did the Denver area receive? Here are some of the snowfall totals:

Aurora: 16 inches
Boulder: 18.8 inches
Broomfield: 20 inches
Centennial: 17 inches
Coal Creek Canyon: 46 inches
Denver International Airport: 12 inches (as of 6:00am Thursday)
Evergreen: 30 inches
Highlands Ranch: 24.5 inches
Littleton: 28.5 inches
Longmont: 12.4 inches
Parker: 14.5 inches
Thornton: 14.1 inches
Click here for a complete listing of storm reports.

The storm did push Denver into the record books and the ‘top 10 snowiest Octobers’ list. The National Weather Service will publish the official snow total from DIA for yesterday but even without the snow from yesterday, October 2009 makes the list. As of 6:00am on Thursday, DIA had recorded 14.5 inches for the month (12 inches from this storm). That makes it number 7 on the top 10 list for snowiest Octobers on record since 1882. Once today’s measurement is released, it is possible it will climb further.

There's more to this story on the Denver Weather Examiner's site!For the rest of the storm recap, the latest photos and much more, please visit the story on the Denver Weather Examiner.

Incredible time lapse video – Thornton’s October 2009 snowstorm

From the evening of October 27, 2009 through October 29, 2009, the Denver metro area was struck by a major, early winter snowstorm. The mountains and foothills to the immediate west of Denver were measuring the snowfall in feet while in the city more than a foot of snow fell in less than 72 hours.  Here in Thornton we recorded 14.1 inches of snow during the event.

This time lapse video below was captured by our east facing webcam. It begins early Tuesday morning (October 27th) and runs through midnight on Thursday, October 29th. As it starts, you can see the first day started out nice enough but by evening the wind was blowing and rain was falling. That soon changed to snow and the snowstorm was in full force for two days.

Record setting cold in Denver kicks off October

Cold weatherTwo days in a row Denver has set or tied record low temperatures. 

On Friday at 5:55am the temperature at Denver International Airport dropped to 26 degrees easily setting a new low temperature record for October 2nd. The previous record of 30 degrees was set in 1999 and also in 1959.  This was the first freeze of the season.  Thornton however remained above the freezing mark with a low of 33.1 degrees.

Following on yesterday’s record setting cold, the Mile High City tied a 109 year old low temperature record this morning. The temperature at Denver International Airport dipped to 31 degrees tying the record low for this date last set in 1900.  Unlike yesterday, Thornton was actually cooler than the official Denver temperature having recorded a low of 28.2.

The average date of Denver’s first freeze is October 7th so we are a bit ahead on timing. The earliest date Denver has received freezing temperatures is September 8th which occurred in 1962. The latest date was in 1944 when the mercury didn’t dip to freezing until November 15th.

For a look at Denver’s cold weather statistics click here.

Preview of Thornton’s October Weather – Fall is Here

What does October weather hold for Denver?
What does October weather hold for Denver?

With the first full month of fall here, October usually brings one of the quietest weather months in the Denver area with plenty of mild, sunny days and clear, cool nights. The month actually has our second highest amount of sunshine with 72 percent with September having the most with 74 percent. Interestingly enough, the month following, November, is one of the lowest sunshine months with only 64 percent. Typically October brings our first real taste of winter with the first freeze on average coming on the 7th of the month and the first snow on the 15th of the month.

Average temperatures in October steadily drop throughout the month. On the first we average 72 degree highs but by the 31st that drops to 59 degrees. October also sees our average low temperatures start to reach below freezing as well. At the start of the month we will average 42 degrees as the low temperature but by the end of the month the mercury dips to 30 degrees. This truly begins the sign that winter is approaching.

Get all the details on Denver’s October weather in our complete preview here.

NOAA says October hottest on record – Oops – Maybe not

In this GISS image, incorrect data shows much of Russia under a heat wave in October.
In this GISS image, incorrect data shows much of Russia under a heat wave in October.

Scientists at NOAA and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) announced last week that October global temperatures were the hottest on record.  Naturally this caused quite a bit of hubbub and had the global warming alarmists in quite an uproar.  As we wrote about previously, the year has been cooler than normal in North America but this new data showed that Asia experienced record high temperatures last month.  Word of the “hottest October on record” quickly spread of course. 

In a bit of an embarrassment for NOAA and GISS, their claims were short lived when two blogger meteorologists went through the data and found a number of anomalies.  They discovered at least 10 Russian stations that oddly enough reported the exact same temperatures as September.  Well, since October is almost always cooler than September in the northern hemisphere they did some checking and found that GISS had used the incorrect data and it influenced the calculations significantly. 

Al Gore's infamous "hockey stick" graph that was used in An Inconvenient Truth was quickly debunked, as were many other "facts" used in the movie.
Al Gore's infamous "hockey stick" graph that was used in An Inconvenient Truth was quickly debunked as were a number of other "facts" used in the movie.

This isn’t the first time “anomalies” with data used to measure the earth’s temperature have been discovered and have caused incorrect calculations.  In other curious happenings, measuring stations have “disappeared” from data only to reappear later, stations have been found to be sitting next to heaters and gas wells and more.  Then of course there was Al Gore’s infamous “hockey stick” graph which was debunked soon after he began showing it.  Perhaps in the most grievous error just last year, NOAA had to revise their published figures for U.S. surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as they had claimed, but the 1930s.

When GISS and NOAA recalculated October’s temperatures it dropped the month to the 2nd warmest on record and that is significant.  However, these types of problems serve only to fuel doubt in the minds of climate change skeptics and highlight the need for more careful analysis and a level-headed approach to studying the subject – from both sides of the discussion. 

For more information:  NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration