Well, that was fun! Things happened fast and a Snow Squall Warning was issued for an hour or so. In that time Thornton received a fast-hitting 2.3 inches of wet snow. We welcome the precipitation and it was certainly fun to see.
The video below shows four hours in 10 seconds – from partly sunny skies to driving snow and then back again.
Well, that was fun, eh? Well, probably not for those stuck in traffic when the snowstorm hit this morning.
The storm over-performed big time, far exceeding forecasts. Upslope flow pushed the system against the mountains and kept it in place over the Front Range.
Our east webcam captures it all in a time lapse.
Snow begins at about 3:00am and continued through much of the morning. By the end of the day though, blue skies returned and the snow was melting. We recorded 4.2 inches here but know many spots, particularly to the west, got more.
The weather forecast for May 8, 2017 was relatively typical for this time of year with pleasant temperatures and a sunny morning. We also wrote about the usual chance for PM thunderstorms but cautioned they could be potent saying, “Strong winds, large hail and possibly an isolated tornado will be possible.”
Little did we know just how potent they would be.
The thunderstorms that rolled through the Denver metro area that day brought monstrous hail, destroying windows, roofs, siding and vehicles.
As expected, the worst of the storms stayed south of Thornton but the areas that were hit from Golden to just north of downtown Denver were devastated. The tally to date is $2.3 billion in damage.
Fox 31 did a special on the storm last year and it makes for an interesting look back – and a reminder of the power of Mother Nature.
We were expecting snow but not quite as much as received. The storm that hit yesterday evening delivered a respectable 3.5 inches to Thornton as snow bands were quite strong and aided by upslope. Temperatures early this morning dipped well into the single digits, our coldest readings since January 7.
The time lapse video below captures four hours of the event as it started and then began to taper off.
Thornton resident Shannon Dizmang put his camera to good use and captured a stunning time lapse video of some lenticular clouds that developed this afternoon.
Also known by their scientific name of altocumulus standing lenticularis, these clouds are not entirely unusual in Colorado on the Front Range during the winter. Strong jet winds force moist air to be pushed up by the rugged terrain of the adjacent Rocky Mountains. This creates a wave-like pattern of air flow that condenses at high altitudes (usually around 20,000 feet).
Mother Nature seems intent on starting out 2017 the way she ended 2016 – cold. A deep trough coupled with successive, reinforcing cold fronts sent Thornton’s mercury plunging and delivered a healthy shot of snow over the last couple of days.
Below is a time lapse video from our east webcam covering the majority of the event. It begins at 6:00am on Wednesday, January 4 when we were only seeing flurries. From there you see the varying intensities of snow over the next 24 hours or so and end with some hints of blue sky but the afternoon of the 5th. In all, the video covers 36 hours in about 83 second.
Thornton ended with 7.1 inches of snow over the two-day period, our biggest snowfall of the season thus far.
We happened across this video recently and had to share it. Photographer Jason Hatfield is a transplant to Colorado and has spent recent years filming our fall foliage. The end result? An amazing compilation of the high country in autumn.
From Jason’s description:
For the 8 years I’ve lived in Colorado, I’ve been most enthralled by the short but incredible fall foliage season in the high country. I’ve experienced the magnificent autumn colors of the East Coast and Midwest, but nothing for me has compared to the scenes of massive mountains rising from stunning forests of gold-covered aspens. For the past 5 years of filming, I’ve had this moment in my head, a finished time-lapse piece that turns Colorado’s extraordinary fall landscapes into living art. Some years I only came away with a couple good sequences, others a lot more, and finally after this season I felt I had the work I needed to produce my vision. Please enjoy this short film that embodies everything I love about my state.
Mother Nature played a somewhat cruel trick on the Colorado Front Range. The week started with mild temperatures and a definite feeling of spring in the air. She closed out the week with a significant snowstorm and plenty of cold.
The long-expected storm arrived on the evening of Friday the 15th with rain. Overnight into the early morning of the 16th, the rain continued, heavy at times. In the early morning hours, as temperatures dropped, the rain changed to snow and would continue virtually non-stop through the morning of the 17th.
Thornton’s snowfall totals were certainly at the lower end of what was reported in the Denver metro area. We saw 7.3 inches, much of which melted as fast as it fell. Other locations not far to the west and south were pushing a foot and locations in the foothills and Palmer Divide saw nearly two feet.
The time lapse video begins at midnight on the morning of the 16th and continues through noon on the 17th.
Weather, natural disasters & climate news and information.