Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 280859
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT WED SEP 28 2016
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
26-28 In 1936...the heaviest snowfall ever recorded in September
and the heaviest snowfall ever recorded so early in the
season dumped a total of 16.5 inches of snow on downtown
Denver and 21.3 inches at Denver Municipal Airport. The
15.0 inches of snow measured from 6:00 PM on the 27th to
6:00 PM on the 28th is the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever
recorded in September. This was the first snow of the
season. The snow was intermittent through the 26th...but
continuous from early afternoon on the 27th to around
midnight on the 28th...except for a period of rain during
the afternoon of the 28th which contributed to a loss of
depth on the ground. The greatest snow depth on the ground
downtown was 13 inches with 8 inches at Denver Municipal
Airport. There were no high winds with the storm and
traffic was interrupted for only a short period. The
storm produced property damage estimated at 7 million
dollars. With trees and shrubs in full foliage...the leaves
caught and held the heavy water-laden snow...until the
branches snapped from the weight. More than 3000 workmen
were called to remove the debris and snow from the city. The
city firemen who were off duty...as well as all the reserves...
were asked to report to their stations. All schools in the
city remained open...but attendance was only 50 percent of
normal. Grade school students were sent home at noon on the
28th. The early storm caught stockmen with many cattle still
in higher ranges. Warm weather followed the snow...which had
all melted by the end of the month...except for a few inches
in sheltered places.
27-28 In 1984...heavy snow fell over the plains and foothills.
Snowfall amounts ranged from 2 to 5 inches on the plains
with up to a foot at higher elevations in the foothills.
The main problem caused by the storm was thousands of
power outages caused by snow-laden tree limbs snapping and
falling onto power lines. Over 15 thousand homes lost
power in metro Denver. Some cars were damaged by falling
trees and limbs. The snow also caused some flight delays
at Stapleton International Airport where 5.1 inches of
snow fell and northeast winds gusted to 29 mph. Maximum
snow depth on the ground was 3 inches due to melting. The
high temperature of only 34 degrees on the 28th was a
record low maximum for the date and equaled the all-time
record for the month at that time.
28 In 1877...heavy dense smoke from mountain forest fires spread
over the city. The smoke was so dense that it obscured the
sun at times.
In 1921...post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 44
In 1953...a Pacific cold front produced a west wind gust to 59
mph at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was briefly
reduced to 3/4 miles in blowing dust. Strong winds were
also widespread over Boulder during the afternoon.
In 1960...strong...gusty winds tore the roof from 6 units of a
motel on west Colfax Avenue in Denver. The roofing sailed
over the building and crashed down on a truck...wrecking it.
The strong winds were the result of an apparent microburst.
In 1999...snow fell in the foothills west of metro Denver and
over the plains. Snowfall totals included 7 inches at
Conifer. At the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport...3.1 inches of snow were measured. This was the
first snow of the season. The heavy wet snow snapped
branches from fully leafed trees...downing power lines and
causing scattered outages.
In 2004...severe thunderstorms produced hail to 3/4 inch in
diameter in Littleton and in Douglas County 14 miles
northwest of Castle Rock.
In 2012...a weak tornado (EF-0) tornado touched down near
Strasburg. No damage was reported.
28-29 In 1959...one of the heaviest September snow storms of record
began as rain and changed to heavy wet snow. The storm
caused heavy damage to trees and shrubbery...which were
still in full leaf. The storm dumped 10.6 inches of snow
at Stapleton Airport...the third heaviest September snow
amount to date. Falling trees and limbs disrupted
traffic...broke power and communication lines...and damaged
buildings and cars. One man was killed in Denver by a
falling tree limb...and four others died of heart
attacks while shoveling snow or trying to move heavy
tree limbs. Direct costs of the storm for cleaning up
debris...repairing utility lines...and damage to buildings
and other property across all of eastern Colorado were
estimated to be over a half million dollars. The value
of trees destroyed or damaged was estimated to exceed
five million dollars. North-northeast winds gusted to
32 mph at Stapleton Airport on the 28th.
In 1985...an unusually cold air mass for this time of year
settled over the area. Metro Denver received 8 to 12
inches of powdery snow. The 8.7 inches of snow that
fell at Stapleton International Airport was the first
measurable snow of the season and the city`s heaviest
September snowfall since 1971. The snow caused flight
delays of over 2 hours at Stapleton International Airport.
I-70 was closed for a time west of Denver. Snow-laden
tree limbs snapped over all of metro Denver...causing
widespread power outages. Ten thousand people were without
electricity for a time in Boulder. The morning of the 29th
saw mid-winter temperatures along the Front Range. The
temperature dipped to 17 degrees...the lowest temperature
ever recorded in September in Denver. The high temperature
of only 29 degrees on the 29th was a new record low maximum
for the date and lowest ever recorded during the month of
September. The low temperature of 21 degrees on the evening
of the 28th set a new record low for the date. The cold
weather persisted through the 1st with record minimum
temperatures of 25 degrees set on the 30th and 27 degrees
set on October 1st.