Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 170859
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT SUN APR 17 2016
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
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.
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
16-17 In 1944...heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches in downtown
Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 18 mph on
16-18 In 2009...a potent spring storm brought heavy snow to locations
in and near the Front Range Foothills. A deep easterly
upslope produced nearly 5 feet of snow in parts of the
foothills. The heavy snow resulted in the closure of
Interstate 70...from Golden west to Vail...for approximately
16 hours. The heavy snow snapped power lines in Evergreen
and Nederland. The ensuing outages affected 14200
In the Front Range Foothills...storm totals included: 56
inches...3 miles south of Rollinsville; 54 inches...3 miles
southeast of Pinecliffe...43 inches at Aspen Springs...42
inches at Evergreen...38 inches near Conifer; 37 inches at
St. Mary`s Glacier...and 34 inches near Nederland.
Along the Urban Corridor and Palmer Divide...the heaviest
snow occurred above 5500 feet on the 17th. Storm totals
included: 22 inches...8.5 miles southwest of Franktown; 18
inches...10 miles south-southeast of Buckley Air Force Base;
17 inches near Cherry Creek and 7 miles south of Sedalia...
16 inches...6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 15 inches
near Beverly Hills; 12 inches near Highlands Ranch and
Lafayette...with 11 inches in Broomfield. Elsewhere storm
totals ranged from 4 to 10 inches. Officially...only 2.6
inches of snow was observed at Denver International Airport.
The 24-hr precipitation for the day however was 1.16 inches...
which established a new record for Aprtil 17th.
17 In 1889...northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph.
In 1899...apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained
to 42 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph.
In 1935...light dust moved over the city behind an apparent
dry cold front...which produced northeast winds to 19 mph
with gusts to 20 mph.
In 1978...winds estimated to 70 mph occurred in Morrison.
Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International
In 2000...strong pre-frontal winds and widely scattered
thunderstorms caused high winds to develop across northern
metro Denver and portions of the northeast plains. Peak
wind gusts included 75 mph at Louisville. South winds
gusted to only 28 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2002...strong southwest winds in advance of a cold front
gusted to 52 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2003...severe thunderstorms produced 1 inch diameter hail
7 miles east of Brighton. Strong thunderstorm winds blew
out an auto windshield near Denver International Airport
where south winds gusted to 48 mph.
17-18 In 1878...the wind blew violently all day on the 17th with
a maximum sustained velocity of 40 mph. Dust hung over
the city like a cloud. The relative humidity was zero
nearly all day. A terrific gale blew overnight. There
was much damage to buildings...signs...fences...etc. Some
wind gusts were so strong as to jar buildings to their
foundations. The station anemometer recorded sustained
winds to 50 mph with higher gusts before it was damaged
by the winds. The winds moderated during the day on the
18th and ended at sunset.
In 1894...post-frontal rain changed to snow on the 17th
around sunrise and continued through 9:00 AM on the 18th.
Snowfall totaled 10.5 inches...but most of the snow melted
as it fell. The high temperature warmed to only 35 degrees
on the 17th after a high of 76 on the 16th. Northeast
winds were sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 32 mph on
In 1998...more spring snow fell across metro Denver and in
the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 11 inches at
Golden Gate Canyon; 10 inches at Highlands Ranch; 9 inches
at Elizabeth; 8 inches at Broomfield and Morrison; and 7
inches at Chief Hosa...Evergreen...Littleton...and Sedalia.
Snowfall totaled only 3.2 inches at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to
22 mph at Denver International Airport.
17-19 In 1920...snow fell across the city continuously for 57 hours...
from the early morning of the 17th until 11:40 AM on the
19th. The heavy wet snowfall totaled 18.2 inches with the
greatest accumulation on the ground of 12 inches. Winds
during the storm were strong with sustained speeds in
excess of 27 mph for over 40 consecutive hours...which
created near-blizzard conditions. The highest recorded
wind speeds were 44 mph with gusts to 50 mph from the
north on the 17th and 39 mph with gusts to 48 mph from
the northwest on the 18th. The strong winds piled the
snow into high drifts which stopped all Denver traffic.
Railroads were blocked with only one train entering the
city on the 19th. All interurban trains were blocked...as
were the 13 trolley lines. Thus...many workers were unable
to get home at night and filled all of the downtown hotels
to capacity. No grocery or fuel deliveries were possible...
except milk and coal to hospitals and to families with
babies. No lives were lost in the city...but several people
perished in surrounding districts. Stock losses were heavy
on the plains. Temperatures during the storm were in the