Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 100045
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MDT SAT JUL 9 2016
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
the east of Denver International Airport.
In 2003...lightning blew a hole in the roof of a house in
Highlands Ranch. The bolt knocked several holes in the
bedroom ceiling and damaged the home`s electrical system.
In 2004...lightning struck a home in Louisville...but caused
only minor damage.
In 2006...a strong microburst wind gust...estimated at 69 mph...
ripped the roof off a horse barn near the intersection of
Havana Street and Smith Road in Denver. A 13 year old
girl was injured...when she was thrown from a horse inside
the barn at the time the roof was being torn off. A
thunderstorm produced a microburst wind gust to 54 mph
and a trace of rainfall at Denver International Airport.
A severe thunderstorm produced hail to 0.75 inch near
12-17 In 2000...two large wildfires developed in the Front Range
foothills as careless campers and very dry conditions
proved to be a dangerous combination. Strong winds
gusting in excess of 60 mph on the 13th fanned the flames...
spreading both wildfires out of control. Winds gusted to
78 mph atop Niwot Ridge near the Continental Divide west
of Boulder. The Hi Meadows Wildfire...about 35 miles
southwest of Denver...consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and
80 structures...mostly high priced homes. The Bobcat
Wildfire...located about 12 miles southwest of Fort Collins...
consumed nearly 11 thousand acres and 22 structures. Late
on the 16th...a strong cold front moved south over the Great
Plains into northeastern Colorado. Low level upslope
conditions developed in the wake of the front...producing
2 to 4 inches of snowfall overnight at elevations above
8 thousand feet. Firefighters were able to contain both
fires shortly thereafter.
13 In 1956...a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 59 mph at
In 1957...an unconfirmed tornado appeared to touch the ground
in the vicinity of Franktown. No damage was reported from
In 1968...a violent gust of wind...possibly associated with a
thunderstorm...caused 75 hundred dollars damage in Boulder.
In 1973...hail...1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter...fell over
Lakewood. Flash flooding occurred in west Denver from the
In 1974...a thunderstorm wind gust to 64 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1977...hail the size of table tennis balls...1 1/2 inches in
diameter...was reported in Boulder.
In 1981...large hail to golf ball size fell in Denver...
Northglenn...and Brighton. Hail as large as baseballs was
reported in Federal Heights.
In 1984...one of the worst hailstorms ever experienced in metro
Denver struck the northwestern suburbs of Arvada...Wheat
Ridge...and Lakewood...but large hail also fell in Golden...
southeast Denver...and Aurora. Homes and other buildings
sustained around 200 million dollars in damage. Thousands
of cars were battered by giant hailstones...and total damage
to vehicles was estimated at 150 million dollars. In some
areas...golf ball size hail fell continuously for 30 to 40
minutes. Some places were pelted with a few stones as
large as grapefruits! Roofs on thousands of structures
were severely damaged. Uncounted car windshields were
broken; two-thirds of Arvada`s police cars were rendered
inoperable. Torrential rains...with as much as 4.75 inches
in Lakewood clogged drains and caused widespread damage
from flooding. In some places hail was washed into drifts
several feet deep. About 20 people were injured by the
giant hailstones. One couple was hospitalized. A woman
drowned when she was trapped under a trailer by high water.
Only pea size hail fell at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988...2 inch hail fell in Parker. Soft hail 1 inch in
diameter fell at the mouth of Turkey Creek Canyon 5 miles
southeast of Morrison. Hail between 1 inch and 1 3/4
inches fell at both Bennett and Strasburg. A tornado
touched down briefly at Strasburg. A brief funnel cloud
was sighted by National Weather Service observers 15 miles
southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991...a Boulder man was injured when struck by lightning
while in a tent. He received only minor burns.
In 1997...lightning struck a home in Denver. The extent of
the damage was unknown. A home in Littleton was also
struck. The house caught fire...but the extent of the
damage was not known.
In 1998...a strong mountain wave produced a brief period of
high winds along the Front Range. A small building atop
Squaw Pass west of Denver was blown down. Tree limbs
were downed across metro Denver. Peak wind gusts
included: 80 mph on Squaw Pass...69 mph at Jefferson
County Airport near Broomfield...and 60 mph in Westminster
and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in
Boulder. West-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Denver
In 2001...high winds developed briefly in Boulder County.
A peak wind gust to 76 mph was recorded at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research atop the mesa in Boulder.
A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded at Southern Hills Middle
School in Boulder. Lightning started a small fire...which
damaged the roof of a house in Greenwood Village.
In 2009...severe thunderstorms produced hail up to one inch
in diameter near Arvada and Byers...as well as 7 miles
north-northwest of Front Range Airport near Watkins.
13-14 In 2006...the high temperature of 99 degrees on the 13th
equaled the record maximum temperature for the date first
set in 1994. The high temperature of 102 degrees on the
14th was a new record maximum temperature for the date.
14 In 1877...an evening thunderstorm produced lightning which
struck several houses and killed a cow in the bottom land
of the South Platte River
In 1886...hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in the
city. Precipitation was only 0.10 inch.
In 1887...south winds were sustained to 41 mph.
In 1900...a thunderstorm produced northwest winds to 51 mph
with gusts to 61 mph...but only a trace of rain.
In 1923...a severe thunderstorm pelted the city with hail.
The stones ranged in diameter from 0.2 to 0.8 inch.
Gardens and greenhouses suffered considerable damage.
Rainfall was only 0.14 inch downtown.
In 1960...one workman was killed and 4 others injured in
Lakewood when a partly built apartment building collapsed
in strong winds. Microburst wind gusts to 54 mph caused
some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1967...tornadoes touched down briefly 3 miles west of
Franktown and 4 miles northeast of Parker. No damage was
reported. Numerous funnel clouds were reported over south
metro Denver...one 5 miles south of Denver...one 2 to 3 miles
north of Castle Rock...and two near Littleton.
In 1968...a microburst wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1972...1 3/4 inch hail was reported in Wheat Ridge.
In 1976...high winds...unusually strong for this late in the
season...raked metro Denver. Wind gusts estimated to 100
mph tore 24 boats from their moorings and damaged a total
of 47 boats at Boulder Reservoir. Wind gusts to 82 mph
were recorded in Boulder. The strong winds toppled the
wind mast at a radio station in Boulder. An automobile
was smashed by a fallen tree in Boulder. Other damage in
Boulder was minor...but power outages occurred when tree
limbs fell on power lines. At Jefferson County Airport
near Broomfield...wind gusts to 78 mph were recorded with
87 mph gusts clocked at Rocky Flats Nuclear plant south of
Boulder. Wind gusts to 66 mph were observed in Littleton...
and northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The strong winds collapsed a barn
near Arvada. Several horses received minor injuries.
Thirty trees were uprooted or broken in Denver. Four major
power outages occurred from west Denver and Lakewood to the
In 1982...the worst hailstorm in 17 years struck Commerce
City. The storm left 4 to 8 inches of hail on the ground.
A few of the stones were as large as golf balls. Many
vehicles were dented...and some windshields were shattered.
Roofs of homes were damaged. Total damage was estimated
at over one million dollars. Hail to 1 inch in diameter
also fell in Littleton. Only 1/4 inch hail was measured
at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988...lightning ripped a small hole in the roof of a home
in the southern part of Boulder. There were some power
outages in the area.
In 1992...an off duty National Weather Service employee
reported hail to 1 inch diameter in Westminster.
In 1997...one inch diameter hail fell in Bennett...and 3/4
inch hail was measured in Littleton.
In 1999...hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter hit Aurora.
Lightning sparked two small fires at separate residences
near the Hiwan Country Club in Evergreen.
In 2004...lightning sparked two small fires near Jamestown.
One was in Geer Canyon and the other 7.5 miles up Sunshine
Canyon. Both were quickly contained and caused no damage
to structures in the area.
In 2009...a complex of severe thunderstorm produced large hail
damaging thunderstorm and funnel clouds across parts of the
Urban Corridor. The line formed along a boundary over the
western suburbs of Denver then moved east. The boundary
produced at least one well defined funnel cloud that could
be observed by stadium full of baseball fans at Coors
Field. Large hail...up to 1 3/4 inches in diameter...was
reported in Arvada...Broomfield...Denver...Federal Heights and
Northglenn. In addition...the storm produced peak wind gusts
from 60 to 74 mph. At Denver International Airport...a peak
wind gust to 58 mph was observed from the west-northwest.
In 2014...severe thunderstorms broke out across the Urban
Corridor. Large hail...ranging in size from 1 to 2 inches
in diameter...was observed. The area extended from around
Englewood to Aurora and included: Brookridge...Cherry Knolls...
Greenwood Village and south Denver. As many as 212 thousand
residences were potentially impacted by the storms. The hail
shattered windshields and damaged vehicles.
15 In 1907...south winds were sustained to 40 mph. The winds
were strong all day.
In 1908...the hail storm was unusually severe. Heavy clouds
moved over the city from the north and northwest...and by
late morning the weather had become very threatening.
Heavy rain with intermittent hail from pea to 3/4 inch
in diameter fell near noon. The fall of rain and hail
totaled 0.68 inch of precipitation with 0.35 inch in just
5 minutes. The temperature fell from 71 degrees to 51
degrees during the storm. The hail did considerable
damage to trees...gardens...and hot houses. On sidewalks
with northern exposures...the hail ranged in depth from
2 to 6 inches. West winds were sustained to 29 mph during
In 1956...strong southeast winds raked metro Denver all day.
Sustained winds at 44 mph with gusts as high as 61 mph were
recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust briefly
reduced the visibility to 2 miles.
In 1984...golf ball size hail pelted southern and central
Aurora. Rainfall of 2.06 inches over central Aurora in
just over an hour produced local street flooding.
In 1987...golf ball size hail fell in the southern part of
In 1988...several tornadoes developed across metro Denver.
One tornado touched down just northeast of the Rocky
Mountain Arsenal. The twister moved very slowly and did no
damage...except to demolish a small electrical substation...
even though it was on the ground for nearly 30 minutes.
Later...another tornado was sighted east of Brighton about
2 miles north of Barr Lake. An F2 tornado cut a swath
through northeast Denver. The main path went through a
thickly wooded area for about 6 blocks and uprooted about
500 city owned trees...many of them large elms 75 to 100
years old. Hundreds of privately owned trees were also
sucked from the ground by the slow moving twister...which was
filmed by a news team in a helicopter as it uprooted trees.
The replacement cost to the city owned trees was estimated
at 1.5 million dollars. The twister did little damage to
buildings. Some homes suffered roof and chimney damage...a
gas main was ruptured...and some cars were damaged by
falling trees. The uprooted trees also caused curb and
sidewalk damage and cut some electrical wires. The funnel
cloud passed close to Stapleton International Airport.
Aircraft operations were shut down...and the tower was
evacuated. The tornado was on the ground for almost 25
minutes. An F3 tornado cut an erratic path through south
Denver for about 25 minutes...causing extensive damage in
at least 3 areas. The twister damaged about 85 buildings...
20 severely; the total loss was estimated at 5 to 10
million dollars. Many cars were severely damaged; at
least 15 vehicles were overturned. One trailer was lifted
onto the top of a building that had just been unroofed;
numerous antique cars inside the building were damaged.
A Ford Bronco was blown over a church...and landed 100 yards
away. A metal storage shed was deposited far above the
ground in some power lines. The tornado uprooted many
trees on a golf course. No one was seriously hurt...although
seven people suffered minor injuries from flying debris.
A golfer was thrown 40 feet...but was not hurt; a man
clinging to a telephone pole was unscathed...but lost both
shoes...a sock...and buttons off his shirt. A woman holding
a baby was sucked through a broken convenience store window...
but was unhurt. A dog...tethered to the ground by its leash...
was suspended in the air by the twister. Uprooted trees
crushed cars and damaged curbs and sidewalks. People in
downtown Denver could see three tornadoes occurring
simultaneously. Hail as large as 1 3/8 inches in diameter
fell in extreme southeast Aurora.
In 1997...a tornado touched down briefly at the Colorado
National Speedway near Dacono north of Denver. The
tornado ripped through the south grandstand causing at
least 50 thousand dollars in damage to a shed...kiosk...
bleachers...and several concession stands.
In 2004...a tornado touched down briefly near Castle Rock
and blew the roof off a machine shop. A tornado near
Elizabeth destroyed a barn and caused roof damage to a
home. Two other barns on nearby properties were damaged
extensively. The twister also caused widespread tree
damage in the area. A tornado also touched down near
Bennett and Strasburg...but did no damage.
In 2009...thunderstorm winds knocked a tree on to two
vehicles in Boulder. One of the drivers was injured
when the tree smashed into the windshield of her car.
In 2012...a severe thunderstorm produced hail from quarter to
half dollar size near Littleton and Highlands Ranch. A
weak short lived tornado (EF0) also touched down near
15-16 In 1963...heavy rain and hail ravaged metro Denver. In
southeast Denver...heavy rain flooded homes and streets.
Hail to a depth of 4 inches on the ground stripped trees
and plants and drifted to depths of 3 to 4 feet in some
areas. Flood waters on the Valley Highway were 19 feet
deep in places...trapping many cars. Many creeks were
running over their banks. On the 15th...the main
thunderstorm cell passed over south Denver...dumping as
much as 4 inches of rain in 90 minutes. Precipitation
at Stapleton Airport totaled 0.91 inch on the 15th and
1.31 inches on the 16th. A funnel cloud was sighted
briefly 4 miles to the south-southeast of Stapleton
Airport on the 15th. Damage from hail and flooding
amounted to near a million dollars.
16 In 1950...very heavy rain and hail storms in southwest Denver
caused an estimated 750 thousand dollars in hail and flood
damage. Thunderstorms produced 2.06 inches of rain at
Stapleton Airport with 2.23 inches of rain measured in
In 1965...a tornado...15 miles south-southeast of Denver...
touched down and damaged two houses in northern Douglas
County. Three golfers at a country club and a women who
lived north of Castle Rock were injured by falling
In 1983...a microburst wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1984...a tornado touched down briefly in Parker. No damage
In 1986...lightning injured 5 people just north of the Denver
city limits in Adams county. The victims were members of
a drum and bugle corps and were standing near a metal
scaffold. Heavy rain from the storm also caused street
flooding in the metro area.
In 1991...hail to golf ball size fell at Conifer.
In 1992...a rare mid-June high wind event wrecked havoc
over metro Denver when a Pacific cold front moved across
the Rocky Mountains. Strong winds at speeds of 40 to 50
mph were common along the Front Range foothills. Winds
reaching 107 mph in the foothills west of Denver and 79 mph
at Longmont...caused damage ranging from trees being toppled
to large trucks being rolled over. Strong winds estimated
at 75 mph rolled a 35-foot truck carrying building supplies
on U.S. Highway 36 north of Boulder. The truck driver and
a passenger as well as the driver of another car were
slightly injured. The winds downed power lines. The
gambling towns of Central City and Blackhawk were without
power for a couple of hours. West winds reached 43 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1996...a small tornado touched down in the foothills
southwest of Boulder near Pinecliffe...knocking down
50 to 100 large pine trees. A house nearby sustained
damage when shingles were ripped from the roof. The tornado
also picked up a 17-foot sailboat with attached trailer and
carried it 25 feet into a nearby tree. In addition...
thunderstorm wind gusts to 46 mph were measured at Denver
In 2004...hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell near Castle
Rock. Hail to 3/4 inch was measured near Bennett.
In 2005...severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 1 inch
in diameter in Centennial.
In 2011...severe thunderstorms produced and damaging across
parts of metropolitan Denver. In Lakewood...a tree blew down
and landed on at least five cars. At Centenniel Airport...a
section of a roof on a hangar was ripped off the strong
winds. A peak wind gust of 46 mph was recorded at
Centenniel Airport and Denver International Airport in
16-17 In 1965...on the afternoon and evening of the 16th...violent
thunderstorms produced extremely heavy cloudbursts of rain
over the Palmer Divide and sent a wall of water as high as
20 feet down both branches of Plum Creek into the South
Platte River and through metro Denver. The heavy rainfall
produced the most devastating flood in the history of
Denver. Rainfall totaled 14.0 inches in 3 hours at both
Larkspur and Palmer Lake with 12.0 inches recorded in Castle
Rock. The flood waters caused extensive damage to roads and
bridges in Larkspur...Castle Rock...and Sedalia...including
washing out the I-25 bridge over East Plum Creek in Castle
Rock. The citizens of metro Denver received reports of the
flooding to the south and had a few hours to initiate
evacuation procedures along the South Platte River...greatly
limiting the loss of life. By evening...the flood reached
Littleton where an heroic effort was made to save nearly
150 horses at the Centennial Racetrack...which was
completely inundated by the flood waters. As the flood
proceeded through the City of Denver...the river became more
than 1/2 mile wide and destroyed all homes...trailer courts...
and businesses in its path. The waters contained debris
ranging from refrigerators to old cars. As many as 26
bridges were damaged or destroyed...including the 6th Avenue
freeway bridge across the South Platte. Both Public Service
Company power plants were shut down by the flood. The King
Soopers grocery chain bakery was inundated. About midnight...
the torrent crested at 25 feet above normal with flow
exceeding 40 times normal and is the record flood on the
South Platte and many of its tributaries. The flood caused
230 million dollars in damage and 8 deaths along the entire
South Platte River basin. The intense rain also caused
flooding along Cherry Creek in Denver...on Toll Gate and Sand
Creeks in east metro Denver...and on Kiowa and Bijou Creeks
to the east of Denver. The South Platte River flood closed
nearly every major east-west highway into Denver...nearly
isolating the city. The flood caused heavy damage to state
and county roads in the area. Railroads were also hard hit
with the main yards in lower downtown inundated. Sewerage...
water supply facilities...and irrigation works also received
heavy flood damage. The flood crest did not reach Nebraska
until the 20th.
1-18 In 1874...a streak of 18 consecutive days of 90 degrees
tied for second with another streak that was later set
in the summer of 1901. The record of 24 consecutive days
was established in the summer of 2008.
1-31 In 2012...it was the hottest July on record in Denver since
weather records began in 1872. The average temperature for
the month was 78.9 degrees which was 4.7 degrees above
normal. There were 27 days in which the high temperature
equaled or exceeded 90 degrees...which established a new
record. There were also 7 days in which the temperature
equaled or exceeded 100 degrees which tied the record
set in 2005.
6-23 In 1901...a streak of 18 consecutive days of 90 degrees
tied for second with another streak set in the summer of
1874. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in
the summer of 2008.
7-25 In 1934...a streak of 15 consecutive days of 90 degrees
ranked 5th on the list of hot streaks. The record of
24 consecutive days was established in the summer of
9-10 In 1980...a series of severe thunderstorms hit metro Denver...
dumping heavy rain and producing a spectacular lightning
display lasting for several hours. A number of homes were
damaged by lightning. Winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton
International Airport where about half an inch of rain fell
in just 10 minutes along with 1/4 inch diameter hail. The
evening thunderstorms continued into the early morning hours
with total rainfall of 1.35 inches at Stapleton International
In 1998...thunderstorm rainfall totaled 2.04 inches at the
site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
10 In 1878...a lunar rainbow was observed during a light mist and
In 1895...the temperature warmed to a high of only 53 degrees...
the all-time record lowest maximum temperature for the month
In 1967...golf ball size hail damaged aircraft at Jefferson
County Airport near Broomfield.
In 1983...two people were injured when struck by lightning
just southwest of Morrison. A man was injured when he was
swept downstream by a flash flood on a tributary of Clear
Creek in the canyon 8 miles west of Golden. Heavy
thunderstorm rains caused mudslides which closed several
roads. Rainfall amounts included: 1.75 inches in 20
minutes in southeast Denver...1.26 inches in 35 minutes in
Boulder...2.14 inches in 2 hours in Lakewood...1.70 inches in
45 minutes in Aurora...and 1.25 inches in 30 minutes atop
Floyd Hill in the foothills west of Denver.
In 1992...storm spotters reported 3/4 inch diameter hail
near the construction site of the new Denver airport just
northeast of the city.
In 1995...microburst winds toppled a pine tree 60 feet high
and 2 feet in diameter in Denver. The tree fell and
injured a man nearby. Microburst winds to 59 mph broke the
glass on a door at the National Weather Service Forecast
Office at the site of the former Stapleton International
In 1998...thunderstorm rainfall totaled 2.35 inches at
Denver International Airport.
In 2000...three children were injured...one critically...when
lightning hit a nearby tree at Panorama Point atop
Flagstaff Mountain just west of Boulder. Lightning hit
the tree...entered the ground...then struck the children.
Lightning sparked a grassfire that burned about 50 acres
at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility. Also...
lightning sparked at least 6 fires in the Hudson and
Keenesburg areas as thunderstorms...accompanied with heavy
rain...large hail...and tornadoes...moved through southern
Weld County. Over 2 inches of very heavy rain caused
flooding along an I-76 exit ramp near Keenesburg. The
fire department rescued 15 stranded motorists as high
water inundated sections of the exit ramp and adjacent
highway. Basements were also flooded in Keenesburg.
One home reportedly had 7 feet of standing water in the
basement before the rain subsided. A weak tornado (F0)
touched down briefly near Brighton...but caused no damage.
In 2001...a severe thunderstorm dumped 7/8 inch diameter
hail in Wheat Ridge.
In 2002...severe thunderstorms pelted the southern suburbs
of metro Denver with large hail. Hail as large as
3 inches in diameter fell 6 miles southeast of Parker.
Other large hail reports included 2 inch diameter
hail around Centennial Airport and 3/4 inch hail near
Sedalia and Deckers. Hail as large as 3/4 inch was
also reported in Broomfield. Runoff from heavy
thunderstorm rainfall in the Hayman Fire burn area
flooded Lost Creek Ranch with up to 18 inches of water
just off State Highway 126. Floodwaters damaged a very
expensive rug in the lodge. A driveway to a residence
was washed away. In Douglas County...runoff damaged
forest access roads in the Turkey Creek drainage.
In 2011...a severe thunderstorm produced intense
microburst winds in southeast Boulder County. A peak
wind gust to 75 mph was recorded in Superior with
gust to 58 mph...2 miles south of Lafayette. At Denver
International Airport...a peak wind gust of 31 mph was
11 In 1872...heavy rainfall started at 4:00 PM and continued
into the night. The heavy rainfall damaged homes and
buildings in all parts of the city. Rainfall totaled
In 1888...the temperature reached 100 degrees in downtown
In 1954...the high temperature climbed to 102 degrees at
In 1970...a girl walking in a park in southeast Denver
received eye and facial injuries when lightning struck
nearby. Lightning also caused numerous power outages
and heavy rainfall produced local flooding at several
locations across metro Denver.
In 1974...large hail up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell in
In 1990...the worst hailstorm in American history in terms of
dollar damage at the time battered metro Denver. Storm
damage totaled 605 million dollars...as it cut a 5-to 10-mile
wide swath from just southeast of Estes Park to northeast of
Colorado Springs. Hail as large as baseballs (2.75 inches)
pounded metro Denver. Hardest hit areas were southeast
Boulder County...the Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield...
Arvada...east Wheat Ridge...southwest and south-central
Westminster...west Thornton...northwest...west-central and
downtown Denver...northeast and east-central Lakewood...just
east of Littleton...portions of Arapahoe County west of I-25...
and northern and central Douglas County near Castle Rock
and Franktown. Golf ball to baseball size hail severely
damaged roofs on thousands of homes and buildings...battered
tens of thousands of automobiles...windows...signs...street
lights...and traffic signals...stripped paint...awnings...and
trim from buildings...punched holes in the roofs of two homes
in Arvada...knocked out power and telephone service to
thousands of homes and businesses...defoliated thousands of
trees...ripped up greens and fairways on a number of golf
courses...and severely damaged several aircraft tied down at
Jefferson County Airport. Hail the size of baseballs fell
for several minutes in Old Town Arvada. Later...golf ball
size hail and heavy rain pummeled two northwest Denver
amusement parks. Hardest hit was Elitch Gardens Amusement
Park where 47 people were injured and received treatment
for bumps...cuts...and bruises at local hospitals. Many of the
injured were stranded on rides during the storm when power
failed. Hail clogged storm sewers...causing rain water to
back up 3 to 6 feet deep on some roads and intersections in
Arvada. Several basements were flooded. In some places
hail was washed into drifts several feet deep. In addition...
the storm spawned 2 small tornadoes. One touched down
briefly in Lakewood near 6th Avenue and Kipling Blvd....but
did no damage. In Castle Rock...a tornado (F1) did heavy
damage to some homes and vehicles in the Founders Village
development near Ridge Road.
In 2001...lightning struck two homes in Thornton. Most of the
damage was confined to the attics of both homes. Hail as
large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Keenesburg...Longmont...
and near Boulder.
11-12 In 1872...heavy rain from 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM caused much
damage. Rainfall totaled 1.76 inches.
12 In 1881...during the early evening...a brisk rain fell for
30 minutes from a nearly clear sky containing not one
tenth of clouds with the sun shining brightly. Rainfall
was 0.16 inch.
In 1885...thunderstorms produced widespread lightning across
the city during the evening. Several people were injured
when their homes were struck by lightning.
In 1954...the high temperature reached 101 degrees at Stapleton
In 1962...lightning struck and killed a Denver man...while he
was assisting a co-worker with his car.
In 1971...the temperature climbed to a high of 101 degrees at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1974...hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Castle Rock.
In 1991...hail to 2 inches in diameter fell in Thornton with
golf ball size hail in Brighton. Dime size hail was
recorded in the City of Denver. Very heavy rain caused
flooding across metro Denver. Water was up to 2 feet deep
in parts of Golden where one foot of water was reported in
the lot of a mobile home park. Flood water washed away part
of a parking lot at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Heavy rain caused a rock slide and flooding along I-70 in
the foothills just west of Denver. Flood waters were a foot
deep at the intersection of I-70 and I-25 just north of
downtown Denver. A funnel cloud was sighted just east of
the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
In 1996...very heavy rainfall from a fast moving thunderstorm
dumped 2 to 3 inches of rain within an hour over southern
Jefferson County. Two people were killed near the town
of Buffalo Creek when a 20-foot wall of water flooded
the area. Utility poles and trees were uprooted; cars...
propane tanks...and bridges were destroyed in the flood`s
path. Entire buildings were moved from their foundations
and heavily damaged by the floodwaters. The first fatality
occurred along State Highway 126 when the driver of a
pick-up truck was washed off the road by the deadly wall of
water. The second death occurred farther upstream when a
man in a 5th-wheel trailer was washed away. This was the
second disaster to strike the area in the last couple of
months. The community was already recovering from a
wildfire which burned about 12 thousand acres of forest land
in late May. With the forest burned by fire...very little
vegetation was available to slow the storm`s runoff...which
resulted in the flash flood. Power...water...and sewer
service were heavily damaged in the flood and...in some
cases...beyond repair. The cost of repairing the roads and
water system in the area was estimated at around a half
million dollars. Elsewhere across metro Denver...severe
thunderstorms produced hail...damaging winds...and small
tornadoes. Weak tornadoes (F0) were reported in Broomfield...
3 miles east of Englewood...and in Dacono. No damage was
reported...except a trampoline was blown into a window and
several trees were downed in Broomfield. Thunderstorm
wind gusts estimated as high as 60 mph blew a fence down
in Louisville where winds also toppled a tree near a house.
The house received only minor damage. Large hail...strong
winds and heavy rain caused substantial property damage
in portions of southeastern Boulder and northern Jefferson
counties. Damage estimates in the Broomfield area alone
were about 1 million dollars. Winds gusted to 81 mph in
Broomfield. Large hail...3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
fell in Evergreen...Lakewood...Englewood...Broomfield...near
Morrison...northeast of Boulder...and just east of Denver
In 2000...heavy rain fell across a portion of the Hi Meadow
Fire burn area near Buffalo Creek...causing localized
flooding. About 3/4 inch of rain fell in 30 minutes over
Miller Gulch. Some culverts become plugged by debris from
the fire. As a result...small sections of a U.S. Forest
Service road along Miller Creek were washed out. Lightning
struck a home in Castle Rock...causing extensive damage to
the roof...attic...and second floor.
In 2011...severe thunderstorms developed over parts of Adams
and Denver Counties. At Denver International Airport...a
severe thunderstorm produced a peak wind gust to 66 mph...
with another gust to 59 mph measured in Denver. In
Commerce City...the intense winds blew down a large tree.
13 In 1902...west winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to
In 1910...an apparent dry microburst produced northeast winds
sustained to 41 mph.
In 1961...hail as large as 1 inch in diameter was reported
near Commerce City.
In 1982...a tornado touched down briefly south of Parker. No
damage was reported.
In 1985...thunderstorms drenched the Highlands Ranch area of
northern Douglas County with 1.50 inches of rain in just
30 minutes. Half an inch of rain fell in 15 minutes in
In 1986...a lightning bolt struck a church steeple in
Littleton...toppling it to the ground.
In 1989...thunderstorm winds blew down trees and bent a metal
basketball fixture just north of Castle Rock in the Surrey
In 1993...1 inch diameter hail was measured in Lakewood.
In 1995...lightning struck and injured an assistant coach
during a baseball game at Highlands Ranch south of Denver.
In 1996...3/4 inch diameter hail fell in Lochbuie with 1 1/2
inch hail measured in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted
to 69 mph at Bennett. The strong winds were responsible
for flipping three semi-trailer trucks onto their sides
along I-70...3 miles east of Bennett. A few cars were also
In 2001...heavy thunderstorm rain caused flash flooding over
south metro Denver. Three inches of rain reportedly fell
near the Greenwood Village Police Department in the span
of 15 minutes. The heavy rain caused Toll Gate Creek to
overflow...flooding low lying areas along Parker Road.
Heavy rainfall also caused local flooding along streets
near the Denver Technology Center. A severe thunderstorm
dumped hail to 1 3/4 inches in diameter near Castle Rock.
In 2003...maximum temperature of 100 degrees was a record high
for the date.
In 2009...severe thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 70 mph
near Parker and Strasburg. At Denver International
Airport...west-northwest winds gusted to 40 mph.
In 2011...severe thunderstorms produced extensive damage as
they moved across the Urban Corridor. At Denver
International Airport alone...large hail up to golfball
size...very heavy rain and wind gusts to 59 mph caused
substantial damage to 40 planes and stranded approximately
1500 passengers overnight. Frontier and United Airlines
were hardest hit as dozens of planes were taken out of
service for repairs; forcing the cancellation of at least
220 flights over the next several days. Damage to the
aircrafts alone was nearly five million dollars. In
addition...83 cars in airport parking lots were damaged...
along with some police cars and maintenance vehicles. In
Watkins...two people suffered minor injuries and 35 to 40
homes were damaged. As many as two hundred residents in a
mobile home park were left homeless by the storm...forcing
the Red Cross to open a shelter at Bennett High School.
The trailer park contained 52 mobile homes...14 recreational
vehicles...3 houses and a commercial building. Hailstones
the size of softballs cratered the north sides of the
mobile homes. Some farmers in the area said they lost as
much as 85 percent of their total wheat crop. Power lines
were also damaged which affected about 1200 customers in
Watkins. The strong winds also flipped over a tractor-
trailer rig on I-70 near Watkins Road. Insurance claims for
the Watkins...Bennett and Brighton areas was estimated to be
seventeen million dollars. The total damage estimate across
the entire Urban Corridor...was near one hundred sixty five
million dollars...and included 17200 automobile claims and
12600 homeowner claims. In addition...thunderstorms
producing very heavy rainfall...caused flash flooding in the
Four Mile Canyon burn scar west of Boulder. Three homes
reportedly had water up to the windows with water flowing
into structures at Fourmile Canyon Road and Gold Run Road.
The heavy rain caused a 4-ft surge along Fourmile Creek
through Orodell and into the entry of Boulder Creek.
Several roads were affected which restricted access to the
area. Roads were closed due to water and debris. Private
bridges and drives were washed out and several residents
were stranded and later rescued. Numerous cars were damaged
in debris flows and several structures suffered flood
damage but were not destroyed.
13-5 In 2008...a streak of 24 consecutive days of 90 degrees
shattered the previous record of 18 consecutive days
established in 1901 and 1874. Ironically...no new single
day record high temperatures were set in the month of July.
In August however...a record of 104 degrees was set on the
1st...and another record of 103 degrees was set on the 2nd.
In addition...a record low min of 70 degrees was set on
14 In 1878...the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees in
In 1906...a thunderstorm produced north winds sustained to
52 mph and 0.53 inch of rain in 10 minutes.
In 1912...a heavy thunderstorm cloudburst in the late afternoon
combined with a similar storm to the south of the city to
produce widespread flooding on Cherry Creek in downtown
Denver...which resulted in two deaths and several injuries.
The flooding was the worst since 1864 and covered around 3
square miles of lower downtown. Bridges along Cherry Creek
were washed out and water lapped at the floor of the Broadway
bridge over the South Platte River...causing authorities to
declare it unsafe except for pedestrians. By nightfall...
Union Depot was under 2 to 3 feet of water...and railroad and
street car traffic was stalled. Those forced from their
homes by the surging flood waters took refuge in the Denver
Auditorium. The flood waters caused great damage to the
sewerage system...parkways...bridges and residences and
commercial warehouses near Cherry Creek in the wholesale
district. Flood damage was estimated at several million
dollars. Heavy thunderstorm rainfall of 2.00 inches...of
which nearly 1.75 inch fell in 30 minutes in central Denver...
was accompanied by severe thunderstorm winds sustained to 55
mph with gusts as high as 74 mph.
In 1933...thunderstorm rainfall was only 0.01 inch...but
northwest winds sustained to 37 mph with gusts to 47 mph
produced a dust storm for about 10 minutes during the
In 1967...heavy rain flooded areas of north and west metro
Denver...and high water closed street intersections in the
city. Crops were damaged...and 200 chickens drowned by
flooding northwest of Denver where farm buildings and
irrigation facilities were also damaged.
In 1969...a thunderstorm wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1975...heavy rains caused locally heavy flash flooding along
Niver Creek south of Thornton and in other parts of north
metro Denver. Over 40 thousand dollars in damage to public
property was reported...and numerous homes and yards were
In 1986...thunderstorm winds blew down a power line in west-
central Jefferson County. The storm...as it moved into
Denver...snapped tree limbs and damaged a fence near
Washington Park. Wind gusts in the area were estimated at
80 to 85 mph.
In 1990...thunderstorm wind gusts to 58 mph were recorded at
Buckley Field in Aurora. No damage was reported. Winds
gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1993...a severe thunderstorm moved across southern sections
of metro Denver. Dime size hail fell in Lakewood...and hail
up to one inch diameter was measured at Cherry Creek
Reservoir. Later in the afternoon...hail to one inch
diameter fell in Golden and Arvada.
In 1994...hail to 1 1/4 inches in diameter fell north of
In 1998...dry microburst winds estimated to 70 mph snapped
tree branches up to 4 inches in diameter in Brighton
where some road signs were twisted and blown down. At
Denver International Airport...dry microburst winds gusted
to 61 mph.
In 1995...thunderstorm winds gusted to 62 mph near Strasburg.
In 2001...a severe thunderstorm dumped hail to 3/4 inch in
diameter in the foothills about 10 miles northwest of
In 2011...severe thunderstorms in the Denver metropolitan
area produced very heavy rain...large hail and damaging
winds. The strong winds toppled a few trees and the heavy
rain caused street flooding and minor flash flooding.
Several cars were stranded at the intersection of Santa Fe
Drive and Oxford...and near Broadway and U.S. Highway 285.
A 16-yr old teenager was seriously injured when he tried
to retrieve a ball along the banks of West Toll Gate Creek.
He was pulled from the swollen creek and died several days
later. Hail up to one inch in diameter was reported
around the area. The thunderstorms also produced frequent
lightning. One strike sparked a fire at Aspen Academy...a
private school in Greenwood Village. Most of the damage
was confined to the roof and attic. In Englewood...a
40-ft tree was blown into a house and knocked down some
power lines. At Denver International Airport...a severe
thunderstorm produced sustained winds of 47 mph and a
peak wind gust to 68 mph.
14-15 In 1985...thunderstorms dumped heavy rain and hail at numerous
locations along the Front Range from Denver north. Some of
the heaviest rain fell in northern and western suburbs of
Denver. Up to 2.6 inches of rain drenched Arvada...and
Thornton was soaked with 2 inches in 45 minutes. At least
5 homes in Arvada suffered extensive damage from water and
mud...and many streets and basements were flooded. In
southern Jefferson county...11 homes were struck by
15 In 1879...a terrific hail storm occurred in the vicinity of
of Buffalo Station on the South Park Railroad in the
South Platte River canyon about 39 miles south of Denver.
Stones as large as hen`s eggs fell thick and fast and broke
nearly every pane of glass in the windows of the building.
A "waterspout" or cloudburst caused much loss of property
from flash flooding on a nearby gulch. The torrent of
water caused a deafening roar as it uprooted trees and
carried huge boulders and other debris. It struck the
house and sawmill simultaneously and carried them away
like straws...leaving little behind. The water continued
to rush down the gulch for several hours. Serious damage
was done to the South Park Railroad. The track and
roadbed were destroyed for several miles. At about the
same time...heavy rains in the vicinity of the headwaters
of Cherry Creek produced a rapid rise in the creek...which
drowned a few head of cattle and washed away two footbridges
and some fences. Only 0.10 inch of rainfall was recorded in
In 1896...a thundestorm produced sustained southwest winds to
40 mph with gusts to 46 mph.
In 1902...the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees in
downtown Denver...which was a record maximum for the date.
In 1929...a thunderstorm did considerable damage to property
in the eastern portion of the city. Heavy hail ranging
in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch in diameter...severe lightning...
and high winds accompanied the heavy rain. Basements were
flooded...and streets were impassable in places for several
hours due to the heavy rainfall. Lightning damaged several
telephone poles. Hail did extensive damage to gardens and
flowers. The hail was up to a foot deep in places. There
was no estimate of damage from the storm. A thunderstorm
produced only a trace of rain and east winds to 24 mph in
In 1959...thunderstorm rain totaled 0.41 inch in 8 minutes
and winds gusted to an estimated 50 mph near downtown
Aurora where half inch diameter hail was also reported.
After the storm moved to the east...complete double rainbows
were observed from the Weather Bureau office at Stapleton
In 1962...hail pelted the area in Adams County around Henderson
and Brighton...causing extensive damage to corn...grain...
beets...and row crops. Crop damage was estimated at 250
In 1963...a man received severe burns when struck by lightning
while painting a building in south Denver.
In 1965...a State Patrolman sighted a tornado near Bennett. It
touched down over open ground...but caused no damage.
In 1967...heavy rains flooded streets and underpasses in south
Denver. Heavy rain and minor wind damage were reported in
Wheat Ridge...Aurora...Englewood...and Littleton. Basements
were flooded and power disrupted. The clouds and rain
resulted in a high temperature of only 72 degrees...which
was a record low maximum for the date.
In 1974...a severe lightning storm damaged several homes and
caused a number of power outages in both Denver and western
In 1975...lightning killed a girl west of Boulder.
In 1982...winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton International
Airport...and strong winds blew down walls at a construction
site in Aurora where a nearby tree was uprooted.
In 1985...0.79 inch of rain fell in 30 minutes at Castle
Rock. Much of the town lost power when lightning struck
the town`s transformer.
In 1992...a man was struck by lightning while horseback riding
near Castle Rock. Two people were struck by lightning near
Highlands Ranch in south metro Denver. A man was struck by
lightning while riding in the back of a pick-up truck in
Franktown. All received minor injuries. Strong
thunderstorms moved through east metro Denver...producing
large hail and flash flooding. Hail up to 1 1/4 inches in
diameter fell near Buckley Air National Guard Base.
Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches fell in Aurora in less than an
hour...leaving water up to 18 inches deep in some areas.
Thunderstorm rainfall was measured at 0.97 inch at
Stapleton International Airport...where 3/8th inch diameter
hail fell and south winds gusted to 44 mph.
In 1993...dime size hail fell in Golden. National Weather
Service observers at Stapleton International Airport
sighted a small rope-like funnel overhead for about 3
minutes before it dissipated.
In 1994...a small...short-lived tornado caused damage to a house
under construction in Parker.
In 1995...thunderstorm winds of unknown strength downed trees
and branches...damaging a porch and nearby cars in Denver.
In 1998...hail to 7/8 inch in diameter fell near Keenesburg.
In 2000...this date marked the end of a near record hot streak
for metro Denver. The high temperature at Denver
International Airport equaled or exceeded the 90-degree
mark for 17 consecutive days...from June 29th. This was
one day short of equaling the all time record. The
record of 18 consecutive days was set in two different
years...July 1st-18th...1874 and July 6th-23rd...1901.
In 2005...severe thunderstorms produced large hail over
southeast metro Denver. Hail as large as 1.75 inches
in diameter fell in southwest Aurora along with 7/8 inch
hail in Centennial. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was
measured near Centennial Airport and near Watkins.
15-16 In 2006...a brief mid July hot spell resulted in two 100
plus degree high temperatures and two daily maximum
temperature records. The high temperature climbed to
101 degrees on the 15th and 103 degrees on the 16th
at Denver International Airport.
16 In 1911...thunderstorm winds were sustained to 44 mph from the
In 1959...a thunderstorm produced 3/8 inch diameter hail and
a wind gust to 60 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1972...two tornadoes were sighted by the public to the
southeast of Aurora. No damage was reported.
In 1978...a thunderstorm wind gust to 52 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1980...a severe thunderstorm ripped through metro Denver...
producing torrential rain...large hail...and strong winds. In
Aurora...winds gusted to 65 mph with hail up to 1 1/2 inches
in diameter and half an inch of rain in just 10 minutes.
Stapleton International Airport was closed for an hour.
Large hail also fell in southeast Denver...Lakewood...Parker...
and Castle Rock. Up to 1 1/2 inches of rain fell in just 40
minutes. Heavy rains in Wheat Ridge flooded a shopping
center...breaking windows and doors...while causing 100
thousand dollars in damage. Some roofs and windows were
damaged throughout metro Denver. At Stapleton International
Airport where west winds gusted to 49 mph...1/4 inch hail
and 0.77 inch of rain fell.
In 1983...severe thunderstorms dumped large hail over much of
metro Denver. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell in Littleton
and Northglenn...with 3/4 to 1 inch hail in Arvada...1 to 1 1/2
inch hail in extreme northwest Denver...1 3/4 inch hail in
Lakewood...1 1/2 inch hail in south Arvada and just northeast
of Aurora...and 1 5/8 inch hail on Green Mountain.
In 1994...spotters reported a brief tornado touchdown in an
open field just north of Fort Lupton. No damage or injuries
In 2000...very moist and unstable weather conditions...along
with low level upslope flow during the late afternoon and
evening...combined to produce heavy thunderstorm rainfall...
which caused urban and small stream flooding across metro
Denver. Rainfall amounts generally ranged from 1 to 3 inches
with the heaviest rainfall occurring during the evening hours.
Two miles east of White Ranch in northern Jefferson County...
an automated rain gage measured 3.86 inches of rain. Since
the rain fell in a relatively open area...no flood damage
was reported. However...in Greenwood Village near the
intersection of Peoria and Belleview...the streets were
closed for several hours with as much as 2 feet of standing
water covering the roadways. Two campers near Mt. Evans
were injured by lightning and stranded overnight by the
inclement weather. Both received minor injuries.
In 2003...the high temperature of 101 degrees was a record
maximum temperature for the date.
In 2004...locally heavy rainfall of unknown amount caused
parts of the Virginia Canyon Road near Idaho Springs to
wash out. The road had to be closed temporarily.
In 2005...the temperature climbed to a high of 102 degrees
at Denver International Airport. This was a new record
maximum temperature for the date at the time.
16-18 In 1997...an extended hot spell resulted in 3 temperature
records being set. The maximum temperature reached 98
degrees on each of the days...setting records on the 16th
and 18th. The low temperature of 71 degrees on the 17th
was a record high minimum for the date. The high
temperature reached 100 degrees on the 17th at the site
of the former Stapleton International Airport.