Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 030959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST TUE JAN 3 2017
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
31-6 In 1973...the 31st marked the start of a protracted cold spell
that extended into January of 1974 when temperatures
dipped below zero on 7 consecutive days. Record daily
minimum readings occurred on the 3rd and 5th when the
temperature plunged to 17 degrees below zero on both days.
A record low daily maximum temperature of only 4 degrees
occurred on the 5th.
31-7 In 1941...a protracted cold spell through January 7...1942...
produced below zero low temperatures on 7 of the 8 days.
A low temperature of 2 degrees on the 3rd prevented a
string of 8 days below zero. The coldest days during the
period were the 1st with a high of 2 degrees and
a low of 9 degrees below zero...the 4th with a high of 2
degrees and a low of 11 degrees below zero...and the 5th
with a high of 26 degrees and a low of 12 degrees below
1-5 In 1940...the first days of the month were characterized by a
mixture of drizzle...light snow...and fog. Fog occurred on
each day. On the 4th and 5th considerable glazing resulted
from freezing drizzle. All objects were coated with a
glaze on the windward side. This resulted in very slippery
streets...which caused several minor traffic accidents. The
glaze was not heavy enough to damage wires and cables.
2-3 In 1971...a major storm dumped a total of 8.4 inches of snow
at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 23 mph.
In 1972...a strong cold front late on the 2nd produced north
wind gusts to 35 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
Snow...heavy at times on the 3rd...totaled 6.4 inches as
temperatures hovered only in the single digits.
In 2000...heavy snow fell over the higher terrain of the Palmer
Divide to the south of metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 7
inches 5 miles southwest of Sedalia. Only 1.5 inches of
snowfall were measured at the site of the former Stapleton
2-4 In 1949...the worst blizzard in many years struck metro
Denver and all of northern Colorado. The storm produced
blizzard conditions with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph all
day on the 3rd when temperatures were only in the single
digits. This resulted in extremely cold wind chill
temperatures of 40 to 55 degrees below zero. Stapleton
Airport received 13.3 inches of snow from the storm...
while downtown Denver received 11.8 inches. The snow
fell for 51 consecutive hours downtown. Numerous lives
were lost...and livestock losses were high across the
northeastern plains of Colorado where extensive airlift
operations were needed to bring supplies and food to
2-5 In 1959...very cold temperatures...to near zero and
below...caused power and gas lines...water pipes...and
automatic sprinkler systems to break. In Boulder...
merchandise and furnishings were water damaged when pipes
burst in a department store...flooding three floors. The
temperature was below zero for 38 consecutive hours at
Stapleton Airport on the 2nd...3rd...and 4th and plunged to
a low of 13 degrees below zero on the 4th.
3 In 1874...heavy snowfall totaled 6 inches with 5 inches
falling in 3 hours. Melted snow totaled 0.40 inches
of precipitation. Northeast winds were sustained to 24
In 1887...west winds were sustained to 44 mph in the city.
In 1913...northwest chinook winds sustained to 42 mph with
gusts to 52 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58
degrees. The low temperature was only 40 degrees.
In 1951...northwest winds gusted to 56 mph at Stapleton
In 1967...a strong chinook wind reached 90 mph at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. In downtown
Boulder winds only gusted to 35 mph. Northwest winds
gusting to 49 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton
In 1986...winds gusted to 63 mph at Jefferson County Airport
near Broomfield and reached 73 mph at Echo Lake in the
foothills west of Denver. West winds gusted to 46 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1994...high winds raked the eastern foothills. Wind gusts
to 99 mph were recorded on Squaw Mountain...south of Idaho
Springs...and gusts to 85 mph occurred at the Rocky Flats
Facility in northwest Jefferson County. Northwest winds
gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport. No
significant damage was reported.
In 1996...very strong chinook winds gusting to 104 mph blasted
the Front Range foothills and portions of metro Denver.
Three people were injured in separate incidents. One man
was injured when strong crosswinds toppled his moving van
into oncoming traffic along Colorado 93 south of Boulder.
Two other people received minor injuries from flying debris.
At the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility...eleven
hazardous waste storage facilities received at least 100
thousand dollars in damage. In addition...several power
lines were downed leaving 3 thousand homes and stores
without power. Hundreds of car windows were shattered...and
several signs were toppled from buildings. Some of the
strongest wind gusts included: 104 mph at Boulder Municipal
Airport...98 mph in south Boulder...96 mph at Jefferson
County Airport...94 mph at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research southwest of Boulder...91 mph at
the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility...and 90 mph
at Wondervu southwest of Boulder. West-northwest winds
gusted to only 39 mph at Denver International Airport
where the chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high
of 52 degrees.
In 2004...bands of heavy snow fell across metro Denver.
Snowfall totals included 6.5 inches in Broomfield and
6 inches in Westminster...Arvada...and near Hudson. Only
0.5 inch of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport. More snow fell in the foothills
with 9 inches recorded near Jamestown. Southeast winds
gusted to 25 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2006...locally high winds developed in northern
Jefferson County over and near Rocky Flats. Peak wind
gusts from 75 to 91 mph were recorded during the
afternoon. A semi-trailer truck was blown onto its side
on State Highway 93 atop Rocky Flats. Strong winds also
spread across metro Denver. West winds gusted to 44 mph
at Denver International Airport.
3-4 In 1982...wind gusting to 85 mph in the Table Mesa area of
Boulder caused a few power failures. West winds gusted
to only 32 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2000...high winds buffeted the foothills of Boulder County.
Wind gusts were reported to 91 mph at Nederland and 81 mph
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on the mesa
southwest of Boulder. Southwest winds gusted to only 31 mph
at Denver International Airport on the 4th.