Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 080145
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MST SAT JAN 7 2017
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
7-8 In 1911...gale force winds occurred in Boulder causing minor
In 1937...cold Arctic air plunged temperatures below zero
for an estimated 56 consecutuve hours. Two temperature
records were set. High temperatures of 8 degrees below
zero on the 7th and 3 degrees on the 8th were record low
maximum readings for those dates. Low temperatures
plunged to 12 degrees below zero on the 7th and 11 degrees
below zero on the 8th. Snowfall was 1.4 inches in downtown
In 1969...a violent evening windstorm struck Boulder and the
adjacent foothills. A wind gust to 130 mph was recorded
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Winds
reached 96 mph in downtown Boulder. The Boulder Airport
wind recorder was blown away after measuring a wind gust
to 80 mph. The windstorm caused over one million dollars
in damage and one fatality in Boulder. About 25 homes in
south Boulder had roofs blown off or were severely
damaged. Roofs were blown off buildings housing
scientific laboratories and offices of the Environmental
Science Services Administration...now NOAA...in Boulder...and
installations of several scientific measuring sites near
Boulder received heavy damage. Grass fires driven by the
high winds endangered many areas...but were controlled by
volunteer firemen. One man died from injuries received
when he was blown from a fire truck. One man was killed
and another injured when the truck camper in which they
were riding was blown off I-25 about 10 miles north of
Denver. In the same area a mobile home and a truck
trailer were blown off the highway and demolished. At
least 20 people in the Boulder area received light to
serious injuries from flying debris or from being blown
into obstructions. Power lines and trees were downed
over a wide area. Damage was relatively light in the
City of Denver...where northwest winds gusted to 62 mph
at Stapleton International Airport on the 8th. Many
windows were broken in Arvada...Englewood...and Littleton.
A 27-year-old fire lookout tower on Squaw Mountain...west
of Denver...was blown away...and several radio relay towers
at that location were toppled. Trucks were overturned
near Georgetown. Mobile homes were overturned in several
areas with occupants receiving injuries in some cases.
The strong chinook winds also brought warm weather. The
maximum temperature of 69 degrees on the 7th broke the
old record of 65 degrees set in 1948. The temperature
also reached 65 degrees on the 8th...but was not a record.
In 1992...an intense blizzard buried eastern parts of metro
Denver. At times snow fell at rates of 2 to 3 inches an
hour. Winds increased from the north at speeds of 25 to
45 mph. Drifts of 4 to 8 feet were common. I-70 was
closed east of Denver...and I-25 was closed from Denver
south. Snowfall totals ranged from a couple of inches in
the foothills west of Denver to as much as 2 feet on the
east side of metro Denver. The heaviest snow fell on the
7th in a band from the northern suburbs of Westminster and
Thornton through Aurora and east Denver to southeast of
Parker. Snowfall totals included: 22 inches in southeast
Aurora...14.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport...13
inches in Northglenn...10 inches in Parker...and 9 inches in
Westminster. The 14.5 inches of snowfall measured on the
7th into the 8th is the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever
recorded in the city during the month of January. North
winds gusting to 46 mph caused much blowing snow at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 2000...high winds developed in and near the Front Range
foothills. The strongest winds were generally confined
to foothills areas north of I-70. A wind gust to 76 mph
was reported in Golden Gate Canyon. West winds gusted to
37 mph at Denver International Airport on the 8th.
7-10 In 1962...a major winter storm dumped 13.5 inches of snow on
metro Denver. A foot of the snow fell on the 8th when
northeast winds gusted to 30 mph. The storm was followed
by an intense blast of very cold Arctic air. Minimum
temperature readings of 24 degrees below zero occurred on
both the 9th and 10th. The temperature never reached above
zero on the 9th when a maximum reading of 1 degree below
zero was recorded. Temperatures were below zero for 37
8 In 1912...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
to 45 mph in downtown Denver.
In 1971...wind gusts to 52 mph were recorded in downtown
Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 28 mph at Stapleton
In 1990...high winds gusting from 50 to 90 mph along the
Front Range produced much damage from blowing dust and
gravel throughout the day. Wind gusts to 92 mph were
recorded in the Table Mesa area of southwest Boulder.
The winds caused sporadic power outages. Clouds of
dust and gravel whipped by 70 to 90 mph gusts blinded
commuters on the Denver-Boulder Turnpike near Broomfield
during the morning rush hour. Flying gravel shattered
windows on 50 vehicles parked near a Boulder high school.
High winds were also blamed for partially dismantling a
house under construction in Boulder...as well as toppling
a number of fences...billboards...signs...and power poles.
The strong cross-winds jack-knifed and overturned semi-
tractor trailers on I-70 near Golden and just south of
Boulder on State Highway 93. Several county airports were
closed due to strong winds and blowing dust reducing
visibilities. Wind delays up to 30 minutes occurred at
Stapleton International Airport where west winds gusted to
48 mph. Eighty mph winds in Georgetown...Empire...and Idaho
Springs were blamed for power and telephone outages.
Windows were blown out of a Sheriff`s car along I-70 east
of Georgetown. The strong chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 60 degrees in Denver.
In 2007...strong winds associated with an intense upper level
jet...and a very strong surface pressure gradient...developed
in and near the Front Range Foothills. Peak wind gusts
ranged from 77 mph to 115 mph. The strong winds coupled
with freshly fallen snow resulted in whiteout conditions
and several highway closures due to blowing and drifting
snow. Road closures included: State Highway 93 between
Golden and Boulder; State Highway 128 from Wadsworth
Boulevard to State Highway 93; U.S. Highway 36...the Denver
Boulder Turnpike from Broomfield to South Boulder Road; and
State Highway 74 near Evergreen...between County Road 65 and
Lewis Ridge Road. More than 100 people were stranded in
their cars between Golden and Boulder as blowing and drift-
ing snow made the highway impassable. Snow drifts along
State Highway 93 were over 6 feet in depth. As a result...
the American Red Cross opened a shelter at Arvada West High
School for the stranded commuters. Up to twenty cars were
also abandoned along the Diagonal Highway...between Boulder
and Longmont. Thirty vehicles were stranded along State
Highway 128. The high winds also caused intermittent
power outages in Boulder. West winds gusted to 40 mph at
Denver International Airport
8-9 In 1891...heavy dry snowfall totaled 9.7 inches over downtown
Denver. Most of the snow...6.5 inches...occurred on the 8th
when north winds were sustained to 12 mph with gusts to 20
In 1939...heavy snowfall totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver.
The snowfall was the heaviest overnight...particularly
during the early morning hours. The moist snow adhered to
the north side of the instrument shelter and other objects
to a depth of 2 inches. Snow accumulated on fences and
trees to several inches. This was the greatest snowfall
of the month that year. The greatest depth on the ground
was 6.5 inches. North to northwest winds were sustained
to 24 mph on the 8th and to 27 mph on the 9th.
8-10 In 1983...winds of 70 to 90 mph howled through Boulder.
A wind gust to 100 mph was recorded on Fritz Peak near
Rollinsville. A tree blown down by the wind damaged a
house in eastern Boulder County. The strong winds
developed behind a cold front late on the 8th and continued
through the 10th. At Stapleton International Airport...west
to northwest winds gusted to 49 mph on the 8th...to 45 mph
on the 9th...and to 48 mph on the 10th.
9 In 1875...the all time lowest recorded official temperature
in Denver...29 degrees below zero...occurred between 3:00 AM
and 4:00 AM under clear skies with calm winds. The
temperature climbed to zero at noon and to a high of 8
degrees at 3:00 PM.
In 1916...chinook winds from the southwest sustained to 42 mph
with gusts as high as 48 mph warmed the temperature to a
high of 57 degrees.
In 1917...chinook winds...southwesterly in direction...sustained
at 43 mph with gusts to 48 mph warmed the temperature to a
high of 55 degrees. The low temperature was only 43 degrees.
In 1950...strong west winds to 50 mph produced blowing dust...
which briefly reduced visibility to 3/4 mile at Stapleton
In 1957...west-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
In 1988...a wind gust to 61 mph was recorded at Echo Lake.
West winds gusted to only 16 mph at Stapleton International
In 1989...strong chinook winds howled along the eastern
foothills. A peak gust to 115 mph was recorded at the
Boulder Airport where a light plane was severely damaged
when the wind flipped it over. Gusts reached 103 mph at
Table Mesa in south Boulder. Homes in the city suffered
damage to roofs...gutters...and siding. Fences were blown
down...and windows in both homes and cars were broken. A
radio station was off the air for 2 1/2 hours when the
winds blew the top 80 feet off its 180-foot transmission
tower. A school roof was partially torn off...and a few
traffic signals were downed. Winds 60 to 80 mph were
reported at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield.
West winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International
In 1990...high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills for a
second straight day. Wind gusts to 92 mph were recorded at
Rollinsville. Wind gusts of 65 to 90 mph were noted in the
Denver-Boulder area. No significant damage occurred.
Northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at Stapleton International
Airport where the maximum temperature reached 63 degrees.
9-10 In 1962...the low temperature plunged to 24 degrees below
zero on both days.
In 1972...a west wind gust to 60 mph was recorded at Stapleton
International Airport...while in Boulder a wind gust to
86 mph was recorded at the National Bureau of Standards.
The roof of a house was blown off...and trees were blown
down in Boulder. The high winds contributed to the
damage from a building fire in Boulder.
In 2000...heavy snow and strong winds in the mountains
spilled into the Front Range foothills. Ward...northwest
of Boulder...received 9 inches of new snow. Wind gusts
to 91 mph were measured in Golden Gate Canyon...with
gusts to 77 mph at Loveland Ski area and to 73 mph along
State Highway 93 north of Golden. West winds gusted to
44 mph at Denver International Airport on the 9th.
In 2011...a winter storm brought moderate to heavy snowfall
to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer
Divide. Storm totals included: 13 inches...3 miles south
of Golden; 11.5 inches near Eldorado Springs...10.5 inches...
2 miles southwest of Boulder; 10 inches...3 miles southwest
of Roxbourough State Park; 9 inches at Genessee...8.5 inches
in Arvada...4 miles south-southeast of Bennett and Greenwood
Village...8 inches...8 miles south of Elizabeth; 7 inches at
Commerce City and 6.5 inches near Louisville and at Denver
International Airport. Gusty winds produced snow drifts up
to 2 feet deep over the Palmer Divide.
10 In 1893...strong west winds in Boulder and the adjacent
foothills caused only minor damage. In Denver...northwest
winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as high as 60
mph. The chinook winds warmed the temperature to a high
of 64 degrees and a low of only 40 degrees...which was a
record high minimum for the date.
In 1911...southwest chinook winds sustained to 44 mph warmed
the temperature to a high of 60 degrees.
In 1932...the first thunderstorm ever officially recorded
in Denver during January occurred in the early morning.
The Assistant Observer heard two prolonged peals of
thunder between 4:20 AM and 4:25 AM. Another off-duty
observer was awakened by the thunder. Other people
reported both thunder and lightning. Light snow was
falling at the time. Pellets of graupel or hail were
reported from some parts of the city. Snowfall totaled
only 1.8 inches. Northwest winds gusted to 30 mph.
In 1962...as the temperature dipped to a frigid 24 degrees
below zero...setting a new record minimum for the date...
the pressure adjusted to sea level reached the highest
ever recorded in Denver...31.24 inches (1057.8 mb). The
altimeter setting reached 30.70 inches...and the actual
station pressure recorded was 25.260 inches.
In 1988...strong winds occurred throughout the day in and
near the foothills. Peak gusts to 85 mph were recorded at
Rollinsville...84 mph at Echo Lake...and 64 mph in Boulder.
In 1990...a third consecutive day of 50 to 85 mph wind gusts
occurred in and along the eastern foothills. A 5 mile
portion of the Denver-Boulder Turnpike was closed after
clouds of blowing dust and gravel caused several multicar
accidents near Broomfield. One 59-year-old woman was
killed and two others injured. A wind gust to 81 mph was
recorded at the nearby Jefferson County Airport. In
Boulder...wind gusts to 85 mph were blamed for ripping off
a portion of a roof on a house...as well as blowing out the
large picture window. West winds gusted to 41 mph at
Stapleton International Airport. The warm chinook winds
set a record high temperature of 71 degrees in Denver
for the date.
In 1996...strong northwest winds developed behind a Pacific
cold front that moved rapidly across northeast Colorado.
A peak wind gust to 64 mph was recorded at the Rocky Flats
Environmental Test Facility in Jefferson County. North-
northeast winds gusted to 38 mph at Denver International
10-11 In 1948...strong winds were reported in Boulder and Lakewood.
Winds of 50 to 60 mph were reported at Valmont...just east
of Boulder. Only minor damage was reported.
In 1980...strong winds of 60 to 95 mph howled across metro
Denver...causing some brief power outages and some broken
windows. A wind gust to 111 mph was recorded at Wondervu.
Northwest winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton International
Airport on the 10th.
In 1999...high winds gusting to 100 mph blasted the foothills.
Peak wind gusts included: 100 mph at Central City...98 mph
at Wondervu...82 mph at Aspen Springs and Golden Gate Canyon...
81 mph at the NCAR Mesa Lab in Boulder and near Nederland...
78 mph atop Blue Mountain near Coal Creek Canyon...and 72
mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility. West
winds gusted to 38 mph and warmed the temperature to a high
of 63 degrees at Denver International Airport on the 11th.
10-12 In 1997...heavy snow fell over the Front Range foothills.
A foot of new snow was measured at Blackhawk with 7 inches
recorded in Coal Creek Canyon. Only 3.3 inches of snow
fell at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport. East-northeast winds gusted to 18 mph at Denver
International Airport on the 11th.
10-13 In 1963...a Arctic cold wave plunged temperatures well below
zero across metro Denver. Temperatures were below zero for
a total of 64 consecutive hours. Low temperatures reached
25 degrees below zero on both the 11th and 12th. The high
temperature of 9 degrees below zero on the 11th was the
coldest ever recorded at Stapleton Airport and equaled
the record low maximum for the month first set on January
19...1883...in downtown Denver. The high temperature on the
12th reached only 1 degree below zero. On the 12th...an
18-year-old youth died of exposure from the extreme cold
in Denver. There were many losses and damage to property
from frozen water systems...stalled cars...and over-burdened
heating systems. Light snow accompanied the Arctic blast.
At Stapleton Airport...2.3 inches of snow fell on the 10th
11 In 1887...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph in the city.
In 1893...northwest winds to 48 mph were recorded in the city.
In 1901...northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with an
extreme velocity of 47 mph.
In 1988...strong chinook winds blew throughout the day along
the eastern foothills. Winds peaked to 75 mph in Boulder...
breaking at least one window. West winds gusted to 49
mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1989...2 to 3 inches of snow fell across metro Denver
causing near gridlock conditions during the morning
rush hour and two-hour delays at Stapleton International
Airport. Two to 6 inches of snow whitened Boulder where
many traffic accidents were reported. Snowfall measured
2.9 inches at Stapleton International Airport where
northeast winds gusted to 21 mph.
In 1995...high winds developed in the foothills. A gust to
67 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats in northern Jefferson
County. West winds gusted to only 32 mph at Stapleton
In 1996...very strong winds were reported in the Front Range
foothills for a brief time. Wind gusts to 85 mph were
recorded at Golden Gate Canyon...with 95 mph at Wondervu.
11-12 In 1972...high winds howled along the Front Range foothills.
A wind gust to 144 mph was recorded at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. A wind gust to 105
mph was recorded at the Rocky Flats plant south of Boulder.
Wind gusts to 90 mph were recorded in downtown Boulder.
The greatest damage from the windstorm occurred in Boulder
where 25 or more mobile homes were destroyed either by wind
or the fires which resulted when they were overturned.
Car windows were blown out; many buildings damaged; utility
poles...power lines...trees...and traffic lights blown down.
As many as 75 families were evacuated from a recently
completed apartment building because of severe structural
damage. Government and private office buildings and
industrial plants were evacuated because of danger from
flying glass and debris. Twelve people were treated at
the hospital...mostly for cuts from flying glass. At
least 15 small planes were seriously damaged and hangar
doors were blown off at the Jefferson County airport in
Broomfield. Wind damage in Boulder alone totaled 2 million
dollars. At Stapleton International Airport...west winds
gusted to 53 mph on the 11th and to 47 mph on the 12th.
The strong chinook winds warmed temperatures into the mid
50`s on both days.
11-14 In 1997...cold Arctic air plunged temperatures below zero
across metro Denver. The temperature was below zero for
60 consecutive hours from the afternoon on the 11th to
around daybreak on the 14th. The high temperature of only
1 degree below zero on the 12th equaled the record low
maximum for the date last set in 1963. The low temperature
dipped to 14 degrees below zero on the 12th.
12 In 1888...gale force winds toppled the weather instrument
shelter in downtown Denver. The strong winds in the
foothills blew a train off the track at Georgetown.
Northwest winds were sustained to 60 mph in the city.
The strong winds warmed the temperature to a high of
In 1980...strong winds in Boulder peaked to 95 mph at Table
Mesa. Northwest winds gusted to only 29 mph at Stapleton
In 1992...a strong Pacific storm system dumped heavy snow
across portions of metro Denver. Conifer...in the foothills
southwest of Denver...received 17.5 inches of snow. Eleven
inches fell at Lake Eldora west of Boulder...with 7 inches
recorded at Morrison and 6 inches at Castle Rock. At
Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 31 mph...the snowfall totaled only 4.4 inches. Strong
winds forced the closure of some highways.
In 1998...very strong winds and heavy snow caused blizzard
conditions in the mountains to spread over portions of
the Front Range foothills. Just east of the Continental
Divide...sustained winds from 80 to 85 mph with gusts to
100 mph were recorded at Silver Spruce Ranch near Ward...
resulting in whiteout conditions. Only a trace of snow
fell at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport. North winds gusted to only 28 mph at Denver
In 2009...a fast moving storm system brought heavy snow to the
foothills of Boulder and Jefferson Counties...as well as the
western and southern Denver suburbs. Storm totals generally
ranged from 4 to 9 inches. The snowfall measurement at
Denver International Airport was 3.0 inches.
12-13 In 1936...strong winds in Boulder blew roofs off homes. Wind
gusts over 60 mph were recorded at the University of
Colorado and a gust to 55 mph measured at Valmont.
In 2002...high winds developed in the foothills on the 12th
and spread over the plains on the 13th. Winds gusted to
76 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on
the mesa in Boulder on the 12th. Northwest winds gusted
to 49 mph...the highest wind of the month...at Denver
International Airport on the 13th. The strongest winds
were north and northeast of metro Denver.
13 In 1875...the low temperature dipped to 20 degrees below zero...
a record low for the date and climbed to a high of only
2 degrees below zero...a record low maximum for the date.
In 1880...the worst wind storm ever experienced in Boulder
caused some damage and personal injuries.
In 1893...northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph in the city.
In 1904...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
as high as 50 mph. The chinook winds warmed the temperature
to a high of 63 degrees. The low temperature remained above
freezing...dipping to only 34 degrees.
In 1919...snowfall was 1.8 inches in downtown Denver. Melted
snow resulted in only 0.12 inch of precipitation. This
was the only snowfall and precipitation for the month.
In 1932...snowfall totaled 3.4 inches in downtown Denver.
North winds gusted to 22 mph.
In 1967...high winds in Boulder gusted to 70 mph downtown.
Some damage occurred. Northwest winds gusting to 38 mph
at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing
In 1988...high winds occurred in Boulder with a wind gust to
70 mph at Table Mesa. In the foothills a wind gust to 82
mph was measured at Rollinsville. West winds gusted to
33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
13-14 In 1960...snowfall totaled only 4.4 inches and northeast winds
gusted to 28 mph at Stapleton Airport...while over southeast
Colorado a near blizzard closed roads with drifts 3 to 6
13-16 In 1888...a cold air mass settled over the city and caused
temperatures to plunge well below zero on four consecutive
days...but only one temperature record was set. Minimum
temperatures dipped to 4 degrees below zero on the 13th...
19 degrees below zero on the 14th...20 degrees below zero
on the 15th...and 11 degrees below zero on the 16th. The
maximum temperature of only 4 degrees below zero on the
14th was a record low maximum for the date. North winds
were sustained to 30 mph on the 13th.
14 In 1873...winds were brisk all day. After sunset...northeast
sustained winds produced a perfect gale...behind an
apparent cold front.
In 1875...the temperature remained below zero all day with
a general northeast wind. At 9:00 PM the temperature was
1 degree above zero which was the official high for the
day. The wind suddenly veered to the southwest and the
temperature climbed 19 degrees in 15 minutes...7 more
degrees in the next 5 minutes...and by 9:30 PM had risen
to 36 degrees. By 9:35 PM the temperature had reached 40
degrees...a rise of 48 degrees in one hour and 39 degrees
in half an hour. The sudden rise in temperature could be
attributed to a receding Arctic air mass and downsloping
In 1906...the temperature climbed to a high of 56 degrees
before an apparent cold front produced northeast winds
sustained to 40 mph and a trace of snow in the afternoon.
In 1921...west winds were sustained to 44 mph with gusts to
46 mph. The downslope winds warmed the temperature to a
high of 49 degrees.
In 1967...3.7 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International
Airport with 7.7 inches measured in Boulder.
In 1982...strong chinook winds buffeted Boulder...tearing the
roof off a small apartment building. A gust to 88 mph was
measured in Lakewood. Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph were
common along the foothills from Denver north to Fort
Collins. Four people sustained minor injuries...mostly from
flying glass. At least one person was knocked down by the
winds. Several tractor trailer rigs were blown off I-70
near Golden...and numerous camper shells were blown off
14-15 In 1908...heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.5 inches
overnight. North winds were sustained to 32 mph. The
temperature dropped 41 degrees in 24 hours from a reading
of 48 degrees at 8:00 PM on the 14th to only 7 degrees at
8:00 PM on the 15th.
In 1950...strong winds occurred in Boulder and Louisville.
Winds in excess of 60 mph were recorded at Valmont. Minor
damage was reported. Southwest winds gusted to 50 mph
at Stapleton Airport.
In 1959...a total of 5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton
In 1992...snow spread from the mountains across metro Denver.
The heaviest snow was across the northern portion of the
area where 7 inches fell at Thornton. At Stapleton
International Airport...only 3.4 inches of snowfall were
recorded and northeast winds gusting to 37 mph caused
some blowing snow on the 14th.
In 1999...high winds howled across metro Denver. In Commerce
City...strong winds toppled 3 utility poles resulting in a
power outage to 600 homes. High wind reports included:
108 mph at Wondervu...80 mph at the Hiwan Golf Course in
Evergreen...76 mph at Aspen Springs...75 mph at the Jefferson
County Airport near Broomfield...74 mph in Boulder...and 70
mph at Georgetown. West to northwest winds gusted to 48
mph...the highest wind gust of the month...and warmed the
temperature to a high of 60 degrees at Denver International
Airport on the 15th.
14-21 In 1930...a protracted cold spell occurred when low temperatures
plunged below zero on 8 consecutive days. The coldest low
temperatures of 20 degrees below zero on the 17th and 19
degrees below zero on the 16th were record minimums for
the dates. High temperatures during the period ranged from
18 on the 18th to zero on the 20th. Two degrees on the
15th was a record low maximum temperature for the date.