Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 080045
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MDT SAT MAY 7 2016
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
4-8 In 1969...heavy rains caused flooding on Boulder Creek
in Boulder...which resulted in one death on the 7th.
Flooding also occurred on Bear Creek in Sheridan and
on the South Platte River in Denver. Rain over most
of the eastern foothills started late on the 4th and
continued with only brief interruptions in many areas
until the morning of the 8th. Very high rates of
rainfall occurred on the 6th and 7th with the greatest
intensities in a band along the foothills from about 25
miles southwest of Denver northward to Estes Park. Storm
totals by both official and unofficial measurements
exceeded 10 inches over much of this area and were over 12
inches in some localities. Heavy snow fell in the higher
mountains and in the foothills later in the period. The
saturation of the soil resulted in numerous rock and land
slides...and the heavy run-off caused severe damage along
many streams and flooding on the South Platte River. Many
foothill communities were isolated as highways were blocked
and communications disrupted. Roads were severely damaged
over a wide area...and a large number of bridges washed out.
Many roads were closed due to the danger from falling
rocks. A building in Georgetown collapsed from the weight
of heavy wet snow. In Boulder...a man drowned when caught
by the flooding waters of Boulder Creek...and a patrolman was
injured. Rainfall totaled 7.60 inches in Boulder with
9.34 inches recorded at the Public Service Company electric
plant in Boulder Canyon. In Morrison...rainfall totaled
11.27 inches in 4 days. Heavy rainfall totaled 4.68 inches
at Stapleton International Airport over 3 days from the 5th
through the 7th. Rainfall of 3.14 inches was recorded in 24
hours on the 6th and 7th. Downstream flooding continued
along the South Platte River until the 12th when the flood
crest reached the Nebraska line.
7-8 In 1958...rainfall totaled 2.50 inches at Stapleton Airport.
8 In 1873...a very light rain fell until 5:00 AM...when it
turned into light snow and sleet and was accompanied by
brisk northeast winds. The snow froze as it fell...
breaking the telegraph lines in many places.
Precipitation totaled only 0.14 inch in the city.
In 1883...a severe rain and hailstorm struck the city. In
25 minutes the hail was 5 inches deep in the vicinity of
the weather office in downtown Denver and reported as
deep as 10 to 12 inches in other parts of the city.
Gutters were blocked by the hail...and many cellars were
flooded. Precipitation from the storm was 1.90 inches
with the total for the day recorded at 2.02 inches. The
size of the hail was not recorded.
In 1988...a wind gust to 68 mph was recorded at Echo Lake.
Northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1995...high winds of unknown strength blew a camper shell
from the back of a pickup truck near Fort Lupton. North
winds gusted to 49 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 1996...1 to 2 inch diameter hail was measured in
Lochbuie northeast of Denver. Bean size hail fell in
Brighton. The large hail fell from severe thunderstorms
to the northeast of metro Denver.
In 2003...tornadoes touched down briefly near Brighton...
Watkins...and Strasburg...but did no reported damage.
Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured near Hudson.
8-9 In 1957...intense heavy rain caused flash flooding on Toll
Gate Creek in Aurora where 3 people were killed in a car.
Up to 4 inches of rain fell in 5 hours in the Toll Gate
Creek basin. The rain also caused flash flooding on Sand
Creek in Aurora and Denver. Rainfall totaled 3.29 inches
at Stapleton Airport with most of the rain...2.34 inches...
occurring on the 9th.
8-10 In 1979...4.3 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International
Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 8th.
Most of the snowfall...2.3 inches...occurred on the 9th.
High temperature of only 35 degrees on the 9th equaled the
record low maximum for the date.
9 In 1875...a heavy windstorm swept across the city for most
of the day. West-northwest winds averaged a sustained
speed of 31 mph between 6:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The peak
wind was sustained to 45 mph at 9:50 AM.
In 1918...post-frontal winds were sustained to 40 mph with
gusts as high as 43 mph. Only a trace of rain fell.
In 1941...a tornado was noted at 2:20 PM to the northeast
of downtown and was followed by another similar shaped
cloud or dust roll estimated 3 miles behind. Thick dust
followed with heavy gusts of wind. The temperature fell
15 degrees in 10 minutes following the twister. The mild
tornado did little damage except to unprotected frame
structures. Winds were sustained to 50 mph with the
passing of the tornado at Stapleton Airport. It was
visible to observers for 10 minutes and was lost from
sight as it traveled east into huge rolls of dust. Hail
and rain followed with a few hailstones as large as 1/2
inch in diameter downtown. No damage was reported from
the hail. Thunderstorm winds sustained to 31 mph produced
blowing dust downtown. Precipitation was only 0.07 inch.
In 1983...streams swollen by recent rain and snowmelt caused
an earthen dam to collapse...washing out portions of State
Highway 67 near Deckers in southern Douglas county.
In 1992...three boys...ages 11...12...and 16...were struck by
lightning while taking cover under a large tree during a
thunderstorm in Jefferson County...just 7 miles northwest
of Denver. The three were seriously injured.
9-10 In 1889...heavy rainfall totaled 2.15 inches in downtown
Denver. The cold rain was mixed with snow at times
overnight. Temperatures on the 10th ranged from a
high of 38 degrees to a low of 32 degrees with north
winds sustained to 22 mph.
In 2003...a late spring snowstorm hammered the mountains...
eastern foothills...and urban corridor. The heaviest
snowfall occurred north of Interstate 70. The heavy
wet snow caused damage to trees throughout metro Denver
and downed power lines. About 40 thousand people along
the urban corridor were without power. Storm total
snowfall amounts included: 11.5 inches in Louisville...
8 inches in Boulder and Broomfield; 7 inches in
Thornton...Broomfield...at Denver International Airport...
and at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport; and 6 inches 4 miles east of Denver. Snowfall
ranged from 4 to 9 inches across extreme southern Weld
County. In the foothills...15 inches of snow fell near
Jamestown...9 inches at Rollinsville and Rawah...with
8 inches at Chief Hosa and atop Lookout Mountain.
The snow was accompanied by thunder on the afternoon
of the 9th at Denver International Airport where west
winds gusted to 25 mph on the 9th and north winds gusted
to 22 mph on the 10th.
10 In 1875...a windstorm sand-blasted the city from 10:00 AM
until midnight. Northwest winds sustained to 60 mph
brought clouds of sand...which caused high damage to
In 1912...a vigorous cold front produced strong north winds
and rain. North winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts
as high as 60 mph. Rainfall totaled 1.10 inch.
In 1935...no precipitation occurred...making this one of
only two days without precipitation during the entire
month. The other day was the 21st. Precipitation
totaled 4.95 inches for the month.
In 1956...northwest winds gusted to 53 mph at Stapleton
Airport where the visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2
mile in blowing dust.
In 1974...strong winds caused 30 thousand dollars in damage
to a building under construction in Lakewood. Microburst
winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988...lightning struck a house in Boulder...setting it
afire. The house...valued at 170 thousand dollars...was a
In 1989...golf ball size hail fell over southeast Denver near
the junction of I-25 and I-225. Hail to 3/4 inch in
diameter fell over southeast Aurora. Only 3/8 inch hail
fell at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991...high winds up to 63 mph raked the eastern foothills.
Winds estimated to 50 mph tore a roof from a home in
Lafayette. A tower at Jefferson County Stadium in west
metro Denver was blown over by the high winds. No
injuries were reported. Southeast winds gusting to 48 mph
at Stapleton International Airport produced some blowing
dust. The temperature climbed to a high of 86 degrees...
equaling the record maximum for the date.
In 2005...severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as
2 inches in diameter in and near Longmont.
10-11 In 1918...post-frontal snowfall totaled 4.7 inches in downtown
Denver. Northwest winds gusted to 19 mph on the 10th.
In 1923...winds were strong and gusty on both days. Northwest
winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 44 mph on the
10th. North winds were sustained to 39 mph with gusts to
46 mph behind an apparent cold front on the 11th.
10-12 In 2011...a spring snowstorm brought heavy snow to the Front
Range Foothills and Palmer Divide. Storm totals included:
18 inches...4 miles south-southeast of Pinecliffe; 16 inches
in Coal Creek Canyon; 15 inches...4 miles west-southwest of
Eldorado Springs; 13 inches at Gold Hill...12 inches...4
miles west-southwest of Conifer and 4 miles northwest of
Elizabeth; 11.5 inches...6 miles southwest of Evergreen and
4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 11 inches...3 miles
east of Jamestown and 10.5 inches...3 miles east of
Franktown and 3 miles south of Golden and 10 inches...10
miles north of Elizabeth. At Denver International Airport...
1 inch of snowfall was observed.
11 In 1879...an apparent cold front during the afternoon produced
sustained north winds as high as 60 mph and great clouds of
blowing dust. The dust filled the air until the thunderstorm
rain began...which produced 1.46 inches of rainfall. The rain
ended during the evening.
In 1900...southwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
to 46 mph.
In 1958...a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 55 mph at
In 1963...south-southwest winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton
Airport. Winds may have been stronger over west Denver
where some buildings were damaged.
In 1998...large hail fell over south metro Denver. Hail
as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter was measured in
Parker with 1 inch hail recorded in Littleton and 4 miles
south of Lakewood in Jefferson County. Hail to 3/4 inch
diameter was measured in Douglas County...11 miles west-
northwest of Parker.
11-12 In 2014...A strong storm system moved from southwest Colorado
and produced heavy snow in and near the Front Range Foothills
and metro Denver. The snow was heaviest in the foothills
where up to 2 1/2 feet of snow was observed. In the foothills...
storm totals included: 30 inches near Pinecliffe; 29 inches...
8 miles northeast of Four Corners; 28 inches near Pingree
Park; 27 inches near Allenspark; 20.5 inches near Idaho
Springs; 19.5 inches at Gold Hill; 19 inches near Genesee; 18
inches near Blackhawk; 17 inches at Aspen Springs; 16.5 inches
near Ward; 13.5 inches at Bergen Park; with 11 inches at
Evergreen. Along Urban Corridor and Palmer Divide...storm
totals included: 10.5 inches at Eldorado Springs; 10 inches at
Ken Caryl; 9 inches at Superior; 8 inches near Morrison; 7.5
inches in Broomfield and Highlands Ranch; 7 inches in Denver...
near Franktown...Golden...Lakewood and Highlands Ranch; 6
inches...5 miles northeast of Westminster...7 miles south of
Lyons and near Parker; with 5.5 inches at Aurora. At Denver
International Airport...1.1 inches of snowfall was observed...
along with 0.9 inches of water.
12 In 1875...two forest fires on the eastern slope of the
foothills were visible from the city.
In 1904...north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
to 48 mph.
In 1950...brilliant and complete primary and secondary
rainbows arching across the sky were observed from
In 1951...a wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton
In 1984...winds gusted to 69 mph in Boulder. Northwest winds
gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1987...a small weak tornado touched down for about 2
minutes in southeast Denver. The twister hit a car
dealership...blowing about a dozen windows out of cars and
shattering four skylights on the building. Some tin
roofing was blown off a patio a block and a half away. The
tornado also downed a power pole. Damage at the dealership
was estimated at 10 thousand dollars. A man was slightly
injured by lightning in northwest Aurora.
In 1995...several funnel clouds were sighted near Parker.
One of the funnels produced a short-lived debris cloud
on the ground in an open field. No damage was reported.
12-13 In 1907...the temperature warmed to a high of 73 degrees on
the 12th...before a cold front produced a thunderstorm...
northeast winds sustained to 40 mph...and rain changing to
light snow overnight. Snowfall totaled only 2 inches...but
the high temperature on the 13th was only 39 degrees.
In 1961...a storm that covered metro Denver with rain and snow
started as thunderstorms on the evening of the 12th. Hail
to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was reported 10 miles northwest
of Stapleton Airport. Rain continued overnight and changed
to snow on the 13th. Snowfall totaled 6.4 inches and
precipitation (rain and melted snow) 1.96 inches at
Stapleton Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph. The
rain and heavy wet snow caused icing damage to utility
lines. Heavy snow occurred in the foothills.
In 1982...a major storm dumped 1.50 to 3.50 inches of rain
across northeast Colorado and deposited prodigious amounts
of snow in the foothills. Coal Creek Canyon southwest of
Boulder was buried under 46 inches of snow with 39 inches
at Nederland. The heavy wet snow downed many powerlines in
the foothills. In Thornton...the roof of a school was
damaged by water from the heavy rain. At Stapleton
International Airport...1.49 inches of rain were measured
over the two day period. The heavy rain ended a severe and
In 2004...a winter storm produced heavy snow in excess of a
foot in the foothills above 6 thousand feet while heavy
rain fell across the city. The heaviest snow occurred in
the high country of Boulder County. Storm total snowfall
was 14.5 inches near Jamestown. Rainfall totaled 0.81 inch
at Denver International Airport with 0.94 inch recorded at
Denver Stapleton. A trace of snow was recorded at both
locations. East winds gusted to 24 mph at Denver
International Airport on the 12th.
13 In 1905...a thunderstorm produced hail during the late
afternoon. Precipitation totaled 0.57 inch.
13-14 In 1912...heavy snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over the city.
Most of the snow...9.9 inches...fell on the 13th...which was
the greatest 24 hour snowfall in May at the time. This
was the last snowfall of the season. The low temperature
dipped to 27 degrees on the morning of the 14th.
In 1989...a spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the
foothills. Metro Denver was soaked with 1 to 2 inches
of rain. Rainfall totaled 1.26 inches at Stapleton
International Airport. In the foothills...Echo Lake
received 20 inches of snow. A 30-ton boulder slid onto
I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel...closing the freeway
for 2 hours.
14 In 1910...a thunderstorm produced strong winds during the
afternoon. Northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.
In 1913...light moist snow and light hail fell during short
intervals...although no thunder was heard. The trace of
snowfall was the only snow of the month. Precipitation...
mostly rain...totaled 0.44 inch.
In 1984...a pilot reported a tornado 16 miles east of
Stapleton International Airport. No damage was reported.
A thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust in Brighton.
Thunderstorm winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton
In 1989...lightning struck a home in Evergreen...setting it
In 1992...strong thunderstorm winds of unknown velocity...
knocked over and damaged the infield tote board at
Arapahoe Park racetrack just southeast of Aurora.
Damage was estimated at 200 thousand dollars. No
injuries were reported. Lightning started two house
fires...causing 35 hundred dollars in damage in Adams
County just 9 miles north-northwest of Denver.
In 1994...a sudden wind gust...estimated at 40 mph...blew a
portion of the roof off a shopping center in Lafayette.
The roof also damaged two parked cars in an adjacent lot.
In 2001...a construction worker in Castle Rock received minor
injuries when lightning struck close-by.
In 2002...a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at
Denver International Airport.
In 2007...severe thunderstorms producing large hail...very
heavy rain...and tornadoes impacted the Urban Corridor and
adjacent plains. Heavy rain associated with a severe
thunderstorm caused flooding along a small tributary
draining into the South Platte River. The incident took
place at 13th and Decatur St....near Invesco Field. The
floodwaters inundated the bike trail adjacent to the creek.
A woman with her child sought refuge under a bridge and
became trapped by the high water. The woman slipped and
the stroller containing the child was swept into the swift
current. The child drowned. Rainfall totaled 0.42 inches
at Denver International Airport. Elsewhere...golfball hail
was reported near Hudson. Hail...up to one inch in
diameter...was observed in Boulder and Lyons.
Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 70 mph were reported
near Buckley Air Force Base...with a peak wind gust to 37
mph observed at Denver International Airport. A small
tornado touched down near Ft. Lupton but did no damage.
14-15 In 1977...high winds up to 100 mph felled hundreds of trees in
Gilpin County and caused extensive damage to telephone and
power lines. Lumber and steel tanks were blown around in
Boulder Canyon. West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton
International Airport on the 15th.
14-18 In 1996...a period of unusually warm weather resulted in
4 record maximum temperatures in 5 days. The record high
temperatures were 87 degrees on the 14th...89 degrees on
the 15th...and 93 degrees on both the 16th and 18th. The
temperature climbed to only 81 degrees on the 17th which
was not a record.