Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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NOUS45 KBOU 020959

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST FRI FEB 2 2018

...Today in metro Denver weather history...

30-7  In 1985...a cold front on the 29th produced a protracted cold
        spell as Arctic air remained entrenched across metro Denver.
        While the only daily temperature record set was a low
        maximum reading of 2 degrees on February 3rd...minimum
        temperatures plunged well below zero on 9 consecutive days.
        The coldest readings were 15 degrees below zero on January
        31st and 14 degrees below zero on February 5th.
31-8  In 1963...warm weather that began with the strong chinook
        winds on the 31st and 1st continued through the 8th.
        Maximum temperatures through the period ranged from 52
        degrees on the 2nd to 76 degrees on the 5th...which was
        a new record high for that date.
31-12 In 1899...a protracted cold spell lasted almost two weeks.
        Low temperatures plunged below zero on all days but
        February 9th with a reading of 6 degrees.  The coldest
        low temperature of 22 degrees below zero on February 6th
        was a record low for the date.  Low temperatures of 20
        degrees below zero occurred on both February 11th and 12th...
        but only the 11th remains as the record minimum for the
        date.  High temperature of only 5 degrees below zero on
        February 11th was a record low maximum for the date.  High
        temperatures climbed to only zero degrees on both February
        2nd and 3rd...but were not records.  Intermittent light snow
        or flurries fell during the period.  The most snowfall...2.0
        inches...occurred on February 2nd.
1-2   In 1934...light chinook winds warmed temperatures to record
        levels on both days.  Record maximum temperatures
        reached 73 degrees on the 1st and 74 degrees on the 2nd.
        West winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 1st.
1-3   In 1996...cold Arctic air plunged temperatures below zero
        for more than 35 consecutive hours from late on the 1st
        until sunrise on the 3rd.  The temperature warmed to only
        1 degree below zero on the 2nd after a record low of
        16 degrees below zero.
1-4   In 2011...a frigid arctic airmass settled into Front Range
        Urban Corridor.  At Denver International Airport...
        overnight low temperatures...from the 1st to the 3rd...
        were 13 below zero...17 below zero and zero respectively.
        The icy temperatures caused pipes to crack and burst
        following the freeze.  In Loveland...firefighters
        responded to more than a dozen water pipe breaks...most
        in fire sprinkler systems at and
        assisted care facilities.  At CU Earth Science Library
        in Boulder...more than 1000 books and several costumes
        for an upcoming production were damaged.  At the county
        courts administration building in Jefferson County...a
        steady stream of water from a crack on the 5th floor...
        went unnoticed on the 3rd and flooded all the floors of
        the administration wing overnight.  As a result...much of
        the office and carpet sustained
        water damage.  A burst sprinkler line caused minor
        damage at the Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton.
        The icy temperatures forced to closure of several school
        districts as well.
1-5   In 1985...the most bitter cold spell of the winter season
        brought sub-zero temperatures to metro Denver.  Daily low
        temperature records were broken at Denver.  The usual cold
        weather problems struck including stalled vehicles...jammed
        traffic lights...and frozen water and sewer lines.  At
        Stapleton International Airport...the high temperature
        was only 2 degrees above zero on the 1st...setting a record
        low maximum for the date.  Low temperatures reached 13 below
        zero on the 1st...12 below on the third...and 14 below on the
1-6   In of the century`s worst doses of winter weather
        ravaged the entire state.  Bitterly frigid weather moved
        into metro Denver on the 1st as snow buried many sections
        of the state.  In metro Denver where 3 to 6 inches of snow
        fell...blowing snow and resultant poor visibilities caused
        a 46-car pile-up on I-25 in the middle of the city on the
        4th.  During the period...2 to 3 hour delays were common at
        Stapleton International Airport where snowfall from the
        storm totaled 4.3 inches and northeast winds gusted to 30
        mph on the 1st.  Intense cold accompanied the storm.
        Temperatures in Denver stayed below zero continuously for
        the best part of 3 days (3rd...4th...5th)...for a total of 69
        hours.  This is the fourth longest sub-zero period on
        record.  Wind chill temperatures reached 50 degrees below
        zero.  The mercury dipped to 24 degrees below zero on the
        5th...setting a record for the date.  This was the city`s
        coldest temperature in over 26 years.  Low temperatures
        dipped below zero on 8 consecutive days (2nd-9th).  High
        temperature of 9 degrees below zero on the 4th was a record
        low maximum for the was the high of 5 degrees on
        the 5th.  Extensive damage occurred when pipes and water
        lines froze and broke.  Thousands of cars failed to start.
        On the 3rd...a 57-year-old woman died of hypothermia in an
        Arvada park.  Eighteen high school students were treated
        for hypothermia after a 2-hour ride through Jefferson
        County in an unheated bus.  At least 2 cases of frostbite
        were reported; there were undoubtedly many more.
1-9   In 1883...a protracted cold period occurred when low
        temperatures dipped below zero for 9 consecutive days.
        Low temperatures ranged from 22 degrees below zero on
        the 4th to 2 degrees below zero on the 1st and 6th.  High
        temperatures ranged from 10 below zero on the 3rd to
        23 on the 9th.  Several temperature records were set
        that still stand today.  Record lows of 18 below and
        22 below zero occurred on the 3rd and 4th.  Record low
        maximum readings of 2 below and 10 below zero occurred on
        the 2nd and 3rd.  The high of only 10 below zero on the
        3rd is the coldest maximum temperature ever recorded in
2     In 1890...west winds were sustained to 44 mph with an
        extreme velocity of 45 mph.  The chinook winds warmed
        the temperature to a high of 66 degrees.
      In 1970...high winds caused scattered damage along the
        foothills from Golden north.  A garage in Boulder was
        demolished.  Broken windows and roof damage were reported
        in Golden.  Wind gusts from 60 to 100 mph were recorded in
      In 1990...a narrow band of heavy snow fell in the foothills
        southwest of Denver.  Up to 6 inches piled up at Waterton
        Canyon with 5 inches around the town of Deermont...both
        along the South Platte River in Jefferson County.  Snowfall
        was only 1.6 inches at Stapleton International Airport
        where north winds gusted to 30 mph.
      In 1995...the second morning in a row of strong winds raged
        in the foothills and adjacent lower elevations.  Winds
        gusted between 70 and 85 mph in the foothills and 45 to
        50 mph on the plains.  A tree was blown onto high voltage
        power lines in a west Denver suburb.  The fence that the
        wire landed on caught fire...but did no damage to the
        surrounding structures.  A southwest Denver man was
        injured when a wind gust blew him and the front door he
        was holding off a porch.  West winds gusted to 45 mph at
        Stapleton International Airport.  The strongest winds
        occurred in Georgetown where a gust to 100 mph overturned
        a pick-up truck camper on I-70.  The driver sustained only
        minor injuries.
      In 2001...high winds developed briefly in the Front Range
        foothills.  A spotter at Georgetown Lake measured a
        peak wind gust to 90 mph.
      In 2008...lightning struck a home in Englewood during an
        electrically charged snowstorm.  A gas meter at the home
        was hit by lightning and burst into flames.  The unusual
        thunderstorm produced a combination of snow and graupel.
        The graupel was up to one half inch in diameter.  Total
        snow accumulations ranged from 1 to 4 inches across the
        southern Denver suburbs.  Snowfall was only 0.6 inch at
        the former Stapleton International Airport.
2-3   In 1894...6.2 inches of heavy snowfall were measured over
        downtown Denver.  East winds gusted to 25 mph on the 2nd.
      In 1999...a powerful chinook windstorm struck the foothills
        and adjacent plains.  Several locations registered wind
        gusts in excess of 100 mph...including: 127 mph atop
        Sugarloaf Mountain...120 mph at Lafayette...119 mph at
        Wondervu...104 mph at Coal Creek...103 mph at the Rocky
        Flats Environmental Test Facility and 100 mph in
        Louisville.  The damage associated with the windstorm was
        extensive.  Thirty 70-foot-tall power poles were damaged...
        including several that supported high voltage lines
        transmitting electricity directly from generating plants.
        The combination of downed power poles...power lines...and
        trees resulted in outages for about 10 thousand residents.
        In Lafayette...power poles were sheared off for a mile
        and a quarter.  The power outages primarily affected
        residents in Boulder...Broomfield...Lafayette...Louisville...
        and Fort Lupton.  In addition to the outages...high winds
        ripped apart several roofs in Boulder...including the roof
        of the Boulder County Jail.  At Jefferson County Airport...
        several planes were overturned and some hangars damaged or
        destroyed.  Damage to the airport alone was estimated at
        100 thousand dollars.  In southern Jefferson County...
        localized ground blizzards reduced visibilities in blowing
        snow to less than 20 feet along U.S. Highway 285...resulting
        in several accidents.  In Pine Junction a downed tree
        damaged a nearby residence...when it crashed onto the roof.
        In Bailey...a downed tree crushed a vehicle parked in the
        resident`s driveway.  Total damage estimates for the
        windstorm reached 3 million dollars...making it the fourth
        costliest on record at the time in Colorado.  Other peak
        wind gusts include:  97 mph at Boulder...93 mph at the
        National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab in Boulder...
        88 mph at Nederland...86 mph at Aspen Springs...and 83 mph at
        Blue Mountain near Coal Creek Canyon.  West to northwest
        winds gusted as high as 46 mph at Denver International
2-4   In 2012...a slow moving and powerful storm system brought heavy
        snow to areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and Palmer
        Divide...with blizzard conditions over the northeast plains of
        Colorado. In the Front Range Foothills...the snow piled up to
        over 4 feet in some areas. Across the Palmer Divide...the
        combination of snow and gusty winds resulted in road closures
        with snow drifts ranging from 2 to 5 feet in depth. Northerly
        winds 15 to 25 mph were common with gusts to 40 mph. Several
        snowfall records were also set in Denver. At Denver
        International Airport...12.5 inches of snow feet on the 3rd
        shattered the previous record of 7.5 inches for the date. It
        also set a new daily record for the entire month of February.
        A new 3-day record was also established for Denver. The 3-day
        storm total from February 2nd to the 4th was 15.9 inches...
        which broke the previous record of 14.1 inches in 1912.
        Denver International Airport canceled more than six hundred
        flights. In addition...snow and blowing snow produced near zero
        visibilities...forcing officials to close the westbound lanes of
        Interstate 70...between the Kansas state line and
        well as the eastbound lanes from Denver to Limon. Other road
        closures included State Highway 86...between Kiowa and I-70.
        Across the Urban Corridor storm totals included: 22 inches in
        Broomfield; 21 inches at Lafayette...Louisville and Westminster;
        20 inches at Northglenn; 19 inches at the National Weather
        Service in Boulder...Castle Rock...Centenniel and Parker; 18
        inches in Arvada...16.5 inches in Erie...13.5 inches near
        Longmont; 11 inches in Lyons and 10 inches in Frederick.
        Storm totals in the mountains and foothills included: 51
        inches at Coal Creek Canyon...45.5 inches...4.6 miles northeast
        of Ward; 44.5 inches...3 miles west of Jamestown; 38 inches...3
        miles north of Blackhawk; 37 inches...3 miles west-southwest of
        Conifer and 4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 35.5 inches...
        3.6 miles west-northwest of Boulder; 34 inches...5.2 miles east-
        southeast of Aspen Springs; 33 inches near Evergreen...32 inches
        at Genesee; 31 inches...10.3 miles west of Bellvue and Eldora
        Mountain Ski Resort; 24 inches at Echo Mountain Ski Resort; 21
        inches at Niwot Ridge SNOTEL; and 19 inches at Gross Reservoir.
        Along the Palmer Divide storm totals included: 26 inches...14
        miles east-northeast of Kiowa; 25 inches...10 miles south-
        southwest of Buckley Air Force Base...and 8 miles southeast
        of Watkins; 20 inches near Strasburg; 12 inches near Elizabeth.

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