Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT TUE MAY 23 2017

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

20-27 In 2002...lightning sparked a wildfire near Deckers.  Extremely
        dry conditions and very strong winds the following day
        allowed the fire...known as the consume 3850
        acres before it could be contained.  Thirteen structures
        were destroyed...including 4 homes...resulting in 2.2 million
        dollars in damage.
21-23 In 1876...snow changed to heavy rain over the city...resulting
        in widespread flooding along Cherry Creek and the South
        Platte River...nearly as great as the flash flood of May
        19-20...1864.  However...damage was greater because the city
        had grown much larger and there were more bridges for the
        flood waters to destroy.  Precipitation in the city totaled
        6.70 inches from 10:00 PM on the 21st through 3:00 AM on the
        23rd.  The greatest precipitation ever recorded in Denver in
        24 hours...6.53 inches...occurred on the 21st and 22nd.  Small
        buildings and bridges along Cherry Creek were washed away
        by the flood waters.  Bridges over the South Platte River
        were damaged.  The city irrigation ditch was damaged and
        rendered unfit for service.  Strong winds at speeds of 30
        to 40 mph drove the heavy rain through brick walls 12 to
        16 inches thick.  Many sheep and cattle were either killed
        by lightning or drowned...including some 100 head of cattle
        in Jefferson County alone.  There was immense damage to
        railroad tracks...especially the Kansas Pacific line to the
        east of the city.  The Colorado Central suffered estimated
        damage of 10 to 15 thousand dollars.  In addition...the
        heavy rain caused extensive flooding on Soda and Bear Creeks
        in the foothills.  Flooding along Boulder Creek inundated
        farm and pasture land in the Boulder valley and damaged a
        few bridges.  Rail travel had to be suspended in the area
        for several days.
22-23 In 1933...high winds and gales overnight caused considerable
        damage in and near the city.  Much greenhouse glass was
        broken...which caused damage to sheltered plants.  Great
        numbers of plants growing in the open were damaged or
        killed by wind-driven sand and soil.  Fields were eroded
        by the wind and a few trees were uprooted.  West winds
        were sustained to 38 mph with gusts as high as 65 mph
        in downtown Denver on the 22nd.
23    In 1916...southeast winds were sustained to 43 mph with
        gusts as high as 52 mph.  The winds were strong for
        several hours during the afternoon.
      In 1965...thunderstorm outflow wind gusts to 59 mph were
        recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1987...slow moving thunderstorms bombarded metro Denver.
        One inch diameter hail was reported in south central
        Denver.  Torrential rain caused widespread street flooding...
        stalling traffic throughout the area.  Rainfall totaled
        2.10 inches in just 25 minutes in extreme southeast Aurora.
        Many other locations in Aurora and east Denver reported 1 to
        1 1/2 inches of rain in about 30 minutes.  Thunderstorm
        rainfall totaled 1.33 inches at Stapleton International
        Airport where 1/4 inch diameter hail was measured and north
        winds gusted to 40 mph.  A man was slightly injured by
        lightning near Stapleton International Airport.  Lightning
        also started a fire that severely damaged a house in Aurora.
      In 1990...a microburst wind gust to 52 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport produced some blowing dust.
      In 1991...thunderstorms moving from southwestern sections of
        metro Denver to the east of Denver produced large hail up
        to golf ball size.  An estimated 5 thousand homes and
        8 thousand cars received considerable damage.  Early
        estimates placed damage costs around 60 million dollars.
        Three funnel clouds were also reported...two by personnel
        at Buckley Field and the other by a storm spotter.  Heavy
        rain produced street flooding in Aurora where hail
        accumulated to a depth of 6 inches.  As the storms moved
        to the ball size hail was reported at Strasburg.
      In 1997...hail to 3/4 inch diameter fell in Broomfield.
      In 2002...a very strong microburst near Strasburg swept a
        woman into a swirl of dirt and carried her about 150 feet.
        The woman was in an open field...corralling a yearling horse...
        when the incident occurred.  Fortunately...she received only
        minor injuries.
23-24 In 2002...a Pacific storm system brought much needed snow to
        the mountains and foothills with a mix of rain and snow on
        the plains.  The most snow fell from central Jefferson
        County northward.  Snow totals included:  13 inches in Coal
        Creek Canyon...11 inches near Evergreen and atop Gold Hill...
        10 inches near Blackhawk and Conifer and atop Crow Hill...
        9 inches near Rollinsville...and 8 inches near Genesee and
        Golden.  Rain was mixed with snow across the city.
        Precipitation totaled 0.61 inch at Denver International
        Airport.  Snowfall was less than an inch at the site of the
        former Stapleton International Airport.  The storm brought
        unseasonably cold air to metro Denver.  Three temperature
        records were set.  Low temperature of 31 degrees on the
        23rd was a record minimum for the was the low of
        32 degrees on the 24th.  The high temperature of only 48
        degrees equaled the record low maximum for the date.

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