Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 040959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST SUN DEC 4 2016
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
1-5 In 1913...the 1st marked the start of the heaviest 5-day
total snowfall in the city`s history. During this period
snowfall totaled 45.7 inches. Starting on the 1st...snow
fell intermittently for 3 days and accumulated a little
over 8 inches. On the 4th and 5th...an additional 37.4
inches of snow fell. At Georgetown in the foothills west
of Denver even more snow fell...86 inches over the 5 days
with the most...63 inches...on the 4th. In Colorado...snowfall
was heavy along the eastern slopes of the mountains from the
Palmer Divide north. High winds during the storm caused
heavy drifting...which blocked all transportation. Snow
cover of an inch or more from the storm persisted for
60 consecutive days from the 1st through January 29...1914.
Additional snowfall in December and January prolonged the
number of days. This is the third longest period of snow
cover on record in the city.
2-4 In 1909...post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.1 inches in
downtown Denver. Most of the snow...5.9 inches...fell
between 6:00 PM on the 2nd and 6:00 PM on the 3rd.
North winds were sustained to 18 mph on both the 2nd
2-17 In 1939...more than 2 weeks of unseasonably warm weather
made the month the 3rd warmest on record. Seven daily
temperature records were set...including the all time
record high temperature for the month of 79 degrees on
the 5th. Daytime highs were balmy with 14 days in the
60`s and 70`s. Low temperatures dipped to freezing or
below on only 5 days. The period was dry with only a
trace of snow on the 12th.
3-4 In 1968...strong chinook winds in Boulder gusting to 52 mph
downtown caused 7 thousand dollars in damage. Flying
debris damaged cars...houses...and other property in Boulder.
West winds gusted to 49 mph late on the 3rd and to 45 mph
on the 4th at Stapleton International Airport where the
temperature climbed to a high of 60 degrees on the 4th.
In 1970...strong winds whistled through Boulder. Sustained
winds of 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph were recorded at the
National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. Wind gusts to 50
mph occurred in downtown Denver. No damage was reported.
On the 3rd...northwest winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton
International Airport where the chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 66 degrees on the 4th.
In 1999...heavy snow fell over the foothills and metro Denver.
The heaviest snowfall occurred in the foothills south of
I-70 and near the Palmer Divide. Snowfall totals included:
25 inches near Tiny Town; 18 inches at Conifer; 15 inches
near Evergreen; 14 inches at Chief Hosa...8 miles west of
Castle Rock...and near Blackhawk; 12 inches at Pine Junction
and 8 miles south of Sedalia; 11 inches atop Floyd Hill and
in Roxborough; and 10 inches at Castle Rock. Around metro
Denver...snowfall totals included: 10 inches at Highlands
Ranch...9 inches at Parker...and 8 inches in Aurora and
Wheat Ridge. Elsewhere around the metro area...snowfall
generally ranged from 3 to 5 inches. Only 3.2 inches of
snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver
International Airport on the 3rd.
In 2007...high winds developed in and near the Front Range
Foothills. Peak wind reports included: 88 mph atop Niwot
Ridge; 87 mph atop Mines Peak; 80 mph...3 miles southeast of
Jamestown; 78 mph at Longmont; 74 mph at Table Mesa. A
few power outages occurred in Longmont as broken branches
downed power lines. Northwest winds gusted to 38 mph at
Denver International Airport on the 4th.
In 2013...a storm system brought heavy snow to parts of the
Front Range Foothills. Storm totals included: 12 inches...
7 miles west-southwest of Evergreen; 10.5 inches...3 miles
north of Bailey; 9.5 inches...3 miles west of Jamestown and
5 miles northeast of Ward; 9 inches in Bailey...8.5 inches...
3 miles north of Conifer.
3-15 In 1972...a protracted cold spell held an icy grip on metro
Denver when maximum temperatures never reached above
freezing for 10 consecutive days from the 3rd through
the 12th and minimum temperatures dipped below zero on
eleven consecutive days from the 5th through the 15th.
Daily low temperature records were set with 15 degrees
below zero on the 5th...17 degrees below zero on the 6th...
and 18 degrees below zero on the 10th. Daily record low
maximum readings were set with 3 degrees on the 6th and
6 degrees on the 9th. The very cold temperatures were
caused by 3 to 5 inches of snow cover and a Canadian air
4 In 1884...a windstorm during the afternoon produced
sustained northwest winds to 34 mph with higher gusts.
The strong wind blew one of the wooden slats from the
weather instrument shelter...which broke the wet-bulb
In 1885...north winds were sustained to 40 mph during
the early morning hours. The strong winds were
accompanied by a cold wave.
In 1893...northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with
gusts as high as 55 mph. The chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 58 degrees.
In 1901...chinook winds sustained from the northwest at 40
mph with gusts to 48 mph warmed the temperature to a
high of 55 degrees in the city.
In 1906...rainfall of only 0.01 inch before daybreak was
the only measurable precipitation of the month...ranking
the month the third driest December on record.
In 1910...cold west winds were strong all day with a
sustained speed to 44 mph.
In 1977...northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton
International Airport where the strong chinook winds
warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees.
In 1978...high winds from 50 to near 150 mph occurred in
the Boulder area. A pick-up truck was overturned...and
a camper top was blown off another truck. Some roof
damage was reported. Northwest winds gusted to 48 mph
at Stapleton International Airport...where the chinook
winds warmed the temperature to a high of 57 degrees.
In 1980...wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph occurred along the
foothills. Southwest winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a record high of 69 degrees for the day.
In 1991...a volcanic ash cloud high in the atmosphere was
clearly visible during the late afternoon being
illuminated by the setting sun.
In 1995...very strong downslope winds gusting to 100 mph
in the foothills knocked down trees and power lines...
triggering 800 power outages. Downed power lines sparked
a half dozen brush fires ranging up to 4 acres in size.
In Boulder...a portion of an old drive-in movie screen
was blown down...and several car windows were shattered.
The strongest wind gusts recorded were 100 mph at
Golden Gate Canyon...99 mph at Rocky Flats Environmental
Technology Site...96 mph in north Boulder...94 mph at
Wondervu...81 mph at Conifer...and 77 mph in south Boulder.
West-northwest winds gusted to only 29 mph at Denver
4-5 In 1912...5.2 inches of post-frontal snow fell in downtown
Denver. Most of the snow fell on the 4th when northeast
winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts to 46 mph.
In 1913...a major winter storm produced heavy snowfall and
blizzard conditions in the city. The snow fell continuously
for 40 consecutive hours from 4:30 AM on the 4th until just
before midnight on the 5th and totaled 37.6 inches. The
greatest accumulation on the ground was 32.6 inches at 6:00
PM on the 5th. Strong north winds accompanied the storm
with sustained speeds of 30 mph or more for more than 25
hours. The highest sustained wind velocity was 44 mph
during the afternoon of the 5th. Winds gusted to 46 mph
on the 4th and to 47 mph on the 5th. The winds piled the
snow into 4-and 5-foot drifts. By noon on the 4th traffic
was interrupted...and by evening the heavy wet snow had
blocked most streets and highways. Street cars stalled
when streets became blocked. Automobiles and other
conveyances were abandoned in the streets. By the 5th...
the blockage extended to steam railroads. Flat roofed
buildings collapsed...including the roof of the Calvary
Baptist Church. Many downtown workers were unable to make
it home on the night of the 4th and filled downtown hotels
to overflowing. Some enjoyed the festive mood of the
occasion and partied through the night. The City
Auditorium...jail...and several movie houses served as
shelters for hundreds of people. The snow was remarkably
moist for this time of year with a total water content of
3.44 inches. Temperatures during the storm were between
25 and 34 degrees. Cold weather followed the storm and
snow remained on the ground for a long time. On some street
car lines...it took 6 to 7 days before the right of way could
be cleared. The foothills measured even more snow from the
storm. At Georgetown...the 2 day snowfall totaled 71 inches.
The 2.12 inches of precipitation measured on the 4th is the
greatest calendar day precipitation ever recorded during the
month of December in Denver. The 2.29 inches of
precipitation measured from the 4th into the 5th is the
greatest 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the city
In 1972...only 4.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton
International Airport...but high winds on the evening of
the 4th caused blizzard conditions over the plains east of
Denver. A 21-year-old University of Colorado student
caught in the storm while cross country skiing west of
Boulder froze to death. North winds gusted to 32 mph
at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1979...the Front Range was hit by strong chinook winds.
The Boulder area was hardest hit with winds gusting to
119 mph at Rocky Flats and 92 mph in the city. A wind
gust to 104 mph was recorded at Wondervu. Damage was
widespread...amounting to 1.2 million dollars mainly around
Boulder. Roofs were blown off several buildings and homes...
hundreds of windows were broken...and many cars were damaged
by flying debris. Small planes were severely damaged at
3 airports in the area. West winds gusted to 55 mph at
Stapleton International Airport on the 5th.
In 1996...persistent westerly flow aloft produced more high
winds in and near the Front Range foothills. Several
locations reported hurricane force winds with peak gusts
of 100 to 120 mph. The high winds downed trees and power
lines...leaving 700 residents without power for nearly 4
hours in the communities of Beaver Brook...Blue Valley...
Conifer...Evergreen...and Floyd Hill. A wall of a building
under construction in Lafayette was toppled...a semi-truck
was blown over near the Boulder turnpike damaging a
concrete barrier...and a 60-foot tree crushed a parked
pick-up truck at a Denver residence. High wind gusts
included: an estimated 120 mph at Blackhawk...115 mph at
Aspen Springs...100 mph at the Eldora Ski Resort...75 mph
atop Shanahan Ridge near Boulder...74 mph near Conifer...and
71 mph at the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility.
At Denver International Airport...west winds gusted to 51
mph on the 4th and to only 38 mph on the 5th.
4-6 In 1960...heavy snowfall totaled 12.0 inches over the 3 days
with 5.1 inches on the 4th...5.2 inches on the 5th...and
1.7 inches on the 6th. Rain changed to snow early on the
4th and ended by early afternoon. Snow started again early
on the 5th and continued through midday on the 6th. West
northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 4th. Post cold
frontal temperatures cooled from a high of 38 degrees on
the 4th to a low of 7 degrees below zero on the 6th.