Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 050959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST MON DEC 5 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.
2-17 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.
3-15 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
4-5 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.
5 In 1897...west chinook winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts
to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 60 degrees.
In 1906...only a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver.
This...along with a trace of snow on both the 28th and 29th...
was the only snow of the month...ranking the month the
second least snowiest December on record.
In 1939...the highest temperature ever recorded in December...
In 1979...strong chinook winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton
In 1993...strong winds in and near the foothills swept across
metro Denver. Wind gusts to 71 mph were recorded atop
Squaw Mountain and 68 mph at Rollinsville. Wind gusts to
69 mph were observed at Jefferson County Airport near
Broomfield...and to 68 mph on Table Mesa in southwest
Boulder. Northwest wind gusts to 44 mph were recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 2002...only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. This...along with the trace
of snow on the 18th...was the only snow of the month...ranking
the month the 2nd least snowiest on record.
In 2005...high winds in Boulder broke windows...damaged roofs...
and produced power outages that left around 10 thousand
people without electricity. In the Golden area along
C-470...I-70...and the McIntyre Parkway...seven tractor
trailers were overturned by strong cross-winds. Peak
wind gusts included: 98 mph near Eldorado Springs...90 mph
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder...
85 mph near Evergreen...83 mph at Jefferson County Airport
near Broomfield...80 mph near Golden...and 76 mph near
Longmont. West to northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at
Denver International Airport.
5-6 In 1883...a major snow storm hit the city. Heavy snow fell
from 10:00 AM on the 5th to 7:30 AM on the 6th. The amount
of snowfall was not recorded...but precipitation from melted
snow totaled 1.75 inches...which would give an estimated
snowfall of nearly 18 inches. Temperatures during the
storm were in the 30`s...so some of the snow may have melted
as it fell. However...railroads were blocked and telegraph
lines were downed in all directions. Telephone wires and
poles were nearly all broken down. The company manager
estimated the damage at 30 thousand dollars. Northeast
winds were sustained to 24 mph in the city.
In 1892...heavy snow totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver.
Most of the snow...6.0 inches...fell on the 6th.
In 2001...high winds developed in the foothills northwest of
Denver. Winds gusted to 74 mph at Aspen Springs. West-
northwest winds gusted to 35 mph at Denver International
Airport...where the temperature warmed to a high of 55
degrees on the 6th.
5-7 In 1978...a major storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver.
At Stapleton International Airport...snowfall totaled 8.5
inches...northeast winds gusted to 46 mph...and temperatures
plunged from a high of 49 degrees on the 5th to a low of
only 6 degrees on the 6th. Maximum temperature of 6 degrees
on the 7th was a new daily record low maximum reading. Most
of the snow...6.7 inches...fell on the 5th.
5-8 In 1983...high winds occurred in and near the foothills each
day. Wind gusts to 63 mph were registered in Golden Gate
Canyon on the evening of the 5th. On the evening of the
6th...winds knocked down trees...snapped power lines...and blew
out windows across metro Denver. Gusts were clocked to 102
mph in southwest metro Denver...while wind gusts to 38 mph
were recorded at Stapleton International Airport. On the
7th...winds overturned a tractor trailer near Castle Rock.
After midnight on the 8th...gusts to 97 mph were reported in
southeast Boulder. Wind speeds of 60 to 70 mph were
reported in other parts of metro Denver.