Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 040145
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MST SAT DEC 3 2016
...This week 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.
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.
6 In 1939...high temperature of 73 degrees was a record maximum
for the date. Low temperature of 44 degrees was a record
high minimum for the date.
In 1967...strong west winds produced blowing dust at Stapleton
International Airport where a wind gust to 55 mph was
recorded. A heavy windstorm caused minor damage in Boulder.
In Denver...some structural panels were blown from a building...
and the screen of an outdoor theater was severely damaged.
There were unofficial reports of wind gusts to 75 mph in
In 1977...wind gusting to 85 mph raked the foothills from
Boulder to Morrison. A few houses under construction
were blown down. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1991...high in the atmosphere...a volcanic ash cloud was
clearly visible in the direction of the sun during the
late morning and early afternoon.
6-7 In 1953...high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. Wind
gusts to 80 mph occurred on Lookout Mountain. In Denver
winds gusted to 65 mph. Damage in Boulder totaled 15
7 In 1897...west winds were sustained to 53 mph with gusts to
66 mph. The chinook winds warmed the temperature to a
high of 62 degrees...the warmest day of the month.
In 1957...a vigorous cold front produced a dust storm as it
moved south across metro Denver. West-northwest wind gusts
to 59 mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where the
surface visibility was briefly reduced to 1/2 mile in
blowing dust. Light snowfall of only 0.8 inch followed
the passage of a secondary Canadian cold front.
In 1958...the worst wind storm in several years caused 10
thousand dollars damage in Boulder where wind gusts were
estimated to 75 mph.
In 1977 winds up to 115 mph were reported in the Boulder
area where one house was unroofed and another damaged.
One woman was knocked down by the wind and injured.
Several families were evacuated from homes in Boulder.
Damage to trailers and motor vehicles was widespread.
West winds gusted to 54 mph at Stapleton International
Airport where the chinook winds warmed the temperature
to a high of 64 degrees.
In 1987...strong winds buffeted the Front Range foothills.
A peak gust to 93 mph was recorded at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Nearby...a metal shed
was blown over a fence into a tree two houses away. Wind
gusts of 70 to 80 mph were common in Boulder.
In 1988...4 to 8 inches of snow fell across metro Denver and
caused traffic gridlock conditions on area highways. The
3.9 inches of snow at Stapleton International Airport caused
two-hour flight delays. Northeast winds gusted to 25 mph.
In 2005...a brief cold snap resulted in record breaking
temperatures. The low temperature of 13 degrees below zero
was a record minimum for the date. The high temperature of
only 3 degrees was a record low maximum for the date. The
cold temperatures were accompanied by 1.4 inches of light
snow that was measured at Denver Stapleton overnight on the
6th and 7th.
7-9 In 1919...an apparent Arctic cold front brought extreme cold
and light snow to the city. Snowfall totaled only 2.5
inches on the 7th and 8th. Temperatures dipped to lows
of 14 degrees below zero on the 8th and to 20 degrees below
zero on the 9th. Both readings were daily record minimums.
High temperatures were only 4 degrees on the 8th and 7
degrees on the 9th.
In 1923...a major storm dumped 13.5 inches of snowfall on
downtown Denver. The apparent post-frontal snowfall
started during the late afternoon of the 7th and continued
through the evening of the 9th. Temperatures dipped from a
high of 66 degrees on the 7th with west winds sustained to
35 mph to a low of only 14 degrees on the 9th...with north
winds sustained to 25 mph.
8 In 1880...severe winds buffeted the eastern foothills...causing
some damage in Boulder.
In 1987...high winds damaged a chimney and roof of a house
near Bergen Park in the foothills west of Denver. Gusts
were estimated to 70 mph. Northwest winds gusted to
33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
8-9 In 1943...4.5 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. This
was the only measurable snow of the month. North winds
were sustained to 26 mph on the 8th.
In 2003...snowfall totaled 3 to 6 inches across metro Denver.
Snowfall was heavier in and near the foothills with
8.0 inches measured in Boulder and 10 miles southwest of
Sedalia. Snowfall was 3.9 inches at the site of the
former Stapleton International Airport. Most of the snow
fell on the 8th...as the snow ended shortly after midnight.
North winds gusted to 29 mph at Denver International
In 2008...an upslope snowstorm produced heavy snow in and near
the foothills of Boulder...Jefferson and Douglas Counties...
and along the Palmer Divide south of Denver. Storm totals
in the foothills ranged from 8 to 15 inches. In Boulder
and in areas west and south of Denver...storm totals ranged
from 6 to 13 inches. The snowfall measurement at Denver
International Airport was 3.9 inches.
8-10 In 1985 a slow moving storm dumped 10 to 20 inches of snow
over the northeast plains...closing schools and businesses
in many areas along the Front Range north of Denver. At
Stapleton International Airport...snowfall totaled 9.9 inches
with a maximum snow depth of 7 inches on the ground. North
winds gusted to 24 mph. The snow caused long air traffic
delays at Stapleton International Airport on the 9th.
In 1997...persistent light to moderate snowfall combined
with strong and gusty northerly winds to produce much
blowing and drifting snow across metro Denver. The
hardest hit areas were south of Denver where north winds
at speeds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph caused near
whiteout conditions. The strong winds produced drifts
2 to 4 feet deep and dropped wind chill temperatures
well below zero. Sections of both I-25 and I-70 and other
roads were closed as travel became impossible due to
blowing snow. Numerous traffic accidents were reported and
a handful of people were stranded during the snowstorm.
Snowfall totals included: 22 inches at Conifer...13 inches
at Castle Rock...12 inches at Parker...and 8 inches in
southeast Aurora. Snowfall totaled 5.5 inches at the
site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
North winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International
Airport on the 10th.
8-12 In 1932...the second longest sub-zero period on record in
Denver occurred. The temperature fell below zero shortly
after 1:00 PM on the 8th and remained below zero for 92
hours until 9:00 AM on the 12th. The lowest temperature
recorded during this period was 13 degrees below zero on
both the 9th and 11th. That temperature on the 11th was
a record low for the date. High temperatures of 4 on the
8th...5 below zero on the 9th...1 below zero on the 10th...
and 6 below zero on the 11th were record low maximum
temperatures for those dates. Light north winds at 5 to
10 mph were accompanied by occasional light snow...which
totaled only 2.2 inches.
9 In 1898...the very cold air mass that settled over the
city behind an apparent cold front on the 7th plunged
temperatures to a low of 20 degrees below zero. The
high temperature climbed to only 5 degrees.
In 1910...chinook west winds sustained to 46 mph warmed
the temperature to 60 degrees...the warmest reading
of the month that year.
In 1919...the minimum temperature dipped to 20 degrees
below zero in downtown Denver...setting a record low
for the date.
In 1984...high winds occurred in the foothills with a gust
to 69 mph recorded at Golden Gate Canyon west of Denver.
West winds gusted to 36 mph at Stapleton International
In 1992...high winds were recorded over most of the day in the
Front Range foothills. Wind gusts to 95 mph were measured
in the Table Mesa area of Boulder. Northwest winds gusted
to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1993...a weather observer in Boulder recorded a wind gust
to 73 mph. North winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton
In 1998...metro Denver and areas in the foothills received
the first significant snowfall in more than a month.
The upslope snow event deposited up to 17 inches in the
foothills with generally 4 to 8 inches across metro
Denver west of I-25. Snowfall totals included 17 inches
at Crescent Park and 16 inches in nearby Coal Creek Canyon.
Other snow amounts included: 16 inches at Tiny Town; 14
inches at Chief Hosa...Evergreen...and Genesee; 13 inches in
Conifer; 12 inches at Nederland; 11 inches in Eldorado
Canyon; 9 inches just west of Boulder; 8 inches in Boulder;
and 7 inches in Broomfield and Golden. Only 3.6 inches of
snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 26 mph at Denver
9-13 In 1961...cold arctic air produced a protracted cold period.
The temperature plunged to 16 degrees below zero on the
10th...establishing a new record for the date and the
coldest reading since 25 degrees below zero on February 1...
1951. Low temperatures dipped below zero on 5 consecutive
days with 9 degrees below zero on the 9th...16 below on the
10th...10 below on the 11th...and 12 below on both the 12th
and 13th. High temperatures reached only 3 degrees on the
10th and 6 degrees on the 11th.
10 In 1953...snowfall totaled 3.8 inches at Stapleton Airport
where northeast winds were sustained at speeds to 47 mph
and gusted to 60 mph behind a cold front.
In 1969...sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph in
downtown Boulder caused minor damage. Northwest winds
gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1980...winds to 60 mph whistled through Boulder.
In 1987...strong winds in the foothills spread over northern
portions of metro Denver. Wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph were
common in Boulder and southwestern Weld counties. However...
the highest reported wind gust...94 mph...occurred near
Rollinsville. A northwest wind gust to 36 mph was recorded
at Stapleton International Airport.
10-11 In 1933...downslope winds produced warm temperatures...resulting
in record high minimums of 46 degrees on the 10th and 44
degrees on the 11th. High temperatures of 66 degrees on the
10th and 62 degrees on the 11th were not records. Southwest
winds were sustained to 16 mph on the 10th.
In 1939...high temperatures of 70 degrees on the 10th and 74
degrees on the 11th were record maximums for the dates.
The low temperatures of 39 degrees on the 10th and 41
degrees on the 11th were not records.
In 1948...high winds in Boulder and Louisville caused 1750
dollars in damage. Wind gusts in excess of 70 mph were
reported at Valmont and Boulder Airport. Chinook wind
gusts to 60 mph briefly reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile
in blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1989...the season`s greatest snowfall to date hit metro
Denver with 6 to 12 inches of snow. Flight delays at
Stapleton International Airport reached 2 hours. Multiple
wrecks snarled traffic on I-25 both north and south of the
city. Snowfall totaled 7.0 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where north winds gusted to 25 mph
on the 10th.