Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 230859
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT MON MAY 23 2016
...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 Schoonover...to 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 east...golf 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
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 date...as was the low of
32 degrees on the 24th. The high temperature of only 48
degrees equaled the record low maximum for the date.