Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 170859
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT TUE MAY 17 2016
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
14-18 In 1996...a period of unusually warm weather resulted in
4 record maximum temperatures in 5 days. The record high
temperatures were 87 degrees on the 14th...89 degrees on
the 15th...and 93 degrees on both the 16th and 18th. The
temperature climbed to only 81 degrees on the 17th which
was not a record.
16-17 In 1981...a heavy rain storm dumped 1 to 2 1/2 inches of rain
across metro Denver. Rainfall totaled 1.27 inches at
Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 38 mph on 17th.
In 1983...a very strong late spring storm dumped heavy snow
over the Front Range. Strong winds with the storm produced
blizzard conditions at times. Sustained winds were 20 to
40 mph with a peak gust to 55 mph at Stapleton International
Airport. The foothills received 1 to 2 feet of snow
with 4 to 12 inches along the foothills. Howling winds
whipped the snow into drifts several feet deep...closing
schools and highways. Stapleton International Airport was
forced to reduce flight operations...closing 2 of 4 runways
and stranding hundreds of travelers. Most of the damage
and inconvenience caused by the storm was in power outages...
which occurred when wind and heavy wet snow caused hundreds
of power poles to snap and topple. About 20 square miles
of Denver were blacked out. Precipitation from the storm
totaled 1 to 3 inches. At Stapleton International Airport...
snowfall totaled 7.1 inches with a maximum snow depth on
the ground of only 2 inches due to melting. The high
temperature of 40 degrees on the 17th was a record low
maximum for the date. Due to the heavy moisture content
of the storm...widespread street flooding occurred on the
18th when much of the snow melted under the warm May sun
and temperatures climbed to a high of 57 degrees.
In 1995...significant moisture and upslope flow caused
flooding across metro Denver. Moderate to heavy rains...
which began on the evening of the 16th...developed in the
foothills and spread eastward over metro Denver throughout
the night. The heavy rains brought many creeks and small
streams to bankfull or slightly over. Locations along the
foothills received between 3 and 4 inches of rainfall from
the storm. Boulder received 3.60 inches of rainfall for
the 24-hour period...causing minor street flooding near
small streams. To the northwest of Boulder...a bridge which
crossed Fourmile Creek was washed out. Numerous rock and
mudslides occurred in foothills canyons...closing portions
of U.S. Highways 6 and 40 and State Highway 119 for a few
hours at a time. Rocks were piled 6 feet deep on a stretch
of State Highway 119 along with boulders as large as cars on
U.S. Highway 6. A parking lot near a creek in Golden caved
in leaving a hole the size of an 18-wheeler. Rushing water
washed out a 50-foot stretch of a road in Westminster.
Rainfall totaled 1.75 inches at Denver International
Airport...but only 1.42 inches at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport.
17 In 1903...southwest winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts
to 45 mph from an apparent microburst which produced only
a trace of rain.
In 1960...hail to 3/4 inch diameter was measured in Thornton.
Golf ball size hail fell in Arvada.
In 1972...microburst winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
In 1975...hail 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter fell over western
In 1978...a small tornado touched down in south Aurora
damaging 40 homes...6 to a considerable extent. One garage
was demolished and blown across the street. Parts of roofs
were completely blown away. Several 2x4-inch boards were
blown into the sides of houses. Another small tornado in
Parker damaged two airplanes. Other funnel clouds were
sighted over Northglenn and near Golden.
In 1985...a thunderstorm produced a total of 1.50 inches of
rain in Brighton where 0.72 inches fell in 40 minutes.
Small hail covered the ground...and there was some street
and basement flooding.
In 1987...small hail piled up 4 inches deep in southwest
Aurora. There was also widespread street flooding and a
few power outages. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter
fell at Castle Rock.
In 2000...high winds occurred along and east of the Front Range
foothills...as a deep surface low pressure center formed over
the northeast plains of Colorado. An amusement park in
north Boulder received about 25 thousand dollars in property
damage. Peak wind reports included: 88 mph at the National
Wind Technology Center...84 mph in Boulder...and 80 mph at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory.
A powder keg of severe weather...including tornadoes and
thunderstorms producing large hail...damaging winds and
heavy rain...occurred over the plains to the northeast of
Denver. The only severe weather reported across metro
Denver was 1 inch diameter hail in Littleton.