Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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NOUS45 KBOU 140045

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MDT SAT MAY 13 2017

...This week in metro Denver weather history...

13-14 In 1912...heavy snowfall totaled 12.4 inches over the city.
        Most of the snow...9.9 inches...fell on the 13th...which was
        the greatest 24 hour snowfall in May at the time.  This
        was the last snowfall of the season.  The low temperature
        dipped to 27 degrees on the morning of the 14th.
      In 1989...a spring storm brought heavy rain and snow to the
        foothills.  Metro Denver was soaked with 1 to 2 inches
        of rain.  Rainfall totaled 1.26 inches at Stapleton
        International Airport.  In the foothills...Echo Lake
        received 20 inches of snow.  A 30-ton boulder slid onto
        I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel...closing the freeway
        for 2 hours.
14    In 1910...a thunderstorm produced strong winds during the
        afternoon.  Northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.
      In 1913...light moist snow and light hail fell during short
        intervals...although no thunder was heard.  The trace of
        snowfall was the only snow of the month.  Precipitation...
        mostly rain...totaled 0.44 inch.
      In 1984...a pilot reported a tornado 16 miles east of
        Stapleton International Airport.  No damage was reported.
        A thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust in Brighton.
        Thunderstorm winds gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport.
      In 1989...lightning struck a home in Evergreen...setting it
      In 1992...strong thunderstorm winds of unknown velocity...
        knocked over and damaged the infield tote board at
        Arapahoe Park racetrack just southeast of Aurora.
        Damage was estimated at 200 thousand dollars.  No
        injuries were reported.  Lightning started two house
        fires...causing 35 hundred dollars in damage in Adams
        County just 9 miles north-northwest of Denver.
      In 1994...a sudden wind gust...estimated at 40 mph...blew a
        portion of the roof off a shopping center in Lafayette.
        The roof also damaged two parked cars in an adjacent lot.
      In 2001...a construction worker in Castle Rock received minor
        injuries when lightning struck close-by.
      In 2002...a microburst wind gust to 53 mph was recorded at
        Denver International Airport.
      In 2007...severe thunderstorms producing large hail...very
        heavy rain...and tornadoes impacted the Urban Corridor and
        adjacent plains.  Heavy rain associated with a severe
        thunderstorm caused flooding along a small tributary
        draining into the South Platte River.  The incident took
        place at 13th and Decatur St....near Invesco Field.  The
        floodwaters inundated the bike trail adjacent to the creek.
        A woman with her child sought refuge under a bridge and
        became trapped by the high water.  The woman slipped and
        the stroller containing the child was swept into the swift
        current.  The child drowned.  Rainfall totaled 0.42 inches
        at Denver International Airport.  Elsewhere...golfball hail
        was reported near Hudson.  Hail...up to one inch in
        diameter...was observed in Boulder and Lyons.
        Thunderstorm wind gusts estimated to 70 mph were reported
        near Buckley Air Force Base...with a peak wind gust to 37
        mph observed at Denver International Airport.  A small
        tornado touched down near Ft. Lupton but did no damage.
14-15 In 1977...high winds up to 100 mph felled hundreds of trees in
        Gilpin County and caused extensive damage to telephone and
        power lines.  Lumber and steel tanks were blown around in
        Boulder Canyon.  West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport on the 15th.
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.
15    In 1894...southwest winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts
        to 50 mph.
      In apparent cold front produced sustained northeast
        winds to 48 mph.
      In 1986...a thunderstorm dumped an inch of rain in an hour
        over the eastern part of Aurora.  Total rainfall from the
        storm was 1.62 inches.
      In 1989...a 47 year old man...a Lakewood police officer...was
        struck and injured by lightning.  Small hail piled up 3
        to 4 inches deep near Golden.  There was reported street
        flooding from heavy thunderstorm rains over western metro
        Denver.  Rainfall totaled 0.76 inch at Stapleton
        International Airport.
      In 1990...a thunderstorm produced a wind gust to 69 mph at
        Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield.  Thunderstorm winds
        gusting to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport
        produced some blowing dust.
      In 1991...a funnel cloud was sighted near Morrison.  Later...
        hail up to 2 inches deep covered U.S. Highway 285 at South
        Turkey Creek Road in west metro Denver.  Baseball size hail
        was reported on the east side of Littleton.  Dime size hail
        was reported in Boulder.
      In 1993...lightning started a fire which damaged a home in
        Boulder.  No one was injured.
      In 1997...a wind gust to 58 mph was recorded at the site
        of the former Stapleton International Airport.  A street
        sign was blown down at the Havana Street exit along I-70.
      In 1999...lightning ignited a small fire in a 3-story
        structure in Sunshine Canyon above Boulder.  The fire
        was quickly extinguished and caused only minor damage.
      In 2003...thunderstorms produced very heavy rainfall and
        localized flash flooding in the foothills of central
        Boulder County.  Rainfall ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 inches
        in less than 2 hours.  Water ranging in depth from 6 to 9
        inches covered State Highway 119 in Boulder Canyon.  Dirt
        and rocks also washed over the roadway.  Some basements
        were flooded in the Sugarloaf area.  Rockslides were also
        reported at Boulder Falls...Lefthand Canyon...and Fourmile
15-16 In 1957...heavy snowfall totaled 8.8 inches at Stapleton
        Airport. The greatest amount on the ground was 3 inches.
      In 1986...a spring storm dumped 1 to 2 inches of rain over
        metro Denver...but 2.71 inches fell at Buckley Field in
        Aurora.  Rainfall only totaled 0.84 inch at Stapleton
        International Airport.  Snow fell in the foothills with
        7 inches recorded in Coal Creek Canyon southwest of
16    In 1875...a heavy hail storm turned into heavy rain during
        the afternoon.  Rainfall totaled 0.86 inch in just 37
        minutes...while the temperature dropped 22 degrees in
        22 minutes.  Precipitation totaled 0.90 inch.
      In 1894...west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts
        to 56 mph.
      In 1949...a tornado was observed for 16 minutes...20 miles to
        the southeast of Stapleton Airport.  The tornado moved 5
        miles to the northeast before dissipating.  No damage was
      In 1963...intense lightning started several forest fires in
        the foothills southwest of Denver near Deckers and
        Cheeseman Lake.  Little precipitation fell from the storms
        to alleviate the unusual dry conditions so early in the
      In 1978...thunderstorm winds caused damage in southeast
        Aurora.  Winds of 60 to 80 mph blew down numerous fences and
        damaged several homes under construction.  High winds tore
        docks loose at Cherry Creek Reservoir...sinking 3 or 4 boats
        and damaging about 15 others.  At Stapleton International
        Airport where winds gusted to 60 mph...a 727 jet suffered
        15 hundred dollars damage when wind toppled a runway light
        onto it.  The public reported an unconfirmed tornado 7 miles
        south-southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1990...a line of thunderstorms moving across metro Denver
        uprooted a large ash tree...which fell and blocked the
        outside doors to a Denver elementary school...briefly
        trapping the students inside.  Thunderstorm wind gusts to
        69 mph were reported at Jefferson County Airport.
        Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International
      In 1991...two tornadoes touched down briefly in Castle Rock...
        but no injuries or damage were recorded.  Heavy
        thunderstorm rains of 0.50 to 1.10 inches in a couple of
        hours caused Lena Gulch near Golden to flood.  No damage
        was reported.
      In 1996...dry microburst winds of unknown strength overturned
        a trailer and damaged storage sheds in Strasburg east of
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
        International Airport.
      In 1975...hail 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter fell over western
        metro Denver.
      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 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.
18    In 1864...heavy rains combined with melting snow to cause much
        flooding on North Clear Creek in Blackhawk.  Many bridges on
        the road to Denver were washed away by the high water on
        Clear Creek.
      In 1893...northwest winds were sustained to 56 mph with an
        extreme velocity to 60 mph.
      In 1960...large hail to 1 inch in diameter damaged roofs and
        cars in metro Denver.  Heavy snow and rain in the foothills
        caused rock and landslides...which blocked some highways.
        There was widespread minor damage from lightning.
        Hail as large as 1 1/8 inch in diameter was measured at
        Stapleton Airport where winds gusted to 44 mph.
      In 1975...a tornado touched down briefly just south of Buckley
        Field in Aurora.  A few minutes later the same tornado
        touched down in open country 8 miles northeast of
        Stapleton International Airport.  No damage was reported.
      In 1985...3/4 inch hail fell just southeast of Aurora.
      In 1988...lightning started a fire at a home in the foothills
        west of Boulder...causing 50 thousand dollars in damage.
      In 1995...strong thunderstorms rumbled across metro Denver
        dropping mainly pea to marble size hail.  However...hail
        stones as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter fell in Wheat
        Ridge and downtown Denver.  Hail piled up to 2 inches deep
        in Wheat Ridge and northwest Denver.
      In 1996...the Buffalo Creek wildfire started and spread
        rapidly on strong southwest winds at 20 to 30 mph.  Dry
        weather conditions contributed to the spread of the fire...
        which burned nearly 12 thousand acres and destroyed 12
        structures including some houses.
      In 2001...a 19-year-old man was struck and killed by lightning
        as he was walking along the shoulder of U.S. Highway 36 in
      In 2003...hail to 3/4 inch in diameter was measured at Denver
        International Airport.
      In 2010...a small tornado touched down near Firestone but did
        no damage.
18-19 In 2011...a severe thunderstorm in central Adams County
        produced large hail and heavy rainfall on the 18th. Large
        hail from 1 inch to 1 3/4 inches in diameter...was reported
        in Commerce City...2 miles south-southeast of Federal
        Heights...Northglenn...and 2 miles south of Thornton.  In
        Commerce City...the storm uprooted trees and knocked out
        power lines. A carport was lifted off the ground and
        struck the power lines overhead. Heavy rain...from 1.0 to
        1.5 inches fell in less than 2 hours in Commerce City and
        near Brighton.  The combination of hail and strong winds
        broke windows in Northglenn.  In the foothills...moderate to
        heavy snow showers developed overnight. Storm totals
        included: 10.5 inches at Gold Hill...9.5 inches...3 miles
        west of Jamestown; 9 inches at Lake Eldora; with 6 inches...
        11 miles southwest of Gilpin and 4 miles east-northeast of
        Nederland. At Denver International rainfall
        over the 2-day period totaled 1.71 inches.  In addition...a
        peak wind gust to 37 mph was recorded on the 18th.
18-20 In 1915...3.9 inches of snow fell in the city.  The estimated
        amount of snow that melted as it fell was 6.2 inches which
        would have totaled an estimated 10.1 inches of snowfall.
        Precipitation totaled 1.03 inches.  North winds were
        sustained to 32 mph on the 18th.  Low temperatures dipped
        to 25 degrees on both the 18th and 20th...establishing
        record minimums for both dates.
      In 1988...prolonged heavy rainfall drenched metro Denver.
        The event began when heavy thunderstorms on the 18th caused
        some street flooding and power outages...followed by steady
        rain on the 19th and 20th.  Rain amounts across metro
        Denver totaled 3 to 4 inches.  Rainfall totaled 3.71 inches
        at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
        to 39 mph on the 20th.  Four to eight inches of snow fell in
        the foothills above 7 thousand feet.
19    In 1927...southeast winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
        to 44 mph.
      In 1956...a thunderstorm wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at
        Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1969...hail stones to 1 inch in diameter were measured in
        Arvada and Aurora.  Some minor damage was reported.
        Pea to marble size hail fell in Westminster.
      In 1972...a tornado was reported by aircraft about 5 to 10
        miles east of Parker.
      In 1988...lightning started a fire at a house in the Denver
        suburb of Greenwood Village...causing 2 thousand dollars in
      In 1991...strong thunderstorms over east metro Denver produced
        wind gusts of 56 to 60 mph.  The strong winds downed power
        lines...trees...and fences at some locations in Aurora.
        Thunderstorm outflow winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport.
      In 1994...severe thunderstorms rumbled across metro Denver.
        The storms produced wind gusts averaging 65 mph and hail up
        to dime size.  Wind gusts to 77 mph were recorded in
        Brighton.  Numerous trees and power poles were downed by
        the winds.  One power pole fell onto spectators at a high
        school graduation ceremony in Commerce City...injuring 6
        people.  In Fort Lupton...trees fell onto 2 parked cars...
        knocking out the windshields.  Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter
        was reported in Littleton.  A thunderstorm wind gust to 52
        mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1995...a slow moving tornado...which was mainly discernible
        by its dust and debris cloud...was spotted 2 miles northeast
        of Denver International Airport or about 10 miles
        northwest of Bennett.  No damage was reported.
      In 2007...lightning struck a 33-ft statue of Jesus at Mother
        Cabrini the foothills west of Golden.  The blast
        broke off one of the statue`s arms and a hand...and also
        damaged a foot.  It cost an estimated $200000 to repair.
      In 2009...lightning struck the roof of a residence in Highlands
        Ranch.  The home was not a total loss...but the fire caused
        extensive damage.
      In 2010...a thunderstorm produced hail up to 7/8 inch in
        diameter in Thornton.
19-20 In 1864...a devastating major flash flood occurred on the
        normally dry and sandy Cherry Creek in Denver.  The flood
        was caused by heavy thunderstorm rainfall and hail over the
        Palmer Ridge to the south of the city in both the Cherry
        Creek and Plum Creek basins.  Nineteen deaths occurred along
        the South Platte River and Cherry Creek in Denver.  The
        torrent swept cattle and sheep along with large trees and
        houses before it washing out several bridges...and moving
        large structures from their foundations.  All city records
        were destroyed when City Hall washed away.  The Rocky
        Mountain News building...built on stilts in the middle of the
        creek...was totally destroyed by the raging waters...which
        were as deep as 5 feet on the morning of the 20th.  Once
        the flood waters receded...much sand and gravel was left
        behind.  Property damage from the flood was estimated at
        nearly one million dollars.  This was the first major
        flood of record in the city.
20    In 1874...after a light late afternoon shower...3 rainbows
        were visible in the eastern sky.  The two upper bows
        were of the usual colors.  The lower bow had a deep
        violet center with a faint yellow and white rim.
      In 1892...apparent post-frontal north winds were sustained to
        40 mph with gusts to 48 mph.  A trace of snow was the last
        snowfall of the season.
      In 1899...snow pellets from 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter fell
        from a thundershower during the late afternoon.  West winds
        were sustained to 42 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph.
      In 1904...southeast winds were sustained to 40 mph with an
        extreme velocity of 42 mph produced by a thunderstorm.
      In 1961...a tornado tore through central Douglas County...1 1/2
        miles north of Castle Rock.  The storm struck 2 ranches and
        the property of a drilling company.  A car on the highway
        was lifted off the road and slammed into a truck...injuring
        the two occupants.
      In 1983...heavy rain fell in Aurora with 1.00 to 1.50 inches
        of precipitation.  Local flooding occurred in Lakewood.
      In 1990...1 inch diameter hail fell at Buckley Field in
        Aurora.  Minor damage was reported to autos...buildings and
      In 1995...hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter fell near
        Bennett where a funnel cloud was sighted.
      In 2001...damaging winds developed behind a vigorous cold
        front that moved south from Wyoming into metro Denver.
        High winds...gusting to 58 mph at Denver International
        Airport...downed trees and power lines and kicked up blowing
        dust...dirt...and debris...reducing the visibility to near
        zero at times.  The poor visibility caused a multi-vehicle
        accident along U.S. Highway 85 north of Fort Lupton.  Six
        people were treated for minor injuries.  Several vehicles...
        including semi-trailers...were blown off I-70 east of Denver.
        About 32 thousand Xcel Energy customers in metro Denver were
        without electricity for up to 2 hours.  At least a dozen
        incoming flights at Denver International Airport were
        diverted to other airports.  All departing flights were
        grounded for at least an hour.  At Southwest Plaza...shoppers
        were evacuated as rocks holding a tarp on a portion of a
        roof under repair toppled into the mall.  After the passage
        of the cold front...temperatures plunged from the lower 70`s
        to the mid 30`s in one hour as light snow developed.  Heavy
        snow developed in the foothills during the evening.  Peak
        wind reports included 68 mph near Parker and 63 mph near
        Sedalia.  Snowfall totals included:  7 inches near Blackhawk...
        at Ken Caryl Ranch...and near Sedalia; 6 inches in Coal Creek Eldorado Springs...and atop Lookout Mountain; 5
        inches at Chief Louisville...Rollinsville...and Wheat
        Ridge; and 4 inches in Aurora...Bailey...Parker...Castle Rock
        and near Morrison.  Low temperature of 31 degrees during the
        early morning of the 21st equaled the record low for the
        date last set in 1931.
      In 2004...severe thunderstorms produced hail as large as 1.25
        inches near Ft. Lupton and hail to 1.50 inches 10 miles
        north of Ft. Lupton.
      In 2014...severe thunderstorm produced hail...from 1 to 1 1/4
        inches in diameter...across parts of Aurora...Denver...
        Englewood and Lakewood.
20-21 In 1891...heavy rain was mixed with snow at times and totaled
        2.02 inches in the city.  Snowfall was 1.0 inch.  Northeast
        winds gusted to 28 mph on the 20th.
20-22 In 1959...a three-day rain caused some flooding in metro
        Denver where rain totaled 1.68 inches at Stapleton Airport.
        Showers...accompanied by hail near Brighton...caused some
        damage to truck crops.  Heavy snow in the foothills caused
        damage to power and telephone lines.
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 consume 3850
        acres before it could be contained.  Thirteen structures
        were destroyed...including 4 homes...resulting in 2.2 million
        dollars in damage.

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