Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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NOUS45 KBOU 200859

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT FRI MAY 20 2016

...Today in metro Denver weather history...

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.
19-20 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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