Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT FRI MAR 17 2017

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

9-19  In 1906...an extended cold and blustery period occurred with
        light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days.
        The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches
        on the 15th.  Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th.
        High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period.
        The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the
        17th.  Both readings were record low maximums for the dates.
        Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits.  The
        coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees
        below zero on the 19th.  Northeast winds were sustained to
        22 mph on the 9th.  North winds were sustained to 36 mph on
        the 10th...32 mph on the 13th...and 22 mph on the 15th.
17    In 1966...high winds caused extensive minor damage across
        metro Denver.  A light plane was overturned at Stapleton
        International Airport where northwest wind gusts to 55
        mph were recorded.  Winds gusted to 56 mph at Table Mesa
        in Boulder
      In 1989...strong winds raked metro Denver.  West wind
        gusts to 49 mph were clocked at Stapleton International
        Airport.
      In 2003...the first tornado of the season was sighted near
        Strasburg.  The small landspout touched down briefly...but
        caused no damage.
17-18 In 1923...4.2 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver.
        Northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts
        to 49 on the 17th.  Low temperature of zero degrees
        on the 18th was the lowest of the month that year.
      In 1944...heavy snow fell across metro Denver.  The storm
        started as rain on the 17th...but soon turned to snow.
        Snowfall amounts totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver and
        11.0 inches at Stapleton Airport.  The highest wind
        recorded during the storm was 23 mph on the 17th.
      In 1961...a major winter storm dumped 10.7 inches of snow at
        Stapleton Airport.  Most of the snow...9.7 inches...fell
        on the 18th.  Winds were light.
      In 1994...strong winds buffeted metro Denver.  West winds
        gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the
        17th.  Other significant wind gusts included 85 mph atop
        Squaw Mountain south of Idaho Springs...and 82 mph at
        Rollinsville southwest of Boulder...both on the 18th.
      In 1996...a second storm in less than 3 days dumped heavy
        snow in the mountains and foothills again...but snowfall
        amounts across metro Denver ranged from only 2 to 4 inches.
        The heavy snowfall resulted in several traffic accidents
        along I-25 and I-70...south and west of Denver respectively.
        The major accidents involved at least 30 cars and resulted
        in several minor injuries.  The accidents closed both
        highways for a time.  Snowfall totals included 13 inches
        at Evergreen and 10 inches at Conifer.  Snowfall totaled
        only 0.7 inch at the site of the former Stapleton
        International Airport.  At Denver International Airport...
        north winds gusted to 28 mph on the 17th and 39 mph on
        the 18th.
17-19 In 1933...rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th
        and continued through mid-day of the 19th.  Snowfall
        totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in
        in the city.  North winds were sustained to 38 mph with
        gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to
        43 mph on the 19th.
      In 2003...one of the worst blizzards since historic records
        began in 1872 struck metro Denver with a vengeance.  Heavy
        wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to
        more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation
        to a near standstill.  North winds sustained to 30 mph with
        gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the
        city.  The estimated cost of property damage alone...not
        including large commercial buildings...was 93 million dollars...
        making it the costliest snowstorm ever.  Mayor Wellington
        Webb of Denver said..."This is the storm of the century...a
        backbreaker...a record breaker...a roof breaker."  Two people
        died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy
        wet snow.  The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy
        duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east
        of Gun Club Road.  The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes
        and businesses to collapse.  The snow also downed trees...
        branches...and power lines.  Two people were injured when the
        roofs of their homes collapsed.  In Denver alone...at least
        258 structures were damaged.  In Arvada...a roof collapse at
        West Gate Stables killed a horse.  Up to 135 thousand people
        lost power during the storm...and it took several days for
        power to be restored in some areas.  Denver International
        Airport was closed...stranding about 4000 travelers.  The
        weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion
        of the tent roof...forcing the evacuation of that section of
        the main terminal building.  Avalanches in the mountains and
        foothills closed many roads...including I-70...stranding
        hundreds of skiers and travelers.  Along I-70...an avalanche
        released by the Colorado Department of Transportation...blocked
        the interstate in both directions for several hours.  Several
        residences between Bakerville and Silver Plume were evacuated
        because of the high avalanche danger.  At Eldora Ski Area...270
        skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access
        road.  After the storm ended...a military helicopter had to
        ferry food to the resort until the road could be cleared.  The
        heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills
        homes in Jefferson County for several days.  Two homes burned
        to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences.
        Some schools remained closed well into the following week.
        The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of
        the former Stapleton International Airport...the most snowfall
        from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5
        inches on December 4-5...1913.  The storm made March 2003 the
        snowiest March on record...the 4th snowiest month on record...
        and the 5th wettest March on record.  The 22.9 inches of snow
        on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall
        ever recorded in the city during the month of March.  The
        storm was also a drought-buster...breaking 19 consecutive
        months of below normal precipitation in the city.  Snowfall
        across metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet.
        The highest amounts included:  40 inches in Aurora...38 inches
        in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker...37 inches at Buckley
        AFB...35 inches in southwest Denver...34 inches in Louisville...
        32 inches in Arvada...31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster...
        and 22.5 inches in Boulder.  In the foothills...snowfall ranged
        from 3 feet to more than 7 feet.  Some of the most impressive
        storm totals included:  87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in
        Rollinsville...83 inches at Cabin Creek...74 inches near Bergen
        Park...73 inches northwest of Evergreen...72 inches in Coal Creek
        Canyon...70 inches at Georgetown...63 inches near Jamestown...60
        inches near Blackhawk...55 inches at Eldora Ski Area...54 inches
        8 miles west of Sedalia...and 46.6 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch.
        The storm was the result of a very moist...intense slow moving
        Pacific system which tracked across the Four Corners and into
        southeastern Colorado...which allowed deep easterly upslope
        flow to form along the Front Range.

$$


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