Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 060959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST MON MAR 6 2017
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
4-6 In 1931...a cold front with north winds gusting to 35 mph
on the evening of the 4th brought snowfall on the 5th
into the early morning of the 6th. Heavy snowfall
totaled 6.2 inches. Temperatures plunged from a high
of 58 degrees on the 4th to a low of only 22 degrees
by midnight...which was also the high reading on the
In 1983...a slow moving moisture laden storm produced heavy
snow and rain. Two to three feet of snow fell in the
foothills at Wondervu and Nederland. The southern portion
of metro Denver was buried with 26 inches of snow in
southeast Aurora...25 inches at Franktown...and 19 inches
at Littleton. Snowfall totaled 18.7 inches at Stapleton
International Airport with most of the snow...18.0 inches...
falling on the 5th. Brighton received only 11 inches
of new snow. Boulder was drenched by rain and received
no snow. Precipitation from the storm totaled 3.06
inches at Stapleton International Airport where north
winds gusted to 28 mph. The heavy wet snow snapped many
tree limbs...which fell on power and phone lines causing
many outages. Numerous highways were closed. Two thousand
travelers were stranded at Stapleton International
Airport where only one runway was open for a time. Many
flights were canceled. One home in Denver was severely
damaged when its roof collapsed under the weight of the
heavy snow. The 2.68 inches of precipitation on the 5th
was the greatest calendar day precipitation ever recorded
in the city during March. The 2.79 inches of precipitation
on the 4th and 5th was the greatest 24 hour precipitation
ever measured during March.
5-6 In 1935...3.0 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver. This
was the only measurable snow of the month. Northwest
winds gusted to 29 mph on the 5th.
In 1940...heavy snowfall totaled 9.1 inches over downtown
Denver. North winds gusted to 22 mph.
In 2000...high winds developed in and near the foothills
just prior to the passage of an upper level storm system
moving in from the west. Peak gusts from the windstorm
included: 88 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research near Boulder...82 mph in Boulder...80 mph at the
National Wind Technology Center south of Boulder...79 mph
on Rocky Flats...and 71 mph in Golden Gate Canyon.
Several power lines were downed causing a few brief
outages. Thunderstorms produced southeast wind gusts
to 51 mph at Denver International Airport on the 5th.
In 2003...high winds spread from the mountains down the
eastern slopes. The highest wind gusts were 85 mph
atop the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado
campus in Boulder and 70 mph at the National Wind
Technology Center on Rocky Flats west of Broomfield.
West winds gusted to 44 mph at Denver International
Airport on the 6th.
6 In 1900...west winds were sustained to 41 mph with gusts
to 49 mph.
In 1920...the high temperature warmed to only 6 degrees...
the all-time record low maximum temperature for the
month of March. The same reading also occurred on
In 1972...a wind gust to 100 mph was recorded at Jefferson
County Airport in Broomfield. Winds gusted in Boulder
at speeds of 50 to 65 mph. A light plane was overturned...
and there was damage to other planes at Boulder Airport.
The roof of a garage was blown off...and a mobile home was
overturned in Boulder. A truck was blown off the highway
15 miles east of Boulder. West winds gusted to 51 mph at
Stapleton International Airport. The warm chinook winds
were responsible for setting a new record high temperature
for the date of 75 degrees...exceeding the old record of
72 degrees set in 1925.
In 1990...a blizzard pummeled metro Denver. Snow fell at a
rate of 2 to 3 inches an hour. Gusty north winds whipped
the snow into 2- to 3-foot drifts by noon. During the
afternoon many stores and schools closed. By rush hour
sustained winds of 35 to 46 mph and gusts to 58 mph reduced
visibilities to near zero and whipped the new snow into
3- to 4-foot drifts. Many residential as well as
secondary and primary roads became impassable. I-25
and I-70 were closed in and out of the city. Road crews
cleared drifts as high as 12 feet in southeast Boulder and
northwest Adams counties. Several hundred rush hour
commuters...including the state`s governor...were caught in
the blizzard conditions along a 15-mile stretch of the
Denver-Boulder turnpike. Many remained snowbound in their
vehicles up to 8 hours until rescued by police and the
National Guard. The highway remained closed until mid-day
on the 7th. Shelters for stranded commuters and travelers
were opened in Broomfield and Castle Rock. Many workers
didn`t even try to go home...but filled downtown hotels to
near capacity. By early evening...Stapleton International
Airport was shut down after an airliner with 82 passengers
aboard skidded off a runway. Snowfall totals for the storm
varied from 18 to 50 inches in the foothills above 6
thousand feet...9 to 24 inches west of I-25...and 2 to 12
inches over eastern metro Denver. Snowfall from the storm
totaled 11.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport
where the maximum snow depth on the ground was 7 inches
due to melting.
In 2004...very strong downslope winds developed in and
near the eastern foothills...causing numerous traffic
accidents and extensive property damage to roofs and
aluminum sheds. Three semi-trucks were toppled by the
strong winds near the I-70 and C-470 interchange. One of
the trucks was carrying a modular home...while another was
hauling hazardous material. I-70 had to be closed in
both directions until the accidents could be cleaned up.
Strong winds forced the closure of State Highway 93
between Golden and Boulder...when the road became icy and
snowpacked from localized ground blizzards. Another semi-
truck was blown over near the intersection of State
Highways 72 and 93 atop Rocky Flats. Scattered power
outages were reported across northern and western sections
of metro Denver...affecting around 2000 residents. In
Boulder...several pine trees were uprooted by the high winds.
6-7 In 1981...a storm dumped 4 to 8 inches of snow over higher
elevations between Denver and Colorado Springs. At
Stapleton International Airport...north winds gusted to
16 mph and snowfall totaled only 2.5 inches.
In 1998...heavy snow fell over portions of metro Denver
and the adjacent foothills. Snowfall totals included
11 inches at Chief Hosa...10 inches near Evergreen...8.5
inches in Broomfield...8 inches at Bailey...and 7 inches
at both Standley Lake and Thornton. Elsewhere...snowfall
across metro Denver ranged from 3 to 6 inches with
4.9 inches measured at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport. North winds gusted to 26 mph
at Denver International Airport on the 7th. Several
accidents occurred along area roads and highways when
they became icy and snowpacked.
6-8 In 1932...snowfall totaled 6.3 inches in downtown Denver.
Most of the snow...5.2 inches...fell on the 8th. Northeast
winds gusted to 20 mph on the 6th.