Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 150145
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MST SAT JAN 14 2017
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
13-16 In 1888...a cold air mass settled over the city and caused
temperatures to plunge well below zero on four consecutive
days...but only one temperature record was set. Minimum
temperatures dipped to 4 degrees below zero on the 13th...
19 degrees below zero on the 14th...20 degrees below zero
on the 15th...and 11 degrees below zero on the 16th. The
maximum temperature of only 4 degrees below zero on the
14th was a record low maximum for the date. North winds
were sustained to 30 mph on the 13th.
14-15 In 1908...heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.5 inches
overnight. North winds were sustained to 32 mph. The
temperature dropped 41 degrees in 24 hours from a reading
of 48 degrees at 8:00 PM on the 14th to only 7 degrees at
8:00 PM on the 15th.
In 1950...strong winds occurred in Boulder and Louisville.
Winds in excess of 60 mph were recorded at Valmont. Minor
damage was reported. Southwest winds gusted to 50 mph
at Stapleton Airport.
In 1959...a total of 5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton
In 1992...snow spread from the mountains across metro Denver.
The heaviest snow was across the northern portion of the
area where 7 inches fell at Thornton. At Stapleton
International Airport...only 3.4 inches of snowfall were
recorded and northeast winds gusting to 37 mph caused
some blowing snow on the 14th.
In 1999...high winds howled across metro Denver. In Commerce
City...strong winds toppled 3 utility poles resulting in a
power outage to 600 homes. High wind reports included:
108 mph at Wondervu...80 mph at the Hiwan Golf Course in
Evergreen...76 mph at Aspen Springs...75 mph at the Jefferson
County Airport near Broomfield...74 mph in Boulder...and 70
mph at Georgetown. West to northwest winds gusted to 48
mph...the highest wind gust of the month...and warmed the
temperature to a high of 60 degrees at Denver International
Airport on the 15th.
14-21 In 1930...a protracted cold spell occurred when low temperatures
plunged below zero on 8 consecutive days. The coldest low
temperatures of 20 degrees below zero on the 17th and 19
degrees below zero on the 16th were record minimums for
the dates. High temperatures during the period ranged from
18 on the 18th to zero on the 20th. Two degrees on the
15th was a record low maximum temperature for the date.
15 In 1875...the wind backed from the southwest to the northeast
before noon. The temperature fell 48 degrees in one hour...
from a high of 52 degrees to only 4 degrees between
11:30 AM and 12:30 PM...as cold Arctic air surged back over
In 1888...the low temperature dipped to 20 degrees below
In 1906...southwest winds were sustained to 44 mph.
In 1921...south winds were sustained to 44 mph with gusts to
48 mph. The winds warmed the temperature to a high of
63 degrees. The low temperature of only 47 degrees was a
record high minimum for the date.
In 1943...strong chinook winds struck the Front Range
foothills. Wind gusts to 96 mph were recorded at Valmont
in east Boulder...with 90 mph measured at Boulder Airport.
Some damage occurred.
In 1976...strong chinook winds with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph
were recorded along the foothills. Northwest winds gusted
to 46 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982...a vigorous cold front plunged temperatures 22
degrees in an hour from 39 to 17 degrees. Strong northeast
winds at 30 mph with gusts to 46 mph...along with some snow
flurries...reduced the visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust
at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1987...heavy snow hit metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 10.3
inches at Stapleton International Airport...but amounts
across the area ranged from 3 inches in southeast Aurora
to 18 inches in the western and southwestern suburbs. Only
an inch of snow was measured at Castle Rock. A half foot to
a foot of snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and
Boulder. Some schools were closed due to the storm.
Temperatures hovered in the teens most of the day at
Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 30 mph.
In 1988...high winds were clocked in Boulder with a gust to 70
mph recorded at Table Mesa.
In 1998...strong winds developed in and near the Front Range
foothills. Winds gusted to 71 mph at Jefferson County
Airport near Broomfield. South-southwest winds gusted to
only 25 mph at Denver International Airport.
15-16 In 1967...a major windstorm struck Boulder. The storm was
described at the time as the worst single windstorm in the
history of Boulder in terms of damage. Winds reached 125
mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at
Boulder airport. Winds gusted to 84 mph downtown. Damage
totaled a half million dollars in Boulder where some minor
injuries were reported. At the Boulder Municipal Airport...
14 light airplanes were severely damaged. The second floor
of a warehouse was blown down...damaging two nearby moving
vans. A mobile home was blown over south of Boulder...
injuring one woman. The roof of a department store was
blown in. There was widespread damage to houses...autos...
and power lines from wind and flying debris. Strong winds
also occurred in Denver and Golden...but damage was only
minor. At Stapleton International Airport...west winds
gusted to 43 mph on the 15th and to 45 mph on the 16th.
In 1981...heavy snow of 6 to 10 inches accumulated across
metro Denver. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where east winds gusted to 21 mph on
In 1991...a Pacific storm system moved across metro Denver.
Snowfall totaled 3 to 7 inches with 3 inches in Aurora...
Denver...and Castle Rock...4 inches in Arvada...and 7 inches
at South Platte Station just southwest of Denver.
Snowfall totaled only 2.9 inches at Stapleton International
Airport where north winds gusted to 21 mph on the 16th.
In 2001...heavy snow fell across the Front Range foothills
and urban corridor. The combination of careless driving
and snowpacked highways resulted in 3 multi-vehicle
accidents involving 30 vehicles...along I-25 in Douglas
County. Eleven people were injured and one was killed.
Snow amounts included: 11 inches in Evergreen; 10 inches
at Eldorado Springs and Genesee; 8 inches at Broomfield...
Ken Caryl Ranch...and Thornton; and 5 to 7 inches in
Arvada...Bailey...Crow Hill...Gross Reservoir...Lakewood...
Louisville...Westminster...and near Loveland. Snowfall
totaled 2.7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
15-23 In 1962...a protracted cold spell kept metro Denver in the
deep freeze for more than a week. From the 15th thru the
23rd...low temperatures were zero or below for 9 consecutive
days...but a daily record low was set only on the 22nd when
the temperature dipped to 14 degrees below zero. A record
low maximum for the date was also set on the 22nd when the
temperature climbed to only 11 degrees. The coldest high
temperature was 3 degrees above zero on the 21st...which did
not break the record. The protracted cold was broken for
only a few hours on the afternoon of the 20th when chinook
winds warmed the temperature to a high of 38 degrees before
another surge of cold Arctic air plunged temperatures
back into the deep freeze that evening. The severe cold
caused much damage to water systems. A woman was frozen to
death at Morrison. There were other deaths attributable to
the weather...including traffic deaths and heart attacks
16 In 1911...a trace of rain fell...a rare event in January.
In 1935...rainfall was 0.01 inch during the afternoon...a
rare event in January.
In 1989...wind gusts to 80 mph were reported in southwest
Boulder. Winds reached 100 mph at Rollinsville in the
foothills southwest of Boulder. In Golden...the wind blew
a 25-foot trailer through a fence and flipped it over.
West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton International
Airport where the chinook winds warmed the temperature
to a high of 49 degrees.
16-17 In 1886...a brief cold spell resulted in two temperature
records. High temperatures of zero degrees on the 16th
and 2 degrees below zero on the 17th were both record
low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures of
8 degrees below zero on the 16th and 16 degrees below
zero on the 17th were not records.
In 1930...temperatures plunging well below zero resulted
in two records. Low temperatures of 19 degrees below
zero on the 16th and 20 degrees below zero on the 17th
were record low temperatures for the dates. High
temperatures were 4 degrees on the 16th and 15 degrees
on the 17th. Light snowfall totaled 4.0 inches. North
winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 16th.
In 1964...high winds struck the eastern foothills. Gale
velocity winds were recorded in Boulder with gusts to 83
mph measured at Rocky Flats. Several airplanes were
damaged at the Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield.
Roofs...walls...and parts of buildings were blown away at
various locations. Power poles and trees were blown over.
16-18 In 1943...light snowfall totaled 3.2 inches over the 3 days.
This was the only measurable snow of the month. North
winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 16th.
In 2011...very strong winds associated with an upper level
jetstream over Colorado produced blizzard conditions in
the mountains above timberline. Peak wind gusts
included: 99 mph atop Loveland Pass...94 mph...2 miles
southwest of Mary Jane...80 mph atop Berthoud Pass and
79 mph atop Niwot Ridge. Storm totals in the ski areas
west of Denver ranged from 8 to 14 inches.
17 In 1872...light snow fell during the morning and continued
into the afternoon until 3:30 PM. The sky commenced to
clear a little before 2:00 PM...but snow fell thickly for
at least half an hour even though the sky was perfectly
clear overhead. Melted snow totaled 0.33 inches.
In 1888...northwest winds were sustained to 46 mph in the city.
In 1905...intermittent rain...unusual in January...occurred
during the day. The rain changed to snow during the late
evening...but ended before midnight. Snowfall was 2.0 inches.
Precipitation totaled 0.62 inch. The temperature ranged
from a high of 44 degrees to a low of 32 degrees.
In 1950...wind gusts to 62 mph caused some blowing dust at
In 1982...one of the worst wind storms in many years hit the
Front Range foothills. The strongest winds occurred in
Boulder where at 2:30 AM a wind gust to 147 mph was recorded
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research...on the mesa
in southwest Boulder. At this location 20 wind gusts over
120 mph were clocked between 1:00 AM and 9:00 AM. An
estimated 40 percent of all buildings in Boulder received
at least minor wind damage. About 50 homes were damaged
enough to be uninhabitable. At least 15 homes in the Table
Mesa area of Boulder lost roofs. Twenty small airplanes
were destroyed at the Boulder airport. Utility poles were
snapped in two...and about one-seventh of the buildings in
the area were without power. Insured damage totaled 20
million dollars making the wind storm the most costly
on record in Colorado at the time.
In 1989...high winds were recorded along the eastern foothills
with gusts to 90 mph recorded at Rollinsville. North of
Denver on I-25...the wind injured two men when their tractor
trailer was blown off the road and rolled. West winds
gusted to 48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1990...an intense but localized snow storm caught many
people by surprise when it dumped 3 to 6 inches of snow
during a 3-hour period across portions of Boulder County.
The storm swath approximately 20 to 30 miles wide stretched
northeast from Boulder to just east of Longmont. Only
light snow fell over the remainder of metro Denver with
0.2 inch of snowfall measured at Stapleton International
Airport where northeast winds gusted to 30 mph.
In 1998...strong winds in the foothills spread over the plains
mainly north of metro Denver. Winds gusted to 75 mph at
Golden Gate Canyon. West winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver
17-18 In 1974...rare overnight January rainfall totaled 0.12 inch
on the 17th and 0.26 inch on the 18th when it was
briefly mixed with snow.
In 2012...Damaging winds developed in and near the Front Range.
In Boulder...the high winds knocked down several trees...power
poles and electrical lines. Some of the fallen trees damaged
homes and automobiles. A semi-trailer was blown on its side
along State Highway 93 near Marshall. Peak wind gusts
included: 104 mph in south Boulder; 98 mph...3 miles
southwest of Pinecliffe; 95 mph...2 miles northwest of Rocky
Flats; 92 mph...at State Highway 93 near Marshall; 87 mph at
Berthoud Pass and in Boulder Canyon; 80 mph...5 miles west-
northwest of Boulder; 83 mph at NCAR Mesa Lab; 78 mph...8
miles northeast of Four Corners; 79 mph at the National Wind
Technology Center; 76 mph at Wondervu; 75 mph atop Loveland
Pass and the NCAR Foothills Lab in Boulder; 74 mph at Blue
Mountain...Boulder Municipal Airport...1 mile northwest of
Lyons; 73 mph...4 miles east-northeast of Nederland; 72 mph
at the Junction of State Highways 72 and 93; 62 mph in
Superior; and 61 mph at Erie Municipal Airport. A peak wind
gust of 38 mph from the northwest was observed at Denver
18 In 1874...light rain...rare in January...changed to snow
which totaled 3 inches.
In 1959...strong gusty winds caused damage to buildings...
airplanes...trees...and a radio tower in Boulder...
Broomfield...Denver...and Longmont. A wind gust to 70 mph
was recorded in Longmont. In Boulder...the top of a radio
tower was toppled and signs...trees...and trailer houses were
blown over. In southwest Denver...a mother and child were
injured when their car was struck by a sign that had blown
loose in the wind. Minor damage to buildings and power
lines was reported in the area. Northwest winds gusted
to 38 mph at Stapleton Airport. Post-frontal east
northeast winds gusted to 40 mph.
In 1961...northeast winds gusted to 29 mph and snowfall
totaled only 0.1 inch at Stapleton Airport...but 2 to 7
inches of snow fell in the foothills west of Denver.
In 1975...a strong cold front roared through metro Denver
producing north wind gusts to 52 mph and briefly reducing
the visibility at Stapleton International Airport to less
than 5/8 mile in blowing dust. The windstorm caused
considerable damage to utility lines...homes...fences...
commercial buildings...autos...and schools. Heaviest
damage was near the foothills where winds hit 80 mph
at Boulder and at Rocky Flats northwest of Denver.
The cold front caused temperatures to drop 13 degrees
in one hour. Temperatures fell from a maximum of 61
degrees in the early afternoon to a minimum of 31 degrees
In 1984...the coldest morning of the new year produced
record breaking temperatures with a low of 19 degrees
below zero for the date at Denver. Many other cities
also reported record cold.
In 1985...highs winds occurred in the foothills with gusts
reported to 60 mph at Evergreen. Northwest winds gusted
to 38 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1986...wind gusts to 60 mph were reported in Boulder.
West winds gusted to 31 mph at Stapleton International
In 1999...damaging downslope winds caused problems in the
foothills. In Eldora...the roof was blown off an A-frame
house. Peak wind gusts included: 100 mph at Central
City...84 mph at Wondervu...77 mph atop Blue Mountain...
75 mph in Golden Gate Canyon...72 mph at the Rocky Flats
Environmental Test Facility...and 70 mph at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory near
Boulder. West winds gusted to 36 mph and warmed
the temperature to a high of 63 degrees...the highest
reading of the month at Denver International Airport.
In 2006...high winds occurred in northern Jefferson and
southern Boulder counties. A peak wind gust to 81 mph
was recorded near Superior along with a gust to 80 mph
near Boulder. Five teenagers started a grassfire near
Plainview atop Rocky Flats. The high winds coupled
with very dry conditions allowed the fire to quickly
spread...forcing the evacuation of dozens of residents
and the closure of State Highways 93 and 72. The fire
consumed 2700 acres and destroyed two outbuildings. No
homes were damaged and no one was injured by the blaze.
West winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International
18-19 In 1980...a slow moving storm deposited 4 to 10 inches of
snow across metro Denver with the greatest amounts in the
foothills. Flights were delayed 30 to 40 minutes at
Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled
5.5 inches and north winds gusted to 22 mph.
In 1988...a blizzard produced strong winds and heavy snow
across eastern Colorado. Ten-foot drifts were common and
many roads were closed including I-70...I-76...and I-25.
In the Denver area...4.0 inches of snow fell at Stapleton
International Airport where north winds gusting to 40 mph
reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile at times.
18-20 In 1958...snowfall totaled 6.9 inches at Stapleton Airport
where east-northeast winds gusted to 26 mph on the 18th.
18-24 In 2005...a week of mid-winter unseasonably warm weather
pushed high temperatures into the 60`s or more on all
but one day. During the period...the highest temperature
of 70 degrees on the 20th was a new record maximum for
the date. Low temperatures remained above freezing on
4 of the days.
19 In 1883...the low temperature dropped to 20 degrees below
zero...and the high temperature of only 9 degrees below
zero was the record low maximum for January...which
was equaled on January 11...1963.
In 1887...west winds sustained to 48 mph warmed the
temperature in the city to a high of 67 degrees...which
was the highest temperature of the month that year.
In 1890...northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph with
gusts to 45 mph in the city.
In 1903...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with an
extreme velocity of 44 mph.
In 1911...west chinook winds sustained to 42 mph warmed
the temperature to a high of 66 degrees.
In 1916...sleet (grains of ice) fell for 15 minutes. This
is a rare occurrence in Denver.
In 1990...7 to 10 inches of snow fell across metro Denver.
Strong winds...drifting snow...and poor visibility caused
the closure of I-70 from Denver east to the Kansas border.
However...at Stapleton International Airport north winds
gusted to only 17 mph. Several schools and businesses
were forced to close. Weather-related delays of up to
90 minutes hampered aircraft operations at Stapleton
International Airport where snowfall from the storm
totaled 7.5 inches.
In 2002...high winds occurred over portions of the northern
mountains and eastern foothills. Wind reports included:
74 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
atop the mesa in Boulder and 71 mph at the Eldora Ski
Resort west of Boulder.
In 2003...a wind gust to 75 mph was recorded at the
National Wind Technology Center atop Rocky Flats
to the northwest of Denver. West winds gusted to
36 mph at Denver International Airport.
19-20 In 1935...snowfall of only 0.8 inch during the evening of
the 19th was the only measurable snowfall of the month.
The light snow developed behind an Arctic cold front as
temperatures plunged to a low of 13 degrees below zero
on the 20th. High temperature of only 2 degrees on the
20th was a record low maximum for the date. Northeast
winds were sustained to 16 mph on the 19th.
In 1986...chinook winds gusting to 39 mph at Stapleton
International Airport provided record breaking warmth.
The warmest temperature of the month...68 degrees on the
19th...was also a record high for the date. The low
temperature of 41 degrees on the 20th equaled the record
high minimum for the date.
In 1991...a strong cold front moved south across metro Denver.
Upslope conditions produced 3 to 6 inches of snow along the
Front Range with 5 inches in Westminster and 4 inches in
Thornton. Snowfall measured 4.9 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph.
20 In 1894...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with
gusts to 45 mph in the city.
In 1911...west chinook winds sustained to 46 mph warmed the
temperature to a high of 62 degrees.
In 1975...a warm chinook wind produced a west wind gust to
53 mph at Stapleton International Airport. Winds were
much stronger near the foothills...where 80 mph winds in
Boulder caused damage to homes...buildings...power lines...
In 1986...high winds buffeted the foothills from Denver north.
The strongest reported wind was 72 mph in Fort Collins. A
wind gust to 39 mph was reported at Stapleton International
Airport in Denver.
In 1996...high winds developed for a short time in the
Front Range foothills in the wake of a weak upper level
disturbance. Wondervu recorded a peak wind gust to 90 mph...
while winds gusted to 84 mph atop Squaw Mountain near
Idaho Springs. West winds gusted to only 29 mph at
Denver International Airport.
In 2011...a snowboarder and his dog were killed when he
triggered an avalanche in the backcountry northeast of
20-21 In 1973...a major storm produced 7.5 inches of snowfall at
Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 32 mph causing some blowing snow.
In 2002...high winds developed over portions of the northern
mountains and Front Range foothills. Several trees were
blown down in Gilpin County along State Highways 119 and
46. Wind gust reports included: 90 mph 11 miles north
of Central City...83 mph near Fritz Peak...76 mph at Aspen
Springs...and 80 mph at Nederland. West winds gusted to
only 39 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.
20-22 In 1937...a second incursion of cold Arctic in less than two
weeks kept temperatures in the deep freeze for three days...
even though only one temperature record was set during the
period. Temperatures were below zero for an estimated 53
consecutive hours. The below zero period would have
been longer had the temperatures on the 20th not climbed
to a high of 1 degree after a low of 8 degrees below zero.
On the 21st...the high temperature of 1 degree below zero
was a record low maximum for the date. Low readings on
both the 21st and 22nd were 9 degrees below zero.
In 1971...high winds raked Boulder. Wind gusts to 77 mph were
recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Winds gusted to 83 mph in south Boulder and to 68 mph in
downtown Boulder. Minor personal injuries occurred...and
reported damage to structures totaled 15 thousand dollars.
On the 21st...northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 69 degrees on the 20th...which
equaled the record for the date.
In 1993...sporadic high winds along the east slopes of the
Front Range during the early morning hours of the 20th
moved onto the foothills and plains by the 22nd. Wind
gusts of 55 to 65 mph were common. Some significant wind
reports included 82 mph at Rollinsville and atop Squaw
Mountain west of Denver...and 75 mph on Rocky Flats. At
Stapleton International Airport...west winds gusted to 35
mph on the 20th...44 mph on the 21st...and 55 mph on the
21 In 1897...west winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to
45 mph. The warm chinook winds produced a high temperature
of 51 degrees and a low temperature of 36 degrees.
In 1943...strong west winds gusted to 92 mph at Boulder
Airport. Strong winds were common along the foothills.
Some damage occurred.
In 1950...wind gusts to 50 mph produced some blowing dust at
In 1997...high winds along the Front Range foothills caused
an empty 18-wheeler to overturn on I-70 near the Morrison
and C-470 exits. The truck landed on top of a passenger
car traveling beside it. The drivers received only minor
injuries. West-northwest winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver
In 2007...two storm systems...one moving to the south and east
of the region...and the other brushing from the west...
contributed to heavy snow along the Front Range Foothills...
Urban Corridor and adjacent plains. The heaviest snow fell
south and east of Denver where a blizzard developed during
the late morning and early afternoon hours. In and near the
Front Range Foothills and Palmer Divide...storm totals ranged
from 6 to 15 inches. Very strong winds produced extensive
blowing and drifting snow along I-70...from just east of
Denver to near Limon. Sustained winds from 30 to 45 mph
were measured with peak gusts to 60 mph. As a result...snow
drifts 2 to 4 feet in depth made some roads impassable with
whiteout conditions reported. North winds gusted to 40 mph
at Denver International Airport. Snowfall totaled 6.1
inches at the site of the former Stapleton International
21-22 In 1972...wind gusts to 74 mph were recorded at the National
Bureau of Standards in Boulder...while in downtown Boulder
wind gusts to 56 mph were measured. The strong winds
overturned a plane at the Arapahoe County Airport. A
motorcyclist died of injuries when he was blown off a
Boulder County road. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph
at Stapleton International Airport on the 21st.
In 1999...heavy snow developed across portions of metro
Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included:
8 inches in Golden Gate Canyon...Intercanyon...Rollinsville...
and Parker; 7 inches at Aspen Springs...Gross Reservoir...
Pine Junction...and 5 miles south of Sedalia; 6 inches at
Highlands Ranch; and 5 inches at Eaglecrest...Eldorado
Springs...and Louisville. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at
the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
On the 21st...north-northwest winds gusted to 31 mph at
Denver International Airport.