Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 050145
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MST SAT FEB 4 2017
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
30-7 In 1985...a cold front on the 29th produced a protracted cold
spell as Arctic air remained entrenched across metro Denver.
While the only daily temperature record set was a low
maximum reading of 2 degrees on February 3rd...minimum
temperatures plunged well below zero on 9 consecutive days.
The coldest readings were 15 degrees below zero on January
31st and 14 degrees below zero on February 5th.
31-8 In 1963...warm weather that began with the strong chinook
winds on the 31st and 1st continued through the 8th.
Maximum temperatures through the period ranged from 52
degrees on the 2nd to 76 degrees on the 5th...which was
a new record high for that date.
31-12 In 1899...a protracted cold spell lasted almost two weeks.
Low temperatures plunged below zero on all days but
February 9th with a reading of 6 degrees. The coldest
low temperature of 22 degrees below zero on February 6th
was a record low for the date. Low temperatures of 20
degrees below zero occurred on both February 11th and 12th...
but only the 11th remains as the record minimum for the
date. High temperature of only 5 degrees below zero on
February 11th was a record low maximum for the date. High
temperatures climbed to only zero degrees on both February
2nd and 3rd...but were not records. Intermittent light snow
or flurries fell during the period. The most snowfall...2.0
inches...occurred on February 2nd.
1-5 In 1985...the most bitter cold spell of the winter season
brought sub-zero temperatures to metro Denver. Daily low
temperature records were broken at Denver. The usual cold
weather problems struck including stalled vehicles...jammed
traffic lights...and frozen water and sewer lines. At
Stapleton International Airport...the high temperature
was only 2 degrees above zero on the 1st...setting a record
low maximum for the date. Low temperatures reached 13 below
zero on the 1st...12 below on the third...and 14 below on the
1-6 In 1989...one of the century`s worst doses of winter weather
ravaged the entire state. Bitterly frigid weather moved
into metro Denver on the 1st as snow buried many sections
of the state. In metro Denver where 3 to 6 inches of snow
fell...blowing snow and resultant poor visibilities caused
a 46-car pile-up on I-25 in the middle of the city on the
4th. During the period...2 to 3 hour delays were common at
Stapleton International Airport where snowfall from the
storm totaled 4.3 inches and northeast winds gusted to 30
mph on the 1st. Intense cold accompanied the storm.
Temperatures in Denver stayed below zero continuously for
the best part of 3 days (3rd...4th...5th)...for a total of 69
hours. This is the fourth longest sub-zero period on
record. Wind chill temperatures reached 50 degrees below
zero. The mercury dipped to 24 degrees below zero on the
5th...setting a record for the date. This was the city`s
coldest temperature in over 26 years. Low temperatures
dipped below zero on 8 consecutive days (2nd-9th). High
temperature of 9 degrees below zero on the 4th was a record
low maximum for the date...as was the high of 5 degrees on
the 5th. Extensive damage occurred when pipes and water
lines froze and broke. Thousands of cars failed to start.
On the 3rd...a 57-year-old woman died of hypothermia in an
Arvada park. Eighteen high school students were treated
for hypothermia after a 2-hour ride through Jefferson
County in an unheated bus. At least 2 cases of frostbite
were reported; there were undoubtedly many more.
1-9 In 1883...a protracted cold period occurred when low
temperatures dipped below zero for 9 consecutive days.
Low temperatures ranged from 22 degrees below zero on
the 4th to 2 degrees below zero on the 1st and 6th. High
temperatures ranged from 10 below zero on the 3rd to
23 on the 9th. Several temperature records were set
that still stand today. Record lows of 18 below and
22 below zero occurred on the 3rd and 4th. Record low
maximum readings of 2 below and 10 below zero occurred on
the 2nd and 3rd. The high of only 10 below zero on the
3rd is the coldest maximum temperature ever recorded in
3-5 In 1982...a cold surge of Arctic air brought light snow and
sub-zero temperatures to metro Denver. Temperatures
plunged to 6 below zero at midnight on the 3rd and never
warmed above zero on the 4th as snow flurries continued.
High temperature on the 4th of 1 below zero was a record
low maximum. The temperature dipped to a record low of
15 below zero on the 5th.
4-5 In 1932...wind gusts estimated at 70 mph occurred in Boulder.
A 60 mph wind gust was recorded to the east of Boulder in
Valmont. Damage was minor.
In 1959...heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton
Airport where northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 4th.
In 2001...high winds developed for a brief time overnight.
Winds gusted to 75 mph atop the Gamow Tower on the
University of Colorado campus in Boulder. Northwest winds
gusting to 37 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 57
degrees at Denver International Airport.
4-6 In 1986...10 inches of snow fell in Boulder...in the foothill
town of Wondervu southwest of Boulder...and at Evergreen
west of Denver. Snowfall totaled 2.4 inches at Stapleton
International Airport...where north winds gusted to 20 mph
on the 6th.
5 In 1885...west winds were sustained to 42 mph in the city
In 1902...northwest winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to
53 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 53 degrees.
In 2006...high winds developed briefly along the foothills...
extending from Golden to near Boulder. Peak wind reports
included 92 mph at the National Wind Technology Center on
Rocky Flats with a gust to 84 mph in Golden. North winds
gusted to 43 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2011...heavy snow fell in the foothills of Douglas...
Jefferson and Park Counties. Storm totals included: 19
inches...3 miles southwest of Conifer; 17.5 inches...4
miles south-southeast of Pinecliffe; 14 inches...5 miles
east-southeast of Aspen Park; 12.5 inches...7 miles
southwest of Boulder and at Genesee; 12 inches at
Strontia Springs Dam...10.5 inches at Roxborough State
Park; and 10 inches...3 miles east-southeast of Tiny
Town. In the western and southern Denver suburbs and
Palmer Divide...storm totals included: 9 inches near
Louviers and 3 miles south-southeast of Morrison; 8
inches at Ralston Reservoir...7 inches in Lakewood...6.5
inches...2 miles southeast of Highlands Ranch and 6
inches in Englewood. Snowfall totaled 1.2 inches at
Denver International Airport.
5-6 In 2003...heavy snow fell in the foothills. Snowfall totals
included: 17 inches at Genesee; 16 inches at Lookout
Mountain; 11 inches at Chief Hosa near Indian Hills...and
7 miles southwest of Boulder; 10.5 inches atop Gold Hill;
and 10 inches at Intercanyon and near Conifer. Only 2.2
inches of snowfall were measured in the city at the site
of the former Stapleton International Airport.
5-11 In 1978...the 5th marked the start of a record 7 consecutive
days of dense fog at Stapleton International Airport. The
heavy fog reduced the visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a
period of time on each of these days. Light snow and/or
freezing drizzle occurred on most days. Fog reducing
visibility to less than 7 miles was recorded at Stapleton
International Airport on 11 consecutive days through the
15th. During the period 5-14...the cold thick fog deposited
heavy rime ice up to 5 inches thick on power lines and poles
over a wide area of eastern Colorado...causing a major
electrical power outage disaster.
6 In 1899...the temperature dipped to a low of 22 degrees below
6-7 In 1929...5.0 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver behind
a Canadian cold front. Temperatures plunged...but no records
were set. Low readings dipped to 3 degrees below zero on
the 6th and 9 degrees below zero on the 7th. Highs climbed
to 5 degrees on the 6th and to only 1 degree below zero on
In 1933...post-frontal light snowfall totaled 3.0 inches over
downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 28 mph
with gusts to 32 mph on the 6th. The very cold air mass
plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees on the 5th
to lows of 10 degrees below zero on the 6th and 16 degrees
below on the 7th. High temperature of only 4 degrees below
zero on the 7th was a record low maximum for the date.
6-10 In 1933...3:00 PM on the 6th marked the start of a protracted
cold period through 8:00 AM on the 10th when the temperature
was below zero for 86 out of 88 hours. The cold period was
interrupted on the 8th at 9:00 AM when the temperature was
1 degree above zero and at 10:00 AM when the temperature was
8 degrees above zero. Four temperature records were set.
High temperatures of 4 degrees below zero on the 7th...8
degrees on the 8th...and 5 degrees below zero on the 9th were
record low maximums for those dates. The only record low
temperature record was 14 degrees below zero on the 10th.
The lowest temperature reached during the period was 16
degrees below zero on both the 7th and 8th...which were not
7 In 1940...a distant thunderstorm was recorded. This was only
the second ever recorded in the city during February since
In 1976...strong chinook winds were reported along the
foothills with sustained winds at 46 mph and gusts to 69
mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in
Boulder. Wind gusts of 70 to 90 mph were recorded at other
locations in Boulder. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1979...strong west winds gusted as high as 99 mph near
Boulder. The winds caused ground blizzards that closed
several highways around Boulder. Some cars were forced off
the road...and a truck was overturned. Wind gusts of 50 to
80 mph were common in and near the foothills. Northwest
winds gusted to 33 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988...a wind gust to 82 mph was clocked at Rollinsville in
the foothills southwest of Boulder.
In 1999...strong chinook winds developed in the foothills.
Peak wind reports included: 90 mph at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab near Boulder and
88 mph at Wondervu in the foothills southwest of Boulder.
West to southwest winds gusted to only 48 mph at Denver
7-8 In 1936...a sharp blast of frigid Arctic air was of short
duration. At 11:00 AM on the 7th the temperature was
39 degrees...but dropped to only 1 degree within an hour.
A more gradual decrease occurred through the night to
a low temperature of 25 degrees below zero shortly after
6:00 AM on the 8th. This was the lowest temperature ever
recorded in February. (The record was equaled on February
1...1951.) Snowfall of 1.0 inch occurred in the cold air.
During the day on the 8th...northwest chinook winds from 12
to 16 mph...and as high as 21 mph warmed the temperature
to a high of 35 degrees at 7:00 PM. This was a rise in
temperature of 60 degrees in 13 hours. Unofficially...the
temperature dipped to a low of 30 degrees below zero at
Denver Municipal Airport on the morning of the 8th.
In 1956...5.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton Airport where
east-northeast winds gusted to 23 mph on the 7th.
In 1980...an upslope storm dumped 4 to 10 inches of snow over
the plains and as much as 22 inches in the foothills.
Traffic was snarled and some schools were closed. Two
runways were closed for 3 hours at Stapleton International
Airport...where snowfall totaled 6.5 inches and north winds
gusted to 25 mph. Most of the snow fell on the 7th.
8 In 1886...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph in the
city. The strong winds were accompanied by a cold wave.
In 1905...west winds were sustained to 40 mph behind a cold
front. The bora winds warmed the temperature to a high
of only 38 degrees and produced a trace of snow.
In 1939...the very light snowfall...which began during the
morning...contained unusually symmetrical...flat and dry
snow crystals. These snow crystals continued to fall
all afternoon. Snowfall was only a trace. Temperatures
ranged from a low of 7 degrees to a high of 18 degrees.
In 1942...a major storm dumped 8.0 inches of heavy snow on
downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 17 mph.
In 1981...high winds occurred over the eastern foothills with
72 mph reported atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver and 60
to 70 mph winds at other locations in the foothills west of
Denver. Wind gusts to 50 mph were reported in Boulder.
Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton International
8-9 In 1898...rain changed rapidly to snow during the late evening
of the 8th and continued through the early afternoon of the
9th. Snowfall totaled 6.0 inches in the city. Northeast
winds were sustained to 26 mph with gusts to 30 mph on
In 2001...heavy snow fell across metro Denver mainly in and
near the eastern foothills. Snow totals included: 12 inches
atop Crow Hill and near Evergreen; 10 inches in Evergreen and
near Morrison; 9 inches at Genesee; 8 inches atop Lookout
Mountain and near Littleton and Bailey; 6 inches at Arvada
and Ken Caryl Ranch; and 5 inches in Broomfield...Chief Hosa...
and Thornton. Snowfall totaled 5.1 inches at the site of
the former Stapleton International Airport. Temperatures
dipped to 15 degrees below zero at Denver International
Airport on the morning of the 9th...setting a new record
minimum for the date.
In 2002...high winds in the foothills on the 8th spread over
the plains on the 9th and caused much blowing dust and snow
and blizzard conditions east and northeast of metro Denver.
I-70 was closed from just east of Denver to the Kansas state
line. Zero visibilities coupled with snowpacked and slick
roads caused multiple car accidents in southern Weld County.
High winds developed in the foothills on the 8th with gusts
to 71 mph on Rocky Flats and to 75 mph at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab in Boulder. The high
winds continued on the 9th with gusts to 83 mph near Fritz
Peak...70 mph at Evergreen...and 67 mph at Parker. Northwest
winds gusted to 55 mph on the 8th and to 58 mph on the 9th at
Denver International Airport where the surface visibility
was reduced to as low as 1 mile in blowing dust on the 9th.
In 2008...strong downslope winds developed in and near the
Front Range Foothills. Peak gusts included: 88 mph at
Georgetown...85 mph at Berthoud Pass...81 mph at the NCAR
Mesa Lab...78 mph at the National Wind Technology Center...
at 76 mph at Floyd Hill. At Denver International Airport...
gusty west winds to 48 mph were observed on the 8th.
9 In 1886...north winds were sustained to 42 mph...the highest
winds of the month that year.
In 1893...northwest bora downslope winds were sustained to
to 40 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph in the city.
In 1960...the lowest pressure reduced to sea level ever
recorded in Denver...28.83 inches (976.4 mb.)...occurred.
The actual station pressure of 23.770 inches was also the
lowest ever recorded.
In 1967...northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty all
In 1988...high winds occurred in and near the foothills.
Winds gusted to 96 mph in east Boulder. As many as 1600
homes lost power when wires were downed by the wind.
Some windows were blown out of cars near Rocky Flats
south of Boulder where winds were clocked at 85 mph.
In Broomfield...winds were recorded to 68 mph at
Jefferson County Airport.
In 2009...high winds occurred in and near the foothills of
Boulder and northern Jefferson Counties. Peak wind gusts
included 81 mph at the National Wind Technology Center
and 6 miles northwest of Boulder.
9-10 In 1934...rain changed to heavy snow on the afternoon of
the 9th and continued through the day on the 10th.
Snowfall totaled 7.4 inches in downtown Denver.
North winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 10th.
In 1972...heavy post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at
Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds
gusted to 46 mph on the 9th. Temperatures plunged from
a high of 51 degrees on the 9th to a low of 16 on the
morning of the 10th.
In 1981...the season`s coldest Arctic air mass rolled into
metro Denver plunging temperatures from 10 below to 20
degrees below zero. Bitter north winds gusting as high
as 36 mph sent wind chill temperatures to 50 below zero.
Two to four inches of snow fell over metro Denver with
6 to 12 inches in the foothills. A Boulder man died
of hypothermia while cross country skiing in the
mountains west of the city. Snowfall totaled only
1.5 inches at Stapleton International Airport where the
minimum temperature on the morning of the 10th was 5
degrees below zero. The temperature that day warmed to
to a high of only 9 degrees.
In 2003...high winds occurred in and near the eastern
foothills. The highest wind gusts recorded: included
80 mph atop Fritz Peak and 73 mph atop Blue Mountain and
at the National Wind Technology Center on Rocky Flats
south of Boulder. At least 4 multi-car accidents
occurred along State Highway 93...between Golden and
Boulder when blowing snow caused whiteout conditions.
Northwest winds gusted to 36 mph at Denver International
Airport on the 10th.
9-11 In 1965...heavy snowfall totaled 6.2 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where northeast winds gusted to
In 1993...the same storm that dumped heavy snow in the
mountains combined with an Arctic cold front to produce
heavy snow across metro Denver. Upslope snows of 4 to 8
inches were common with some areas receiving nearly a foot.
Ten inches of new snow were measured in Parker and 7 inches
in southeast Denver. At Stapleton International Airport...
snowfall totaled 8.1 inches. Strong winds combined with the
snowfall to produce near-blizzard conditions over the
plains closing many roads east of Denver. North winds
gusted to only 18 mph at Stapleton International Airport on
10 In 1890...north winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts as
high as 60 mph behind an apparent cold front. Light snow
In 1932...a large cumulo-nimbus thunderhead was observed in the
eastern sky at 4:00 PM. Thunderstorms are relatively rare
In 1990...northwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The strong chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 56 degrees.
In 1999...a vigorous cold front moved a wall of blowing dust
across the plains of northeastern Colorado during the
afternoon and early evening hours. While the strongest
winds and wind damage were north and east of metro Denver...
north to northeast winds did gust to 48 mph at Denver
International Airport...reducing the visibility to as
low as 3/4 mile in blowing dust. The temperature
dropped as much as 15 degrees in 5 minutes and 21 degrees
in 30 minutes following the passage of the cold front.
Dangerous wind shear conditions at DIA delayed several
flights...while others were redirected to Colorado Springs.
In the Montbello area of northeast Denver...the strong winds
blew the roof off a building. Downed power lines sparked
a small brush fire...which burned about 10 acres near the
former Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center.
10-11 In 1971...a wind gust to 80 mph was recorded in Boulder at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research. A wind gust to
69 mph was measured at the National Bureau of Standards.
In downtown Boulder wind gusts to 43 mph were clocked.
No damage was reported. North to northwest winds gusted
to 39 mph on the 10th and to 41 mph on the 11th at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1999...heavy snow developed over sections of metro Denver
during the evening hours. Snowfall totals included: 6
inches at Eaglecrest...6.5 inches at Highlands Ranch...and
8.5 inches about 5 miles south of Sedalia. Only 1.0 inch
of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport. Strong winds and snow caused near
blizzard conditions north of metro Denver.
10-12 In 1958...heavy snow fell across metro Denver. At Stapleton
Airport...where northeast winds gusted to 22 mph...6.7 inches
of snowfall were measured.
In 1995...cold Arctic air brought heavy snow to the foothills
and western Denver suburbs. Golden measured 15 inches of
snow with 14 inches in south Boulder. Locations in the
foothills recorded between 10 and 15 inches of snow. Only
6.1 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport
where north winds gusted to 30 mph on the 10th.
10-13 In 1905...an extremely cold Arctic air mass moved over the city
behind a cold front on the 10th and persisted through the
morning of the 13th. North winds were sustained to 25 mph
behind the front on the 10th dropping the temperature to a
low of 2 degrees below zero...which was also the high reading
on the 11th. Light snowfall totaled 3.0 inches overnight
of the 10th into the 11th. The low temperature plunged to
19 degrees below zero on the 11th. Records were set on the
12th and 13th. The high temperature of only zero degrees on
the 12th was a record low maximum for the date. The low
readings of 21 degrees below zero on the 12th and 14 degrees
below zero on the 13th were record minimum temperatures for
11 In 1875...northwest winds were brisk all day. The velocities
increased to 30 to 50 mph during the early evening.
In 1957...chinook winds gusting to 49 mph warmed the
temperature to a high of 64 degrees at Stapleton Airport.
In 1971...a rare February thunderstorm produced 1/4 inch
diameter hail in southwest Denver.
In 1981...the cold spell of the 10th came to a quick end with
strong chinook winds. Gusts to 84 mph were recorded at
Mines Peak and to 80 mph at Wondervu. Gusts in the
foothills ranged from 50 to 65 mph. Southwest winds
gusted to only 23 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1984...a near-blizzard across eastern Colorado closed I-70
east of Denver and stranded 1200 motorists at Limon. Only
0.9 inch of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport
where north winds gusted to 43 mph.
In 1988...wind gusts to 77 mph were measured at Echo Lake.
West winds gusted to only 32 mph at Stapleton International
11-12 In 1899...the temperature plunged to lows of 20 degrees below
zero on both days.
In 1900...northwest winds sustained to 52 mph with gusts to
60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 58 degrees on
the 11th. An apparent cold front overnight produced 3.7
inches of snow and northeast winds gusting to 30 mph.
The high temperature on the 12th was only 26 degrees.
In 1994...moist upslope winds and an upper level storm system
produced heavy snow over western portions of metro Denver.
Snowfall amounts totaled 10 inches in Golden and 8 inches
at Strontia Springs Reservoir 15 miles southwest of Denver
in the South Platte Canyon. Snowfall at Stapleton
International Airport totaled only 3.6 inches...but north
winds gusting to 35 mph on the 11th produced occasional
visibilities as low as 1/4 mile in heavy snowfall and
11-13 In 1903...west to northwest chinook winds gusting to 34 mph
warmed the temperature to a high of 50 degrees on the 11th...
before temperatures rapidly plunged to a low of 14 degrees
behind a cold front. Light snow fell through the 13th and
totaled 4.2 inches in the city...while temperatures ranged
from a high of 14 degrees on the 12th to a low of 5 degrees
below zero on the 13th.