Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 230959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST FRI DEC 23 2016
...Today in metro Denver weather history...
17-24 In 1924...a prolonged cold spell occurred after mild
temperatures during the first half of the month. Most
low temperatures dipped below zero with the coldest
reading of 15 degrees below zero occurring on the 24th.
The high temperature of only 5 degrees on the 18th was
a record low maximum for the date.
18-24 In 1998...a vigorous cold front with north winds gusting as
high as 38 mph at Denver International Airport on the 18th
dropped temperatures from a high of 51 degrees to a low of
just 6 degrees before midnight. The Arctic air mass that
settled over metro Denver produced intermittent light snow
and a week-long protracted cold spell that caused low
temperatures to plunge well below zero for 6 consecutive
nights. The coldest temperature was 19 degrees below zero
on the morning of the 22nd. High temperatures climbed only
into the single digits on 4 consecutive days...from the 19th
through the 22nd. At least 15 people...mostly homeless...
were treated for hypothermia at area hospitals. The bitter
cold weather was responsible...either directly or indirectly...
for at least 5 fatalities. Three of the victims died
directly from exposure. The cold weather also caused
intermittent power outages. Following the cold snap...
thawing water pipes cracked and burst in several homes and
businesses...causing extensive damage. Only one temperature
record was set. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on
the 19th set a record low maximum for the date.
19-23 In 1990...a surge of very cold Arctic air invaded metro
Denver. Many temperature records were broken as the
mercury remained at or below zero for 85.5 hours at
Stapleton International Airport...making it the third
longest period of subzero readings in 118 years of record
keeping. On the morning of the 22nd...the mercury plunged
to 25 degrees below zero...which equaled the all time record
low temperature for the month set on December 24...1876.
In the foothills southwest of Denver at Tiny Town...the
mercury plunged to 33 degrees below zero on the morning
of the 21st. On the same morning at Castle Rock the
temperature dipped to 26 degrees below zero. During
the period...other daily temperature records were set at
Denver...including: record low maximum of 3 degrees below
zero on the 20th and a record low of 17 degrees below zero
on the 23rd. The record low was equaled with 16 degrees
below zero on the 20th and 21 degrees below zero on the
21st. Snowfall totaled 2.7 inches at Stapleton
International Airport from the 19th through the 21st.
20-23 In 1918...light snowfall on each day totaled 12.0 inches
over downtown Denver. Northeast winds were sustained
to 16 mph on the 21st.
20-25 In 1983...an extremely bitter cold spell occurred. The
temperature remained below zero for 115 hours in Denver...
the longest sub-zero period on record. The mercury dipped
to 21 degrees below zero on the 21st...the coldest recorded
temperature in over 20 years. The cold was accompanied
by winds that plunged chill factors to 50 to 70 degrees
below zero. Two people froze to death in Denver; both
were found outside dead of exposure. Numerous cases of
frostbite were reported. Hundreds of water pipes broke
from the intense cold...water mains and natural gas lines
also fractured...and electricity consumption reached record
levels. Light snow totaling 5.8 inches fell at times...and
holiday traffic was delayed at Stapleton International
Airport for several hours. Eight daily temperature records
were set at the time. The all-time record low maximum
temperature for the month of 8 degrees below zero on the
21st still stands today. Other temperature records still
standing include record low maximum temperatures of 5
degrees below zero on both the 22nd and 23rd and 4 degrees
below zero on the 24th.
21-23 In 1924...heavy snowfall totaled 7.9 inches over downtown
Denver. During the storm north to northeast winds were
sustained to 21 mph. Temperatures were quite cold...ranging
from a high of 24 degrees on the 21st to a low of 5 degrees
below zero on the 23rd.
In 1964...high winds were recorded along the eastern
foothills. A wind gust to 100 mph was registered at
Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. In Boulder...
where many thousands of dollars in damage occurred...warm
chinook winds gusted in excess of 45 mph downtown. A wind
gust to 82 mph was recorded at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Heavy damage to power
lines...homes...and roads was reported at Evergreen...Golden...
and Boulder. Several people were injured by wind-caused
accidents. West winds gusted to 53 mph on the 22nd and
to 51 mph on the 23rd at Stapleton International Airport
where some blowing dust occurred. The chinook winds warmed
temperatures in Denver to highs of 68 degrees on the 22nd
and 71 degrees on the 23rd.
22-23 In 1926...snow was heavy and totaled 6.7 inches in downtown
Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph with
gusts to 18 mph on the 23rd.
In 1979...heavy snow blanketed metro Denver. Total snowfall
at Stapleton International Airport was 6.9 inches...and north
winds gusted to 20 mph. Most of the snow...5.7 inches...fell
on the 22nd.
In 1984...strong chinook winds howled along the Front Range
foothills. At Table Mesa in southwest Boulder...gusts
reached 108 mph on the morning of the 23rd. Gusts to 79
mph were clocked in Golden Gate Canyon. Gusts to 94 mph
were reported in east Boulder. The winds flattened a two
floor cinder block building under construction in Boulder...
causing 75 thousand dollars damage. Flying debris from the
building slightly injured a policeman. A chain link
fence was blown down. Dozens of windows and roofs were
damaged in Boulder...along with mobile homes and cars.
Numerous trees and power lines were downed. A giant
plastic bubble dome was blown apart and collapsed...causing
at least 100 thousand dollars damage. West winds gusted
to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 23rd.
22-24 In 2009...A winter storm produced moderate to heavy snow
across parts of the Front Range and adjacent plains. In
the foothills...storm totals included: 11.5 inches near
Eldorado Springs...10 inches...3 miles southeast of
Pinecliffe; 9 inches at Genesee...2 miles southwest of
Golden and Ken Caryl; 8 inches...3 miles west of Jamestown
and White Ranch Open Space; 7 inches...4 miles east-
northeast of Nederland. Across the Urban Corridor and
adjacent plains...storm totals included: 9 inches...2 miles
west of Parker; 8 inches at Watkins; 7 inches...2 miles
west-southwest of Byers...12 miles southwest of Buckley
AFB and 3 miles northeast of Parker. At Denver
International Airport...6.1 inches of snowfall was observed.
23 In 1915...apparent bora winds were sustained to 46 mph with
gusts to 58 mph. Snowfall was only 0.8 inch in the city.
In 1955...west-northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton
Airport. The downslope winds kept the low temperature
from dipping below 50 degrees...the record highest minimum
for the month.
In 1969...a strong wind gust did 4 thousand dollars in damage
just west of Broomfield. Minor injuries also occurred.
In 1977...high winds occurred in Boulder with 90 mph recorded
at several locations. A wind gust to 72 mph was reported
at Lafayette. West winds gusted to 39 mph at Stapleton
In 1989...high winds were reported in the foothills west of
Denver. At Rollinsville...a wind gust to 90 mph was
measured. Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton
In 2007...high winds developed in and near the Front Range
Foothills of Boulder and Jefferson Counties. Peak
gusts included: 89 mph at the National Wind Technology
Center; 88 mph atop Niwot Ridge; 83 mph...4 miles east-
northeast of Bergen Park; 80 mph...3 miles southeast
of Jamestown. At Denver International Airport...east of
the surface trough...southeast winds gusted to 28 mph.
23-24 In 1907...winds nearly as strong as a hurricane raked Boulder
and areas north of Denver...killing one person and injuring
others. Property damage was minor.
In 1973...a pre-Christmas blizzard...the second in 5 days...
produced strong winds and dumped heavy snow across metro
Denver. Nearly a foot...11.8 inches...of snow fell at
Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting
from 30 to 40 mph produced much blowing snow. The strong
winds whipped the snow into 2- to 4-foot drifts...closing
many roads and airports. About 10 thousand people were
stranded at Stapleton International Airport for up to 24
In 1978...wind gusts to 90 mph on the 23rd and 73 mph on the
24th were recorded in Boulder. A townhouse under
construction was severely damaged by the winds. At
Stapleton International Airport...west winds gusted to
37 mph on the 23rd and northwest winds gusted to 35 mph
on the 24th.
In 1987...a snowstorm assured a white Christmas for metro
Denver...where 4 to 8 inches fell. Amounts in the foothills
ranged from 10 to 18 inches. Snowfall totaled 3.9 inches
at Stapleton International Airport...where north winds gusted
to 32 mph on the 23rd.