Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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NOUS45 KBOU 160045

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MDT SAT OCT 15 2016

...This week in metro Denver weather history...

13-16 In 1873...smoke from several large forest fires in the mountains
        made the air very hazy in the city.
15-16 In 1928...a thunderstorm produced hail shortly after midnight
        on the 15th.  Rain changed to snow by evening.  Through the
        afternoon of the 16th...the heavy snowfall totaled 7.3 inches
        in the city.  North winds were sustained to 23 mph on the
      In 1984...the heaviest October snowstorm in several years hit
        eastern Colorado with a vengeance.  The storm was known as
        the "Bronco Blizzard" since it occurred during a nationally
        televised Monday night football game in Denver; they held
        on and defeat Green Bay by a score of 17-14.  One to two
        feet of snow fell near the foothills in west metro Denver
        with 2 to 3 feet in the foothills.  Wind gusts up to
        55 mph whipped the snow into drifts as high as 4 feet.
        The storm closed schools...roads...and airports.  I-70
        was closed both east and west of Denver.  I-25 was closed
        south to Colorado Springs.  Flights were delayed for
        several hours at Stapleton International Airport.  Power
        outages were widespread.  Snowfall totaled 9.2 inches at
        Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusting
        as high as 40 mph caused frequent surface visibilities of
        1/4 to 1/2 mile in moderate to heavy snow and blowing snow
        overnight.  The high temperature of only 35 degrees on the
        15th was a record low maximum for the date.
15-17 In autumn snowstorm hit metro Denver with 2 to 6
        inches of snow.  Snowfall totaled 4.4 inches at Stapleton
        International Airport where the maximum snow depth on the
        ground was only 3 inches due to melting and north winds
        gusted to 25 mph on the 15th.  The heavy wet snow caused
        leafy branches to sag onto power lines...resulting in a
        number of power outages.  Five thousand homes were blacked
        out in Boulder on the 16th.  Up to a foot of snow fell in
        the higher foothills with 19 inches recorded at Echo Lake.
16    In 1878...high winds reached sustained speeds of 60 mph.
      In of the costliest hail storms to ever hit metro
        Denver caused an estimated total of 87.8 million dollars in
        damage to homes...commercial buildings...and motor vehicles.
        At the time the storm was ranked as the 7th costliest ever.
        The hailstorm...rare for so late in the season...began over
        portions of Arvada...Wheat Ridge...and northwest Denver
        where mostly pea sized hail accumulated up to a depth of
        6 inches near I-70.  Several accidents were attributed...
        at least in the hailstorm.  Snowplows had to be
        called out to clear several city streets.  The storm
        intensified as it moved to the east...into the Denver and
        Aurora areas.  Large hail...up to 2.00 inches in diameter
        pounded east and southeast metro Denver.  Two inch diameter
        hail fell in the City of Denver and at Buckley Field.  Hail
        as large as 1 1/2 inches was measured in south Denver with
        1 inch diameter hail in northern Aurora.
      In 1999...upslope conditions produced snow across metro Denver
        with heavy amounts in the nearby foothills.  Snowfall totals
        included:  9 inches at Eldorado Springs; 8 inches at Genesee...
        Golden Gate Canyon...Littleton and near Morrison; 7 inches
        near Nederland; and 6 inches in Louisville.  Snowfall
        totaled 3.6 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
        International Airport.
16-17 In 1990...strong downslope winds raked the eastern foothills.
        Wind gusts from 60 to 75 mph were common.  Strong winds in
        metro Denver resulted in wave damage to a dock used to moor
        several private sail boats at Cherry Creek Reservoir.
        Damage was confined to the dock and two anchor cables.
        A northwest wind gust to 43 mph was recorded at Stapleton
        International Airport.
17    In 1878...strong winds reached sustained speeds of 48 mph.
      In 1988...a wind gust to 62 mph was recorded in central
        Boulder.  The strong winds caused a few brief power
        outages.  An old smoldering brush fire in the foothills
        west of Boulder was re-ignited by the wind gusts.
      In 1994...winds gusted to 85 mph atop Squaw Mountain...5 miles
        south of Idaho Springs.
      In 2006...a potent storm system brought heavy snowfall to the
        mountains and eastern foothills.  Snowfall totals in the
        foothills included:  14 inches at Blackhawk...13.5 inches
        near Idaho Springs...13 inches at Cabin Creek...12.5 inches
        at Aspen Springs and Echo Lake...11.5 inches at Georgetown
        and Rollinsville...10.5 inches near Jamestown...and 10 inches
        at Grant and Lake Eldora.  Lesser snow amounts...from 4 to 9
        inches...were recorded elsewhere in the foothills.  Snowfall
        totaled only 3.5 inches in the Denver Stapleton area.  At
        Denver International Airport...north winds gusted to 31 mph.
      In 2012...A brief but powerful windstorm associated with a
        fast moving cold front across the Urban Corridor and
        adjacent plains during in the evening. Peak wind gusts
        ranging from 58 to 71 mph downed trees and power lines
        which damaged homes and vehicles. Several temporary
        structures were also damaged. Approximately fifty thousand
        were left without power in the Denver...Fort Collins and
        Greeley areas. Some schools were closed the following day
        until power could be restored. Around the Denver area...peak
        wind gusts included: 69 mph in Golden...64 mph at Littleton...
        62 mph at Buckley AFB and in Denver...near the intersecton of
        Walnut St. and Interstate 25...and Longmont; 59 mph at
        Centennial Airport...58 mph at Denver City Park...Highlands
        Ranch.  At Denver International Airport...a peak wind gust to
        35 mph was observed from the northwest.
17-19 In 1908...a moist...heavy...wet snowfall totaled 13.0 inches in
        downtown Denver over the 3 days.  Rain from early morning
        on the 17th changed to snow by late afternoon and continued
        through the late morning of the 19th.  Due to temperatures
        in the 30`s and melting...the most snow on the ground was
        only 5.0 inches at 6:00 PM on the 18th.  Northwest to
        northeast winds were sustained between 12 and 20 mph during
        the storm.  Precipitation totaled 1.82 inches.
18    In 1875...the haze was so dense that the mountains were not
        visible from downtown Denver for most of the day.
      In 1937...a vigorous cold front produced north winds sustained
        to 32 mph with gusts to 41 mph.  Rain and snow totaled
        0.16 inch.  Post-frontal snowfall of 0.8 inch was the
        only snowfall of the month.
      In upslope rain changed to snow.
        Snowfall was 2.2 inches at Stapleton Airport where
        precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled 1.58 inches.
      In 1971...wind gusts to 48 mph were recorded in downtown
        Boulder.  West winds gusted to 30 mph at Stapleton
        International Airport.
      In 1999...heavy snow developed in the foothills west of metro
        Denver with lesser amounts across the city.  Snowfall totals
        included:  7 inches near Nederland...6 inches in Boulder...and
        5 inches at Chief Hosa.  Only 1.2 inches of snow were
        measured at the site of the former Stapleton International
18-23 In extended warm spell resulted in 5 new temperature
        records.  The high temperature of 84 degrees on the 18th
        equaled the record high for the date.  High temperatures
        of 86 degrees on the 19th...83 degrees on the 21st...and 84
        degrees on the 22nd were record highs for the dates.  Low
        temperature of 49 degrees on the 23rd was a record high
        minimum for the date.  Low temperatures during the period
        were in the 40`s and lower 50`s.
19    In 1887...northwest winds sustained to 42 mph were recorded
        in the city.
      In 1982...3 to 6 inches of snow fell over northwest metro
        Denver...including Boulder.  Only 1.2 inches of snowfall
        were recorded at Stapleton International Airport where
        north winds gusted to 35 mph.  This was the first
        measurable snowfall of the season.
19-20 In early winter storm dumped heavy snow across
        metro Denver.  Snowfall amounts ranged from 4 to 8 inches
        in the foothills above 6500 feet elevation...4 to 7 inches
        in the Castle Rock area...and 2 to 5 inches across most of
        metro Denver and Boulder.  Snowfall totaled 3.6 inches at
        Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds
        gusting to 48 mph kicked up some blowing dust shortly
        after a cold frontal passage on the 19th.  However...
        temperatures were warm enough to keep most roadways wet
        and slushy at lower elevations.
19-23 In 1906...heavy snowfall totaled 22.7 inches in the city over
        the 5 days.  Rain changed to snow on the evening of the
        19th...and snow continued through the late afternoon of the
        23rd.  The heaviest amount of snowfall...16.0 inches...fell
        from 8:00 PM on the 20th to 8:00 PM on the 22nd.  The most
        snow on the ground was 13.3 inches on the evening of the
        23rd.  This was the first snow of the season and the only
        snow of the month.  Winds during the storm were from the
        north at sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph each day.
        Temperatures during the storm were generally in the 20`s.
20    In 1878...between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM wind speeds averaged
        48 mph with a maximum 1 minute sustained velocity to 96
        mph at both 3:27 PM and 3:48 PM in downtown Denver.  This
        is the highest sustained wind speed ever recorded in the
      In 1986...a rare late October thunderstorm produced 3/4 inch
        diameter hail at Centennial Airport.  Hail piled up 2 1/2
        inches deep...causing some street flooding in south metro
20-21 In 2007...a storm system brought heavy snow to the southern
        Denver suburbs as well as the Palmer Divide south of
        Denver.  Storm totals included:  7.5 inches near Castle
        Rock...Lone Tree and Greenwood Village...with 6.5 inches at
        Elizabeth.  Snow drifts up to 2 feet deep were observed 6
        miles south-southwest of Elizabeth.  In the Denver
        Stapleton area...2.0 inches of snow was observed.
      In 2009...heavy snow developed along the Palmer Divide
        south and southeast of Denver as a storm system tracked
        across southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
        Storm totals included: 15 inches...15 miles north of
        Elizabeth...9 inches...5 miles south-southwest of Arapahoe
        Park; 8 inches in Highlands Ranch...5 miles south-
        southeast of Sedalia; 6.5 inches...8 miles southwest of
        Bennett and 6 inches in Parker. At Denver International...
        only 1.5 inches of snowfall was observed.
20-22 In 1936...5.5 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver.
        Most of the snow...4.5 inches...fell on the 20th.
21    In 1920...the rare event of snow from a thunderstorm
        occurred in the city during the evening.  Brilliant
        flashes of lightning and loud peals of thunder were
        first noted at 7:35 PM.  Light rain began falling at
        8:30 PM...and light moist snow began falling a few
        minutes later.  Some soft hail was also seen falling
        with the rain and snow...but both melted almost as
        fast as they fell.  The hail only continued for a few
        minutes...and the rain and snow ceased about 9:40 PM.
        The snowfall was the first to occur in Denver this
        season.  The amount of precipitation at the station
        measured only 0.01 inch...but heavier amounts were
        reported from other parts of the city.  Snowfall was
        only a trace.
21-22 In 1978...heavy rain on the 21st changed to snow by daybreak
        on the 22nd and continued the rest of the day.  This was
        the first measurable snowfall of the season...but totaled
        only 1.7 inches at Stapleton International Airport where
        east winds gusted to 29 mph.  While only a trace of snow
        covered the ground...precipitation totaled 1.27 inches.
22    In 1878...winds were sustained to 42 mph.
      In 1887...the first measurable snow of the season occurred...
        ending the longest snow-free period in Denver...232 days...
        since the last snow on March 5th.
      In 1947...the first snow of the season totaled only 1.6
        inches.  Post-frontal north winds caused temperatures
        to plunge from a high of 60 degrees at midnight to a
        low of only 30 degrees 24 hours later.  This was the
        only snow of the month.
      In 1985...high winds gusting from 60 to 80 mph buffeted the
        Front Range foothills.  The strongest reported wind gust
        was 89 mph in eastern Boulder.  A treehouse east of Boulder
        was set on fire by a downed power line.  Two people in
        Boulder were injured.  A woman broke her arm when the
        strong winds knocked her to the ground.  A carpenter in the
        city suffered a severely cut hand while he was trying to
        repair a roof that was being torn from a building.  At
        Stapleton International Airport...northwest winds gusted
        to 41 mph.
      In 2001...west-northwest winds gusting as high as 54 mph
        warmed the temperature to a high of 70 degrees at Denver
        International Airport.
22-23 In rain changed to snow.  Precipitation
        totaled 2.72 inches...most of which was in the form of
        moist snow which melted as it fell in the business
        section of the city.  About 3 inches of snow was measured
        on lawns in the residential areas on the morning of the
        24th.  Official snowfall totaled only 0.4 inch downtown...
        but an estimated 8.0 inches of snow melted as it fell.
        North to northeast winds were sustained to 29 mph with
        gusts to 30 mph on both days.
      In 1975...a vigorous cold front moving across metro Denver
        followed by strong northeast winds gusting to 52 mph
        produced billows of blowing dust and plunged the
        temperature 21 degrees in an hour.  The surface
        visibility was reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust at
        Stapleton International Airport.  The temperature cooled
        from a daily record high of 81 degrees to a low of 38
        degrees by day`s end.  The first snowfall of the season
        totaled 2.7 inches on the 23rd.  This was the only
        measurable snow of the month at Stapleton International
      In 1995...heavy snow fell on the Palmer Ridge south of Denver
        and in the foothills west of Denver where snow amounts
        ranged from 4 to 8 inches.  Sedalia...south of Denver...
        received 8 inches of snow.  Winds strengthened on the
        plains and produced blizzard conditions...reducing surface
        visibilities to less than 1/4 mile.  I-70 was closed
        from just east of Denver at Gun Club Road to the Kansas
        border.  Ten inches of snow fell at Strasburg east of
        Denver where north winds at sustained speeds of 35 to
        45 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph produced 2 to 4 foot
        drifts.  Snowfall totaled only 2.2 inches at the site of
        the former Stapleton International Airport.  North winds
        gusted to 51 mph at Denver International Airport.

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