Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 240045
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MDT SAT APR 23 2016
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
22-24 In 2010...a potent spring storm brought heavy...wet snow to
areas in and near the Front Range Foothills and widespread
rainfall across the adjacent plains. In the Front Range
Foothills and North-Central Mountains east of the
Continental Divide...storm totals ranged from 15 to 30
inches. Storm totals included: 29.5 inches...3 miles
southeast of Pinecliffe; 27 inches...8 miles northeast
of Four Corners; 23 inches at Willow Creek; 22.5 inches...
13 miles northwest of Golden; 21 inches at Never Summer;
17 inches at Eldorado Springs; 16.5 inches...3 miles west
of Jamestown. Denver International Airport reported just
a trace of snowfall...but measured 2.01 inches of rainfall
for the duration of the storm. In addition...a peak wind
gust to 54 mph from the northwest was observed at the
airport on the 23rd
23-24 In 1883...snowfall totaled 7.6 inches in downtown Denver.
In 1904...a thunderstorm produced hail during the late evening
of the 23rd. Apparent post-frontal rain changed to snow
during the early morning of the 24th...but totaled only 2.0
inches. Precipitation consisting of rain...melted hail...and
snow totaled 0.60 inch. Northeast winds were sustained to
41 mph with gusts as high as 52 mph on the 24th.
In 1905...rain changed to snow and totaled 8.0 inches. Much
of the snow melted as it fell with only 2.5 inches measured
on the ground. Precipitation totaled 1.88 inches.
Northeast winds were sustained to 20 mph on the 23rd.
In 1942...the South Platte River reached flood conditions in
the city. As many as 15 thousand residents were warned
to evacuate their homes temporarily. Two lives were lost
in the city. Four bridges were washed out by the flood
waters and other bridges were endangered. The damage was
generally limited to bridges that were in poor condition.
However...the flood waters did not overflow their channel
banks within the city limits.
In 1980...heavy rain began in the eastern foothills on the
night of the 23rd and turned to heavy wet snow on the 24th.
Up to a foot and a half of snow fell in the foothills west
of Denver. At Stapleton International Airport precipitation
totaled 1.58 inches...but only 3.7 inches of snow fell from
the storm. East winds gusted to 24 mph.
In 1997...locations in and near the foothills received the
greatest snow of the year as a winter-like storm system
moved into metro Denver. East to southeast winds at speeds
of 15 to 35 mph were common with even stronger gusts above
9 thousand feet. Snow fell at a rate of 2 to 3 inches an
hour as deep upslope combined with a moist and unstable
air mass. The snow began in the foothills above 7500 feet
during the evening of the 23rd. By sunrise the snow level
had dropped to 5000 feet. The hardest hit areas extended
from I-25 into the foothills. Snowfall totals in the
foothills ranged from 1 1/2 to over 3 1/2 feet. In the
city...snowfall ranged from 8 to 18 inches. Some snowfall
amounts included: 36 inches at Coal Creek Canyon; 31 inches
at Nederland and Wondervu; 20 to 24 inches near Blackhawk...
at Echo Lake...and North Turkey Creek Canyon; 15 to 19 inches
at Boulder...Central City...Conifer...Evergreen...Georgetown...
and Louisville; 8 to 14 inches in Arvada...Broomfield...
Westminster...Wheat Ridge...Castle Rock...and Ken Caryl Ranch.
Only 2.3 inches of snow fell at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport on the 24th. East winds
gusted to 36 mph at Denver International Airport on the
In 2003...a strong and deep northerly flow circulating around
a closed upper low pressure center allowed heavy snow to
fall in the mountains and eastern foothills. Snowfall
totaled 14 inches in Idaho Springs. Rain was mixed with
snow and thunder across metro Denver. Snowfall was only
0.9 inch overnight at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport. Precipitation totaled 1.34 inches
at Denver International Airport...where northwest winds
gusted to 55 mph on the 23rd.
In 2007...a storm system intensified over Southeast Colorado...
allowing for heavy snow and rain to develop over much of
North-Central and Northeast Colorado. Severe thunderstorms
preceded the storm system on the 23rd...affecting the Urban
Corridor. Nickel size hail was reported in Boulder and a
small landspout touched down near Byers. On the 24th...heavy
snow fell in the foothills west of Denver and Boulder...where
storm totals ranged from 1 to 2 feet. Heavy snow also
occurred along the Palmer Divide...with storm totals of 10 to
16 inches. Elsewhere...a steady moderate to heavy rainfall
was reported. Denver International Airport measured 2.09
inches of rainfall...which shattered the previous 24-hr
record of 1.29 inches for the 24th of April. The heavy wet
snow caused several power outages. In some instances it
took several days to restore power. Several road closures
were reported...including Interstates 25 and 70. A jacknifed
semi-trailer backed up traffic for nearly 20 miles...on
southbound I-25...between Denver and Colorado Springs. In
addition...a 50-ton boulder blocked the southbound lane of
State Highway 285...near Parmalee Gulch. Crews had to use
explosives to break up the boulder and clear the debris.
Stranded buses and impassable roadways also forced several
23-25 In 1935...heavy wet snow fell across metro Denver. The storm
started as rain on the 23rd and changed to snow early on the
morning of the 24th. There was continuous precipitation for
a period of 48 hours. Snowfall totaled 19.0 inches over the
city and 20.0 inches at Denver Municipal Airport. However...
due to warm temperatures in the 30`s...much of the snow
melted as it fell and did not seriously disrupt traffic.
The greatest snow accumulation on the ground downtown was
12 inches...but it quickly melted. The highest sustained
wind speed recorded during the storm was 28 mph from the
north on the 23rd. The storm contained 3.16 inches of
24 In 1959...wind gusts to 60 mph recorded in downtown Boulder
caused very limited minor damage. West winds gusted to
38 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1986...a wind gust to 60 mph was clocked at Golden Gate
In 1989...1 3/4 inch diameter hail was reported in Lafayette.
Boulder and Louisville reported 3/4 inch hail.
24-25 In 1890...rain changed to snow and totaled 7.0 inches in
In 1931...heavy snowfall totaled 9.3 inches over downtown
Denver. Winds were light during the storm.
In 1996...the second wind storm in less than a week developed
east of the Continental Divide and spread over metro
Denver. High winds gusted from 60 to 90 mph. Several
power lines and poles were downed. Some of the stronger
wind gusts included: 91 mph atop Squaw Mountain west of
Denver...90 mph atop Table Mesa near Boulder...85 mph in
Golden Gate Canyon...and 82 mph at Wondervu. Northwest
winds gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport
on the 25th.
24-26 In 1924...post-frontal rain changed to snow...which became
heavy and totaled 10.2 inches over downtown Denver. The
greatest amount of snow on the ground was 6.0 inches on the
25th due to melting. North winds were sustained to 38 mph
with gusts to 42 mph on the 24th.
25 In 1902...northeast winds were sustained to 42 mph with gusts
to 48 mph.
In 1908...north winds were sustained to 40 mph behind an
apparent cold front. Snowfall was 0.5 inch.
In 1928...rain changed to snow...which became heavy and totaled
7.4 inches in downtown Denver. Due to melting...the maximum
snow depth on the ground was 4.0 inches at 6:00 PM. This
was the last snow of the season. Southeast winds were
sustained to 19 mph with gusts to 20 mph.
In 1976...a south wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport. The high winds toppled a
70-foot high cottonwood tree onto the rear of house and a
neighboring residence in central Denver.
In 1989...lightning caused heavy damage to a radio transmitter
in Parker...knocking a Denver area radio station off the air
for 3 hours.
In 1994...weather spotters reported dime-size hail at the
intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and C470 in Jefferson
County. Marble-size hail covered the ground near Golden
to a depth of 1 inch. Pea-size hail was reported covering
the ground to a depth of 3 inches in Arvada.
25-26 In 1985...a spring storm brought much rain and snow to metro
Denver. The foothills were buried with 15 inches of snow
at Conifer and 12 inches at Evergreen. At lower elevations...
an inch or more of rain fell in Denver and Boulder. The
heavy precipitation caused brief power outages in the
Denver area. Precipitation totaled 1.06 inches at Stapleton
International Airport...including only 0.7 inch of snowfall.
25-27 In 1877...snow ended around 7:00 AM on the morning of the 27th...
after falling continuously for 48 hours and totaling an
estimated 13 inches in the city. The storm...likely
accompanied by strong winds...caused trains to be delayed
for 2 to 3 days. One or two roofs of small buildings were
crushed by the weight of the snow...and many tree branches
were broken in the city. There were a number of reports of
livestock losses. One stockman lost 17 horses and several
cattle from the snow and cold. Precipitation totaled
1.30 inches from the storm.
26 In 1965...while only 0.40 inch of rain fell at Stapleton
International Airport...some communities in the foothills
west of Denver reported over 30 inches of snow from the
In 1972...a spring snow storm accompanied by thunder dumped
15.8 inches of heavy wet snow on metro Denver. Strong
northwest winds gusting to 35 mph produced blowing snow.
The storm was quite intense and greatly hampered travel.
High winds caused drifts 10 to 15 feet deep in some areas...
blocking roads and stranding hundreds of motorists. An
estimated 500 to 600 people were stranded in the Castle
Rock area. Rescue service was provided by heavy Army
equipment from Fort Carson. Power lines were downed...power
poles were toppled...and a number of steel towers carrying
high voltage power lines were downed. Some areas northeast
of Denver were without power for a week. A large number of
cattle and sheep were killed by the storm. The greatest
snow depth on the ground at Stapleton International Airport
was 12 inches. Warm temperatures following the storm
quickly melted the snow.
In 1995...the third major snow storm of the month dumped heavy
snow in and near the Front Range foothills. Six to 12
inches of heavy wet snow fell in the western metro suburbs
with the heaviest amounts above 6 thousand feet. Both
Boulder and Golden measured 10 inches of snow. Only 2.4
inches of snowfall were measured at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted 28 mph
at Denver International Airport.
In 1998...the last in a series of April storms blanketed the
foothills with heavy snow. Snowfall amounts included: 17
inches near Blackhawk...15 inches at Idaho Springs...14
inches at Georgetown...11 inches near Conifer and Morrison.
Only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to
28 mph at Denver International Airport.
26-27 In 1906...rain changed to heavy snow overnight and totaled
7.0 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were
sustained to 16 mph on both days. Precipitation totaled
In 1932...the temperature remained below freezing for more
than 30 consecutive hours. For about 4 of those hours
the temperature hovered around 24 to 25 degrees. At this
time some early cherry trees were in bloom and apple and
lilac blossoms were beginning to open. The leaves of
many plants were partly unfurled and vegetation in general
was correspondingly advanced due to the warm weather from
the 11th to the 22nd. However...there was little apparent
injury to foliage and blossoms...but some of the early
cherry and apple blossoms were injured. Rain changed to
snow on the 26th and continued intermittently through the
27th. Snowfall totaled only 2.0 inches and northeast winds
gusted to 22 mph on the 26th.
In 1964...strong winds caused damage to buildings...trees...and
power lines. Sustained winds of 37 mph with gusts of 50 to
60 mph were recorded in metro Denver. West-northwest winds
gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the
27 In 1955...west winds at 43 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph
were recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust
briefly reduced the visibility to 3/8 mile.
In 1966...a northwest wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
27-28 In 1919...rainfall totaled 2.03 inches for the two days...
along with a trace of snowfall. Northwest winds were
sustained to 24 mph with gusts to 26 mph on the 27th.
In 1975...high winds gusting to 85 mph severely damaged a
mobile home in Boulder and caused other minor damage.
West winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International
Airport on the 28th.
In 1996...heavy snow fell over portions of the Front Range
foothills west of Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged from
4 to 7 inches. Only 0.3 inch of snow fell at the site of
the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds
gusted to 41 mph at Denver International Airport on the
28 In 1894...southwest winds were sustained to 35 mph with gusts
as high as 60 mph.
In 1896...apparent post-frontal bora winds from the northwest
were sustained to 43 mph with gusts as high as 56 mph.
Rainfall totaled 0.22 inch.
In 1990...high winds raked the northeastern plains and eastern
foothills from Boulder north. Wind gusts to 70 mph were
recorded in Boulder. West winds gusted to 41 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 2001...a 21-year-old man was struck by lightning along the
shoulder of I-225 near Parker Road. His brother`s car had
broken down and he stopped to help. The bolt briefly
stopped the man`s heart and caused the right side of his
body to go numb.
In 2003...severe thunderstorms produced large hail across
southern metro Denver. Hail to 1 3/4 inches in diameter
fell in Englewood and 2 miles east of Centennial Airport.
Hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell in Aurora
near Cherry Creek. Other large hail reports included
1 inch hail near Bennett...and 7/8 inch hail in Greenwood
Village and at Centennial Airport.
28-29 In 1950...snowfall totaled 6.3 inches at Stapleton
Airport...but only 3.5 inches over downtown Denver.
In 1960...heavy snow fell at Stapleton Airport where
8.6 inches of snow were measured. North winds gusted to
38 mph. Most of the snow...6.9 inches...fell on the 29th.
29 In 1898...apparent thunderstorm winds were sustained from
the southwest to 58 mph with gusts to 66 mph.
In 1909...north winds were sustained to 44 mph behind an
apparent cold front. These were the strongest measured
winds of the month that year.
In 1962...heavy snowfall totaled 6.4 inches at Stapleton
Airport where northeast winds gusted to only 17 mph.
Snow fell all day...but the most on the ground was only
1 inch due to melting.
In 1991...two men were struck by lightning while golfing in
Cherry Hills just south of Denver. The two received only
minor burns. Shortly afterward...lightning struck a home in
Cherry Hills Village several times...leaving numerous holes
in the roof. No injuries were reported.
In 1993...localized strong winds occurred at Jefferson County
Airport near Broomfield where gusts to 63 mph were recorded.
The strong winds were the result of a probable microburst.
In 2000...several severe thunderstorms producing large hail
and destructive winds rumbled across northern metro Denver.
Thunderstorm wind gusts reached 81 mph near Hudson with
hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter at Longmont. Several
homes and vehicles sustained damage. The strong winds
uprooted trees and downed utility poles...causing scattered
outages. Lightning sparked a house fire in Boulder. The
fire damaged a portion of the roof and a bedroom on the
third floor. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 53 mph at Denver
In 2003...lightning struck a chimney at a residence in Hiwan
in Evergreen...sending stones flying as far as 150 feet.
Electrical equipment in some nearby homes also failed.
Damage to the residence...in addition to electrical
equipment...was estimated at 100 thousand dollars.
Severe thunderstorms produced large hail to 1 inch in
diameter near Hudson and Sedalia and to 3/4 inch near
Parker. Hail as large as 1 3/4 inches was measured 9 miles
north of Sedalia.
In 2014...high winds occured east of Interstate 25. Peak wind
gusts included: 71 mph just north of Strasburg; 68 mph at
Denver International Airport; 62 mph near Elizabeth; 58 mph
at Front Range Airport in Watkins and 11 miles east of Parker.
29-30 In 1964...several weeks of dry weather and windy conditions
across the Great Plains to the east caused noticeable
suspended dust to invade metro Denver. At Stapleton
International Airport east winds gusted to 28 mph and
visibility was reduced to 5 miles.
In 1989...a late season snowstorm dropped 2 to 4 inches of
snow across metro Denver with 6 to 12 inches in the
foothills. Snowfall totaled 3.9 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where northeast winds gusted to
23 mph and the greatest snow depth on the ground was
2 inches due to melting.
In 1991...a Pacific storm dumped heavy wet snow across metro
Denver. The foothills were hit the hardest where snowfall
amounts ranged from 16 inches at Evergreen to 5 inches at
Idaho Springs. Lower elevations of metro Denver received
5 to 9 inches of snowfall with 5 inches in Boulder and 7.0
inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast
winds gusted to 25 mph. The weight of the snow caused
power lines to fall and tree limbs to snap...producing power
outages in parts of Denver...Aurora...and Westminster.
In 1999...heavy snow fell overnight in the foothills above
7500 feet elevation. Snowfall totals included: 13 inches
near Rollinsville...10 inches near Evergreen...8 inches at
Blackhawk and Nederland...and 7 inches at Conifer. Only
rain fell across the city with 2.13 inches recorded at
Denver International Airport.
29-2 In 1954...a major storm dumped 10.1 inches of snowfall at
Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow...7.5 inches...fell on
the 29th and 30th. The maximum snow depth on the ground
was 5 inches on the 30th due to melting. No strong winds
accompanied the storm.
30 In 1896...northwest winds were sustained to 55 mph with gusts
as high as 64 mph in the city.
In 1960...the minimum temperature dipped to 22 degrees
at Stapleton Airport. The sub-freezing cold damaged
fruit trees and some other crops in the area.
In 1967...west winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. Winds were strong and gusty
across all of metro Denver.
In 1972...hail 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter fell at
Stapleton International Airport. Northwest winds gusted
to 35 mph.
In 1980...a cold air funnel touched down several times near
In 1983...mothball-size hail fell in Wheat Ridge.
In 1992...the all-time highest recorded temperature in April...
90 degrees...occurred. This is also the earliest 90 degree
reading for the season. In addition...the temperature
dipped to a low of only 56 degrees...setting a record high
minimum for the date.
In 1995...hail...up to 3/4 inch in diameter...fell at Denver
International Airport. The hail was soft...lasted for only
8 to 10 minutes...and caused no damage.
In 2002...drought conditions started to have an effect on
greater metro Denver. April...normally the third snowiest
month of the year in Denver averaging just over 9 inches of
snow...ended with only a trace of snow...ranking the month...
along with previous Aprils...the 2nd least snowiest on
record. The month ended with only 0.23 inch of liquid
precipitation making the month the 3rd driest on record.
Mountain snowpack was less than half of normal for this
time of year. A statewide drought emergency was declared
by the Governor.
In 2003...a small tornado touched down 10 miles east of Hudson...
but did no damage. Hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter
fell in Aurora near Cherry Creek.
In 2004...post-frontal upslope flow produced light snowfall
across metro Denver. Snowfall was 4.0 inches at Denver
Stapleton...while the temperature hovered in the lower 30`s
all day. The high temperature was only 33 degrees...a
record low maximum for the date. The low temperature of
30 degrees was not a record. North winds gusted to 20 mph
at Denver International Airport.
30-1 In 1980...to the west of Denver...heavy rain changing to snow
buried the foothills above 7 thousand feet in 4 to 8 inches
of snow. Precipitation in the foothills ranged from 1 to 3
inches...which caused some local flooding. Rain fell at
lower elevations. Rainfall at Stapleton International
Airport totaled 1.05 inches from the storm.