Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
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 1989...an 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 1998...one 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 part...to 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
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
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 1960...post-frontal 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
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 2003...an 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 1990...an 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
22-23 In 1914...post-frontal 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.