Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 190959
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MST MON DEC 19 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.
18-19 In 2012...a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the
mountains and foothills west of metropolitan Denver and
blizzard conditions to plains east of Denver metro area. The
combination of snow and wind reportedly reduced visibility
to just a few hundred feet at times...and resulted in several
road closures including Interstate 70 east of Aurora. East
of Denver gusty northerly winds ranged from 35 to 55 mph
produced extensive blowing and drifting snow...ranging from 1
to 4 feet in depth. Storm totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches.
In the mountain and foothills...the heaviest snowfall
occurred along and north of I-70 and included: 12 inches at
Genesee...9 inches near Eldorado Springs; 8.5 inches at Coal
Creek Canyon...8 inches near Evergreen...with 6 inches at
Eldora Ski Area...Idaho Springs...Gross Reservoir and
Nederland. At Denver International Airport...1.7 inches of
snowfall was observed. In addition...a peak wind gust to 35
mph was observed from the north on the 19th.
18-21 In 2010...a winter storm produced a 4-day period of moderate to
heavy snow in the mountains. The combination of strong wind
and heavy snow forced the closure of several mountain passes
due to the threat of avalanches. The Amtrack train route...
which runs from Denver to California...was rerouted through
Wyoming when Union Pacific closed its tracks along
Interstate 70. Numerous accidents forced the closure of
I-70 at times. The wind gusted to 60 mph over the higher
mountain passes. Storm totals in the ski areas west of
Denver ranged from 16 to 32 inches.
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 In 1913...post-frontal heavy snowfall totaled 8.5 inches over
downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to only 16 mph.
In 1994...an intense Pacific storm system and associated cold
front moved across Colorado early in the day. Strong
downslope winds buffeted the Front Range eastern foothills.
The highest wind gust recorded was 92 mph at Rocky Flats in
northern Jefferson County. Most of the wind gusts during
the day ranged from 63 to 86 mph with lighter gusts of 40
to 58 mph on the northeast plains. The strong winds downed
power lines and poles in south Lakewood...causing power
outages to 2400 homes. Other small power outages and
surges occurred across metro Denver. Northwest winds
gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
19-20 In 1982...high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. At
midday on the 19th...gusts of 75 to 80 mph were recorded in
the Table Mesa area of Boulder. A gust to 62 mph was
clocked in Boulder on the evening of the 20th.
In 1989...strong winds howled at mountain top level in Clear
Creek and Gilpin counties. Speeds reached 97 mph on the
summit of Squaw Mountain and 84 mph one mile south of
Rollinsville. Northwest winds gusted 35 mph at Stapleton
International Airport on the 20th.
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.