Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO
NOUS45 KBOU 220145
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
645 PM MST SAT JAN 21 2017
...This week in metro Denver weather history...
15-23 In 1962...a protracted cold spell kept metro Denver in the
deep freeze for more than a week. From the 15th thru the
23rd...low temperatures were zero or below for 9 consecutive
days...but a daily record low was set only on the 22nd when
the temperature dipped to 14 degrees below zero. A record
low maximum for the date was also set on the 22nd when the
temperature climbed to only 11 degrees. The coldest high
temperature was 3 degrees above zero on the 21st...which did
not break the record. The protracted cold was broken for
only a few hours on the afternoon of the 20th when chinook
winds warmed the temperature to a high of 38 degrees before
another surge of cold Arctic air plunged temperatures
back into the deep freeze that evening. The severe cold
caused much damage to water systems. A woman was frozen to
death at Morrison. There were other deaths attributable to
the weather...including traffic deaths and heart attacks
18-24 In 2005...a week of mid-winter unseasonably warm weather
pushed high temperatures into the 60`s or more on all
but one day. During the period...the highest temperature
of 70 degrees on the 20th was a new record maximum for
the date. Low temperatures remained above freezing on
4 of the days.
20-22 In 1937...a second incursion of cold Arctic in less than two
weeks kept temperatures in the deep freeze for three days...
even though only one temperature record was set during the
period. Temperatures were below zero for an estimated 53
consecutive hours. The below zero period would have
been longer had the temperatures on the 20th not climbed
to a high of 1 degree after a low of 8 degrees below zero.
On the 21st...the high temperature of 1 degree below zero
was a record low maximum for the date. Low readings on
both the 21st and 22nd were 9 degrees below zero.
In 1971...high winds raked Boulder. Wind gusts to 77 mph were
recorded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Winds gusted to 83 mph in south Boulder and to 68 mph in
downtown Boulder. Minor personal injuries occurred...and
reported damage to structures totaled 15 thousand dollars.
On the 21st...northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a high of 69 degrees on the 20th...which
equaled the record for the date.
In 1993...sporadic high winds along the east slopes of the
Front Range during the early morning hours of the 20th
moved onto the foothills and plains by the 22nd. Wind
gusts of 55 to 65 mph were common. Some significant wind
reports included 82 mph at Rollinsville and atop Squaw
Mountain west of Denver...and 75 mph on Rocky Flats. At
Stapleton International Airport...west winds gusted to 35
mph on the 20th...44 mph on the 21st...and 55 mph on the
21-22 In 1972...wind gusts to 74 mph were recorded at the National
Bureau of Standards in Boulder...while in downtown Boulder
wind gusts to 56 mph were measured. The strong winds
overturned a plane at the Arapahoe County Airport. A
motorcyclist died of injuries when he was blown off a
Boulder County road. Northwest winds gusted to 39 mph
at Stapleton International Airport on the 21st.
In 1999...heavy snow developed across portions of metro
Denver and in the foothills. Snowfall totals included:
8 inches in Golden Gate Canyon...Intercanyon...Rollinsville...
and Parker; 7 inches at Aspen Springs...Gross Reservoir...
Pine Junction...and 5 miles south of Sedalia; 6 inches at
Highlands Ranch; and 5 inches at Eaglecrest...Eldorado
Springs...and Louisville. Snowfall totaled 2.6 inches at
the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
On the 21st...north-northwest winds gusted to 31 mph at
Denver International Airport.
22 In 1899...a cold front produced northeast sustained winds
to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph in the city.
In 1951...a heavy windstorm struck Boulder. Minor damage was
reported. Strong post-frontal east winds gusted to 45 mph
at Stapleton Airport.
In 1990...strong winds of 50 to 90 mph buffeted the foothills.
No significant damage was reported. West winds gusted to
37 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1992...strong winds raked the eastern foothills with a wind
gust to 58 mph recorded at Rocky Flats just northwest of
Denver. West winds gusted to only 25 mph at Stapleton
In 2003...only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. This along with a trace
of snow on the 1st was the only snow of the month...which
equaled the record for the least snowiest January first
set in 1934.
22-23 In 1982...wind gusts up to 101 mph were clocked at Wondervu.
Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph were common along the Front
Range foothills from Boulder north.
22-26 In 1948...the longest period of snowfall on record (92 hours
and 3 minutes) occurred in downtown Denver where a total of
13.6 inches of snow fell. At Stapleton Airport...19.0 inches
of snow fell...making it the heaviest snow in January and the
5th heaviest snow of record at that time. North winds were
sustained to a velocity of 23 mph on the 25th...but generally
the winds were light throughout the storm. The snow
disrupted traffic...but street clearing was begun soon after
it became apparent that the snow would be heavy. Over the
5 days...temperatures ranged from a high of 48 degrees on
the 22nd to a low of 1 degree on the 26th. Most readings
were in the teens and 20`s during the storm.
23 In 1872...a brisk northerly wind set in about noon...blew
almost a gale about 6:00 PM...and continued brisk until
night. A light snow commenced during the late afternoon
and continued all night.
In 1886...northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph in the city
around sunrise. A cold wave accompanied the strong winds.
In 1897...a vigorous cold front produced northeast winds
sustained to 45 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Temperatures
plunged from a high of 59 degrees to a low of 11 degrees
in the evening. The very cold temperatures persisted
through the 28th.
In 1934...the date marked the last day of the longest period
of consecutive days without measurable precipitation in the
city. The 52 day period began on December 3...1933.
In 1988...one of the strongest windstorms in several years
pounded the Front Range foothills from Colorado Springs
north to the Wyoming border. The highest wind gust at
lower elevations was 105 mph recorded at Table Mesa in
Boulder. Other sections of Boulder recorded wind gusts of
80 to 90 mph. In Boulder...the high winds broke windows and
damaged power lines and transformers. Power outages were
widespread and traffic lights were downed. The winds blew
down a partially constructed viaduct in east Boulder. Nine
unanchored concrete girders...each weighing 45 tons...were
blown off their supports. Cars were blown off I-70 near
Morrison...and a tractor trailer and a mobile home were
knocked over. In Lakewood...an electric company crewman was
burned while replacing a power line. Wind gusts to 92 mph
were clocked at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield
before the site anemometer was blown down by the wind.
The strong winds spread over all the metro area with a
northwest wind gust to 52 mph recorded at Stapleton
In 1992...high winds buffeted the eastern foothills. A wind
gust to 63 mph was recorded at Rocky Flats northwest of
Denver. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton
In 2002...low level upslope flow combined with an upper level
jet stream created bands of heavy snow over portions of
the Front Range foothills and metro Denver. The areas
hardest hit were the foothills of Jefferson and Douglas
counties and the I-25 corridor from the southern suburbs
of Denver to around Castle Rock. Snow totals included:
9 inches at Intercanyon...Roxborough State Park...and near
Sedalia; 8.5 inches atop Crow Hill and near Tiny Town;
8 inches at Ken Caryl and near Castle Rock; 7 inches in
Lakewood; 6.5 inches at Littleton; and 6 inches in Castle
Rock. Only 3.6 inches of snow were measured at the site
of the former Stapleton International Airport.
23-24 In 1921...heavy snowfall in downtown Denver totaled 8.0
inches overnight. Northwest winds were sustained to
22 mph with gusts to 25 mph on the 24th.
24 In 1887...west winds sustained to 44 mph warmed the
temperature to a high of 56 degrees in the city.
In 1890...northwest winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to
60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 63 degrees.
In 1900...west winds were sustained to 44 mph with an
extreme velocity of 46 mph. The chinook winds warmed
the temperature to a high of 57 degrees.
In 1934...a trace of snowfall resulted in precipitation
of 0.01 inch in downtown Denver. This was the only
measurable amount of precipitation for the month...making
the month one of the driest January`s on record.
In 1956...west-northwest winds gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton
Airport. Strong and gusty winds persisted throughout the
In 1972...a west wind gust to 92 mph was recorded in Boulder
at the National Bureau of Standards...while in downtown
Boulder a wind gust to only 66 mph was measured. In
Denver...a car was demolished when the wind blew a traffic
light pole onto it...and a wooden wall at a construction
site was blown over damaging two cars. Northwest winds
gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982...strong winds were again reported along the eastern
foothills. While the most damage occurred in the Fort
Collins area...Boulder did not entirely escape. Nine
planes were damaged at the Boulder airport along with
4 mobile homes and many cars in the Boulder area. A
school in Central City was damaged. A water tank in
Parker collapsed. The strongest wind gust recorded was
140 mph at Wondervu. Wind gusts reached 92 mph in Boulder.
Northwest wind gusts to 61 mph were recorded at Stapleton
In 1992...for the third day...high winds raked the eastern
foothills. Winds gusted to 105 mph at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Several tractor
trailers were overturned along State Highway 93...between
Boulder and Golden. Traffic lights and signs were knocked
down in Boulder. Other wind reports included: 86 mph at
Rocky Flats...100 mph on Fritz Peak near Rollinsville...and
93 mph in north Boulder. West winds gusted to 37 mph at
Stapleton International Airport.
24-25 In 1916...a trace of light rain...rare in Denver for January...
occurred on both days.
In 1946...high winds occurred in Boulder and along the
foothills to the north. A wind gust to 72 mph was recorded
In 1947...strong winds were measured in Boulder. Hourly wind
gusts averaged 72 mph at Valmont east of Boulder.
In 1950...heavy snowfall totaled 7.1 inches at Stapleton
Airport and 6.8 inches in downtown Denver.
24-26 In 1970...a wind gust to 122 mph was recorded at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder on the 24th.
Winds also gusted to 109 mph at NCAR on the 26th. Most
winds were estimated between 60 and 70 mph in Boulder.
Damage...in most cases...was from broken windows and tree
limbs and downed power lines. A roof was blown off a
house in Eldorado Springs south of Boulder. A building
under construction was damaged in Boulder. Reported
damage totaled 25 hundred dollars in Boulder. Northwest
winds gusted to 47 mph at Stapleton International Airport
on the 24th. In Denver...the chinook winds warmed the
temperature to a record high of 68 degrees on the 24th.
25 In 1872...the greatest temperature change in one day...66
degrees...from a low of 20 degrees below zero...a record
low for the date...to a high of 46 degrees...occurred.
In 1888...west winds sustained to 42 mph warmed the
temperature to a high of 58 degrees.
In 1890...northwest chinook winds gusting as high as 48 mph
resulted in two temperature records. High temperature
of 72 degrees was a record maximum for the date. Low
temperature of only 48 degrees was a record high minimum
for the date.
In 1914...chinook winds from the northwest sustained to 46
mph with gusts as high as 60 mph warmed the temperature
to a high of 52 degrees. The low temperature was only
In 1923...snowfall of 1.3 inches was the only measurable
snow of the month.
In 1931...snowfall of 0.1 inch was the only measurable
snow of the month. The melted snow totaled only
0.02 inch of precipitation...which was the only
measurable amount of the month. This resulted in the
4th driest January on record.
In 1964...high winds occurred in Boulder...Golden...and
Broomfield where a wind gust to 80 mph was recorded at
Jefferson County Airport. Some power lines were downed.
Damage to buildings and vehicles was also reported.
West-northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton
In 1971...the highest recorded wind gust in the State of
Colorado...147 mph...occurred at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research on the mesa in southwest Boulder.
Wind gusts to 91 mph were measured at the National Bureau
of Standards and to 87 mph in downtown Boulder. A wind
gust to 75 mph was recorded at Jefferson County Airport in
Broomfield. The strong winds caused widespread minor
damage in Boulder. Northwest winds gusting to 32 mph at
Stapleton International Airport warmed the temperature
to a high of 55 degrees.
In 1980...a blizzard struck Denver right at the evening rush
hours...causing massive traffic snarls and forcing the
closure of I-25 north of Denver and I-70 east of the city
as well as many other roads. Hundreds of travelers were
stranded. Multi-car accidents involving as many as 50 cars
were common. Air traffic at Stapleton International Airport
was stalled for 3 hours. Winds gusted to 50 or 60 mph with
visibility reduced to zero at times. The high winds
knocked out electrical power in Broomfield. During the
height of the storm...temperatures plunged from the freezing
mark at mid-afternoon to only 5 degrees before midnight.
Initial snowfall from the storm was only 3 to 5 inches
across metro Denver with 4.1 inches measured at Stapleton
International Airport where north wind gusts to 58 mph were
In 1988...high winds pummeled the eastern foothills with a
peak gust to 96 mph recorded near Rollinsville. A gust to
109 mph was recorded at Echo Lake. West winds gusted to
48 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1996...heavy snow fell along the Front Range foothills.
Snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches were measured from
I-25 west into the foothills with lighter accumulations
reported elsewhere. Snowfall totaled only 0.9 inch at
the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
In 2004...locally heavy snow fell across metro Denver. The
heaviest snow was south of Denver and in the foothills.
Snowfall totals included: 9 inches near Indian Hills...
8.5 inches near Franktown and 9 miles southwest of
Sedalia...8 inches 7 miles southwest of Aurora...and 6
inches in Highlands Ranch. Snowfall was only 2.8 inches
at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.
North winds gusted to 35 mph at Denver International
In 2008...Strong westerly winds blew out three windows at a
Chipolte restaurant in Louisville. Two people were taken
to the hospital for minor cuts. At Denver International
Airport...northeast winds gusted to 35 mph.
25-26 In 1910...gale force westerly winds of great velocity struck
Boulder. Some damage was reported. West winds were
sustained to 45 mph in Denver on the 25th.
25-27 In 1897...a cold spell resulted in three temperature records.
Low temperature of 14 degrees below zero on the 27th was
a record minimum for the date. High temperatures of only
3 degrees on the 25th and 2 degrees on the 26th were record
low maximums for the dates. Very light snow or flurries
fell on the 25th and 26th at times.
26 In 1902...the low temperature dipped to 20 degrees below zero.
In 1916...sleet...grains of ice...a rare occurrence in Denver...
fell for 3 hours and 15 minutes...covering the ground.
In 1999...high winds developed in and near the foothills.
Peak wind reports included: 82 mph in Boulder and at
Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield...79 mph at
the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Facility...and 72 mph
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab
near Boulder. West winds gusted to 40 mph at Denver
International Airport where the temperature warmed to a
high of 54 degrees.
26-27 In 1944...heavy snowfall totaled 8.0 inches in downtown
Denver. Most of the snow...7.0 inches...occurred on the
26th when northwest winds were sustained to 17 mph.
In 1973...at Stapleton International Airport...only 3.8 inches
of snowfall were measured and north winds gusted to 40 mph
causing some blowing snow...while over the Colorado eastern
plains heavy snow accompanied by high winds created
widespread blizzard conditions closing many highways.
In 1994...the combination of an upper level storm system
and moist upslope winds brought heavy snow and cold
temperatures to metro Denver and much of eastern Colorado.
Snowfall across metro Denver averaged 5 to 7 inches.
Snowfall totaled 3.8 inches at Stapleton International
Airport where east winds gusted to 21 mph on the 26th.
In 2000...snow...heavy in the mountains...spread over the
foothills and metro Denver. Eight inches of snow were
measured at Bergen Park and near Evergreen. Snowfall
totaled 3.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
26-1 In 1888...a protracted warm spell lasted a week. Maximum
temperatures ranged from 62 degrees on the 29th to an
all time record high for the month of 76 degrees on the
27th. Daily record high temperatures of 76...69...and 71
occurred on the 27th...28th...and 30th respectively.
Record high minimum temperatures of 47 and 34 occurred
on the 26th and 27th.
27 In 1888...the highest recorded temperature in January...76
In 1967...strong winds caused a power outage in Boulder.
In 1984...this was the last day of 63 consecutive days
with snow cover of one inch or more in Denver. This
longest period of snow cover on record began with the
Thanksgiving weekend blizzard on November 26-27...1983...
when 21.5 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International
Airport. Additional snowfall during December and
January prolonged the event. Snow depth on the ground
to the nearest inch was measured once daily at 5:00 AM MST.
27-28 In 1899...snowfall totaled 6.2 inches in the city. Northeast
winds were sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 40 mph on the
In 1965...high winds raked the Front Range foothills. West
winds gusted to 89 mph on Table Mountain in Boulder...87 mph
at Rocky Flats...and 54 mph at Stapleton International
Airport. Damage and minor injuries occurred in Boulder and
western metro Denver. Four men were injured by wind-
caused accidents while working on construction...2 in Denver
and 2 in Boulder. There was extensive damage to power lines...
buildings...signs...and trees. Some minor accidents were
caused by blowing dust and debris. Blown dust accumulated
2 to 3 feet deep on some lawns in northern metro Denver
suburbs. Dust blew into buildings and homes.
In 1989...the heaviest snowstorm of the winter dumped 9 to 15
inches of snow across metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 8.8
inches at Stapleton International Airport with most of the
snow...8.6 inches...falling on the 28th. Strong north winds
gusting to 46 mph whipped the snow into 2-foot drifts and
reduced visibility in blowing snow. The foothills received
up to 18 inches of snow. The snow fell on a weekend...so
closures and other disruptions were minimal. The public
reported thunder in Arvada...Wheat Ridge...and Boulder on the
evening of the 27th. A thunderstorm produced snow pellets
at Stapleton International Airport during the early morning
hours of the 28th. This was the first thunderstorm in the
city during January since 1932.
In 1996...winds to hurricane force were reported across the
Front Range foothills in the wake of a Pacific storm system.
Recorded wind speeds included: 86 mph at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research southwest of Boulder...86 mph atop
Squaw Mountain west of Denver...and 75 mph at Jefferson
County Airport in Broomfield. West-northwest winds gusted
to 48 mph at Denver International Airport on the 28th.
In 2009...high winds buffeted the foothills of Boulder and
Jefferson Counties. Peak wind gusts included: 101 mph at
Eldora Ski Resort...100 mph...6 miles northwest of Boulder;
84 mph at NCAR Mesa Lab...79 mph...5 miles northwest of
Boulder; and 75 mph at the National Wind Technology Center.
In Nederland...a wind turbine recently installed was damaged
by the high winds. A peak wind gust of 38 mph occurred at
Denver International Airport on the 28th.
27-31 In 1951...a major storm dumped 10.1 inches of snowfall at
Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow...8.3 inches...fell on
the 29th. Cold Arctic air accompanied the snow. Several
temperature records were set...including record low maximum
temperatures of 4 on the 28th and 4 below zero on the 29th
and record low temperatures of 12 below zero on the 29th
and 24 below zero on the 31st. Temperatures were below
zero for 45 consecutive hours.
28 In 1872...the low temperature dipped to 22 degrees below zero...
a record minimum for the date.
In 1909...gale force north winds were sustained to 45 mph
behind an apparent cold front...which also produced a trace
In 1986...a wind gust to 67 mph was recorded in Boulder.
West winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International
28-29 In 1956...snowfall totaled 5.5 inches at Stapleton Airport
where east winds gusted to 32 mph on the 28th.
In 1972...cold west winds buffeted Boulder. A wind gust to 92
mph was recorded at the National Bureau of Standards...while
a gust to 76 mph was measured in downtown Boulder. Two
mobile homes were overturned in Boulder. Other damage was
minor. Northwest winds gusted to 40 mph at Stapleton
International Airport on the 28th.
In 1987...strong winds buffeted the Front Range foothills and
spread east over the plains. The highest wind recorded was
99 mph on the 29th at both the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in Boulder and the Rocky Flats plant
south of Boulder. Wind gusts in excess of 80 mph were
common. A northwest wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport on the 28th with a gust to
41 mph on the 29th. Planes were damaged at both the Boulder
and Jefferson County Airports. Hangars were also damaged at
Jefferson County Airport. Many windows were broken...signs
toppled...and trees downed. A brick wall was blown onto
parked cars in Lakewood. A couple of houses in Lakewood
were unroofed...while falling trees damaged others. Two
people were injured by flying debris in Lakewood and Golden.
Total insured damage along the Front Range was 10 million
dollars making the wind storm the second most costly on
record in Colorado at the time.
In 1995...deepening upslope winds along the eastern foothills
on the 28th gave way to periods of heavy snow during the
night and early morning hours of the 29th. Snow fell to a
depth of 8 inches in both Golden and Boulder with up to a
foot in the foothills. Only 1.9 inches of snow fell at
Stapleton International Airport...where east winds gusted
to 22 mph on the 28th.
In 2001...heavy snow fell across metro Denver. The heaviest
snowfall occurred from just south of Denver to around
Castle Rock. Snow amounts included: 12 inches east of
Parker...9 inches near Elizabeth and in Littleton...8 inches
near Castle Rock and in Parker...and 7 inches in Aurora.
Snowfall totaled 6.0 inches at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport.
28-30 In 1887...winds were strong and gusty for three days in the
city. West and northwest winds were sustained to 56 mph
on both the 28th and 29th and to 44 mph on the 30th.
Temperatures warmed to a high of 57 degrees on the 29th.