Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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NOUS45 KBOU 160859

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
259 AM MDT SUN MAY 16 2021

...Today in metro Denver weather history...

14-18 In 1996...from the 14th to the 18th...a period of unusually
        warm weather resulted in 4 record maximum temperatures in
        5 days.  The record high temperatures were 87 degrees on
        the 14th...89 degrees on the 15th...and 93 degrees on both
        the 16th and 18th.  The temperature climbed to only 81
        degrees on the 17th which was not a record.
15-16 In 1957...from the 15th to the 16th...heavy snowfall totaled
        8.8 inches at Stapleton Airport. The greatest amount on the
        ground was 3 inches.
      In 1986...from the 15th to the 16th...a spring storm dumped 1
        to 2 inches of rain over metro Denver...but 2.71 inches fell
        at Buckley Field in Aurora.  Rainfall only totaled 0.84
        inch at Stapleton International Airport.  Snow fell in the
        foothills with 7 inches recorded in Coal Creek Canyon
        southwest of Boulder.
16    In 1875...a heavy hail storm turned into heavy rain during
        the afternoon.  Rainfall totaled 0.86 inch in just 37
        minutes...while the temperature dropped 22 degrees in
        22 minutes.  Precipitation totaled 0.90 inch.
      In 1894...west winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts
        to 56 mph.
      In 1949...a tornado was observed for 16 minutes...20 miles to
        the southeast of Stapleton Airport.  The tornado moved 5
        miles to the northeast before dissipating.  No damage was
      In 1963...intense lightning started several forest fires in
        the foothills southwest of Denver near Deckers and
        Cheeseman Lake.  Little precipitation fell from the storms
        to alleviate the unusual dry conditions so early in the
      In 1978...thunderstorm winds caused damage in southeast
        Aurora.  Winds of 60 to 80 mph blew down numerous fences and
        damaged several homes under construction.  High winds tore
        docks loose at Cherry Creek Reservoir...sinking 3 or 4 boats
        and damaging about 15 others.  At Stapleton International
        Airport where winds gusted to 60 mph...a 727 jet suffered
        15 hundred dollars damage when wind toppled a runway light
        onto it.  The public reported an unconfirmed tornado 7 miles
        south-southwest of Stapleton International Airport.
      In 1990...a line of thunderstorms moving across metro Denver
        uprooted a large ash tree...which fell and blocked the
        outside doors to a Denver elementary school...briefly
        trapping the students inside.  Thunderstorm wind gusts to
        69 mph were reported at Jefferson County Airport.
        Northwest winds gusted to 44 mph at Stapleton International
      In 1991...two tornadoes touched down briefly in Castle Rock...
        but no injuries or damage were recorded.  Heavy
        thunderstorm rains of 0.50 to 1.10 inches in a couple of
        hours caused Lena Gulch near Golden to flood.  No damage
        was reported.
      In 1996...dry microburst winds of unknown strength overturned
        a trailer and damaged storage sheds in Strasburg east of
16-17 In 1981...from the 16th to the 17th...a heavy rain storm dumped
        1 to 2 1/2 inches of rain across metro Denver.  Rainfall
        totaled 1.27 inches at Stapleton International Airport where
        north winds gusted to 38 mph on 17th.
      In 1983...from the 16th to the 17th...a very strong late spring
        storm dumped heavy snow over the Front Range.  Strong winds
        with the storm produced blizzard conditions at times.
        Sustained winds were 20 to 40 mph with a peak gust to 55 mph
        at Stapleton International Airport.  The foothills received
        1 to 2 feet of snow with 4 to 12 inches along the foothills.
        Howling winds whipped the snow into drifts several feet
        deep...closing schools and highways.  Stapleton International
        Airport was forced to reduce flight operations...closing 2 of
        4 runways and stranding hundreds of travelers.  Most of the
        damage and inconvenience caused by the storm was in power
        outages...which occurred when wind and heavy wet snow caused
        hundreds of power poles to snap and topple.  About 20 square
        miles of Denver were blacked out.  Precipitation from the
        storm totaled 1 to 3 inches.  At Stapleton International
        Airport...snowfall totaled 7.1 inches with a maximum snow
        depth on the ground of only 2 inches due to melting.  The
        high temperature of 40 degrees on the 17th was a record low
        maximum for the date.  Due to the heavy moisture content
        of the storm...widespread street flooding occurred on the
        18th when much of the snow melted under the warm May sun
        and temperatures climbed to a high of 57 degrees.
      In 1995...from the 16th to the 17th...significant moisture and
        upslope flow caused flooding across metro Denver.  Moderate
        to heavy rains...which began on the evening of the 16th...
        developed in the foothills and spread eastward over metro
        Denver throughout the night.  The heavy rains brought many
        creeks and small streams to bankfull or slightly over.
        Locations along the foothills received between 3 and 4
        inches of rainfall from the storm.  Boulder received 3.60
        inches of rainfall for the 24-hour period...causing minor
        street flooding near small streams.  To the northwest of
        Boulder...a bridge which crossed Fourmile Creek was washed
        out.  Numerous rock and mudslides occurred in foothills
        canyons...closing portions of U.S. Highways 6 and 40 and
        State Highway 119 for a few hours at a time.  Rocks were
        piled 6 feet deep on a stretch of State Highway 119 along
        with boulders as large as cars on U.S. Highway 6.  A
        parking lot near a creek in Golden caved in leaving a
        hole the size of an 18-wheeler.  Rushing water washed out
        a 50-foot stretch of a road in Westminster.  Rainfall
        totaled 1.75 inches at Denver International Airport...but
        only 1.42 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
        International Airport.

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