Current Watches and Warnings
Colorado, West Jackson and West Grand Counties Above 9000 Feet
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:45 PM MDT on October 22, 2016
... This week in Metro Denver weather history...
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.
19-23 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.
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.
23 in 1876... skies were fair... but winds were sustained to
In 1942... a major storm dumped 10.2 inches of snow over
downtown Denver. Post-frontal northeast winds were
sustained to only 13 mph.
In 1955... the first snowfall of the season and the only
measurable snow of the month dumped 4.1 inches of snow
on Stapleton Airport. This was the single heaviest
October snowfall in 13 years since 1942. The storm
also brought the first sub-freezing temperatures of the
season when the temperature dipped to a low of 25 degrees.
In 1956... southwest winds gusted to 53 mph and produced some
blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1967... a northwest wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport. In downtown Boulder...
winds were sustained at 20 mph with gusts in excess of
In 1981... strong winds occurred in the foothills. Wind gusts
to 70 mph were reported at Wondervu.
23-24 in 1887... the first measurable snowfall of the season totaled
3.1 inches. North winds to 20 mph were recorded on the
23rd. This was the only measurable snow of the month.
In 1932... Post-frontal snowfall from the late evening of the
23rd continued through the late afternoon of the 24th and
totaled 6.2 inches. Southeast winds were sustained to 25
mph with gusts to 26 mph on the 23rd. Temperatures cooled
from a high of 68 degrees on the 23rd to a low of 25
degrees on the 24th... the coldest reading of the month that
year. Many trees that had not shed their leaves became
heavily laden by the wet snow. Many branches were broken...
and a few trees toppled under the weight of the snow. The
landscape became one of rare beauty.
24 in 1956... southwest winds gusted to 56 mph and produced some
blowing dust at Stapleton Airport. A cold front produced
a thunderstorm with 1/8 inch hail. Rain later changed to
snow. Precipitation totaled only 0.11 inch and snowfall
only 0.3 inch.
In 1973... strong winds raked the eastern foothills... causing
damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. The heaviest
damage occurred in the Boulder area where 20 to 25 Mobile
homes were hit... some power and telephone lines were blown
down... and a store was damaged. A wind gust to 76 mph was
recorded in Boulder at the National Bureau of standards.
Northwest winds gusted to 46 mph at Stapleton International
24-25 in 1921... rainfall totaled 0.35 inch overnight behind an
apparent cold front. North winds were sustained to 40 mph
with gusts to 46 mph on the 25th. Temperatures plunged
from a high of 73 degrees on the 24th to a low of 39
degrees on the 25th.
In 1923... rain overnight changed to snow during the morning.
The heavy snowfall accumulated to 12.0 inches before ending
on the morning of the 25th. Post-frontal north winds were
sustained to 22 mph with gusts to 23 mph on the 24th.
In 1997... one of the worst and deadliest blizzards of the
decade developed over eastern Colorado as deep east to
northeast flow associated with a vigorous upper level low
pressure system over The Four Corners... combined with a
strong Arctic air mass over the central Great Plains.
Snowfall totals across Metro Denver ranged from 14 to 31
inches. The heaviest snowfall occurred in the foothills
west and southwest of Denver where 2 to 4 feet of snow
were measured. Sustained winds to 40 mph with gusts as
high as 60 mph produced zero visibilities and extremely
cold wind chill temperatures from 25 below to 40 below
zero. Winds whipped the snow into drifts 4 to 10 feet
deep. Several major and Interstate highways were closed
as travel became impossible. Red Cross shelters were set
up for hundreds of travelers who became stranded when
they had to abandon their vehicles. Four people died in
northeastern Colorado as a result of the blizzard. None of
the deaths were in Metro Denver. At Denver International
Airport... 4 thousand travelers were stranded when the Airport
was forced to shut down. At least 120 cars were abandoned
along pena Blvd... .the only arterial leading into and out
of dia. The blizzard cost air carriers at least 20 million
dollars. Thousands of cattle died in the storm over
northeastern Colorado... resulting in losses totaling 1.5
million dollars. Some of the more impressive snowfall
totals included: 51 inches at Coal Creek canyon; 48
inches at Silver Spruce ranch... near ward; 42 inches at
intercanyon... in the foothills southwest of denver; 37 inches
at sedalia; 35 inches at Aspen Springs and Conifer in the
foothills west of denver; 31 inches at Eldorado Springs...
southeast Aurora... and englewood; and 30 inches on Table Mesa
in Boulder. Snowfall totaled 21.9 inches at the site of
the former Stapleton International Airport... setting a new
24-hour snowfall record of 19.1 inches for the month.
Snowfall totaled only 14 inches at Denver International
Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph on the 24th.
High temperature of only 21 degrees on the 25th equaled
the record low maximum for the date first set in 1873.
Low temperature of only 3 degrees on the 26th set a new
record minimum for the date.
25 in 1925... a vigorous cold front produced north winds sustained
to 42 mph with gusts to 52 mph. Post-frontal snowfall was
only 0.4 inch during the late afternoon and early evening.
In 1959... northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton
In 1997... the high temperature warmed to only 21 degrees... the
record low maximum for the month. The same temperature
also occurred on October 30... 1991.
26 in 2010... very strong winds during the day knocked down power
lines in parts of Boulder. The downed electrical lines
sparked a small brush fire near Columbine Elementary
School. Strong wind gusts also damaged the tennis bubble
at the millenium harvest house. In Northglenn. A tree was
knocked down and caused minor damage to a mini-Van parked
nearby. Peak wind gusts included: 70 mph at Berthoud... 67
mph at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield...
63 mph at the Rocky Flats National wind technology center
and 59 mph at the ncar Mesa laboratory... 3 miles southwest
of Boulder. West winds gusted to 43 mph at Denver
In 2011... a powerful early season storm brought heavy snow
to the Front Range and adjacent plains. The heavy... wet
snow caused extensive downed large branches and in some
cases... entire trees. Massive power outages occurred from
Fort Collins and Greeley south to Denver and the
surrounding Metro area. Most of the trees still had their
leaves... which helped to catch snow and down trees under
the weight of the moisture laden snow. Nearly two hundred
thousand utility customers along the Front Range were
without heat and electricity for several hours. The Red
Cross opened four temporary shelters overnight until the
power could be restored. The outages also forced the
closure of the Boulder criminal Justice center the
following day. The fallen trees and branches also caused
extensive property damage to roofs and automobiles. In
the Front Range mountains and foothills... storm totals
included 19.8 inches... 3 miles west of jamestown; 18
inches... 5 miles west of copper; 13 inches... 3 miles north
of Blackhawk and 3 miles south of Evergreen... 4 miles
east-northeast of Nederland and lake eldora; 12 inches
at Berthoud snotel. Across the urban corridor storm
totals included: 11.5 inches in boulder; 9.5 inches at
the National Weather Service in boulder; 9 inches... 1 mile
southwest of westminster; 8.5 inches in Broomfield...
Denver International Airport... Frederick and louisville;
8 inches in Aurora... 7 inches in watkins; with 6 inches
25-26 in 1996... 4 to 6 inches of snow fell in the foothills west of
Denver. Only 1.5 inches of snowfall were measured at the
site of the former Stapleton International Airport on the
26th. This was the only measurable snow of the month at
the site. The snowfall produced icy and snowpacked
highways... which resulted in a 50-to 60-car pileup on I-25
south of Metro Denver. West winds gusted to 33 mph at
Denver International Airport.
In 2006... a winter storm brought heavy snowfall to Metro
Denver and the eastern foothills. Total snowfall ranged
from 12 to 22 inches over the higher terrain and 6 to 12
inches across Metro Denver. Northerly winds at sustained
speeds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 47 mph at
Denver International Airport whipped the snow into drifts
3 to 4 feet deep. Many tree limbs snapped under the weight
of the heavy... wet snow which also downed power lines...
leaving thousands of residents without power. Storm total
snowfall included: 25 inches near Aspen Springs... Conifer...
and evergreen; 23.5 inches near rollinsville; 23 inches in
Idaho springs; 22.5 inches near blackhawk; 21.5 inches near
bailey; 19 inches near Bergen park; 18 inches near Aspen
Springs... Genesee... and jamestown; 17 inches southwest of
boulder; 16 inches in evergreen; and 15 inches near
Georgetown and Perry Park. Snowfall totaled 5.3 inches
in the Denver Stapleton area. At Denver international
aiport... rain... including a thunderstorm... changed to snow
on the evening of the 25th after a high temperature of
In 2010... a storm system brought heavy snow to the mountains
west of Denver. Storm totals included: 24 inches at the
eisenhower Tunnel... 18 inches at Loveland ski area; with
16 inches at Arapahoe basin.
25-27 in 1897... a major storm dumped 13.5 inches of snowfall over
downtown Denver. Rain changed to snow during the evening
of the 25th and continued through mid-morning of the 27th.
Most of the snow... 12.0 inches... fell on the 26th when north
winds were sustained to 36 mph and gusts were as high as 46
mph. Temperatures during the storm were in the 20's and
lower 30's. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) totaled
26 in 1995... winds gusting from 100 to near 110 mph pounded the
foothills northwest of Denver. At Nederland winds gusted
to 100 mph and to 70 mph in Coal Creek Canyon. Atop
Squaw Mountain west of Denver wind gusts to 108 mph were
recorded. The strong winds downed some trees and caused
power outages. West-northwest winds gusted to 47 mph at
Denver International Airport.
26-27 in 1971... strong winds raked Boulder. At the National Bureau
of standards wind gusts to 62 mph were recorded... while in
downtown Boulder winds peaked to 48 mph. At Stapleton
International Airport... northwest winds gusted to 38 mph on
the 26th and north winds gusted to 36 mph on the 27th.
In 1976... the first measurable snow of the season turned into
a major storm. Traffic was halted for several hours on
highways to the west of Denver where 8 to 12 inches of
snow fell in the foothills. Snowfall totaled 7.2 inches
at Stapleton International Airport where north winds
gusted to 30 mph. Most of the snow... 6.3 inches... fell
all day on the 26th. The greatest snow depth on the
ground was 5 inches on the morning of the 27th.
27 in 1980... the first snowfall of the season totaled only
1.5 inches with 0.10 inch of moisture at Stapleton
International Airport where the maximum snow depth on
the ground was only 1 inch due to melting. This was the
only measurable precipitation of the month... making it the
driest October since 1962 when only 0.03 inch of
precipitation was measured.
In 1994... wind gusts to 70 mph were recorded atop Squaw
Mountain... 5 miles south of Idaho Springs... and at
Rollinsville in the foothills southwest of Boulder.
Northwest winds gusted to 28 mph at Stapleton
27-28 in 1874... strong west winds in Boulder along with a
reported tornado produced 150 dollars in damage.
In 1913... a strong cold front produced sustained northeast
winds to 35 mph with gusts as high as 38 mph on the 27th.
Overnight snowfall totaled 5.8 inches. Temperatures
plunged to a low of 17 degrees on the morning of the 28th
after a high of 60 degrees on the 27th.
27-30 in 2009... a powerful early season storm brought heavy
snow to the Front Range. The combination of a deep
northeasterly upslope flow coupled with abundant moisture
and lift with the developing storm system produced an
extended period of moderate to heavy snowfall. The heavy
wet snow accumulated on trees and resulted in broken
branches and scattered electrical outages. Interstates 70
and 76 were closed east of Denver. Numerous other roads
and highways were shut down. The Red Cross set up numerous
emergency shelters for stranded travelers. The blowing
snow at Denver International Airport forced the
cancellation of hundreds of flights. Schools were also
closed. In the foothills storm totals included: 46 inches...
3 miles southeast of pinecliffe; 42 inches... 3 miles
southwest of conifer; 34 inches... 3 miles north of
blackhawk; 30 inches at Aspen Springs and near Evergreen...
23 inches at Roxborough Park... and 20 inches... 3 miles
south-southeast of Morrison. Across the urban corridor
storm totals included: 25 inches in Highlands ranch;
21.5 inches near Louisville... 20.5 inches in Broomfield...
20 inches at Lafayette... 17.5 inches in Boulder... 17 inches
in Westminster... 16.5 inches in erie; 15.5 inches in
Arvada and 5 miles west-northwest of Littleton... 15 inches
in Littleton... 14 inches in Englewood... 13.5 inches in
Lakewood and 6 miles north of thornton; 13.3 inches at
Denver International Airport... 11 inches... 4 miles south of
denver; 10.5 inches... 2 miles north of Cherry Hills Village
28 in 1917... Post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.5 inches in the
city. North winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 33
mph caused the temperature to plunge from a high of 58
degrees to a low of 9 degrees by midnight.
In 1967... winds gusted to 65 mph in downtown Boulder... causing
minor damage. South winds gusted to 32 mph at Stapleton
In 1991... the first major snow of the season hit Metro Denver
as a cold Arctic air mass moved over the area. Snowfall
amounts across northeast Colorado ranged from 3 to 10
inches with 4.4 inches of snowfall recorded at Stapleton
International Airport where north winds gusted to 22 mph.
The low temperature dipped to 13 degrees.
In 1993... high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills. A
wind gust to 83 mph was recorded atop Squaw Mountain... 35
miles west of Denver... and a gust to 76 mph occurred near
Rollinsville southwest of Boulder.
28-29 in 1993... an upper level disturbance combined with a moist
upslope flow to bring heavy snow to portions of Metro
Denver. Snowfall amounts ranged from 5.4 inches at
Stapleton International Airport to 14 inches in Boulder.
New snowfall totaled 8 inches at Gross Reservoir in the
foothills 5 miles southwest of Boulder. On the 28th... north
winds gusted to 30 mph at Stapleton International Airport
where the temperature climbed to only 25 degrees on the
29th... equaling the record low maximum for the date.
28-30 in 1971... a vigorous cold front plunged temperatures from a
high of 70 degrees on the 27th to record low levels on the
29th and 30th. Snowfall totaled 3.1 inches at
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