Current Watches and Warnings
Colorado, Washington County
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 2:59 AM MDT on April 18, 2015
... Today in Metro Denver weather history...
16-18 in 2009... a potent Spring storm brought heavy snow to locations
in and near the Front Range foothills. A deep easterly
upslope produced nearly 5 feet of snow in parts of the
foothills. The heavy snow resulted in the closure of
Interstate 70... from Golden West to Vail... for approximately
16 hours. The heavy snow snapped power lines in Evergreen
and Nederland. The ensuing outages affected 14200
In the Front Range foothills... storm totals included: 56
inches... 3 miles south of rollinsville; 54 inches... 3 miles
southeast of Pinecliffe... 43 inches at Aspen Springs... 42
inches at Evergreen... 38 inches near conifer; 37 inches at
St. Mary's Glacier... and 34 inches near Nederland.
Along the urban corridor and Palmer Divide... the heaviest
snow occurred above 5500 feet on the 17th. Storm totals
included: 22 inches... 8.5 miles southwest of franktown; 18
inches... 10 miles south-southeast of Buckley Air Force base;
17 inches near Cherry Creek and 7 miles south of Sedalia...
16 inches... 6.5 miles southwest of Castle rock; 15 inches
near Beverly hills; 12 inches near Highlands Ranch and
Lafayette... with 11 inches in Broomfield. Elsewhere storm
totals ranged from 4 to 10 inches. Officially... only 2.6
inches of snow was observed at Denver International Airport.
The 24-hr precipitation for the day however was 1.16 inches...
which established a new record for aprtil 17th.
17-18 in 1878... the wind blew violently all day on the 17th with
a maximum sustained velocity of 40 mph. Dust hung over
the city like a cloud. The relative humidity was zero
nearly all day. A terrific gale blew overnight. There
was much damage to buildings... signs... fences... etc. Some
wind gusts were so strong as to jar buildings to their
foundations. The station anemometer recorded sustained
winds to 50 mph with higher gusts before it was damaged
by the winds. The winds moderated during the day on the
18th and ended at sunset.
In 1894... Post-frontal rain changed to snow on the 17th
around sunrise and continued through 9:00 am on the 18th.
Snowfall totaled 10.5 inches... but most of the snow melted
as it fell. The high temperature warmed to only 35 degrees
on the 17th after a high of 76 on the 16th. Northeast
winds were sustained to 30 mph with gusts to 32 mph on
In 1998... more Spring snow fell across Metro Denver and in
the foothills. Snowfall totals included: 11 inches at
Golden Gate canyon; 10 inches at Highlands ranch; 9 inches
at elizabeth; 8 inches at Broomfield and morrison; and 7
inches at chief hosa... Evergreen... Littleton... and Sedalia.
Snowfall totaled only 3.2 inches at the site of the former
Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to
22 mph at Denver International Airport.
17-19 in 1920... snow fell across the city continuously for 57 hours...
from the early morning of the 17th until 11:40 am on the
19th. The heavy wet snowfall totaled 18.2 inches with the
greatest accumulation on the ground of 12 inches. Winds
during the storm were strong with sustained speeds in
excess of 27 mph for over 40 consecutive hours... which
created near-blizzard conditions. The highest recorded
wind speeds were 44 mph with gusts to 50 mph from the
north on the 17th and 39 mph with gusts to 48 mph from
the northwest on the 18th. The strong winds piled the
snow into high drifts which stopped all Denver traffic.
Railroads were blocked with only one train entering the
city on the 19th. All interurban trains were blocked... as
were the 13 trolley lines. Thus... many workers were unable
to get home at night and filled all of the downtown hotels
to capacity. No grocery or fuel deliveries were possible...
except milk and Coal to hospitals and to families with
babies. No lives were lost in the city... but several people
perished in surrounding districts. Stock losses were heavy
on the plains. Temperatures during the storm were in the
18 in 1877... strong winds blew all day with an average sustained
velocity of 36 mph. The maximum sustained velocity was
60 mph. No significant damage was reported.
In 1903... northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with gusts
to 53 mph.
In 1936... light dust spread over the city from the east on
southeast winds gusting to 25 mph. The surface visibility
was reduced to about 2 miles at times.
In 1940... this date marked the start of the longest period
without snow... 200 days... through November 3... 1940. A trace
of snow fell on both April 17... 1940... and November 4... 1940.
In 1963... strong winds were prevalent all day across Metro
Denver. West-northwest winds gusting to 60 mph produced
some blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1971... a microburst wind gust to 59 mph produced some
blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1978... high winds caused much blowing dust over the plains.
Wind gusts from 80 to 96 mph were reported in Boulder with
80 mph measured on Lookout Mountain. Northwest winds
gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2000... high winds developed in the foothills of Boulder
County. Peak wind gusts included 71 mph at the National
center for atmospheric research Mesa lab near Boulder.
In Aurora... three workers were injured when strong winds
caused a home under construction to partially collapse.
Two received minor injuries... while the third worker had
to be hospitalized with severe back injuries. South
winds gusted to 47 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2002... strong northeast winds behind a cold front gusted
to 53 mph at Denver International Airport where some
blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 3 miles.
18-19 in 1884... a major storm dumped 13.8 inches of snowfall on
downtown Denver. Most of the snow... 10.0 inches... fell on
the 18th. Light rain on the early morning of the 18th
changed to heavy snow at 8:00 am and became light after
2:00 PM but continued until 4:00 am on the 19th. The
snow melted nearly as fast as it fell. There were only
3 inches on the ground early on the morning of the 19th.
In 1941... heavy snowfall totaled 8.4 inches over downtown
Denver. Northeast winds were sustained to 17 mph.
In 1993... sporadic high winds occurred across Metro Denver.
Significant wind gusts included 97 mph at Rollinsville...
80 mph in southwest Boulder... and 55 mph at Stapleton
International Airport. The strong winds snapped a Pine
Tree top... about 15 feet long and 8 inches in diameter... which
crashed through the roof of a church in Evergreen... causing
one thousand dollars in damage. Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph
caused structural damage to 3 homes under construction in
Broomfield. Northwest winds gusted to 55 mph at Stapleton
In 1995... the second Spring storm of the month dumped heavy
snow in the foothills. The upslope flow along with areas of
thunder snow dropped 6 to 12 inches of snow in the foothills
west of Denver and Boulder. Snowfall totaled 4.6 inches at
the site of the former Stapleton International Airport... but
most of the snow melted as it fell. East winds gusted to
29 mph at Denver International Airport on the 18th.
18-20 in 1966... sub-freezing temperatures caused thousands of
dollars in damage to fruit trees across Metro Denver.
Minimum temperatures were in the teens each morning and
failed to reach above freezing on the 19th. The low
temperature of 13 on the 20th set a new record minimum for
the date. Snowfall totaled 5.7 inches at Stapleton
International Airport during the period.
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