... This week in Metro Denver weather history...
20-27 in 2002... lightning sparked a wildfire near Deckers. Extremely
dry conditions and very strong winds the following day
allowed the fire... known as the Schoonover... to consume 3850
acres before it could be contained. Thirteen structures
were destroyed... including 4 homes... resulting in 2.2 million
dollars in damage.
24-26 in 1996... a late Spring snowstorm dumped 4 to 10 inches of
snow over the Front Range foothills. Conifer picked up
10 inches of new snow; Aspen Springs... 9 inches; and
Central City... 8 inches. The sticky... heavy snow clung to
power lines and pulled tree branches down... causing power
outages to about 1200 homes in the Conifer area. It took
up to 6 hours to restore power to some residences.
Lightning struck a telephone data Cabinet in Conifer on
the 25th... which knocked out phone service to about 1500
customers. Widespread rain fell across Metro Denver...
where rainfall totaled 2.07 inches at the site of the
former Stapleton International Airport and 1.66 inches at
Denver International Airport where north winds gusted to
24 mph on the 26th.
In 2010... high winds preceding a cold front... swept across
the Front Range foothills and urban corridor. In Aurora...
the wind damaged the roof of rangeview High School. In
Conifer and Denver... the wind downed trees and power
lines and caused several brief outages. The downed
power lines also caused several cars to catch fire in
the vicinity of 1590 Cook St. In Denver. Peak wind gusts
included: 82 mph at Highlands Ranch... 67 mph... 4 miles
east of Franktown and longmont; 65 mph in Boulder... 64 mph
in centenniel and Denver International Airport... 62 mph
near Parker and 60 mph in Arvada.
25-26 in 1950... a major storm dumped 10.0 inches of snowfall
downtown and 10.7 inches at Stapleton Airport where
northwest winds gusted to 30 mph on the 25th. The storm
caused extensive damage to utility wires and trees which
were in full Leaf. A daily record minimum temperature of
31 degrees occurred on the 25th. This was the coldest
temperature on this date in 79 years and for so late in the
In 1989... a late season snow storm dropped snow as low as 6
thousand feet along the Front Range. Most places in the
foothills had 2 to 5 inches of snow. Overnight rainfall
totaled 0.33 inch at Stapleton International Airport where
north winds gusted to 37 mph on the 25th.
In 1994... lightning struck a television transmitter on Lookout
Mountain near Golden and burned out a switcher... which
disrupted cable service for 2 hours.
26 in 1897... apparent Post-frontal north winds were sustained to
42 mph with gusts as high as 48 mph.
In 1942... the all-time highest recorded temperature in may... 95
In 1978... two children were struck and killed by lightning on
a Junior High School playground in Parker.
In 1987... 1 inch diameter hail fell near Boulder and
Bennett. The hail was fairly soft and caused no damage.
In 1993... dry thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 81 mph at
Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield. Several trees
were blown down by the strong winds. Microburst winds
gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1995... a woman was injured in Littleton when the car she
had just entered was struck by lightning. All of the
windows in the car were blown out by the strike. A funnel
cloud was sighted near Littleton.
In 2000... a strong microburst wind gust to 92 mph flipped a
small airplane on its back and blew a DC-3 loose from its
moorings... which allowed it to roll onto a grassy field at
Front Range Airport near Watkins.
In 2010... severe thunderstorms pounded parts of the urban
corridor with very large hail... heavy rain... damaging winds
and a tornado. The hail... ranging in size from 1 inch to
2 3/4 inches in diameter... struck Brighton... Commerce City
and northeast Denver the hardest. The storms continued to
spread destruction to the north and east... impacting
Byers... Hudson... Deer Trail and Prospect Valley. The
combination of hail and wind stripped the bark and
branches from trees. Numerous accidents were reported
as the hail accumulated up to a foot deep. Snowplows
were called out to clear the roadways. Flash flooding
occurred along State Highway 52 between Hudson and
Keenesburg... and forcing the closure of the Highway.
Widespread crop damage was also reported as the area
was inundated with up to 18 inches of water. Extensive
damage to homes... businesses and automobiles was
reported with the damage estimated to be around 70
million dollars. A tornado touched down near Denver
International Airport... but did no damage. Lightning
struck a child in Commerce City while she was watching
television. She suffered minor injuries to her leg.
At the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife Refuge... a
lightning strike killed a Bison. At Denver International
Airport... only 0.01 inch of rainfall was observed... along
with a peak wind gust to 48 mph from the southeast.
26-31 in 1995... a cool period with light morning showers and
moderate to heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms
pushed rivers already swollen from mountain snow melt
over their banks causing minor flooding. Streams and
rivers such as the South Platte and Boulder Creek flooded
Meadowlands... bike paths... roads near streams... and other
low lying areas. No significant property damage was
reported and crop damage was unknown. Rainfall totaled
1.79 inches at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport and only 1.51 inches at Denver
27 in 1874... an apparent thunderstorm gust front reached the
city at 6:40 PM. Strong southwest winds sustained to
48 mph for a few minutes produced large columns of
dust in the city and on the prairie. There was no
rain in the city.
In 1942... a duststorm swept into the city... but no damage
was reported. West winds were sustained to 23 mph.
In 1953... a heavy hailstorm caused an estimated 100 thousand
dollars damage across Metro Denver. Larger than Golf Ball
size hail fell in Westminster and north Denver. Only 1/8
inch hail was measured at Stapleton Airport.
In 1955... west-northwest winds at 35 mph with gusts as high
as 58 mph briefly reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile in
blowing dust at Stapleton Airport.
In 1981... lightning damaged power lines west of Lakewood and
blew up a transformer at the Denver Federal Center. Hail
1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter was reported in Lakewood and
on I-25 south of Denver.
In 2001... hail as large as 3/4 inch in diameter was measured
near Commerce City.
In 2003... hail to 3/4 inch in diameter fell near Central
In 2006... unusually warm weather for late may produced two
temperature records. The high temperature of 93 degrees
was a record maximum for the date. The low temperature
of 59 degrees equaled the record high minimum temperature
for the date. Both previous records occurred in 1895.
28 in 1884... a thunderstorm apparently produced large hail.
The hail stones were noted as unusually large... but the
diameter of the stones was not measured. The hail fell
for only 5 minutes. Precipitation from the storm was
only 0.05 inch.
In 1898... heavy thunderstorm rainfall totaled 1.74 inches
in downtown Denver. Hail of unknown size accompanied
In 1981... a woman in Aurora was struck and killed by
lightning. Another Bolt injured a boy on a bicycle at
about the same time a short distance away. About half an
inch of rain in 20 minutes caused street flooding in the
area. A tornado touched down for about 2 minutes some 3
miles north of Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982... severe thunderstorms produced Golf Ball size hail
in southeast Denver... Aurora... and Strasburg. The large
hailstones undoubtedly damaged some cars in the area.
At Stapleton International Airport... only 1/2 inch diameter
hail was measured.
In 1991... Golf Ball size hail fell in Brighton. No damage
was reported. Later... hail ranging in size from 3/4 inch
to 1 1/2 inches in diameter fell over southwestern sections
of Metro Denver. In some areas... hail piled up a few inches
In 1994... thunderstorm wind gusts to 65 mph damaged 16 small
airplanes and a hangar at Centennial Airport.
In 2001... severe thunderstorms produced large hail across
Metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter fell
in Lakewood... Wheat Ridge... northwest Denver... near Watkins...
Bennett... and Keenesburg. Hail 3/4 inch or larger fell
in Brighton. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 58 mph at
Denver International Airport. A small tornado (f0)
touched down near Bennett... but did no damage.
29 in 1934... the low temperature dipped to only 66 degrees... the
all-time record highest minimum temperature for the month
In 1958... a microburst caused a brief wind gust to 56 mph at
In 1964... heavy rain caused flooding in the Harvey Gulch
area of southeast Denver. The high water damaged homes...
businesses... streets... and bridges. At Stapleton
International Airport... 1.33 inches of rain were measured
with 1.76 inches total rainfall on the 29th and 30th. The
heavy rain during the last week of the month was the first
significant precipitation since April 3rd.
In 1967... 3/4 to 1 inch diameter hail stones fell in the city
of Denver... but caused no reported damage. Hail as large as
3/4 inch was measured at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1975... the heaviest last snowfall of the season occurred
when 5.6 inches of snow were measured at Stapleton
International Airport. Rain all day on the 28th changed
to snow on the 29th and accumulated to a depth of 4 inches
on the ground. Northwest winds gusted to 31 mph.
Precipitation (rain and melted snow) on the 28th and 29th
totaled 1.48 inches.
In 1982... one man was killed and two others injured by a
lightning strike as they stood under a tree in the city of
denver's Washington Park.
In 1987... 7/8 inch diameter hail fell near Castle Rock.
In 1990... thunderstorms over Metro Denver produced several
small funnel clouds and two small tornadoes. The first
tornado (f0) touched down in northwest Denver and caused
roof damage to a house and snapped off the tops of several
trees. A second tornado (f1) touched down in Northglenn
and moved into Thornton damaging a group of self storage
garages... several vehicles... a wooden fence... several trees...
and the roof of an auto parts store. No injuries were
reported. The storms also caused minor street flooding
across northern and western sections of Metro Denver.
Rainfall totals ranged from 1 to 3 inches. Lightning
started a small fire at a home in northwest Denver. The
fire was confined to the front rooms and was quickly
extinguished. Snow plows were used to clear 2 to 4 inches
of pea to Marble size hail from a stretch of U.S. Highway
285 in Turkey Creek Canyon. Lightning felled a tree in
northeast Denver... while strong winds snapped off several
large tree limbs in the same area. Thunderstorm rainfall
totaled 0.82 inch at Stapleton International Airport
where southwest winds gusted to 30 mph.
In 1991... lightning struck a 13 year old boy in a field in
Fort Lupton. The boy was in critical condition in an area
hospital for 2 days before recovering.
In 1995... lightning struck a soccer goal Post and injured
6 adults viewing a soccer game in Arvada. Although no
one received a direct hit from the lightning... all escaped
with only minor injuries... except one woman who was
In 1996... large hail... 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter...
struck Lakewood and west Denver. Lightning sparked a
small fire when it struck an oil storage tank 5 miles
west of Brighton.
In 2001... lightning sparked a fire in an apartment complex in
Aurora... forcing the evacuation of 24 units. Most of the
fire damage was confined to the attic. Damage was
estimated at 100 thousand dollars.
In 2004... a man and his son were struck by lightning while
practicing on the driving range at The Meadows Golf club
in southwest Metro Denver. The father was killed by the
Bolt... and his 16 year old son seriously injured. Three
other people standing nearby received only minor injuries.
In 2010... hail up to 7/8 inch in diameter was reported in
29-1 in 1894... heavy rain combined with snowmelt runoff caused
widespread flooding over the South Platte river basin.
Rainfall was heaviest in the foothills where 5 to 8
inches were measured over the 4 days. Heavy rainfall
west of Boulder flooded mining towns and damaged mining
properties. In the canyons above Boulder... railroads
and roads were washed out along with many bridges. The
floodwaters spread into central Boulder and covered a
wide area from University hill north to near Mapleton
hill to a maximum depth of 8 feet. Many houses were
swept away... and every bridge in Boulder was destroyed.
A few people... trapped in their homes by the floodwaters...
had to be rescued. However... the gradual rise of the flood
waters resulted in only one death. Boulder Creek spread to
a width of nearly one mile in The Pasture land to the east
of Boulder. Extensive flooding on Left Hand creek north
of Boulder washed away Railroad and wagon bridges. The
heavy cloudbursts caused flooding on Bear Creek... which
washed away bridges... Railroad tracks... and structures and
destroyed the canyon roadway. Morrison sustained the
heaviest flood damage on Bear Creek. In Denver... rainfall
totaled only 1.50 inches on the 30th and 31st... but the
heavy rainfall on upstream tributaries of the South Platte
river caused the river to rise as much as 10 feet above the
low water mark in the city... which caused some flooding of
pasture land downstream to a depth of 6 feet near Brighton.
30 in 1875... a windstorm lasting almost all day produced
sustained winds to 42 mph.
In 1935... southeast winds sustained to 29 mph with gusts to
34 mph produced a moderate duststorm during the afternoon.
In 1938... heavy thunderstorm rain and hail pummeled downtown
Denver during the evening hours. Rainfall accumulated to
1.63 inches. Hail accumulated to a depth of 18 inches.
In 1948... a localized thunderstorm caused flooding on Sand
Creek in Aurora and northeast Denver. Rainfall was only
0.49 inch in downtown Denver where light hail also fell.
In 1963... a golfer died of injuries received when struck
by lightning on a Golf course southwest of Denver. A
warehouse in Denver was damaged and its contents destroyed
by a lightning-caused fire.
In 1967... up to 4.00 inches of rain in Lakewood and Wheat
Ridge caused flooding of roads and basements. Water was
several feet deep in some yards. Many streets were
temporarily closed. Hail as large as 1 inch in diameter
fell in Wheat Ridge. Hail piled up to 2 feet deep in some
low lying areas of east and southeast Denver. Snowplows
were employed to remove the hail. Stapleton International
Airport... where west winds gusted to 39 mph... received 1.51
inches of rain and hail... which forced the closure of the
runways for an hour. Hail stones to 3/4 inch in diameter
were measured at Buckley field. A funnel cloud was sighted
near south Wadsworth Blvd. And Bear Creek. A tornado
touched down briefly in the vicinity of 60th and 62nd
avenues near North Washington street. The storm uprooted
trees and damaged one building. Doors were ripped from a
business house... widely scattering irrigation pipe. In
addition... a total of 3 funnel clouds were sighted in that
In 1970... hail up to 1 inch in diameter fell at Stapleton
In 1976... a single thunderstorm crossed south Metro Denver
producing a funnel cloud 2 miles south of Arapahoe Road
and Broadway. The storm moved over Buckley field producing
a funnel cloud and 1/2 inch diameter hail. As the storm
moved northeast of the city... a large tornado touched down
near east 59th Ave and tower Road and was on the ground for
20 minutes. It demolished a 60-foot-long cinderblock cow
shed... tore a wall from a machinery shed... tore shingles off
the roof of a farmhouse nearby... and felled 12 trees on one
farm. A boy in a feed shed 20 feet from a destroyed
building was not injured.
In 1977... 3/4 to 1 inch diameter hail fell at or near
Stapleton International Airport. One inch to baseball
size hail fell in south Denver... damaging some homes and
extensively damaging some airplanes at Arapahoe County
Airport... now Centennial Airport. Hail covered highways
to a depth of 6 to 8 inches in south Denver.
In 1978... two funnel clouds were sighted 5 miles south of
Stapleton International Airport. Hail up to 1 1/4 inches in
diameter was reported in Wheat Ridge and northwest Denver.
Only 1/2 inch diameter hail fell at Stapleton International
In 1989... Golf Ball size hail fell at the Junction of I-25 and
I-225. One inch diameter hail fell in Littleton.
In 1990... a line of severe thunderstorms crossed Metro Denver...
producing wind gusts to 60 mph and scattered areas of
pea to Marble size hail. Small trees and branches were
blown down by the strong thunderstorm winds... which also
caused minor power outages across southern and eastern
sections of Metro Denver. The strong winds uprooted a 25-
to 30-foot tree in the acres green subdivision of northern
Douglas County. The tree blocked a busy street for several
hours. A pilot reported hail as large as 1 1/2 inches in
diameter covering the ground near the north end of a runway
at Stapleton International Airport. Heavy rain caused a
rock and mud slide that partially closed the Boulder Canyon
Highway 10 miles west of Boulder. Thunderstorm winds gusted
to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 2001... lightning ignited a fire which destroyed a luxury
home on Bear Mountain near Evergreen. Estimated damage
was set at 1 million dollars