Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:45 PM MDT on March 15, 2014
... This week in Metro Denver weather history...
9-19 in 1906... an extended cold and blustery period occurred with
light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days.
The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches
on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th.
High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period.
The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the
17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates.
Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The
coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees
below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to
22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on
the 10th... 32 mph on the 13th... and 22 mph on the 15th.
12-16 in 1880... a protracted cold spell resulted in 8 temperature
records being set. Record low temperatures for the date
were set when the temperature dipped to 10 degrees below
zero on the 13th and 14th... 8 degrees below zero on the
12th and 15th... and 4 degrees below zero on the 16th.
Daily record low maximum temperatures were set with 11
degrees on the 12th... 12 degrees on the 13th... and 19 degrees
on the 15th.
14-16 in 1908... a warm spell resulted in daily record high minimum
temperatures on 3 consecutive days: 54 degrees on the
14th... 52 degrees on the 15th... and 56 degrees on the 16th...
also the all-time record high minimum for the month of
March. High temperatures ranged from 65 degrees on the
14th to 72 degrees on the 16th.
In 1983... a heavy wet snowstorm buried Metro Denver with the
foothills receiving the most. Conifer recorded 34 inches
of snow with 4 feet measured at Coal Creek Canyon in the
foothills northwest of Denver. The storm left 6 to 10
inches of snow across Metro Denver. Boulder received 12 to
18 inches. Flight operations at Stapleton International
Airport were limited to one runway for a time. Some roads
and schools were closed... and power outages occurred when
wet snow downed lines. Snowfall on the 15th and 16th
totaled 7.2 inches at Stapleton International Airport
where north winds gusted to 30 mph. Maximum snow depth
on the ground was only 6 inches due to melting.
15-16 in 2000... heavy upslope snowfall occurred in and near the
Front Range foothills and over the Palmer Divide to the
south of Metro Denver. Snowfall totals from the storm
included: 17 inches at Idaho springs; 16 inches at
Aspen springs; 12 inches in boulder; 11 inches at Bailey...
chief hosa... Coal Creek Canyon... Eldorado Springs... Evergreen...
and near morrison; 10 inches at intercanyon... ken caryl
ranch... and near nederland; 9 inches near Sedalia and in
wheat ridge; and 8 inches in Arvada. Snowfall totaled 5.4
inches at the site of the former Stapleton International
Airport. Northeast winds gusted to 28 mph at Denver
International Airport on the 15th.
16 in 1902... north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to
In 1908... the low temperature dipped to only 56 degrees... the
record high minimum for the month.
In 1963... high winds struck Metro Denver causing heavy damage.
Winds gusted at 90 to 100 mph in Boulder. Wind gusts to 98
mph were recorded at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield
where hangars and several light planes were severely
damaged. Wind gusts to 87 mph were recorded southwest of
Littleton. A west wind gust to 55 mph was recorded at
Stapleton Airport. Trees were uprooted... signs blown
down... and utility lines disrupted. Damage totaled nearly
5 thousand dollars in Boulder alone.
In 1987... a storm dropped 3 to 6 inches of snow across Metro
Denver with higher amounts in the foothills. Most of
the snow on the plains melted as it fell. Only 1.9 inches
of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where
southeast winds gusted to 30 mph.
17 in 1966... high winds caused extensive minor damage across
Metro Denver. A light plane was overturned at Stapleton
International Airport where northwest wind gusts to 55
mph were recorded. Winds gusted to 56 mph at Table Mesa
in 1989... strong winds raked Metro Denver. West wind
gusts to 49 mph were clocked at Stapleton International
In 2003... the first tornado of the season was sighted near
Strasburg. The small landspout touched down briefly... but
caused no damage.
17-18 in 1923... 4.2 inches of snow fell over downtown Denver.
Northwest winds were sustained to 45 mph with gusts
to 49 on the 17th. Low temperature of zero degrees
on the 18th was the lowest of the month that year.
In 1944... heavy snow fell across Metro Denver. The storm
started as rain on the 17th... but soon turned to snow.
Snowfall amounts totaled 8.5 inches in downtown Denver and
11.0 inches at Stapleton Airport. The highest wind
recorded during the storm was 23 mph on the 17th.
In 1961... a major winter storm dumped 10.7 inches of snow at
Stapleton Airport. Most of the snow... 9.7 inches... fell
on the 18th. Winds were light.
In 1994... strong winds buffeted Metro Denver. West winds
gusted to 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the
17th. Other significant wind gusts included 85 mph atop
Squaw Mountain south of Idaho Springs... and 82 mph at
Rollinsville southwest of Boulder... both on the 18th.
In 1996... a second storm in less than 3 days dumped heavy
snow in the mountains and foothills again... but snowfall
amounts across Metro Denver ranged from only 2 to 4 inches.
The heavy snowfall resulted in several traffic accidents
along I-25 and I-70... south and west of Denver respectively.
The major accidents involved at least 30 cars and resulted
in several minor injuries. The accidents closed both
highways for a time. Snowfall totals included 13 inches
at Evergreen and 10 inches at Conifer. Snowfall totaled
only 0.7 inch at the site of the former Stapleton
International Airport. At Denver International Airport...
north winds gusted to 28 mph on the 17th and 39 mph on
17-19 in 1933... rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th
and continued through mid-day of the 19th. Snowfall
totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in
in the city. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with
gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to
43 mph on the 19th.
In 2003... one of the worst blizzards since historic records
began in 1872 struck Metro Denver with a vengeance. Heavy
wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to
more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation
to a near standstill. North winds sustained to 30 mph with
gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the
city. The estimated cost of property damage alone... not
including large commercial buildings... was 93 million dollars...
making it the costliest snowstorm ever. Mayor Wellington
Webb of Denver said... "this is the storm of the century... a
backbreaker... a record breaker... a roof breaker." Two people
died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy
wet snow. The National guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy
duty vehicles to Rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east
of gun club Road. The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes
and businesses to collapse. The snow also downed trees...
branches... and power lines. Two people were injured when the
roofs of their homes collapsed. In Denver alone... at least
258 structures were damaged. In Arvada... a roof collapse at
West Gate stables killed a horse. Up to 135 thousand people
lost power during the storm... and it took several days for
power to be restored in some areas. Denver International
Airport was closed... stranding about 4000 travelers. The
weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion
of the tent roof... forcing the evacuation of that section of
the main terminal building. Avalanches in the mountains and
foothills closed many roads... including I-70... stranding
hundreds of skiers and travelers. Along I-70... an avalanche
released by the Colorado Department of Transportation... blocked
the Interstate in both directions for several hours. Several
residences between Bakerville and Silver Plume were evacuated
because of the high avalanche danger. At Eldora ski area... 270
skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access
Road. After the storm ended... a military helicopter had to
Ferry food to the resort until the Road could be cleared. The
heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills
homes in Jefferson County for several days. Two homes burned
to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences.
Some schools remained closed well into the following week.
The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of
the former Stapleton International Airport... the most snowfall
from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5
inches on December 4-5... 1913. The storm made March 2003 the
snowiest March on record... the 4th snowiest month on record...
and the 5th wettest March on record. The 22.9 inches of snow
on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall
ever recorded in the city during the month of March. The
storm was also a drought-buster... breaking 19 consecutive
months of below normal precipitation in the city. Snowfall
across Metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet.
The highest amounts included: 40 inches in Aurora... 38 inches
in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker... 37 inches at Buckley
AFB... 35 inches in southwest Denver... 34 inches in Louisville...
32 inches in Arvada... 31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster...
and 22.5 inches in Boulder. In the foothills... snowfall ranged
from 3 feet to more than 7 feet. Some of the most impressive
storm totals included: 87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in
Rollinsville... 83 inches at Cabin Creek... 74 inches near Bergen
Park... 73 inches northwest of Evergreen... 72 inches in Coal Creek
Canyon... 70 inches at Georgetown... 63 inches near Jamestown... 60
inches near Blackhawk... 55 inches at Eldora ski area... 54 inches
8 miles west of Sedalia... and 46.6 inches at ken caryl ranch.
The storm was the result of a very moist... intense slow moving
Pacific system which tracked across The Four Corners and into
southeastern Colorado... which allowed deep easterly upslope
flow to form along the Front Range.
18 in 1883... 0.3 inch of snow fell in downtown Denver. This
was the only measurable snowfall of the month.
In 1903... rain changed to sleet and then to snow... which became
heavy. Post-frontal snowfall totaled 7.0 inches over the
city. North winds were sustained to 51 mph with gusts as
high as 60 mph.
In 1905... northwest winds were sustained to 42 mph.
In 1914... northeast winds were sustained to 46 mph with
gusts to 56 mph behind a strong cold front. Snowfall
was 3.4 inches over the city... but most of the snow
melted as it fell. The estimated amount of melted snow
was 8.1 inches.
In 1920... a terrific windstorm occurred along the eastern
foothills. Two deaths were attributed to the storm and
some damage occurred. Both Denver and Boulder were
affected by the strong winds. West winds were sustained
to 51 mph with gusts as high as 66 mph in downtown Denver.
The strong winds did considerable damage to property...
wires... plate glass windows... and indirectly loss by fire.
The wind caused the death of one Young girl by toppling
the side of a brick building on her as she was standing
on a corner waiting for a car. The wind was also
responsible for several severe auto accidents due to
blowing debris into the streets and blowing dust and dirt
into the eyes of drivers.
In 1954... west winds at sustained speeds of 40 mph and gusts
as high as 56 mph produced some blowing dust at Stapleton
In 1979... heavy snow totaled 4 to 12 inches along the Front
Range from Denver north. I-25 was closed for a brief time
between Denver and Cheyenne. New snowfall totaled 4.3
inches at Stapleton International Airport where north
winds gusted to 29 mph.
In 1998... a major winter storm dumped heavy snow over areas
west from I-25 to the Continental Divide as strong upslope
conditions developed. Two to 3 1/2 feet of snow fell in
the foothills with 1 to 2 feet reported in west Metro
Denver. Snowfall totals included: 38 inches at Silver
Spruce ranch... 2 miles south of ward; 35 inches at Aspen
springs; 33 inches near blackhawk; 30 inches at eldora;
29 inches in Coal Creek canyon; 27 inches at Conifer...
chief hosa... and nederland; 25 inches at Rollinsville and
gross reservoir; 21 inches at evergreen; and 15 to 19
inches at Broomfield... Lakewood... and Table Mesa in Boulder.
Elsewhere across Metro Denver... snowfall ranged from 8 to
14 inches. Snowfall totaled only 7.9 inches at the site
of the former Stapleton International Airport. East winds
gusted to 31 mph at Denver International Airport.
18-19 in 1927... heavy snowfall was 6.5 inches in downtown Denver.
Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph on the 18th.
In 1974... heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton
International Airport where northeast winds gusted to
33 mph on the 19th.
18-21 in 1907... a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature
records. Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees
occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and
80 degrees on the 20th. Record high minimum temperatures
of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54
degrees on the 21st.
19 in 1969... high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills
causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. A
freight train was derailed near the entrance to a canyon
20 miles west of Denver when some empty cars were caught
on a curve by a gust of wind. Two light planes were
heavily damaged at Jefferson County Airport. Winds
gusted to 105 mph at the National center for atmospheric
research in Boulder... 62 mph in downtown Boulder... and 80
to 90 mph at Boulder Airport. Northwest winds gusted to
49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1976... northwest winds gusted to 55 mph in Denver with
stronger winds along the foothills. The strong cold
winds kicked up some blowing dust... reducing the visibility
to near zero at times at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1982... high winds across Metro Denver caused minor damage
to a few Mobile homes at Lowry Air Force base. West wind
gusts reached 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport
where visibility was briefly reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing
In 1995... strong winds associated with a Pacific cold front
blew across Metro Denver. A west wind gust to 48 mph was
recorded at Denver International Airport. Winds gusted
to 59 mph at the site of the former Stapleton International
In 2010... a storm system produced deep upslope and brought
heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range. The
foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties were the
hardest hit. Storm totals included: 26 inches at
Coal Creek Canyon... 25.5 inches... 4 miles southeast of
conifer; 25 inches at Genesee... 24.5 inches near Kittredge...
23.5 inches... 6 miles east of Nederland... 20.5 inches... 3
miles west of Jamestown... 5 miles southeast of Aspen
Park and 5 miles southeast Idaho springs; and 18 inches
near Ralston Buttes. In and around Denver... storm
totals included: 15 inches in golden; 12.5 inches in
Boulder... 11.5 inches at lone tree; 10.5 inches near
Castle pines; 11 inches... 6.5 miles southwest of Castle
rock; 10 inches near Englewood... Highlands Ranch and 3
miles southwest of wheat ridge; 9 inches... 4 miles
west of Arvada... Broomfield... centenniel... Elizabeth and
westminster; 8.5 inches... in southeast Denver and
littleton; 7.5 inches in Louisville and near thornton;
7 inches... 4 miles south of Aurora... Lakewood and niwot;
6.5 inches... 4 miles northwest of Castle Rock... 4 miles
northwest of Denver and northglenn; 6 inches in
Brighton and 5 miles southeast of Sedalia. Officially...
1.7 inches of snow was measured at Denver International
19-20 in 1912... Post-frontal heavy snowfall of 6.3 inches was
measured in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained
to 28 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 19th. The strong
cold front plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees
on the 19th to a low of 1 degree on the 20th.
In 1959... a major storm dumped heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches on
Stapleton Airport where north winds gusting to 44 mph
caused much blowing and drifting snow. Many highways were
blocked... and there was damage to phone lines along the South
Platte river. The storm started as rain and changed to
heavy wet snow... which froze on the lines causing the poles
to break. The storm caused 2 deaths over eastern Colorado.
In 2006... strong northerly winds... associated with a surface
low pressure system that intensified as it moved into the
central Great Plains... brought heavy wet snow to the eastern
foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. The hardest
hit areas included the foothills of Boulder and Gilpin
counties. Storm totals included: 15 inches at Rollinsville...
14 inches at Aspen Springs... 12.5 inches near Nederland... and
5.7 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Strong winds... heavy
snow... and poor visibility forced the closure of Interstate 70
from Denver east to the Kansas state line. North winds
gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 19th.
19-21 in 1888... heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches over downtown
Denver. North winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 19th.
20 in 1915... north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
to 42 mph. Only a trace of snow fell.
In 1989... 2 to 6 inches of snow fell along the Front Range
urban corridor with up to 9 inches in Boulder. Only 1.6
inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International
Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph.
20-21 in 1878... warm days with high temperatures in the lower
70's in the city... caused snow to melt on the Palmer
Divide... which caused the waters in Cherry Creek to rise.