Current Watches and Warnings
Colorado, Phillips County
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 2:59 AM MDT on April 19, 2015
... Today in Metro Denver weather history...
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
18-19 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.
19 in 1899... northwest winds were sustained to 48 mph with
gusts as high as 60 mph in the city.
In 1941... the last snow of the season... 0.4 inch... occurred...
marking the end of the shortest snow season... 167 days.
The first snow of the season... a trace... occurred on
November 4... 1940.
In 1954... strong gusty winds raked Metro Denver for most of
the day producing some blowing dust. At midday... a severe
dust devil was sighted in the Westwood area of southwest
In 1955... cold west winds at 52 mph with gusts as high as 69
mph were recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust
reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile.
In 1960... the second wind storm in 3 days produced sustained
west winds up to 44 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph at
Stapleton Airport. Winds were strong and gusty most of
the day... but no damage was reported.
In 1963... the second windy day in a row produced west-
northwest wind gusts to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1971... a tornado occurred in the southwest corner of Weld
County about 10 miles west-northwest of Brighton. The
storm moved through a farm yard damaging equipment and
structures. The strong tornadic winds lifted a stock tank
over 2 fences into a Corral 150 feet away. Later... a
tornado touched down briefly west-southwest of Buckley
field... 8 miles southeast of Stapleton International
Airport. No damage was reported.
In 1985... high winds occurred in the foothills. Winds gusted
to 97 mph atop Squaw Mountain in the foothills west of
Denver. West winds gusted to 37 mph at Stapleton
In 1987... a powerful cold front produced high winds and
engulfed Metro Denver in huge clouds of blowing dust that
lowered the visibility to as little as 100 yards. The cold
front generated winds as high as 72 mph at Brighton... 67 mph
in Thornton... and 54 mph at Stapleton International Airport.
Winds of 50 to 70 mph were common along the Front Range from
Denver north. The high wind gusts flipped a light plane
taxiing at Stapleton International Airport... slightly
injuring two people on board. The cold front dropped the
temperature from a high of 80 degrees at 3:00 PM to a low of
33 degrees at midnight. Nearly an inch of snow... 0.8 inch...
fell at Stapleton International Airport before midnight.
In 1988... a tornado touched down in Fort Lupton... following a
path 50 to 75 yards wide for 2 1/2 blocks. The twister
damaged roofs on 2 schools and broke numerous windows;
about 10 houses were damaged and several cars had windows
blown out. Several trees were downed.
In 1989... winds were clocked to 68 mph in Wheat Ridge.
Microburst winds gusted to 35 mph at Stapleton International
In 1996... high winds gusting from 70 to near 100 mph developed
in the Front Range foothills and adjacent plains. Numerous
power outages were reported as power lines and poles were
downed. The high winds blew the chimney off the roof of a
house in Westminster. Numerous homes received minor shingle
damage. Some of the stronger wind gusts included: 98 mph
at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield... 91 mph atop Squaw
Mountain west of Denver... and 75 mph atop Table Mesa near
Boulder. West northwest winds gusted to 45 mph at Denver
In 2001... westerly Chinook winds... gusting as high as 40 mph at
Denver International Airport... prevented the low temperature
from dropping below 51 degrees... setting a new record high
minimum for the date. The high temperature of 77 degrees
was not a record.
In 2005... severe thunderstorms produced large hail across
Metro Denver. Hail as large as 1 1/4 inches in diameter
was measured in Arvada. Hail to 1 inch in diameter fell in
Westminster... Northglenn... and Thornton. Hail to 7/8 inch
was reported near Brighton... Barr Lake... and Castle Rock.
Hail to 3/4 inch fell in Elizabeth and Broomfield and near
Golden... Brighton... and Fort Lupton.
19-20 in 1892... rain on the 18th changed to snow on the 19th and
totaled 6.0 inches over downtown Denver into the 20th.
Total precipitation was 1.56 inches. North winds were
sustained to 26 mph on the 19th.
In 1907... a major storm dumped 18.0 inches of snowfall in
downtown Denver. Much of the heavy wet snow melted as
it fell. The most snow on the ground was 7.0 inches at
6:00 PM on the 19th. North to northeast winds were
sustained to 42 mph on the 19th and to 21 mph on the
20th. High temperatures were in the low to mid 30's
with low readings around 20.
19-21 in 1984... a large snowstorm buried most of Colorado under a
thick mantle of wet snow. Total snow amounts ranged from
10 to 20 inches across Metro Denver and a whopping 20 to
40 inches in the adjacent foothills. The snow closed roads
and damaged electrical transformers... causing numerous power
outages. Nearly 14 inches (13.6) of snow fell at Stapleton
International Airport where the combination of snow and
wind closed all but one runway... resulting in the cancellation
of many flights. Both I-70 and I-76 were closed to the east
19-22 in 1933... a major storm dumped 16.8 inches of snowfall over
downtown Denver when rain changed to snow during the early
morning of the 20th and continued through midday of the
22nd. Most of the snow fell on the 21st. Due to melting...
the most snow on the ground was 10.5 inches at 6:00 PM on the
21st. Before the snow started... a strong cold front on the
evening of the 19th produced north winds sustained to 35 mph
with gusts to 37 mph. The strong winds deposited a thin
layer of dust on the city. North to northwest winds were
sustained to 31 mph with gusts to 35 mph on the 20th and to
29 mph with gusts to 32 mph on the 21st.
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