Current Watches and Warnings
Colorado, Larimer and Boulder Counties Between 6000 and 9000 Feet
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 2:59 AM MDT on May 19, 2013
... Today in Metro Denver weather history...
18-19 in 2011... a severe thunderstorm in Central Adams County
produced large hail and heavy rainfall on the 18th. Large
hail from 1 inch to 1 3/4 inches in diameter... was reported
in Commerce City... 2 miles south-southeast of Federal
Heights... Northglenn... and 2 miles south of Thornton. In
Commerce City... the storm uprooted trees and knocked out
power lines. A carport was lifted off the ground and
struck the power lines overhead. Heavy rain... from 1.0 to
1.5 inches fell in less than 2 hours in Commerce City and
near Brighton. The combination of hail and strong winds
broke windows in Northglenn. In the foothills... moderate to
heavy snow showers developed overnight. Storm totals
included: 10.5 inches at Gold Hill... 9.5 inches... 3 miles
west of jamestown; 9 inches at lake eldora; with 6 inches...
11 miles southwest of Gilpin and 4 miles east-northeast of
Nederland. At Denver International Airport... total rainfall
over the 2-day period totaled 1.71 inches. In addition... a
peak wind gust to 37 mph was recorded on the 18th.
18-20 in 1915... 3.9 inches of snow fell in the city. The estimated
amount of snow that melted as it fell was 6.2 inches which
would have totaled an estimated 10.1 inches of snowfall.
Precipitation totaled 1.03 inches. North winds were
sustained to 32 mph on the 18th. Low temperatures dipped
to 25 degrees on both the 18th and 20th... establishing
record minimums for both dates.
In 1988... prolonged heavy rainfall drenched Metro Denver.
The event began when heavy thunderstorms on the 18th caused
some street flooding and power outages... followed by steady
rain on the 19th and 20th. Rain amounts across Metro
Denver totaled 3 to 4 inches. Rainfall totaled 3.71 inches
at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted
to 39 mph on the 20th. Four to eight inches of snow fell in
the foothills above 7 thousand feet.
19 in 1927... southeast winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts
to 44 mph.
In 1956... a thunderstorm wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at
Stapleton International Airport.
In 1969... hail stones to 1 inch in diameter were measured in
Arvada and Aurora. Some minor damage was reported.
Pea to Marble size hail fell in Westminster.
In 1972... a tornado was reported by aircraft about 5 to 10
miles east of Parker.
In 1988... lightning started a fire at a house in the Denver
suburb of Greenwood Village... causing 2 thousand dollars in
In 1991... strong thunderstorms over east Metro Denver produced
wind gusts of 56 to 60 mph. The strong winds downed power
lines... trees... and fences at some locations in Aurora.
Thunderstorm outflow winds gusted to 60 mph at Stapleton
In 1994... severe thunderstorms rumbled across Metro Denver.
The storms produced wind gusts averaging 65 mph and hail up
to dime size. Wind gusts to 77 mph were recorded in
Brighton. Numerous trees and power poles were downed by
the winds. One power pole fell onto spectators at a High
School graduation ceremony in Commerce City... injuring 6
people. In Fort Lupton... trees fell onto 2 parked cars...
knocking out the windshields. Hail to 3/4 inch in diameter
was reported in Littleton. A thunderstorm wind gust to 52
mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport.
In 1995... a slow moving tornado... which was mainly discernible
by its dust and debris cloud... was spotted 2 miles northeast
of Denver International Airport or about 10 miles
northwest of Bennett. No damage was reported.
In 2007... lightning struck a 33-ft statue of jesus at mother
cabrini shrine... in the foothills west of Golden. The blast
broke off one of the statue's arms and a hand... and also
damaged a foot. It cost an estimated $200000 to repair.
In 2009... lightning struck the roof of a residence in Highlands
Ranch. The home was not a total loss... but the fire caused
In 2010... a thunderstorm produced hail up to 7/8 inch in
diameter in Thornton.
19-20 in 1864... a devastating major flash flood occurred on the
normally dry and Sandy Cherry Creek in Denver. The flood
was caused by heavy thunderstorm rainfall and hail over the
Palmer Ridge to the south of the city in both the Cherry
Creek and Plum Creek basins. Nineteen deaths occurred along
the South Platte river and Cherry Creek in Denver. The
torrent swept cattle and sheep along with large trees and
houses before it washing out several bridges... and moving
large structures from their foundations. All city records
were destroyed when city Hall washed away. The Rocky
Mountain news building... built on stilts in the middle of the
creek... was totally destroyed by the raging waters... which
were as deep as 5 feet on the morning of the 20th. Once
the flood waters receded... much sand and gravel was left
behind. Property damage from the flood was estimated at
nearly one million dollars. This was the first major
flood of record in the city.
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