Warm Chinook winds, cold Bora winds, snow and more mark the start of the new year on today’s look back at Denver weather history.
From the National Weather Service:
From the 31st to the 1st:
In 1900…low temperatures dipped to 19 degrees below zero on both days to establish daily record minimum temperatures.
In 1975…only 4.2 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International airport…while north of Denver a major blizzard raged. All roads north of Denver into Wyoming were closed when strong winds whipped snow into 5 to 6 foot drifts. North winds gusted to 43 mph at Stapleton International airport on the 31st…causing some blowing snow. Freezing drizzle also fell on the 31st.
In 1984…heavy snow fell in the foothills with 8 inches at Boulder and 6 inches in southern and western metro Denver. Only 1.5 inches of snow fell overnight at Stapleton International airport.
In 1991…a New Year’s Eve snow storm dumped 2 to 8 inches of snow across northeastern Colorado. Snowfall totaled 3.4 inches at Stapleton International Airport. The 1.9 inches of snow that fell on the 31st was the only measurable snowfall of the month.
From the 31st to the 6th:
In 1973…the 31st marked the start of a protracted cold spell that extended into January of 1974 when temperatures dipped below zero on 7 consecutive days. Record daily minimum readings occurred on the 3rd and 5th when the temperature plunged to 17 degrees below zero on both days. A record low daily maximum temperature of only 4 degrees occurred on the 5th.
From the 31st to the 7th:
In 1941…a protracted cold spell through January 7,1942…produced below zero low temperatures on 7 of the 8 days. A low temperature of 2 degrees on the 3rd prevented a string of 8 days below zero. The coldest days during the period were the 1st with a high of 2 degrees and a low of 9 degrees below zero…the 4th with a high of 2 degrees and a low of 11 degrees below zero…and the 5th with a high of 26 degrees and a low of 12 degrees below zero.
On the 1st:
In 1875…the temperature fell 27 degrees between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The high for the day was 43 degrees…and the low was 8 degrees. Occasional snow flurries fell during the day…but not enough to cover the ground.
In 1885…dense smoke choked the skies over downtown Denver until midday.
In 1910…a rare trace of light rain fell during the morning.
In 1911…post-frontal northeast winds were sustained to 40 mph. Only a trace of snow fell in downtown Denver.
In 1952…snowfall of 0.03 inch was the only measurable snowfall of the month and resulted in 0.01 inch of melted snow…the only precipitation of the month.
In 1956…west-northwest winds gusted to 52 mph at Stapleton Airport.
In 1996…the first snow storm of the new year dumped more than a foot of snow in the Front Range foothills with 4 to 9 inches across the western and southern sections of metro Denver. Snow totals included: 14 inches at Conifer; 11 inches at Evergreen; and 10 inches at Eldora Ski Resort…west of Boulder. Snowfall totaled only 1.2 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North- northeast winds gusted to 30 mph at Denver International Airport.
In 2003…only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. This…along with a trace of snow on the 22nd…was the only snow of the month…which equaled the 1934 record for the least snowiest January.
From the 1st to the 2nd:
In 1896…warm Chinook winds on the 1st became cold Bora winds on the 2nd. Southwest winds sustained to 60 mph with gusts as high as 66 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 55 degrees on the 1st. Northwest winds sustained to 54 mph with gusts to 60 mph resulted in snowfall of 0.3 inch and a high temperature of only 31 degrees on the 2nd.
From the 1st to the 5th:
In 1940…the first days of the month were characterized by a mixture of drizzle…light snow…and fog. Fog occurred on each day. On the 4th and 5th considerable glazing resulted from freezing drizzle. All objects were coated with a glaze on the windward side. This resulted in very slippery streets…which caused several minor traffic accidents. The glaze was not heavy enough to damage wires and cables.
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