Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedSat, 22-Feb-2020 1:05pm MST 


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Thornton’s weekend to feature a mix of sun and warmth followed by cold and snow

Friday, February 21st, 2020 4:56am MST

Somewhat a tale of two seasons for our weather over the three day period. We will enjoy spring-like, unseasonably warm temperatures to start things off but then see a return to wintry conditions to close things out.

For today, we will enjoy a beautiful day. Sunny skies will be above, conditions calm and temperatures will top out around the 50 degree mark. Tonight it will be mostly clear with lows dipping to the low to mid-20s.

Saturday will be the warmest day of the period. We will have some more clouds but it will still be mostly sunny for much of the day with increasing clouds in the afternoon. Highs will reach to the mid-50s. Our next system moves in Saturday night. Cloud cover will be increasing and we begin to see a rain / snow mix after midnight. Lows will be in the upper 20s.

Sunday will bring cloudy skies and light snow for much of the day. Highs will be around the 40 degree mark with blustery winds for much of the day making it seem colder than that. Best chances for snow will be in the morning then things taper off in the afternoon and evening. Accumulations of 1 to 2 inches are expected at this time.

Enjoy that warm weather today and tomorrow and of course keep an eye on http://www.thorntonweather.com/ for all the latest.

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National Weather Service announces storm spotter training dates for 2020

Friday, February 21st, 2020 4:00am MST

On June 3, 1981 a tornado struck Thornton in what is the worst twister to have struck the Denver metro area. Are you ready should disaster strike again? Image courtesy the City of Thornton archives.

Severe weather is a fact of life in Colorado – from blizzards to tornadoes we can and do see it all.  Each year the weather is responsible for claiming lives in our state and across the nation and the threat is very real.  Storm spotter training allows you to learn how to protect yourself and your family while providing a public service.

Education is key to knowing how to protect you and your family.  Whether you want to be an official storm spotter or maybe just want to learn more about severe weather, storm spotter training can provide you an incredible opportunity to learn.

The National Weather Service Denver / Boulder office has announced a series of Skywarn storm spotter training dates for Colorado for the 2020 season.

The storm spotter program is a nationwide program with more than 280,000 trained spotters.  These volunteers report weather hazards to their local National Weather Service office providing vital information when severe strikes.  Data from spotters include severe wind, rain, snow measurements, thunderstorms and hail and of course tornadoes.

Storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

By completing one of these training classes you can become an official storm spotter.  When severe weather strikes, you can report it by calling a special toll free number or submit your report via the National Weather Service’s website.

These are great sessions for anyone wanting to learn more about the severe weather we experience in Colorado, whether you want to be an official spotter or not.  All training is free.  Topics include:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

To learn more about the program, see here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/awebphp/spotter.php

Below are the dates, times and locations announced thus far.  The embedded calendar should automatically update with new dates and changes but be sure to check the National Weather Service site for the latest.

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February 2020 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 4:37pm MST
An amazing sunset starts off February in style. (Renee Franz)

An amazing sunset starts off February in style. (Renee Franz)

February signifies the start of the climb toward warmer temperatures for the year.  Cold and snow though do intrude but, coupled with milder conditions, there are lots of photo opportunities as can be seen in our monthly slideshow.

The month is one of our least snowiest of the year but it isn’t unusual to see the landscape blanketed in white.  Warming temperatures through the month can bring the onset of spring fever and gives residents the opportunity to enjoy some prolonged time outdoors on the mild days.

Cold or mild, snowy or dry, our scenery is almost always gorgeous – and photo worthy.

  • Slideshow updated February 16, 2020
  • To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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Thornton’s Thursday to offer lots of sun, temperatures remain cold

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 4:58am MST

Our latest storm dropped a paltry 0.7 inches of snow yesterday and last night. Today, we clear out and dry up but remain cold.

Mostly clear skies start us off along with some areas of fog. Once the fog is gone, sunny skies will be the rule for the balance of the day. Temperatures will be well below normal with our high today only expected reach right near the freezing mark.

Tonight, clear skies will remain with lows dropping well into the teens.

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February 16 to February 22: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 5:37am MST

This Week in Denver Weather History

Wind is arguably one of the most frustrating weather conditions and living on the plains of Colorado it is a relatively common occurrence. During February downslope flow brings Chinooks that can create mild temperatures but also can be incredibly powerful. Our look back at this week showcases a number of high wind events that caused extensive damage.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1889…heavy snowfall totaled 6.7 inches in downtown Denver. Most of the snow…5.5 inches…fell on the 15th when northeast winds were sustained to 18 mph.

In 1921…strong bora winds cooled maximum temperatures from the 60’s on the previous 3 days to 54 degrees on the 15th and to 43 degrees on the 16th. West winds were sustained to 39 mph with gusts to 54 mph on the 15th and to 46 mph with gusts to 56 mph on the 16th.

In 1953…strong…cold northwest winds were widespread from the foothills across the plains. Near gale force winds were observed in Boulder. A wind gust to 54 mph was recorded at Stapleton Airport where blowing dust briefly reduced the visibility to 1 1/2 miles. Damage was minor.

In 1993…an arctic cold front pushed south over the eastern Colorado plains with upslope snow developing behind the front. Snowfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches were common over metro Denver. At Stapleton International Airport…snowfall totaled 4.5 inches and north winds gusted to 25 mph. Temperatures hovered only in the single digits for most of the day. The storm produced up to a foot of snow over southeast Colorado.

In 2006…overnight snowfall in the mountains and eastern foothills contained a lot of red dust and dirt apparently from Arizona. Strong southwest winds with gusts to 100 mph in the San Juan Mountains on the 15th created widespread blowing dust. This red dust became entrained in snowfall across the area. The reddish colored snow was reported in Ward…Nederland…Blackhawk…and Boulder. The storm produced only 0.9 inch of snowfall in the Stapleton area of Denver with 4 to 5 inches measured in the foothills.


In 1938…a cold air mass brought a light snowfall of 6.2 inches over 3 days to downtown Denver where northeast winds were sustained to 18 mph on the 15th.

In 1879…a sudden burst of 3 inches of snow in less than 90 minutes stopped the street cars in downtown Denver during the late afternoon. Melted snow resulted in 0.16 inch of precipitation. Small soft hail also fell when the snow began. A gentleman caught on the prairie between Denver and Morrison described the event as the most severe storm of the winter while it lasted.

In 1885…a windstorm caused severe damage in the city. The strong winds blew all afternoon and most of the evening. West winds were sustained to 62 mph. The strong winds blew down signs and broke windows. Buggies and vehicles of all kinds were blown over. Smokestacks and chimneys were toppled. Roofs were blown off. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad car shop was partially unroofed and had a wall blown down. Three railroad cars were blown off the track. Many fences were damaged.

In 1897…west winds were sustained to 46 mph with gusts to 56 mph.

In 1912…northwest winds were sustained to 44 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 45 mph.

In 1921…west winds were sustained to 46 mph.

In 1972…wind gusts to 58 mph were recorded at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. In downtown Boulder…a wind gust to 51 mph was measured. Northwest winds gusted to 41 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1988…snowfall totaled 3 to 6 inches across metro Denver… But 9 inches were measured in both Wheat Ridge and Evergreen. At Stapleton International Airport…3.4 inches of snow fell and northeast winds gusted to 26 mph. The strong winds blew a scaffold against a hotel in downtown Denver…breaking three windows.

In 1995…high winds occurred in the foothills behind a departing winter storm. A wind gust to 91 mph was recorded at Rollinsville with a gust to 82 mph atop Squaw Mountain west of Denver. West winds gusted to only 20 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2014…a peak wind gust to 59 mph…from the west…was recorded at Denver International Airport.


In 1929…strong west winds gusting to 84 mph raked Boulder and Lafayette. Limited minor damage and a few injuries occurred.

In 1986…strong Chinook winds continued to howl in the foothills. A wind gust to 89 mph was recorded at Table Mesa in Boulder on the 16th. Winds of 60 to 75 mph were clocked at other locations in Boulder on both days. A west wind gust to 51 mph was recorded at Stapleton International Airport on the 16th.

In 2014…high winds developed briefly overnight in and near the foothills of Boulder and Jefferson Counties. Peak wind reports included: 98 mph…4 miles north-northwest of White Ranch Open Space; 85 mph at the NCAR Mesa Lab; 78 mph at the Junction of Colorado Highways 93 and 172; and 75 mph just southeast of Morrison. A semi-truck and an SUV pulling a trailer were rolled over by the wind on Colorado 470 near Morrison. Strong winds damaged a home under construction in Lakewood.


In 1970…a wind gust to 90 mph was recorded in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In downtown Boulder…sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 53 mph were measured. Damage was minor. West winds gusted to 45 mph at Stapleton International Airport on the 17th. The strong Chinook winds warmed the temperature to 70 degrees on the 16th and to 72 degrees on the 17th…both records for the date. The low temperature dipped to only 32 degrees on the 16th equaling the record high minimum for the date.


In 1887…west winds were sustained to 64 mph. Strong winds occurred all day long in the city. Rainfall was 0.02 inch.

In 1894…northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 46 mph.

In 1937…northwest winds sustained to 36 mph with gusts to 44 mph started a few minor fires and broke a number of plate-glass windows in downtown Denver office buildings.

In 1962…heavy snowfall totaled 7.5 inches at Stapleton Airport where the visibility was reduced to as low as 1/4 mile at times. Winds gusted from the northeast at only 15 mph.

In 2009…strong prefrontal wind gusts knocked down some trees and power lines in Boulder. More than 3400 Xcel customers in the University Hill area were without power for about one hour. Peak wind gusts included 68 mph at the NCAR Mesa Lab and 60 mph in Boulder.


In 1976…a strong cold front produced wind gusts 30 to 60 mph with much blowing snow and severe dust storms. In the Boulder area…high winds collapsed a garage and broke some windows. Northwest winds gusted to 43 mph on the 17th and to 44 mph on the 18th at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1984…the third blizzard in a week struck eastern Colorado. Heavy snow hit some parts of metro Denver with 8 to 10 inches measured in Aurora…but only 2.9 inches of snow fell at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 31 mph.

In 1999…damaging downslope bora winds developed in the foothills behind a strong cold front. Peak wind reports included: 90 mph at the Gamow Tower on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder; 79 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research mesa lab near Boulder and at the national wind technology center south of Boulder; and 72 mph atop Blue Mountain and at Jefferson County Airport. Downed power lines caused major outages for at least 10 thousand residents in Evergreen…Idaho Springs…Golden… And Lakewood. In Golden…the wind toppled a lightning static protection line atop a 70-foot…230 thousand-volt distribution tower. The downed line…sparked a small grass fire just east of the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center. The fire burned a path approximately 100 yards wide and 1/3 mile long before it was contained.

In 2000…snow…heavy in the mountains and foothills…spread over metro Denver. Snowfall totaled 24 inches at the Eldora Ski Resort with 8 inches measured near Blackhawk. Snowfall was only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…which was the only measurable snow of the month.


In 2006…a cold spell resulted in 4 temperature records. Low temperatures of 10 degrees below zero on the 17th… 13 degrees below zero on the 18th…and 4 degrees below zero on the 19th were record minimums for those dates. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on the 18th was a record low maximum for the date. Light snow fell on the 17th…but totaled less than half an inch at Denver International Airport.


In 1918…post-frontal northwest winds were sustained to 40 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 44 mph.

In 1937…a moderate duststorm occurred during the late afternoon and early evening. Northeast winds sustained to 32 mph with gusts to 41 mph reduced the visibility to 1/2 mile which persisted for about 40 minutes in the city.

In 1998…rare thunder from instability rain and snow showers was heard in Littleton during the late afternoon. Thunder in February only occurs about once every 10 years over metro Denver.


In 1954…a vigorous cold front produced north winds gusting to 56 mph and a trace of snowfall at Stapleton Airport on the 18th. Strong and gusty winds to 55 mph persisted through the next day and caused some blowing dust.

In 1955…a storm dumped heavy snow across metro Denver. At Stapleton Airport where north winds sustained to 28 mph produced some blowing snow…snowfall totaled 8.8 inches.
18-20 in 1913…post-frontal snowfall totaled 6.9 inches in downtown Denver over the 3 days. Most of the snow fell on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 21 mph with a measured extreme velocity to 24 mph on the 18th.

In 1924…light snowfall totaled 4.6 inches over the 3 days. This was the only measurable snowfall of the month. High temperatures plunged from 45 degrees on the 18th to 17 degrees on the 20th. Low temperatures dipped from 31 degrees on the 18th to only 8 degrees on the 20th. Northeast winds were sustained to 24 mph on the 19th.

In 1953…a major blizzard dumped 10.6 inches of snowfall at Stapleton Airport. Strong north winds at sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 44 mph frequently reduced visibilities to 1/4 mile in blowing snow during the day of the 19th. The strong winds caused much drifting snow…making accurate snowfall measurements almost impossible. Precipitation from the storm totaled 1.13 inches. The 1.01 inches of precipitation on the 19th was the greatest calendar day and 24 hour precipitation ever recorded in the city during the month of February.

In 1987…large amounts of new snow fell in the Front Range foothills. The foothills received 10 to 20 inches of new snow with 4 to 8 inches on the adjacent plains. On the 19th…flight delays occurred at Stapleton International Airport where snowfall totaled 4.2 inches and east winds gusted to only 18 mph on the 19th. Schools were closed in the foothills above Boulder.

» Click here to read the rest of February 16 to February 22: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Cold and light snow for Thornton’s Wednesday weather

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 5:05am MST

A return to wintry weather for us today. It however will not be particularly impressive as the system isn’t strong and does not have a lot of moisture to work with.

Mostly cloudy to cloudy skies start us off. Any openings in the cover will fill in early this morning resulting in cloudy skies for most of the day. High temperatures today will only reach the upper 20s.

We may see a few flakes of snow as early as 9:00am but it will be minimal. Better chances come this afternoon, particularly from about 4:00pm through the evening. Total accumulations will be light, if any. Maybe an inch if we are lucky.

Tonight, a few flakes may fall through the early morning hours tomorrow. Overnight lows will be dropping to the single digits.

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With a break between storms, Tuesday to offer cold temps, mostly sunny skies

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 5:07am MST

Last night’s system delivered only a trace of snow across much of Thornton (although some parts to the north may have had more). Today, we get a break as that system moves out and another prepares to arrive tonight.

Partly to mostly clear skies start us off with coverage decreasing. Mostly sunny skies will be above for most of the day before cloud cover begins increasing again by late afternoon. High temperatures today will top out in the mid mid-30s.

Tonight, mostly cloudy skies will be above with a slight chance for snow after midnight. At this time, no accumulation is expected though. Overnight lows will dip to the upper teens.

We’ll see a better chance for snow Wednesday afternoon and evening.

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Cooler temps, chance for snow start Thornton’s workweek

Monday, February 17th, 2020 5:04am MST

We are set to once again enter an unsettled period of weather that will last through the first half of the week. Colder temperatures and varying chances for snow will be the notable features that begin today.

The day starts off nice enough with mostly sunny skies above into the afternoon. Winds will become breezy later this morning, initially coming out of the northwest then shifting toward upslope flow out of the northeast. High temperatures today will reach to the low 40s, about five degrees below normal for the date.

We begin to see just slight chances for snow after about 3:00pm and between then and 10:00pm little, if any, accumulation is expected. Tonight, best opportunity for snow comes from 11:00pm to 5:00am when we may see an inch.

Overnight lows will be dropping to the teens.

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Thornton’s weekend to offer seasonal temperatures, calm conditions

Friday, February 14th, 2020 4:57am MST

Finally a much-needed break from the seemingly constant string of storms we have been experiencing. We will enjoy calm conditions this weekend with varying temperatures not far from average.

For Friday, some patchy, early fog may be seen but then sunny skies will dominate the day. Temperatures see a nice bump with highs in the mid-40s. Tonight, a weak disturbance will be moving through. That will lead to partly cloudy skies and lows in the low 20s.

Due to the system, cooler temperatures will be seen Saturday with highs in the low 40s. We will still enjoy a good dose of sun though. Saturday night into Sunday, partly cloudy skies will be above with lows in the low 20s.

Sunday will be the warmest day of the period but also offer more clouds. Look for highs in the mid to upper 40s under partly sunny skies.

Our next storm system arrives Sunday night and is expected to bring a return of snow Monday and Tuesday. Until then, enjoy the break!

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Thornton’s Thursday to see things dry out, temps remain cold

Thursday, February 13th, 2020 4:45am MST

Yet another storm system has moved through and dropped some snow (2.9 inches) and now we get a break. Skies will clear today but temperatures will remain well below normal.

Partly clear skies start us off then clouds ease through the morning leading to mostly clear skies this afternoon. Highs today will top out right near the freezing mark.

Tonight, skies will remain clear with lows dropping into the teens.

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