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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 2:59 AM MST on December 18, 2014


... Today in Metro Denver weather history...

17-24 in 1924... a prolonged cold spell occurred after mild
        temperatures during the first half of the month. Most
        low temperatures dipped below zero with the coldest
        reading of 15 degrees below zero occurring on the 24th.
        The high temperature of only 5 degrees on the 18th was
        a record low maximum for the date.
18 in 1901... north winds were sustained to 52 mph with gusts to
        58 mph behind an apparent cold front.
      In 1973... a brief blizzard dumped heavy snow across Metro
        Denver. Snowfall totaled 9.2 inches at Stapleton
        International Airport where north winds gusting to
        53 mph produced much blowing snow. The storm forced
        many schools and businesses to close.
      In 1996... a homeless man in Denver was found unconscious in
        his car suffering from exposure. The man's body temperature
        was only 85 degrees when he was discovered. He died several
        hours later. Early morning temperatures had dipped to
        9 degrees below zero.
      In 1999... high winds were reported for a brief time in the
        foothills. Winds gusted to 72 mph in Golden Gate Canyon
        and to 71 mph at the National center for atmospheric
        research in the foothills southwest of Boulder. West winds
        gusted to only 39 mph at Denver International Airport where
        the temperature warmed to a high of 53 degrees.
      In 2002... only a trace of snow fell at the site of the former
        Stapleton International Airport. This... along with the trace
        of snow on the 5th... was the only snow of the month... ranking
        the month the 2nd least snowiest on record.
18-19 in 2012... a storm system brought moderate to heavy snow to the
        mountains and foothills west of metropolitan Denver and
        blizzard conditions to plains east of Denver Metro area. The
        combination of snow and wind reportedly reduced visibility
        to just a few hundred feet at times... and resulted in several
        Road closures including Interstate 70 east of Aurora. East
        of Denver gusty northerly winds ranged from 35 to 55 mph
        produced extensive blowing and drifting snow... ranging from 1
        to 4 feet in depth. Storm totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches.
        In the mountain and foothills... the heaviest snowfall
        occurred along and north of I-70 and included: 12 inches at
        Genesee... 9 inches near Eldorado springs; 8.5 inches at Coal
        Creek Canyon... 8 inches near Evergreen... with 6 inches at
        Eldora ski area... Idaho Springs... Gross Reservoir and
        Nederland. At Denver International Airport... 1.7 inches of
        snowfall was observed. In addition... a peak wind gust to 35
        mph was observed from the north on the 19th.
18-21 in 2010... a winter storm produced a 4-day period of moderate to
        heavy snow in the mountains. The combination of strong wind
        and heavy snow forced the closure of several mountain passes
        due to the threat of avalanches. The amtrack train Route...
        which runs from Denver to California... was rerouted through
        Wyoming when Union Pacific closed its tracks along
        Interstate 70. Numerous accidents forced the closure of
        I-70 at times. The wind gusted to 60 mph over the higher
        mountain passes. Storm totals in the ski areas west of
        Denver ranged from 16 to 32 inches.
18-24 in 1998... a vigorous cold front with north winds gusting as
        high as 38 mph at Denver International Airport on the 18th
        dropped temperatures from a high of 51 degrees to a low of
        just 6 degrees before midnight. The Arctic air mass that
        settled over Metro Denver produced intermittent light snow
        and a week-long protracted cold spell that caused low
        temperatures to plunge well below zero for 6 consecutive
        nights. The coldest temperature was 19 degrees below zero
        on the morning of the 22nd. High temperatures climbed only
        into the single digits on 4 consecutive days... from the 19th
        through the 22nd. At least 15 people... mostly homeless...
        were treated for hypothermia at area hospitals. The bitter
        cold weather was responsible... either directly or indirectly...
        for at least 5 fatalities. Three of the victims died
        directly from exposure. The cold weather also caused
        intermittent power outages. Following the cold snap...
        thawing water pipes cracked and burst in several homes and
        businesses... causing extensive damage. Only one temperature
        record was set. The high temperature of only 7 degrees on
        the 19th set a record low maximum for the date.


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