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Mother Nature has had a history of pulling some April Fools’ Day tricks on Denver

Posted at 1:29 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 15:29:16-04

DENVER — Today is April Fools’ Day, and it looks like Denver is going to be spared from Mother Nature’s bag of tricks. But that wasn't always the case.

It’s going to be another beautiful day across the Denver metro area, with afternoon highs about 10 to 12 degrees above normal. But the unseasonably warm temperatures will make way from some rain and snow in the next couple of days.

MORE | One more warm day in Denver before the next storm hits

The dramatic temperature swing from mild to wild is something we’re used to this time of year in Colorado, especially on the Front Range. And historically speaking, April Fools’ Day in in the Denver area has had its fair share of some wild weather.

Here’s a look at the Denver metro area’s wild and snowy April Fools’ Days of the past:

1975: A major storm dumped 9.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northwest winds gusted to 41 mph. Rain changed to snow on the afternoon of the 31st, reducing the visibility to as low as 1/8 mile. Snow continued all day on the 1st and accumulated to a depth of 8 inches on the ground. The minimum temperature of 10 degrees on the 1st set a new record low for the date.

1977: From the 1st to the 3rd, a foot of snow fell in Boulder and Broomfield. The Denver-Boulder Turnpike was closed for an hour after numerous minor traffic accidents. At Stapleton International Airport, snowfall totaled 4.7 inches and southeast winds gusted to 32 mph on the 2nd. The greatest depth of snow on the ground was only 3 inches due to melting.

1979: Total snowfall of 6.6 inches was measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 31 mph on the 31st. The greatest accumulation of snow on the ground was 3 inches on the 1st.

1980: The second major blizzard in 5 days buried much of eastern Colorado under 6 to 12 inches of snow. Some drifts were up to 22 feet high. Hundreds of travelers were stranded. Over 3000 families were without power. Livestock losses were high. Metro Denver escaped the main brunt of this storm. At Stapleton International Airport, only 6.3 inches of snow fell over the 3-day period and north winds gusted to only 22 mph on the 1st.

1984: From the 1st to the 2nd, a snowstorm with near- blizzard conditions over eastern Colorado closed many roads, including I-70 and I-76 east of Denver and I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs. At Stapleton International Airport, snowfall totaled only 2.5 inches, but north winds gusted to 45 mph on the 2nd.

1987: A vigorous cold front produced 2.3 inches of snowfall at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 39 mph. The temperature dropped from a maximum of 59 degrees at mid-morning to a low of 25 degrees at midnight.

1999: From the 1st to the 2nd, moist upslope conditions allowed heavy snow to develop in the Front Range foothills where snowfall totals included: 10 inches at Aspen Park and Evergreen; 9 inches at Turkey Creek; 8 inches at Idaho Springs and Genesee; 7 inches at Aspen Springs, Crow Hill, Intercanyon, and Lake George. In metro Denver snowfall totals included: 10 inches south of Sedalia; 8 inches in Littleton; 7 inches at Morrison; 6 inches at Highlands Ranch; and 4 to 5 inches in Northglenn, Parker and near Louisville. Snowfall totaled 4.7 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.