DENVER (CBS4) – The next time someone tells you Thanksgiving in Denver is frigid or unseasonably warm, remind them of this 90-degree swing in extremes:
The coldest recorded temperature on record in Denver on Thanksgiving was minus-18 on Nov. 29, 1877, according to National Weather Service data. That’s also Denver’s all-time November record low.
The record high for a Thanksgiving in Denver is 73 degrees set in 1909.
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Severe weather and other interesting climatological curiosities have crashed a few Thanksgivings throughout Denver’s history:
– On Thanksgiving morning of 1919, Denver residents woke to below-zero temperatures and the mercury climbed to just minus-1, still the all-time coldest high temperature for a Thanksgiving in Denver and for November.
– A major storm on Thanksgiving 1928 dumped 15.5 inches of snow on downtown Denver.
– Incredibly, no measurable snow fell in November 1943 until four inches dropped on Thanksgiving, the 25th that year. It was the only measurable snow of the month.
– On Thanksgiving 1949, the mercury dropped to just 56 degrees, the record for the warmest low ever recorded in Denver in November.
– Dense fog stretched across Denver for five straight days in 1985, including Thanksgiving on the 28th. Visibility shrank to one-eighth of a mile at Stapleton International Airport, while light snow and freezing drizzle accompanied the fog.
– In 1999, chinook winds shook the foothills and wind gusts reached 100 mph at Eldora Ski Resort, 77 mph at NCAR near Boulder and 38 mph at Denver International Aiport.
But the Blizzard of ‘83, the most significant weather event at least within spitting distance of Thanksgiving, paralyzed much of Denver and parts east. Thanksgiving that year fell on the 24th and was mild: a high of 48 degrees, gentle winds and zero snow.
Yet within two days, the storm jettisoned 21.5 inches of snow to the ground in 37 hours, stymieing travel across the eastern plains and closing Stapleton for 24 hours. Snow removal cost the city $1.5 million.
Perhaps most interesting: An inch or more of snow remained on the ground for 63 consecutive days, according to the National Weather Service, the longest period of continuous snow cover on the books in Denver.
– Written by Tim Skillern for CBSDenver.com