Colorado Springs has had some wild, extreme, and unexpected weather over the years, from flooding to hurricane-force winds.
Colorado weather is known to be fairly crazy, we all know this. But, sometimes, it ends up being more extreme than we could have ever anticipated. So, as we gear up for more crazy weather, we looked at some of the most incredible weather events in Colorado Springs history. Hail, flooding, fires—Colorado Springs has seen it all.
Here are five of the most intense weather situations that Colorado Springs has experienced.
Blizzards and Snow
The record for one-day snowfall in Colorado Springs is March 1, 1909, with 25.6 inches of snow. However, the most snowfall ever in a season was recorded in the winter of 1956-1957, when Colorado Springs received 89.4 inches in total snowfall. One very memorable snow event occurred October 24-26 of 1997 and dropped 24 inches of snow in Colorado Springs over a two-day period, with drifts of snow up to 8 feet. The blizzard shut down parts of the state and there were multiple deaths from the cold and severe conditions.
Flood of 1935
On May 31, 1935, Monument Creek flooded due to extreme rainfall, and within one hour, the creek flooded, ultimately killing four people. The damage was massive, with over $16 million in damages (amount adjusted to reflect what it would cost today). This flood affected areas statewide, and 27 people were killed between May 30-31. It's known as one of the most damaging floods in Colorado state history.
Waldo Canyon Fire
The Waldo Canyon Fire started on June 23, 2012, just a few miles northwest of Colorado Springs. It began as a small brush fire and burned until July 10, 2012. Drought and extreme weather added to the strength of the fire, which became the most destructive wildfire in state history at that time. Over 18,000 acres, as well as 347 homes, were burned, and more than 32,000 Colorado Springs residents were forced to evacuate, along with the United States Air Force Academy. The fire caused severe and destructive flash flooding around the area; however, the Black Forest Fire just a year later would surpass the Waldo Canyon Fire as the most destructive, burning close to 500 homes.
Hail is just one of those things that people who live in Colorado have come to expect, and there have been some pretty major events across the state. One notable one for the Colorado Springs area was on July 28, 2016. This is one of —if not, the most expensive hailstorm on record for the area, costing over $350 million in damages. Then, in June 2018, a hailstorm hit Colorado Springs with 3-inch hail. This was the first time in over 20 years that hail that big had been measured in the area.
Just this March 2019, another weather event hit Colorado Springs that was one for the history books. A rare weather occurrence called a "bomb cyclone" hit the state and blew hurricane-force winds through Colorado Springs. A bomb cyclone is an intense storm that happens when a sudden drop in barometric pressure triggers it. It brought with it blizzard-like conditions, and a 97-mile per hour wind gust was recorded in Colorado Springs, which is equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. Not something we see every day in landlocked Colorado!
We know there are a lot of crazy Colorado Springs weather stories out there, and we want to hear them! Share your craziest weather event experiences in the comments below.