Grasshoppers invade! An 11 day invasion of grasshoppers 135 years ago today is one of the more interesting items on today’s Denver weather history calendar.
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From the 16th to the 19th:
In 1979…heavy thunderstorm rains on each of 4 consecutive days dumped a total of 2.62 inches of rain on Stapleton International Airport. The heaviest rain…1.05 inches… On the 19th was accompanied by 1/4 inch diameter hail.
From the 18th to the 19th:
In 1875…nearly 0.75 inch of rainfall in the city overnight… Possibly assisted by heavier rainfall upstream…produced a decided and rapid rise in Cherry Creek…which washed out some bridges. Other small creeks and streams were filled to overflowing.
On the 19th:
In 1983…heavy rain fell across the northern metro Denver suburbs with 1.50 to 1.80 inches of rain in Broomfield… Arvada…and Thornton.
In 1989…lightning killed a 31-year-old man and injured his 10 year old nephew when it hit a tree they were walking under in the foothills about 5 miles west of Boulder. The boy received mouth to mouth resuscitation on the scene and recovered after being hospitalized overnight. Three other people were knocked to the ground by the bolt…but were uninjured.
In 1990…3/4 inch diameter hail was reported in Wheat Ridge. A thunderstorm over west Denver dumped an inch of rain in 20 minutes…causing minor street flooding. One inch diameter hail was reported over east Denver. Ping pong to golf ball size hail was reported 14 miles northeast of Denver at the intersection of 122nd Ave. and Brighton Blvd. The hail stones knocked out windows and did an unspecified amount of damage to the roof of a house. Close by…heavy thunderstorm rains caused gullies…irrigation ditches…and small streams to overflow their banks near the intersection of 120th avenue and Riverdale Road. Flood waters 1 to 2 feet deep covered the river bottom land along the South Platte River. However…no structures were threatened by the flood waters.
In 1999…heavy rain…up to 5 inches in two hours…caused east tollgate creek to jump its banks. The bike path adjacent to the creek was underwater at several locations. Several underpasses were also flooded…halting traffic. In addition…an unfinished playground at a local elementary school was completely flooded. Lightning struck a vehicle at east Evans Avenue and Tower Road. The woman inside the vehicle was not injured.
From the 19th to the 30th:
In 1875…grasshoppers appeared in great numbers at 10:00 am on the 19th. Thousands landed on the ground. The streets were literally covered with them. Swarms of grasshoppers were seen on each day. All gardens in the city were devastated…and in the countryside the grasshoppers were very destructive to ripened grain. On the 30th the grasshoppers were so numerous as to almost darken the sun.