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A stunning temperature spike in Denver on Thursday morning

Even by Denver standards, this is a stunning temperature spike.
Credit: KUSA

DENVER — We're used to wild temperature swings along the Front Range, but what we saw on Thursday morning was very unusual, even by Denver's lofty standards.

Denver's official temperature spiked by a whopping 28 degrees in just one hour on Thursday morning, making it Denver's second-largest temperature one-hour increase since 1974.

Between 10:10 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. Thursday at Denver International Airport, Denver's official weather observation site, the temperature spiked from 32 degrees all the way up to 61 degrees. That marked a 29-degree one-hour spike, which is highly unusual for the Denver area.

The National Weather Service office in Boulder confirmed on Thursday that it was the second-largest temperature increase since 1974. It's also the largest temperature increase overall since January 2007.

The quick temperature spike was mostly caused by a combination of strong southwesterly winds, the fast dissipation of morning fog, and all of that happening during the time of day when temperatures normally rise fastest. 

Fog reduced visibility down to just one-eighth of a mile throughout most of Thursday morning, leading to flight delays at Denver International Airport. But as soon as the fog lifted, gusty southwesterly winds quickly brought warmer temperatures down to the surface, prompting the huge spike.

As of 2 p.m. on Thursday, Denver's official high temperature was 69 degrees, with a morning low temperature of 20.

More gusty winds are in the forecast for Friday, along with much cooler temperatures. Highs will bounce back into the 60s with calmer and drier weather this weekend.


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