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Arctic blast set to bring coldest temperatures in years to Denver

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The Mile High City will enjoy one more unseasonably warm day but that will come with the price of breezy winds. More notably is the bitter Arctic cold weather that lies ahead and will last through the rest of the week.

For today, temperatures this morning were quite mild already thanks to downslope winds. Temperatures will climb today and we will see highs in the Denver metro area in the mid-60s.

Gusty winds, particularly this afternoon and evening, will frustrate residents however. Gusts to 40 mph will be possible at lower elevations. To the west, a High Wind Warning is in effect for the foothills where gusts could hit 80 mph.

Major changes are on the way with the arrival of a significant storm system and cold front set to arrive by midday Tuesday. The system will be pulling down cold air from the north and send northeastern Colorado into a protracted deep freeze.

Tuesday’s high temperatures are going to top out in the mid to upper 30s in the metro area early in the day and then it is all downhill from there. As the cold airmass settles in the mercury is going to continue to drop. So-called “high” temperatures

Wednesday and Thursday look to be in the upper single digits, lower teens. Some minor warming will occur Friday and into the weekend but temperature readings are still expected to remain extraordinarily low with highs only in the teens.

Overnight temperatures during the entire period will be in the low single digits, dropping to below zero in many locations.

In terms of snowfall, these Arctic airmasses rarely generate a good deal of snowfall as the air usually seems to dry out limiting precipitation. Snow will be possible through the cold spell however with the best chances occurring late Tuesday into Wednesday.

We’ll get a better feel for potential accumulations as the system gets closer. For right now we do believe it is possible for up to 6 inches by the end of the day Wednesday in the metro area with higher amounts possible in some locations, especially near the foothills.

If you haven’t already, today is the day to prepare yourself, your car and your homes for the coming cold:

  • Ensure you and your children are appropriately dressed starting tomorrow with layers of clothing capable to withstanding dangerous cold and windchill temperatures.
  • Be sure your vehicle has a good battery, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze protection and adequate tires.
  • Your home should have any exterior hoses disconnected, exterior plumbing should be drained or well insulated and the furnace should be in proper operating condition.
  • Do not forget about the four-legged creatures among us. Pets and livestock need to have adequate shelter during this type of extreme cold and should not be left exposed.

The cold that is arriving is going to be extraordinary and Coloradans should begin to prepare as it is a potentially dangerous situation. We highly recommend you get ready now before the storm hits. Our Winter Weather Preparedness series provides invaluable information and education on the winter weather hazards that are coming:

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