DENVER — Colorado is about halfway through the extreme cold blast bringing the lowest temperatures and dangerous wind chills to the state, including the Denver metro area.
The winter weather event, only seen a couple of times a year, according to weather forecasters, has brought wind chills well below zero and will remain in place through at least Tuesday morning.
The plunge in temperatures and dangerous wind chills are the main concern to weather forecasters, but the storm system continued to dump heavy snow in Colorado's mountains.
Multiple winter weather alerts remain in effect and have been extended by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder.
"No matter what you're doing or where you are across Colorado, you'll want to layer up and protect any exposed skin. It's going to stay very cold once again today," said Denver7 weather forecaster Katie LaSalle.
The wind chill warning went into effect early in the weekend and will remain for at least through Tuesday at 11 a.m. where wind chills would dip in some places to 35 degrees below zero in Colorado, the NWS warned.
“The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes,” said the NWS in its alert. “When outside, make sure you wear several layers of appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves. Take precautions now to provide shelter for outdoor animals.”
The winter storm warning is now in effect through at least 5 p.m. on Monday for the higher elevations where between 4 to 26 inches of additional snow accumulation was possible, said the NWS.
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In addition to the heavy snow, wind gusts up to 60 mph were possible making travel difficult in some areas near Rabbit Ears Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park, Medicine Bow Range, Mountains of Summit County, Indian Peak, and the Mosquito Range, according to weather forecasters.
"Orographic snowfall will become heavy this morning in the mountains with the largest amounts of 6 to 12 inches just before noon mainly for elevations above 9,500 feet," said the NWS in its Sunday morning forecast discussion.
The most snowfall reported in Colorado over the past 24 hours
- 5 miles west of Green Mountain Reservoir: 36"
- 4 miles southeast of Mount Zirkel: 31.5"
- 3 miles NNE Mount Audubon: 27"
- 4 miles NNW Longs Peak: 25.5"
- Near Rabbit Ears Pass: 25.5"
- 9 miles SSE Spicer, Colo.: 24"
- 6 miles west of Arapahoe Peak: 22.5"
24-hour snowfall reports along the Urban Corridor, Front Range:
- 2 miles west of Boulder: 3.4"
- Near Milliken: 3"
- 2 miles NW of Lafayette: 2.5"
- 3 miles NNW of Marshall: 2.2"
- 3 miles NE of Fort Collins: 2.1"
- Near Niwot: 1.9"
- Arvada: 1.8"
- Near Westminster: 1.8"
- 3 miles south of Federal Heights: 1.5"
- Near Brighton: 1"
- Denver International Airport: .9"
- 5 miles NE of Parker: .8"
Denver temperature timeline
Denver woke up to temperatures below zero Sunday morning, while temps were well below zero on the eastern plains. Temperatures will stay in the single digits in much of the metro and stay below zero on the plains, according to a Sunday morning update from the NWS.
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On Monday in Denver, the overnight low drops to -10 degrees, and the afternoon high is forecast at just 0 degrees with snow again possible.
Temperatures will finally rise above the freezing mark, but not until Wednesday.
Denver's high on Tuesday will be 22 degrees then milder conditions arrive on Wednesday with a high of 40 degrees and more sun. Temps drop back into the lower 30s for the remainder of the week only reaching the low 40s again by Saturday.
Extreme wind chills forecast in Colorado
By Noon on Sunday in Denver, the combination of winds and actual temperature was expected to drop the wind chill to -13 degrees, hovering in the negative teens throughout the day. The wind chill in Denver will remain well below zero degrees through Noon on Tuesday, according to the NWS, including readings -16 degrees on Monday morning and dropping even further to -22 degrees Tuesday morning.
"Limit yourself outside as much as humanly possible," said Greg Heavener, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Friday. "Temperatures won't recover to above freezing until Tuesday at the earliest."
Check latest winter weather alerts in Colorado
The NWS was forecasting light snow in the mountains Saturday, with heavier snowfall returning late Sunday. It warned that whiteout conditions were possible over the higher mountain passes at times through Monday.
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Some areas of Colorado's mountains will see feet of snow through the weekend as the winter storm warning was extended by the NWS. Travel conditions in some parts of the Front Range could become hazardous as the snowfall accumulates on roadways and the temperature remains well below the freezing mark for days.
Counties under the winter storm warning in Colorado include portions of Jackson, Larimer, Grand, Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Summit and Park Counties.
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