Jan 8, 2024 - News

Bitterly cold temps possible in Colorado as polar vortex-related cold snap looms

Computer model projection of surface air temperatures across the Lower 48 states for Sunday, Jan. 14. Image: Courtesy of Pivotal Weather

An Arctic outbreak is set to blast southward from Canada beginning this weekend and last through next week in parts of the U.S., including Colorado.

Threat level: Associated with the polar vortex β€” which is currently stretched out of its typical position above the Arctic β€” Denver temperatures may plunge well below zero overnight and barely reach the single digits from next Monday through Wednesday, depending on how quickly and intensely the cold moves into the state.

Yes, but: Although computer models are unified in showing the Arctic outbreak, they differ on the timing and severity of the cold.

What they're saying: Between Saturday and next Tuesday, the mountains could see between 10 and 20 inches of snow, OpenSnow meteorologist Joel Gratz predicts.

  • Snow conditions "should be superb" due to cold temperatures and fresh snow "nearly every day for one week," Gratz says.

What to watch: The next two weeks will feature multiple "powerhouse" storm systems and a polar vortex event that together will affect the U.S. from coast to coast.

Go deeper: Polar vortex, extreme weather events set to slam U.S.

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