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Denver experiences the city's coldest temperatures in over a century, breaking multiple records

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 19:09:14-05

DENVER – Cold weather this week has broken two Colorado records for the city of Denver that have stood for more than 100 years, and those low temps are expected to last for days.

Denver set a new record low maximum temperature for Feb. 22 of 8 degrees, breaking the old record of 13 degrees that was set in 1913. Wednesday’s low temperature was -7 degrees, breaking the old record low for Feb. 23 of -4 degrees set in 1899, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Wind chill advisories remain in effect until noon for the eastern plains of Colorado and parts of the Denver metro area, and temperatures should climb into the low teens in the Denver area on Wednesday.

While the sun did peek out from the clouds in Denver on Wednesday morning, that won't stop the snow. Another round was expected to develop for Denver and northeast Colorado on Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday morning and drop another inch or two of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

In the northern and central mountains, light-to-moderate snow should continue and bring another 2-5 inches of snow to lower elevations and 4-8 inches at the higher elevations. Winter weather advisories are in effect for those areas until 5 a.m. Thursday.

Winter storm warnings remain in effect until Thursday for the San Juan Mountains, the Pikes Peak area, parts of the Sawatch Mountains, the Sangre de Cristo and Wet Mountains, the Elkhead and Park Mountains, and the Gore and Elk Mountains for widespread snow.

The areas that see the heaviest snow could see up to 3-4 feet, the National Weather Service said. Wolf Creek Pass reported 25 inches of snow Wednesday morning, and U.S. 550 is closed in southwestern Colorado, as some locations in the area are reporting well over a foot of snow.

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Snowfall forecasts for Wednesday into Friday across NE Colorado.

The NWS in Grand Junction forecasters said some SNOTEL locations in the San Juan Mountains likely have close to three feet of snow.

“Some SNOTELs are reporting close to 2.5 inches of [snow-water equivalent]. Using a 10:1 ratio, this equates to 25 inches of new snow but as temperatures remain around 20F, this snow ratio is on the low side. They probably have closer to 3 feet of snow and we’re still not done. Good news,” forecasters wrote.

Because of the heavy snow on top of some weak layers that have formed over the past month, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued avalanche warnings for the Northern and Southern San Juan zones, as well as the Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Aspen zones. Avalanche danger is rated high in those five zones, as well as in the Sangre de Cristo zone.

Avalanche danger is rated as considerable in the Front Range, Sawatch Range, Vail and Summit County, and Steamboat and Flat Tops zones.

The CAIC forecast said human-triggered avalanches are very likely Wednesday and can be triggered from below or from a distance. The avalanche warning is currently set to expire Thursday at 6 p.m.

The snow this week has boosted the statewide snowpack back to 94% of the median as of Wednesday morning.