Colorado weather today: Low wind chills, extreme freeze ahead Thursday

After a Siberian cold front dropped the temperature at Denver International Airport from 42 degrees to 5 degrees in an hour Wednesday evening, Denver is expected to have one of its coldest days on record Thursday.

The high Thursday at Denver International Airport is -2 degrees. The last time Denver had a high temperature below zero was Feb. 5, 2014, when the high was -1 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder, and Thursday’s high is the lowest since Dec. 21, 1990, when the high was -7 degrees.

The wind chill will be the worst offender Thursday, though, as that could reach as low as -50 degrees across the plains and mountains and from -20 to -30 degrees in the Interstate 25 Urban Corridor.

Winds could reach from 40 mph gusts on the plains to 55 mph in the mountains.

The National Weather Service’s Wind Chill Warning is in effect for much of northeast Colorado until 11 a.m. Friday.

“Exposed skin may become quickly frostbitten or frozen,” forecasters said. “The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 minutes.”

Overnight snowfall totaling three inches to five inches in some metro Denver cities will end in the morning as very cold, dry air sets in behind the cold front.

The snow-covered, slick roads and drifting snow from the high winds will impact travel during the morning and evening commutes Thursday.

In the evening, Denver’s low is -10 degrees, with some areas reaching -20 degrees. Winds will be a bit more moderate, forecasters said, but still dangerously cold with winds chills as cold as -40 degrees.

Warming centers are open across the state for anyone who needs help getting out of the life-threatening cold temperatures.

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