Arctic Blast December 2013
Arctic air will blast into Colorado by Tuesday, beginning a very long and protracted cold period for the region. The initial cold front is expected to move through the Denver metro area by late Tuesday morning with snow and blowing snow developing by late Tuesday afternoon. Snow and blowing snow will then continue through Wednesday, before diminishing Wednesday night. This airmass will be the coldest of the season and persist through at least next weekend. In fact, this could be the coldest airmass to overtake northeast Colorado since February 2011 when two separate bouts of frigid air brought below zero temperatures.
A good measure of cold is also the persistence of cold. This particular event will last several days and possibly a week or more. The coldest days will be Wednesday through Friday, with only slight moderation expected this weekend. Right now, we are looking at 3 and possibly 4 days with highs below 15 degrees (and likely in the single digits Wednesday and Thursday). The last time we saw an extended period of cold like that was December 19-23, 1998.
It would be prudent to prepare for the protracted cold spell and frigid temperatures by Tuesday. Prepare your home, auto, or business by checking your furnace and insulating or draining any exposed water pipes. Make sure your car has a strong battery, proper antifreeze protection, and a good set of all season or snow tires. Make sure your kids dress warmly before heading to school and give your pets or livestock adequate shelter from the cold. This will be an unusually long period to be in the deep freeze.