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Winter Shoves Colorado's Mild Fall Away With An Arctic Blast

National Weather Service
A map from the National Weather Service in Boulder shows how cold air will spread down into Colorado over the next few days.

Winter is no longer coming. It's here.

A blast of cold air from the north was pushing through Northern Colorado on Monday, causing temperatures to drop 20 degrees over the course of an hour. The bitter cold is supposed to stick around the state for the next week, with high temperatures staying below freezing through the weekend.

"By this evening we should see near single-digit numbers," said Lisa Kriederman, forecast meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Denver/Boulder bureau.

The forecast comes with a warning for Monday evening drivers; the warm ground, followed by snow and quickly dropping temperatures, set up perfect conditions for icy roads – possibly right during rush hour.

Things might warm up a tiny bit on Thursday and Friday, but will likely remain below freezing. By the weekend, even more cold air will push back through, said Kriederman.

There won't be a lot of snow on the Front Range along with the cold, and the biggest chance for snow is from Tuesday to Wednesday, said the Weather Service -- likely just a couple inches.

Forecaster Josh Larson writes on his blog that "the cold this week will be fierce, long-lasting, and will rival (if perhaps not break) existing records."

This magnitude of cold this early in the winter season is rare, Larson wrote – possibly as once-in-100-year phenomenon.

It's not going away anytime soon, either. According to some outlooks, Colorado may not see temperatures above freezing for the next 10 days.

So pack your jackets. And your gloves. And your hats. And your long underwear.

In fact, maybe you should just stay home.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn has been reporting from Colorado for more than five years, primarily from the Western Slope.
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