Extreme cold from winter storm

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Denver is expected to have one of the coldest days on record Thursday after a Siberian cold front dropped temperatures at Denver International Airport Wednesday night from 42 degrees to 5 degrees in an hour.

Temperatures at Denver International Airport dropped to minus 24 degrees Celsius Thursday morning, the coldest day in December since 1990 and one degree off that record, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Denver International Airport will hit a high of -2 degrees on Thursday. According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, the last time a high temperature dipped below zero in Denver was on February 5, 2014, when the high was -1 degrees Celsius. Thursday’s high is the lowest high since December 21, 1990. It was -7 degrees.

However, the cold wind will be your worst enemy on Thursday. The towns of Berthoud His Pass in Grand County and Ovid in northeastern Colorado reported temperatures as low as -54 degrees.

Winds can reach gusts of 40 mph in the plains to 55 mph in the mountains.

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

“Exposed skin can quickly frostbite or freeze,” said the forecaster. “Dangerously cold wind chill can cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as five minutes.

Parts of the Denver metropolitan area will receive a total of 3 to 5 inches of snowfall overnight, ending in the morning as very cold, dry air sweeps behind the cold front.

Smooth snowy roads and drifting snow from high winds will affect travel during Thursday morning and evening commutes.

Evening lows in Denver are -10 degrees Celsius, reaching -20 degrees Celsius in some areas. Weather forecasters say the winds will ease a bit, but will still be dangerously cold, with winds dropping to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Warming centers are open statewide for those who need help getting out of the life-threatening cold.

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