Boulder County is bracing for what could be record-breaking lows this week, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.
On Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, temperatures will fall between -14 F and -20 F.
“It’s some of the coldest air we’ll see all year,” says Kyle Frebin, a meteorologist with the NWS in Boulder.
“We’ve got a massive bulge of Arctic air that’s been sliding down from the Arctic Circle in Northern Canada and the Yukon region,” Frebin says. “It’s just going to move straight down into the United States, including Colorado.”
Frebin says this type of pattern isn’t unusual for late January or early February, but that this pattern is particularly cold, and will affect most of the mid-United States, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
“They’re not going to have minus numbers in Texas, but it’ll knock them down into the 20s and 30s.”
The record for Boulder on Wednesday is -18 F, which Frebin says “we’re going to be flirting with.”
The temperature drop is jarring after the mild winter and high temperatures of the last week, but not abnormal, with Colorado in a La Niña phase and with cold air dropping in out of Canada.
“It does happen, every five to 15 years,” Frebin says. “The last time we’ve seen cold air like this was 1989, or 1997.”