Denver hits 13 below, record low for Dec. 4

Cold to linger through Friday

DENVER - It's official: The temperature at Denver International Airport dropped to 13 degrees below zero at 10 p.m. Wednesday, breaking the previous record of 7 below an hour earlier and 5 below zero set on this date in 2008.

As Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson pointed out, the wind chill at DIA at 10  was 31 below zero. The lowest temperature in the state at 10 p.m. was 26 below at Walden, followed by 20 below zero at Meeker.

Nelson said the cold pattern will linger through Friday, with lows dropping to 5 to 15 degrees below zero and highs in the single digits and low teens.  There will be some moderation in the cold this weekend, but it will be accompanied by another round of light to moderate snow Saturday and early Sunday.

The sub-freezing temperatures will stretch past this weekend into next week.  Denver may get back to about freezing by next Wednesday.

If it's any consolation, we probably won't break Denver's record low for Dec. 5.  It is 15 below zero, set in 1972.

In Denver, the lowest temperature on record is -29 °F, set on Jan. 9, 1875.

For the state, the record low temperature is −61 °F set in Maybell, in northwestern Colorado, on Feb. 1, 1985, according to 7NEWS Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson.

According to records kept by the National Weather Service, Denver has hit -20 or colder 29 times since records were kept in 1872.

All of those days were between Dec. 9 and Feb. 15.

The most recent day we hit -20 or below was Dec. 21-22, 1990 when Denver hit -21 and -25.

Don't worry, it won't get that cold this week.

Nelson said this week's cold snap is rare.

"Maybe every 10 to 15 years you get a cold snap like this," Nelson said. "The jet stream is coming straight down across the North Pole pulling this air into Colorado from Siberia. The pattern is just going to get stuck for several days."

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