DENVER — Dangerously cold wind chills are expected this week in Colorado, ones that could rival the coldest air that eastern Colorado has seen in decades.
Temperatures will be near 50 degrees on Wednesday afternoon in Denver, but 12-18 hours later they'll be below zero. That drop could rival some of Denver's top one- or two-day temperature drops on record.
More importantly, though, the arctic cold will affect Colorado Wednesday night through Friday morning with some wind chills falling as low as -50 degrees over the northeast plains of Colorado, according to the 9NEWS Weather team and the National Weather Service (NWS).
Since data for this metric first began in 1975, Denver has never had a wind chill below -45 degrees.
In Denver, the overnight low will drop to -18 degrees late Wednesday.
Thursday will be a bitterly cold day in Denver with the day's high temperature staying below zero. Thursday night will be another bitter cold night with a low of -15 degrees forecast in Denver.
Denver hasn't had a day with a sub-zero high temperature since 2014, and a low temperature of -20 or lower since 1990.
Coloradans should avoid prolonged outdoor exposure and be prepared to protect themselves by wearing multiple layers of clothes, hats and mittens.
Once the temperature gets into the range of -17 degrees or below, that's when exposed skin can become susceptible to frostbite in 10 minutes.
The arctic air mass will begin to lose its icy grip on Denver on Friday as highs push into teens. Christmas Eve will see a high around 40 degrees and Christmas Day should be sunny and bright with a high around 50 degrees.
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