Denver finally dropped below zero for the first time this winter season. The temperature at Denver International Airport plunged to minus-3 degrees early Friday morning, marking the first trip into negative territory for the Mile High City since Feb. 5, 2020.
While subzero temperatures never feel great for numbed thumbs and chattering teeth, it is quite rare for the city to hold off its first subzero reading until February. The average date for Denver to record its first subzero low of the winter is Dec. 23.
Ironically, early February is usually the time when Denver records its final subzero low temperatures of the season, as old man winter slowly starts to lose his icy grip.
Before we can begin to think of the cold air easing, several more subzero nights are on the way.
Saturday night and Sunday night will both likely drop below zero in Denver. Sunday night will be the colder of the two nights, when the official temperature out at DIA has a chance to plummet to around minus-10 degrees. Should the mercury go that low, it would be the coldest temperature recorded in Denver since Feb. 7, 2019, when the city bottomed out at minus-11 degrees.
Denver averages seven subzero lows per winter over the past 50 years. Two more over the weekend would bring this winter’s total up to three. It has happened as many as 23 times in the winter of 1880-1881, and occasionally fails to happen at all. The last winter that Denver never dropped below zero was 2015-2016.
Below-normal temperatures will persist across northeast Colorado for at least another week. However, on a positive note, the negative numbers should take a break after Sunday night.
While subzero chill will depart the Denver area for now, it will not necessarily be gone for good. Arctic air can still make intrusions in March and April. Denver’s latest subzero low temperature occurred in 1975, when the city hit minus-2 degrees as late as April 2.
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