The arctic blast that enveloped northeast Colorado over the past week was a shock to the system. Temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees below normal were harsh enough on their own. The duration of such a brutally-cold air mass was even more impressive.
The week from Feb. 10 to 17 was officially the coldest week in Denver in seven years, the 5th coldest in the last 30 years, and the 19th coldest in the last 100 years. The average temperature over the period was a teeth-chattering 6.5°F. You need to go back to the first week of February 2014 to find a colder stretch of weather in the Mile High City.
Denver’s five coldest weeks in the past 30 years:
Dec. 18-25, 1998: 3.0°F
Jan. 9-16, 1997: 4.1°F
Dec. 3-10, 2013: 4.9°F
Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2014: 5.8°F
Feb. 10-17, 2021: 6.5°F
The recent polar plunge included five consecutive subzero overnight lows; a feat that has now only been accomplished for the second time this century.
The coldest morning was Feb. 15, when the mercury plummeted to -16°F. It was the lowest temperature observed in the city since Dec. 30, 2014, when the day started at a bone-chilling -19°F.
RELATED: How the polar vortex created record-cold temperatures
February as a whole is running nearly 10°F below normal in Denver. While temperatures will trend notably milder for the final week of the month, the recent charge of arctic air is likely going to propel Denver to its 4th straight colder than normal February.
The last warmer than normal February in Denver was in 2017. Thermometers soared past 70°F on three separate occasions that month, with one of those days reaching the 80°F mark. February 2017 is also the most recent February that had less snowfall in the metro area.
Despite the cold month we are trudging through now, the official snowfall total sits just under 3 inches at Denver International Airport. Time is running out for the metro area to make it to the normal February snowfall of 7.7 inches.
Ben Reppert is a meteorologist with WeatherNation TV.
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