High fire danger Wednesday ahead of a major case of weather whiplash

Wind Chill Alerts
Posted at 6:12 PM, Dec 20, 2022

Tonight's Forecast:
With developing downslope winds over Southern Colorado tonight, overnight lows won't be as cold as the past few nights. At the same time, we should see decreasing clouds, with very cold air still expected to impact some of our wind protected valleys and parts of the lower Arkansas River Valley into Wednesday morning.

Colorado Springs forecast: Low: 21; High: 52; Warm and gusty downslope winds will bring lower 50s to the Pikes Peak Region on Wednesday. But all good things must come to an end they say, and by Wednesday night, the much talked about and well advertised Arctic cold front will pass through Southern Colorado. A quick burst of snow will accompany rapidly falling temperatures and wind gusts to 40 mph. Snow totals from a trace to 2".

Pueblo forecast: Low: 14; High: 59; Wednesday will be the warmest day in more than a week for Pueblo, and thanks to dry, downslope winds, we'll have to contend with Red Flag Warnings from 11 am to 5 pm. Between 8-11 pm, the Arctic front will arrive with some light snow, gusty winds and very cold air. Snow totals from 0-1".

Canon City forecast: Low: 25; High: 57; Warm and windy on Wednesday, with afternoon gusts up to 40 mph. A major Arctic cold front will crash the party Wednesday night, and along with a more than 24-36 hour window of extreme cold, we could see some light snowfall during the overnight hours. Snow totals from 0-1".

Woodland Park forecast: Low: 17; High: 43; Wednesday will be windy, with peak gusts up near 50 mph by the afternoon hours for parts of Teller County. As the Arctic front rolls in Wednesday after sunset, the powerful storm will push much colder air into our forecast and some light snowfall as we head into the overnight hours. Snow totals from 1-2."

Tri-Lakes forecast: Low: 10s/20s; High: 40s/50s; As the saying goes, Wednesday will be the "warm before the storm". By Wednesday night, a cold front will come screaming through Southern Colorado, and bring with it strong northerly wind gusts, the potential for blowing snow, and dangerously cold air and wind chill temperatures. Snow totals from 1-2".

Plains forecast: Low: 0s/10s/20s; High: 40s/50s; Warm and breezy on Wednesday ahead of a powerful Arctic cold front that will bring a major case of weather whiplash to our forecast starting on Wednesday night.

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: Low: 10s/20s; High: 40s/50s; A mild and windy day, with Red Flag Warnings that will go from 11 am to 5 pm on Wednesday. The well advertised Arctic cold front won't reach us until closer to 9-11 pm, but once it does, you'll feel it. On top of a little bit of light snow, temperatures will turn brutally cold by Thursday morning.

Mountains forecast: Low: 0s/10s; High: 20s/30s; Cold and windy for the mountains on Wednesday, with the potential for snow expected to increase during the day. Snow totals for the southeastern mountains will mainly stay under 2". If you're traveling into the central or northern mountain ranges, snow totals here will be much higher and so will impacts to travel.

Extended outlook forecast:
Behind Wednesday night's powerful Arctic cold front, Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories will go into effect for a large part of the state starting at 10 pm. These will continue throughout the day on Thursday, and not be allowed to expire until Friday morning.

Wind Chill Alerts
Wind Chill Warnings & Advisories — 12/21 to 12/23/22

The most dangerous wind chill temperatures we expect will occur east of El Paso and Pueblo counties, and north of Highway 50. These areas may see wind chill temperatures drop as low as -40 degrees from late Wednesday night into Thursday evening. Wind chill values for the Pikes Peak Region and I-25 corridor will be extreme as well, dropping down to -15 to -30 degrees. Wind chill temperatures this low can lead to frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. Our best advice is to only venture outdoors if necessary from Wednesday night into Friday morning.

Actual air temperatures will be coldest Friday morning, with lows ranging from -7 to -21 degrees. Highs Friday will stay well below freezing before we head towards a warming trend this weekend. Christmas Day in Southern Colorado will be partly cloudy and mild, with highs in the 40s and 50s.

Curious about the First Alert 5 Weather Storm Impact Scale? Check out our cheatsheet explainer.

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