DENVER — A big rebound in temperatures will see residents in the Denver metro area go from shovels to shorts in a 60-hour period.
On Saturday, Denver set a record for the coldest Dec. 17 with a reading of minus-15 degrees just before 9:30 p.m., breaking a 107-year-old record.
On Tuesday afternoon, about 66 hours later, temperatures are expected to reach nearly 60 degrees at Denver International Airport, the official recording station for the National Weather Service — a turnaround of nearly 75 degrees.
The last full day of fall will deliver a warm afternoon. Morning cloud cover will break down, allowing afternoon sun to emerge.
Temperatures will surge into the mid- and upper 50s, with a chance of hitting 60, helping quickly melt the snow that fell Friday night and Saturday morning. It will also be breezy, especially in the west metro area.
But the warmth won’t stick around for long. A cold front that will bring more snow to the mountains will move across the Front Range, ushering in colder air and higher winds on Wednesday, the first day of winter. The winter solstice happens at 3:44 a.m.
Highs will fall back to the lower 40s, though it will be sunny.
Snow will develop in the north-central mountains before spreading toward the Interstate 70 corridor on Tuesday night. Most areas that see snow will end up with about 1-3 inches.
The next chance for snow around the Front Range is expected to arrive sometime Christmas Eve night through Christmas Day. It’s too early to project accumulations, but travelers should keep an eye on the forecast as the holiday approaches.