(Bloomberg) -- Denver’s weather whiplash has sent the city from summer to winter in 24 hours, with a snow blizzard hitting the region on Friday.
Thursday’s high temperature reached 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius), only to see readings crash the next day, said Marc Chenard, a senior branch forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center. At midday Friday, Denver was at 37 degrees in a rain-snow mix, with the possibility of 4 to 8 inches of snow falling overnight. Even more snow is forecast for nearby Colorado mountain towns.
By Monday, highs should be back in the 60s, and by the end of next week, Denver could reach 80 again.
“It has gone from summer back to winter,” Chenard said. “If there is a part of the country that can see this, it is probably there. Though this one is pretty extreme, going from the upper 80s to snow.”
Sitting at the edge of the Rocky Mountains and in the path of cold fronts dropping out of the north makes it easy for Denver to have these weather fluctuations, he said. Often a patch of warm, dry air will be displaced by a cool front. The incoming cold will drop temperatures, but so will the cooling that comes with the rain or snow falling into the still dry air. Still, the giant temperature swing seen Friday was unusual because of its size. And even though snow in May isn’t unheard of for Colorado, forecasts show bigger accumulation than usual. The state has seen an increase in temperature swings, high winds and drought as climate change takes its toll.
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