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Brutal Colorado Cold Spell 100 Years After Record Snow Storm

Thirteen is a notable number, lucky for some, but ominous for others. For Colorado, luck would not apply as the state was subjected to brutally cold Arctic air this week, in 2013, prompting closures and causing accidents across the state. Numerous cities reached record lows several times over the past few days, exactly a century after another winter weather-related record was set in many Colorado cities. On December 4th and 5th, 1913, the city of Denver was pelted by a total of 46 inches of snow, setting a record for snowfall from a single storm that has never even been threatened. Less than an hour to the West, Georgetown got pelted with 86 inches of snow, setting the statewide record for fluffy stuff from one system. The storm was not small in terms of area of impact, either, dropping 3 to 6 feet of snow on dozens of towns along its path.

While 2013 did not bring the same unrelenting snowfall as Colorado saw 100 years earlier, a storm did move in that brought record low temperatures for Colorado, as well as for the rest of the United States. And the cold spell is sticking around, too, with most of the state expected to deal with high temperatures under 20 and lows below zero for more than a week before it's over. The storm did generate some snowfall, as much as 4 feet in some of the higher elevations, and the snow dropped at the beginning of the cold wave so it is expected to stick around until warmer temperatures return on December 10th, according to the latest forecasts. Road crews around the state were commended for their job with the early December, 2013 winter storm, but conditions remain slick in many areas and will be until the mercury gets into the 30s.

So here's a warning for whoever is living in Colorado in 2113: go to Mexico at the end of November, because who knows what Mother Nature is gonna throw at you.

December 6, 2011

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