Winter is known for bringing chilly temperatures, but Colorado residents experienced an exceptionally sub-zero freeze on Monday, January 15, 2024, that left us all reaching for extra layers. What makes this weather event even more remarkable is the fact that Colorado was colder than Antarctica on that particular day (keep in mind it is Antarctica’s summer right now).

Colorado, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, is accustomed to cold winter weather. However, the frigid air that swept across the state on January 15th was extraordinary. A strong arctic air mass descended upon the region, sending temperatures plummeting to levels rarely seen outside polar regions.

Meteorologists attribute this unusual cold snap to a combination of factors, including a polar vortex disturbance and a strong high-pressure system. These atmospheric conditions created a perfect recipe for the invasion of frigid air from the Arctic, bringing temperatures to levels typically reserved for the coldest corners of the globe.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), it was 6 degrees below zero at the Denver International Airport at 12 p.m. on Monday, and many of us saw temps even lower than that.

Antarctic Stations Recorded Temps on Monday according to the United States Antarctic Program (USAP):

  • Palmer Station: 36 degrees above zero
  • McMurdo Station: 30 degrees above zero
  • Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station: 23 degrees below zero. This was the only Antarctic station that reported temps below Denver.

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