DENVER (AP) – A bitter cold snap dropped temperatures to near 30 degrees below zero in northwestern Colorado on Thursday, while the rest of the state struggled with freezing weather, ice and snow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Aleksa said the temperature in Meeker hit 29 below zero just before sunrise, and Craig was at minus 27 degrees.

“Those are the actual temperatures, not wind-chill temperatures. It’s going to stay cold,” Aleksa said.

Some mountain areas reported up to a foot of snow as the storm moved slowly across the state. The Colorado Department of Transportation said U.S. Highway 550 was closed Thursday between Silverton and Ouray in western Colorado to prevent avalanches on Red Mountain Pass.

In Denver, homeless people lined up in 9-below-zero temperatures before dawn, waiting for the St. Francis Center day shelter to open so they could get off the streets.

The National Weather Service said Denver’s airport tied a record low Thursday of minus 15 set in 1972, but the airport was also located closer to Denver 41 years ago.

The cold air over Colorado is expected to continue into Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said the cold temperatures are due to a series of storms that are hitting the state. A second wave of cold air will move into the state from the northwest Thursday afternoon and a stronger system is expected to arrive Saturday night and continue Sunday into next week.

LINK: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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