By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – Sitting at a mile above sea level and in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is known for having an extreme climate. But the most recent temperature swing ranked as one of the biggest ever observed.

nice weather 1 Denver Drops 72 Degrees In 40 Hours, Lands In All Time Top Temp Swings

(credit: CBS)

School Closures In Denver

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, after a high of 69°F at 2:27 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 18) Denver’s official low hit -3°F just over 40 hours later at 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 20).

cold person Denver Drops 72 Degrees In 40 Hours, Lands In All Time Top Temp Swings

(credit: CBS)

The 72 degree drop tied for the 8th biggest swing ever noted in a period of two days or less. It also landed in the top 20 biggest temperature swing events for Denver since records began in 1872.

By the way, neither the 69°F high or the -3°F low were new daily records but they were close. Sunday’s record high was 73°F set in 2016 and Tuesday’s record low was -5° set in 1955.

bus1 Denver Drops 72 Degrees In 40 Hours, Lands In All Time Top Temp Swings

Crews were working to clear snow off school buses in eastern Boulder on Tuesday morning. (credit: CBS)

denver temp swings Denver Drops 72 Degrees In 40 Hours, Lands In All Time Top Temp Swings

(credit: NWS Boulder)

Oddly enough it was the second time in just four months that such an extreme temperature swing was observed.

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In October 2017 the temperature dropped 71 degrees between the 25th and 27th.

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

Comments (16)
  1. William Lund says:

    Come to Joplin, Missouri where one day we are 70 and next day in the twenties. Very common here in the winter.

  2. Gregg Powell says:

    Damn…. that’s some serious Global Warming right there…..

  3. In Central Texas I’ve seen 60 degree drops in 30 minutes when summer thunderstorms roll in.

  4. Greg Wood says:

    its Trumps fault for cancelling global warming

  5. Janet Martin says:

    I saw a couple of huge temperature swings when I lived in the west during my high school years, 1957-9. Moved back to the midwest the next year were temps were not so strange

  6. Why create drama when there isn’t any. Are we this hard up for sensational headlines?

  7. Keith Panco says:

    It was worse in 1875, and no one was running around in the streets warning anyone of “climate change”.

  8. Like that has never happened before. Denver does that warm air before the front, cold air after. Learn about meteorology and you can’t be fooled by hucksters.

  9. Pf Wag says:

    Put an asterik behind it. After DIA opened, they moved the official “Denver” weather station to DIA where there is routinely a 3-8F difference in temperatures, hotter or colder.,

  10. Mike Arvand says:

    Somebody check if Al Gore did a layover

  11. Mike Jones says:

    That’s nothing. Here in Indy the temp dropped 40 degrees in 24 hours.

  12. Has the myth of global warming been laid to rest.

  13. There is no mystery here. Areas in the lee of mountain ranges, like Denver, frequently experience something called adiabatic heating. An air mass coming over the Rockies is lifted by the jet stream and then compresses as it sinks to lower elevations like Denver. It is not unprecedented or indicative of anything humans did – it’s just basic physics.

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