The weather in the days ahead can be summed up in two words: brutally cold.
Expect snow to accompany the frigid temperatures this weekend across the Pikes Peak region, the National Weather Service in Pueblo cautioned.
Overnight temperatures Friday are expected to drop to 4 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and light winds around 5 mph, the weather service said, forecasting snow Saturday and Sunday with more to come next week.
"We stay brutally cold on Monday — and dangerous too," Gazette news partner KKTV reported. "Think of your pets, people and pipes! We gradually warm up next week, back into the 30s, but it will take some time ..."
Arctic air Canada will push into the state and could make for some of the coldest days on record this season. Sunday night, the temperature could bottom out at -10 degrees, Kyle Mozley, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service said. Temperatures could get as low as -20 if snow stays on the ground and the cloud cover disappears, he said.
"With winds between 10 to 15 mph and temperatures in the single digits frostbite can happen in minutes," Mozley said.
People planning to travel should be prepared with blankets, food, water, a charged cell phone and a shovel in case their vehicle gets stuck, Colorado State Patrol trooper Gary Cutler said.
People experiencing homelessness are also at risk when temperatures plummet.
"If you see somebody or you are experiencing homelessness, call us," Cutler said. "Get some help so we can get them to a safe place."
Travis Williams, chief development officer for the Springs Rescue Mission in Colorado Springs, said paying for someone to get an Uber ride to the shelter is one way to help.
"We are ready to serve anybody who needs to get out of these frigid temperatures," Williams said. "If somebody does need shelter, there is shelter that is safe, warm and dry."
Pets are also vulnerable to the cold and should be kept inside whenever possible, Kate Aviv, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, said.
"If it is cold outside to you, it is cold outside to them," she said.
The bitter temperatures are also impacting COVID-19 testing around the state with some locations closing and others delaying opening.
The Fountain, Citadel Mall and Rampart Range Campus testing centers will be closed Saturday and Sunday and will open at 10 a.m. Monday. The Falcon/Peyton testing site, which operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will open Tuesday as scheduled.
Vaccine clinics at UCHealth’s Memorial Administrative Center, 2420 E. Pikes Peak Ave., and at Memorial Hospital North, 4050 Briargate Pkwy, will operate as scheduled on Saturday because they are indoors, officials said.
Here's the rest of this week's forecast from the National Weather Service.
Saturday: Areas of fog before 7 a.m., otherwise, increasing clouds with a high near 20 degrees and wind chill values between -5 and 5 and wind speeds between 5 to 10 mph. Overnight snow accumulation of 1-3 inches possible
Sunday: Cloudy and cold with a high near 4 degrees and winds between 5 to 10 mph. A 50% chance of snow, mainly before 11 a.m. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 25 degrees and calm winds around 5 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with a high near 39 degrees and winds around 5 mph. A 20% chance of snow after 11 a.m.