DENVER (CBS4) – A wave of even colder arctic air will hit Denver and Colorado’s Front Range on Friday and stay for the weekend. Sunday could be the coldest Valentine’s Day in Denver, along with a good chance of snow Saturday night through Sunday.

Before the extremely cold air arrives on Friday, Thursday is another cold day, with highs in the 20s and 30s for all lower elevations east of the mountains, including the Denver subway area. The cold air is shallow so the Foothills, Palmer Divide, and many hill towns will be a bit warmer, with elevations mostly in the 1940s.

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(Source: CBS)

The temperature inversion, which is responsible for the large temperature difference, leads to more clouds, fog and thunderstorms on Thursday, especially in the morning. The inversion also traps particles (pollution) near the ground, so the state has issued another air quality alert for the greater Denver area by 4:00 p.m. Thursday. All residents are urged to limit the use of non-electric vehicles whenever possible in order to reduce air pollution.

(Source: CBS)

The jet stream, a fast-winded highway in the upper levels of the atmosphere, will shift even further south and west of Colorado this weekend. And since the jet stream separates warm air from cold air, the shift to the south and west means that even colder air can reach the state.

(Source: CBS)

Sunday will be the coldest day of the holiday weekend, with highs in the single digits for almost everyone east of the watershed.

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(Source: CBS)

There is also a good chance of snow along the Front Range this weekend, mostly Saturday night through Sunday. Snow is also possible on Friday and Saturday, but any accumulation should be minor until Saturday afternoon.

The preliminary snow forecast predicts an accumulation of at least a few inches for most of us along the urban corridor. The highest amounts of snow can land on the north side of the city. Below is a preliminary map with snow forecasts that will likely need to be adjusted in the coming days.

(Source: CBS)

At the end of next week it will finally be warmer again. Until then we’ll stay cold!

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