PROMO Weather - Thermometer Cold Temperature Snow - iStock - MarianVejcik

Arctic blast prompts Colorado to activate National Guard

© iStock - MarianVejcik
Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – An arctic cold front bringing near-record low temperatures for Colorado Wednesday and Thursday, has prompt activation of the Colorado National Guard.

Governor Jared Polis verbally authorized more than 100 National Guard members to support operations to deal with the extreme cold. Across the eastern plains late Wednesday, temperatures dropped 30 degrees in one hour and 50 degrees in less than six hours from the day’s highs. Temperatures across northeastern Colorado were at or below zero, with wind chills ranging from 10- to 30-below zero. Wind chill could drop to -50 for some locations. 

“Colorado’s National Guard is up to the challenge whether it’s helping distribute the life-saving vaccine or respond to wildfires across our state,” Polis said in a statement. “Colorado is about to face extreme weather and cold temperatures and the Guard is ready to assist local communities to help keep people safe during this extreme-cold weather snap.”

PROMO Military - National Guard Logo US Flag American - iStock - Phil Feyerabend

© iStock - Phil Feyerabend

The governor’s declaration activates the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center and State Emergency Operations Plan. It directs the Office of Emergency Management to take actions to assist affected areas with response, recovery and mitigation efforts. Various state resources are made available and contracts and awards can be made under the state’s emergency procurement procedures.

Wind gusts are predicted to be up to 40 miles per hour in the plains and 60 in the foothills.

Along with snow, the forecast has strong winds creating dangerous wind chills throughout the state. Most areas will get one to four inches of snow, but localized heavy snow bands could bring an additional inch or two.

The mountains are expected to get three to eight inches of snow with winds gusting from 50 to 70 miles per hour producing blizzard conditions.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment’s animal protection division also reminded pet owners to make plans to protect their animals during the cold weather. A conviction for a cruelty or animal neglect is punishable by up to a $999 fine and/or a year in jail.