Denver is set to post a year's worth of weather records in just a few days - for heat and for cold - while California will continue to swelter.
The temperature hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in Denver Saturday, and by Tuesday 6 inches of snow could be on the ground, according to the National Weather Service. With readings forecast to reach 98 on Sunday, the city is under a winter storm watch.
"It is pretty crazy to go from the latest 100-degree day and a couple of days later you could have your second earliest snowfall of an inch or greater," said Marc Chenard, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.
Heat has been bearing down across the West from California to the Rocky Mountains, taxing electricity demand, drying out the landscape and adding to fire risks. Now, a cold front is set to drop temperatures into the 20s and 30s across the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains but bring little relief along the West Coast - above-normal temperatures will linger through the rest of the week.
In Denver, records are falling, or threatening to do so, at both ends of the spectrum. Saturday's high became the latest 100-degree day on record and Tuesday's snow will place second behind a 4-inch total in 1961 as the earliest snowfall of an inch or more, Chenard said.
But as the snow piles up and the temperatures drop, no one should put away their summer clothes just yet. By Friday, the high in Denver will be back up to 77, Chenard said.
As for California, the cool-down will be relative. The high in Los Angeles and Sacramento was 110 Sunday and dropping to 98 by Wednesday, according to the Weather Service.
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