(COLORADO SPRINGS) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But is it weather-wise? This year may be a different story with extreme cold leading up to a warmer holiday.

Through the week leading up to Christmas, we are tracking a big plunge in temperatures. Highs across Southern Colorado may be well below normal leading up to Christmas Day.

PRE-CHRISTMAS COLD

It’s all thanks to a big plume of Arctic air as it dives southward next week, dropping local temperatures anywhere from 30-40+ degrees below normal starting on Thursday. We’re talking high temps in the single digits, teens and 20s… with below-zero lows for most of the region.

Depending on the cut-off of this airmass, mountains and higher elevations could be warmer than the plains at the end of the week.

With this arctic air, there’s even a chance for snow. Wednesday evening into Thursday is what models are eyeing now. We’re not talking big amounts, but if we do get any precipitation it will turn to snow thanks to the frigid temperatures.

Models are still uncertain on a few things such as: how far west the airmass will go, how cold temperatures will be (yes, there is a chance we get colder) and how long the airmass will stick around. As of now, Thursday and Friday will be our coldest days of the week.

The good news is behind this frigid Thursday and Friday, a warmer Christmas weekend is in store. But how will this Christmas stack up to others?

CHRISTMAS NORMALS AND EXTREMES

Let’s first talk snow.

Sadly a white Christmas will not be on tap this year. But typically on Christmas Day, Colorado Springs and Pueblo do end up drier with only a light dusting. However, in 2021, we also came up short with no measurable snow.

On the extreme side, our snowiest Christmas’ were in 1911 and 1987 with over two inches in Colorado Springs and over five inches in Pueblo. So it definitely is possible.

Now to temperatures. Typically on Christmas Day, Colorado Springs and Pueblo average highs in the 40s.

In 2021, we topped out in the upper 50s in the Springs and low 60s in Pueblo. Warmer than average. This year, we’ll be on a similar trend but it won’t be as warm.

We are forecasting highs in the upper 40s – low 50s. On the warm side for this time of the year.

Make sure to stay with the FOX21 Storm Team through the next week for more updates about Christmas and the extreme cold on the way. You can also follow us on our new FOX21 Weather App (Download it on Apple or Google Play) for detailed updates on the weather in your area at any time.