The first cold blast of winter hit Colorado with record-breaking low temperatures and significant snowfalls in some areas, but temperatures are expected to be on the rise Monday in Colorado Springs.

While Colorado Springs only accumulated 0.2 inch of snow Sunday, temperatures stayed below the freezing mark. At the Colorado Springs Airport, the city’s official measurement site, the temperature was 17 degrees at 6 a.m Monday, setting a new low daily record. The record was last set in 1969 at 20 degrees, according to National Weather Service data.

A freeze watch is issued by the service for Colorado Springs until 10 a.m. Monday.

Other areas also measured 6 a.m. temperatures at less than 20 degrees. Canon City measured at 19, Pueblo at 18, and a bone-chilling 9 degrees at the Air Force Academy, according to the academy.

School districts in Custer and Fremont counties have issued delays due to cold temperatures and slick roads early Monday.

In the past 24 hours, some snow totals in southern Colorado were significant. Canon City totaled 4.3 inches, and 1 to 7 inches of snow was scattered across the Arkansas Valley.

Higher amounts, including up to a foot of snow, were measured in Jamestown, northwest of Boulder. Estes Park had totals ranging from 7 to 9.5 inches.

But meteorologists in Pueblo predict the skies to clear up around Colorado Springs Monday with a high 40. The weather is on track for rebounding temperatures throughout the week, with highs expected to reach 52 on Tuesday, 49 on Wednesday and 55 on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures could reach the lower 60s on Saturday and Sunday.

A Dangerous Situation

The sudden plunge into winter drove many of those living on Colorado Springs’ streets to seek a bed at the crowded Springs Rescue Mission, a low-barrier shelter that does not require sobriety for admittance.

The shelter at 5 W. Las Vegas St., housed 317 men Saturday night, exceeding its capacity of 300 males. A few spots remained open for women, spokesman Travis Williams said.

Workers managed to squeeze in extra sleeping mats to accommodate the overflow demand, he said, but about 20 men were turned away because of lack of space.

“Two hundred and eighty-five people is our optimal capacity for staff members and available space, but 300 is becoming the new normal,” Williams said. “After that, we reach our limit to be able to provide a good shelter.

“We wish we could welcome every person in need.”

Williams said the shelter would again be at or over capacity Sunday night, underscoring the urgent need for more beds.

“The city provided funds for 150 more beds and we hope to hold up to 450 people after the next few months,” Williams said. “Our attention is greatly focused on that right now.”

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