100-mark a bit tardy this summer
The first 100-degree day of the year in Grand Junction may have had residents cranking up the air conditioner to close out the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but the mercury in the city hit triple digits later than it normally does.
Sunday’s official high of 100 at Grand Junction Regional Airport was followed Monday by a high of 98 degrees. It’s the latest in the year that the temperature has cracked the century mark since 2009, when Grand Junction reached 100 on July 17.
In the past 20 years, there have only been six when the first 100-degree day came later than this year, according to National Weather Service records.
“We kind of did have a cool spring and maybe that leaked into early summer,” said Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
There’s a chance for some relief from the heat this week, though the monsoonal moisture pattern hasn’t arrived in western Colorado just yet.
Phillips said an upper-level ridge of high pressure is stuck over western Colorado, pushing most of the moisture south into Arizona and southern Nevada. High pressure needs to move east in order for Grand Junction to see a better chance of rain.
“It doesn’t seem like we’re going to have a direct tap to the monsoon just yet,” he said.
The forecast calls for a slight chance of rain each day the rest of the week, with highs in the low- to mid-90s.
Any rain would help boost precipitation levels that continue to lag historic numbers. Grand Junction has received 3.91 inches of precipitation so far this year — nearly a half-inch less than the average amount year-to-date.