A deep freeze for the books in Junction

A couple walks from the Connected Lakes section of James M. Robb Colorado River State Park along the Audubon Trail in Grand Junction. Although a storm is forecast this coming weekend, it won’t bring Arctic air with it, a forecaster says.



QUICKREAD

Cold spell

Sunday’s high temperature of 35 degrees broke a 25-day streak during which the temperature in Grand Junction never got above 32. A look at the longest such subfreezing periods in the city’s history:

■ 32 days: December 1962 and January 1963

■ 29 days: January 1974

■ 28 days: December 1924 to January 1925

■ 27 days: December 1978 to January 1979

■ 25 days: December 2013



Grand Junction has emerged from one of the longest periods of subfreezing weather on record, but that doesn’t mean short-sleeve weather is just around the corner.

Back-to-back high temperatures of 35 degrees on Sunday and 33` on Monday ended a streak of 25 days during which the mercury never climbed above 32 degrees. It was the fifth-longest streak since the National Weather Service began keeping weather records in 1893.

Meteorologist Chris Cuoco said a combination of the Grand Valley’s inversion and the persistent snow cover kept temperatures low.

“When the snow fell in that last storm, it brought in Arctic air with it that got trapped in the valleys,” he said. “The snow cover kept it cold. It didn’t allow the ground to warm up enough to modify the air mass.”

Enough melting occurred in the last couple of days that the ground warmed up, which in turn heated the surrounding air.

High temperatures in the valley should remain around the freezing mark for the next several days before a storm moves in this weekend that should bring significant snow to the northern mountains and perhaps a dusting to the valley. One bright spot for those weary of the bitter cold is that the storm isn’t bringing Arctic air with it, according to Cuoco.

“It won’t slow down our very gradual warming,” he said.

The 25 consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures played the biggest factor in making this month potentially the coldest December on record. As of Monday, the average temperature in Grand Junction this month was 15.4 degrees, a tad colder than the 15.6-degree average in 1919, according to the Weather Service.

Grand Junction has emerged from one of the longest periods of subfreezing weather on record, but that doesn’t mean short-sleeve weather is just around the corner.

Back-to-back high temperatures of 35 degrees on Sunday and 33 (check this) on Monday ended a streak of 25 days during which the mercury never climbed above 32 degrees. It was the fifth-longest streak since the National Weather Service began keeping weather records in 1893.

Meteorologist Chris Cuoco said a combination of the Grand Valley’s inversion and the persistent snow cover kept temperatures cold.

“When the snow fell in that last storm, it brought in Arctic air with it that got trapped in the valleys,” he said. “The snow cover kept it cold. It didn’t allow the ground to warm up enough to modify the air mass.”

Enough melting occurred in the last couple of days that the ground warmed up, which in turn heated the surrounding air.

High temperatures in the valley should remain around the freezing mark for the next several days before a storm moves in this weekend that should bring significant snow to the northern mountains and perhaps a dusting to the valley. One bright spot for those weary of the bitter cold is that the storm isn’t bringing Arctic air with it, according to Cuoco.

“It won’t slow down our very gradual warming,” he said.

The 25 consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures played the biggest factor in making this month potentially the coldest December on record. As of Monday, the average temperature in Grand Junction this month was 15.4 degrees, a tad colder than the 15.6 degree average in 1919, according to the Weather Service.


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