Ahh, the freezy life

Lingering inversion means our assets will stay frozen

A large hawk perches on the branch of a tree covered with hoarfrost Tuesday along the Blue Heron section of the Riverfront Trail near the Colorado River. Most solid surfaces have been covered in thick frost every morning for the past week during a bone-chilling cold snap.

After a full week of icebox-like conditions and below-normal temperatures across the Grand Valley, local weather-watchers have a message for people.

Hang in there.

That’s because the valley will continue to resemble your freezer — with ice and snow covering most everything, and chilly temperatures preventing any kind of melt-off — for the foreseeable future, with relief not likely until next week.

“This weekend, we do have a storm system passing by. But I don’t think it’s going to be strong enough to scour out the cold air,” said Chris Cuoco, forecaster with the local office of the National Weather Service. “It looks like that will have to wait another week.”

“It will slowly modify over time, but it will be very gradual,” Cuoco said.

The recent snowstorms, and chilly temperatures immediately after, have meant little opportunity for any sort of melting to happen so far. That has kept the mercury well below normal daily highs, in the 40s usually for this time of the year.

“With the cold front that brought the snow a few days ago, it brought arctic air in here as well — and that’s become trapped in the valley,” Cuoco said. “The snow cover is preventing any heating from occurring, really.”

The forecast for the next few days also includes increasing fog and hazy conditions — sure indicators of a strong inversion that is difficult to budge.

Cuoco said that in the bigger picture, much of the eastern part of the nation remains under the grip of a big low pressure system, but we remain under a high pressure system that is blanketing most of the Southwest.

“That’s helping to keep things very stable over us — that means no change,” Cuoco said.

“The inversion is very strong, and unfortunately it’s not going to be going anywhere fast,” he added.

A number of Grand Valley residents wrestled with issues beyond simply cold temperatures on Tuesday, with two major power outages reported during the day.

More than 900 customers of Grand Valley Power — roughly between 22 Road and 25 Road, north of G Road — woke up to no power in the morning. Power was eventually restored mid-morning.

But more than 5,200 customers of Xcel Energy had their power interrupted Tuesday afternoon, mostly on the Redlands between Broadway and Highway 50. That outage lasted about 45 minutes.

While things are certainly cold on the Western Slope, and in countless other regions across the country, dealing with the cold really requires a bit of perspective.

The Associated Press reported that the coldest temperature ever measured on the planet was recently recorded by satellites over Antarctica — minus 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy