Brrrr ... autumn to strike one day early

Gordon LaBarge of Grand Junction trudges though a rain storm near Main Street Sunday.

You might want to grab a sweater and maybe dig out a coat before heading out the door this morning.

Cooler temperatures brought in with Sunday afternoon’s rain showers should chill the Grand Valley by tonight and for most of the work week, according to a local forecaster.

“We’ve been enjoying all these warm days, and it’s coming to an end for about a half a week,” said meteorologist Jeff Colton of Grand Junction’s National Weather Service.

Tonight’s lows in the Grand Valley are expected to be in the upper 30s to mid-40s, with about the same Tuesday night. Areas across the state at higher terrain are expected to face freezing temperatures, Colton said.

Not to worry about weekend plans, though. Temperatures will climb into the 70s by then. 

Autumn temperatures will be felt one day before the official changing of the season.

Fall begins Tuesday at 3:18 p.m.

The lower temperatures didn’t break any records in the Grand Valley for this time of year.

Record low for Sept. 21 was set in 1895 when the temperatures hovered at a nippy 32 degrees. Cooler weather today and this week is unusual — normal low for Sept. 21-23 is 48 degrees.

Though the Grand Valley is being blasted early with cold air from southern Canada, in general, climate forecasts show the winter season is expected to be warmer than average, Colton said.

“Overall, the winter’s going to be warmer, but you’re going to have to go to Arizona to play golf all year-round,” he joked.

The average freeze date is Oct. 21, and the hard freeze date is Nov. 1.

Despite persistent rain showers, September is still lagging from average rainfall for the month. Precipitation measured at Grand Junction Regional Airport for the month was 0.37 of an inch on Sunday night with 0.14 inch of that total falling Sunday afternoon.

Normal rainfall for Grand Junction in September is 0.60 of a inch.


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