Cold yesterday, cold today and cold tomorrow
Quick! Where would you have rather spent your Monday, stranded outside: Grand Junction or Fairbanks, Alaska?
Unless you’re a real glutton for frozen punishment, the correct answer is Fairbanks … and it’s not even close.
Local weather-watchers with the National Weather Service reported that the mercury dipped to 12 below zero at Grand Junction Regional Airport on Monday morning, breaking the previous record low for the day of minus 7 in 1968.
The temperature in Fairbanks on Monday climbed to a downright tropical 37 degrees, by comparison.
The current cold snap—since a big snowstorm Dec. 18 dumped a few inches on the Grand Valley—has meant record-breaking cold in cities across the state, especially Monday morning. According to the National Weather Service, a spot four miles southwest of Craig dropped to 28 below zero Monday morning, breaking a record set for the day in 1985. An automated sensor at the Craig-Moffat County airport also registered a reading of minus 36, the coldest in the nation Monday.
Similarly, Maybell set a record low Monday, checking in at 40 below, Yampa dropped to a record-setting 27 below, and just east of Rangely the temperature dropped to 31 below zero, also setting a new benchmark low for the day.
Predicting little relief, the weather forecast calls for the current, persistent trough of low pressure—responsible for the injection of cold Arctic air everyone’s been cursing—to stick around for at least another day.
In fact, the National Weather Service predicts temperatures for the Grand Valley to remain well below normal through midweek.
The massive low-pressure trough even ensnared California on Monday. Los Angelinos flirted with temperatures near the freezing mark, with low temperatures dropping to 34 degrees in downtown L.A., well below average daily temperatures.
An L.A.-style inversion is set to return to the Grand Valley, according to the local office of the National Weather Service.
Dry air and high pressure building on the West Coast will head our way—making conditions ripe for valleywide pollution trapping at lower elevations, and a gradual warm-up by the end of the week at higher elevations.
In other words, to find some that needed relief from the cold, head to Grand Mesa—where it will again be warmer than on the valley floor.