Snap! Cold, snow come and go

Temperatures expected to warm back into the 70s by Wednesday

More than 6 inches of new snow cover chairs at Powderhorn Mountain Resort on Monday afternoon.

The snow on Grand Mesa stuck to the trees but not to the roads below the top.

Grand Valley residents who enjoyed a balmy fall weekend in T-shirts and shorts found themselves reaching for winter coats and hats on Monday.

A string of daytime high temperatures in the 70s and nighttime lows in the 40s took a dive at the start of the work week, as a winter storm system dropped snow on Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre Plateau and Glade Park. Even the tip-top of Mount Garfield was adorned with a dusting of snow Monday morning.

A freeze watch for the Grand Valley was upgraded to a freeze warning by Monday afternoon, a warning that extended through this morning, threatening the last of this summer’s tomatoes and backyard gardens.

A freeze warning means sub-freezing temperatures are “imminent or highly likely” and the conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures were expected to sink to the upper-20s in the Grand Valley’s western end and hover around 30 degrees in Palisade and at higher elevations during the freeze warning.

The average high and low for this time of year in Grand Junction is 69 and 43, respectively.

“It’s pretty typical to get these cold snaps,” meteorologist Andrew Lyons said. “We kind of have these days in between to warm back up. We will warm back by Wednesday and Thursday.”

A Pacific storm moved southeast across the area, brining the colder temperatures to the valley and snow in the mountains. About 8 inches of snow accumulated at Skyway on Grand Mesa by Monday morning, according to snowfall reports from the Weather Service. Snow continued to fall Monday at higher elevations.

Dry weather is expected for the rest of the week, with highs rebounding into the 70s.

The floor of the Grand Valley typically doesn’t see snow until December, when temperatures are cold enough, Lyons said.


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