Winter on track to be the coldest on record
Grand Valley residents who may be complaining about it being cold lately, guess what? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service reported Wednesday that 2013 could turn out to be the coldest on record, surpassing the average 49.9 degree temperature the valley saw way back in 1912, forecasters said.
As things stand right now, to tie or beat that record the valley would have to maintain for the rest of the month the average 15.5 degree temperature its seen so far this month, which already has made the weather records books as the coldest ever, said senior forecaster Paul Frisbie.
And while temperatures are expected to get out of the teens by the weekend, and even reach as high as 32 a week from now, an even more massive arctic cold front worse than the one that hit the state last week could be on its way, he said. “It’s still too early to say, but there are indications that we’re going to see one of the coldest air masses that we have seen in quite some time,” he said. “It’s a bigger, stronger colder blast than what we saw with the last storm. There’s plenty of time that it could change, but there’s a higher probability that something significant is going to happen.”
For the valley, that means a weak front that is expected to hit this weekend will blow out much of the cold air that has left residents dealing with the current inversion, only to see that return again by the end of next week.
For the region’s ski industry, however, the scenario means a lot more snow in the high country to improve the resorts’ already substantial base.
Frisbie also said that the valley already has seen the seventh wettest year on record despite how dry it was for the first half of the year.
“We’ve now had five consecutive months of 1 inch-plus precipitation,” he said. “And if December gets more, this would be the sixth month in a row.”
Currently, the valley has seen 12.4 inches of precipitation this year, nearly 30 percent more than the average.
The wettest year on record was in 1957, when the valley received nearly 15.7 inches of precipitation.