Sun to give way to rain in valley, maybe snow

Hold off on the shorts, at least for a few days.

A significant storm system packing potential for rain late Monday and trace amounts of snow in the Grand Valley after midnight is on the way, bringing with it potential freezing temperatures in its wake, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

“There’s a good chance of seeing below freezing temperatures (by Wednesday morning) and those apricots and cheery trees blooming are going to be at risk,” said Ellen Heffernan, meteorologist with the local Weather Service office. “It’s something we’re looking at closely.”

Overnight on Monday could bring minimal amounts of snow in the valley but potentially a foot of snow in the mountains, she said.

Separately, the Weather Service released data this week suggesting a chilly start for the Grand Valley for 2013. For the period of Jan. 1 to March 31, the average temperature was 29.9 degrees, the 14th coldest year on record dating back to 1893. The three-month stretch this year was the coldest for Jan. 1 to March 31 since 1988.

The coldest temperatures over that three-month period came in 1933, which recorded an average of 27.1 degrees.

Blame January’s inversion for this year’s colder-than-normal data for Jan. 1 to March 31, meteorologist Jim Daniels said.

“We were running on the coldest January on record right up until the end of the month,” Daniels said.

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