Think it's cold? You're right! GJ's coldest December in decades

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - This December the weather has already broken three records.

With only 17 days of the month behind us, and only four of those days above freezing, this December is already ranking the coldest in the past 30 years.

Snow is becoming an everyday sight for Grand Junction residents. "We haven't been this cold, but there have been winters where we've gotten pretty chilly," says Grand Junction resident Stephen Wilson.

An early snow storm blanketed the Grand Valley with a little over 9 inches of snow. That 9.2 inches missed the two day record by only a 10th of an inch. The Valley's snowpack has caused the temperatures to plummet far below normal. "The snowpack is a key part to creating a strong inversion, once the cold air is in place it takes a strong storm system to come in and push it out," says National Weather Service Hydrologist Bryon Lawrence.

With an average temperature of 17.6 degrees, so far, this December is not only the coldest in the past three decades, it's the third coldest in the last 100 years.

The one thing that all the record years had in common was the early snow storm that caused the strong inversion.

The inversion and the frigid conditions are here to stay. "We really don't see anything that will bring any warm air into the Grand Valley," says Lawrence. The lack of warm air means this snow is here to stay, too.

A new storm system is forecasted to hit the Grand Valley early next week, which could add just a little but more to our snow totals.

Which is good news for some. "For Grand Junction and Fruita your chances for a white Christmas are pretty good," says Lawrence.

Others are ready for a change. "I want the springtime to show up, it'll take another month or so of this then it will lighten up," says Wilson.

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