Whacky winter weather: Grand County stats have been all over the map
February 10, 2015
January was a beautiful month in Grand County.
The sun was shining, the days were relatively warm, and residents throughout the region enjoyed weather more akin to the spring season. With high temperatures edging up into the 40s and precipitation coming down in the form of rain, folks were wondering if 2015 is the warmest January the county has experienced.
According to Kyle Fredin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Boulder, both January and December were warmer than average for those months.
The National Weather Service records official metrological readings for Grand County in Kremmling.
The overall average monthly temperature for December in Grand County is 15.5 degrees. The actual average temperature for December 2014 was 19.5 degrees. January saw a similar increase in average temperature. The overall average temperature for January is 12.6 degrees, while the January 2015 average temperature was 14.5 degrees.
The unseasonably warm weather has been moving into the region intermittently since fall. Temperatures were fairly high in late November leading up to, "well above normal temperatures for December 1", said Fredin. The observed high for Dec. 1, 2014, was 44 degrees while the normal high is 33 degrees. The warmer climes continued into mid-December when, on Dec. 14, the high was 45 degrees, well above the normal high for that day of the year at 29 degrees.
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Fredin went on to explain how late December storms and cold air from Canada moved into the region and brought temperatures down significantly.
Two near-record breaking cold days closed out 2014 for Grand County as Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 first saw temps dip down to -30. The previous record low for Dec. 31 was -31 degrees, set in 1964.
New Year's Day was bitterly cold as well, nearly breaking the previous low temp record of -32 set in 1974.
Fredin explained that given the nature of annual weather patters in the high country, and considering our current weather forecast, that January 1 could end up being the coldest day of 2015.
The cold front moved out of the region by mid-January, though, as temperatures surged upwards, with highs in the 30s and 40s, and reports of rain in the area. The county tied a previous high temp record on Feb. 6 when the thermometer rose to 49 degrees.
Luckily the erratic weather patters have not affected the local snowpack on the upper Colorado River Basin too much.
"Snowpack up there is starting to slide below normal," said Fredin. Basin-wide the snowpack in the upper Colorado is 95 percent of normal.
With snow falling irregularly and high daytime temperatures melting much of the lower altitude accumulations, Grand County is starting to look like spring. Not much snow is in the local forecast until Monday, Feb. 16, when some fresh is expected to fall.