National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Moderating Temperatures for the East; Developing Storm for the Plains

Temperatures will continue to moderate across the east half of the nation through at least the first half of this week. A developing storm across the Southern Plains may bring some heavy rain from the Plains to the lower Great Lakes region, a wintry mixture and accumulating snow across the Midwest and Upper Mississippi Valley into mid-week. The west remains unsettled with occasional rain and snow. Read More >

Overview

An abnormally strong and cold low pressure system and associated cold front dropped south across the Northern Rockies and into the Four Corners region beginning September 8, 2020. The low remained quasi-stationary for about a day before lifting northeast into the Plains by the evening of the 10th. This system produced widespread showers of rain in the lower elevations and snow in the mountains, though the cold front dropped snow levels to approximately 7000 feet. Grand Junction set a new record daily maximum rainfall on September 8th with 0.88 inches measured. This broke the old record of 0.49 inches, set in 1929.

In addition to the abundance of moisture, gusty winds were observed ahead of and with the passage of the cold front. Wind gusts averaged from 35 to 45 MPH across the region with gusts exceeding 60 to 70 MPH at times. This was especially true across the north as downsloped winds from the surrounding terrain enhanced wind gusts at Storm Peak Laboratory near the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, which had sustained speeds of 50 MPH with gusts of 70 to 75 MPH. These high winds led to not only reduced visibility in blowing snow, but also numerous downed trees and power outages in some areas.

Leading up to this storm, record heat occurred across the area with critical fire weather concerns across the northern and central portions of eastern Utah and western Colorado. Triple digit heat was recorded in Moab, Utah and the Grand Junction Regional Airport topped out at 99°F two days in a row on September 5th and 6th.

Temperatures cooled significantly in the wake of the cold front with record low temperatures set at Grand Junction each day on September 8-10. Additionally, numerous sites saw their coldest high temperature with values sitting 20 to 30 degrees below the seasonal normal for early September.

September 8-10, 2020 Winter Storm Snowfall Map
Storm Total Snowfall: September 8-10, 2020
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