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February 2018 Climate Summary for Eastern Utah and Western Colorado

*Please note that all data mentioned is collected from our automated observing stations from 10 different airports across eastern Utah and western Colorado. Some of our cooperative observers in more remote areas may have measured warmer or colder temperatures, or more or less precipitation than what was mentioned in this summary.*


February 2018 was a very unsettled month as numerous winter storms moved into eastern Utah and western Colorado. Often a disturbance would drop into the region from the Pacific Northwest and bring moderate to heavy mountain snowfall with another storm moving in behind it in two or three days. Two of the most significant storms of the month occurred on February 14-15 and 18-19. The reason these storms tended to be stronger was because they were influenced by the presence of a strong upper level jet overhead. In fact, the February 14-15th winter storm occurred as a result of the combination of both the polar and sub-tropical jets. This led to the Elkhead and Park Mountains in northwestern Colorado receiving 12 to 24 inches while the southern and central mountains saw 5 to 15 inches. This storm also brought significant snow to some higher elevation valleys with up to 10 inches falling in the Central Yampa River Basin. Wind gusts in the valleys with this storm ranged from 40 to 60 mph with a notable recording of 115 mph at nearly 13,000 feet in the San Juans. As a result, near blizzard-like conditions were experienced at times.


Depending on location, February ended up being a wetter than normal month. Areas that suffered the most during the month were the southern valleys with the Cortez and Durango Airports ending February at 0.58 and 0.67 inches below normal, respectively. But regardless, February brought some much needed moisture to the region. From the data just collected from our automated stations at 10 different airports, six sites ended the month with above normal precipitation while the other 4 were below normal. Aspen saw the most precipitation during the month, receiving 1.47 inches. Temperatures were above normal for February with mean temperatures generally ranging from 2 to 5 degrees above normal for the month. The highest reported temperature during the month from these stations was 62 degrees which occurred at the Vernal Airport on February 9th. The Canyonlands Airport also reached 62 degrees several times throughout the month on February 3, 5 and 18th. The coldest temperature of -20 degrees was measured at the Craig Airport on February 21st.


Grand Junction had an average monthly temperature of 36.4 degrees which was 1.9 degrees above normal. The highest temperature was 60 degrees on February 18th and the lowest was 14 on the 20th. 0.76 inches of precipitation fell which was 0.18 inches above normal for the month. The Grand Junction Airport set a new record daily max snowfall on February 23 when 2 inches of snow fell, beating the old record of 1.7 inches set in 1948.


Taking a quick look ahead to March, the official forecast from the Climate Prediction Center ( shows odds favoring warmer than normal temperatures with drier conditions for eastern Utah and western Colorado.

The preliminary climate summary for some of our automated stations can be found on the attached slide show. For more climate information from other sites, please visit our climate page on our website at (select the NOWDATA tab for even more sites). You can also follow us on Facebook (@NWSGrandJunction) or Twitter (@nwsgjt).