According to the National Weather Service, on Saturday, January 29, 2022, two neighboring Colorado communities experienced an 82-degree temperature difference. How is this possible?

For the record, these two communities are only 34 miles apart from one another. As it turns out, there's a simple explanation.

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Weird Weather in Colorado

According to Out There Colorado, the National Weather Service reported an 82-degree difference between Boulder and Granby, Colorado. At roughly 5:30, these communities recorded the following temperatures:

  • Boulder: 50 degrees
  • Granby: -32 degrees

To put this in perspective, as of this instant, 9:11 a.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022, the NWS reports a temperature in Granby, Colorado of -20 degrees. Today's expected high in Granby is 23. Tonight's low is expected to be -16, with a low of -26 on Wednesday.

At this same moment, 9:11 a.m., the temperature in Boulder is 45 degrees. Tonight's low temperature is expected to hover around 20 degrees, only three degrees lower than Grandby's expected high.

What's Going On?

Well, those are microclimates for you. Apparently, they do this. According to a Facebook post from the National Weather Service on Saturday:

As an example, let's zoom into Granby. Notice 3 stations in town (this may not include many home weather stations that can often be less reliable or have siting issues). How can that one station be so much warmer? The answer: it sits on a mesa, ~300 FT higher than the other two, which are both located along the valley bottom close to streams/creeks. Cold, dense air sinks and pools into the lower elevations, and a 15 F temperature difference is 100% within reason.

 

You can find similar differences in Boulder, with higher elevations closer to the foothills being much warmer (due to both elevation and breezier winds). Stations on the east side of town are sitting mostly in the 30's!

 

Too Close For Seasonal Comfort

If you're familiar with this region of Colorado, you might be saying, "Are those two towns really only 34 miles apart?" As the crow flies, yes. If you were to drive from one community to the other, well, that's a different story. If you take 40 out of Granby to I-70, and then north to Boulder, you're looking at 97 miles and two hours driving time.

Take your pick of cliches when it comes to Colorado weather. As they say, if you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes. Perhaps more accurate would be to say, "If you don't like the weather in Colorado, walk a few miles."

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