Colorado Weather Station Hits -51°F, Ties One Of Coldest Temperatures Ever Recorded

By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – It’s one of the colder temperatures ever recorded in Colorado, and a tie for one of the coldest at this particular weather station!

On the morning of December 17 the thermometer at Antero Reservoir dropped to an astounding -51°F.

The last time that happened was on Feb. 8, 1989.

“It was verified with another thermometer, both of which have been inspected and approved by the National Weather Service,” said Travis Thompson, Sr. Media Coordinator with Denver Water.

The Antero Reservoir weather station is operated through a partnership between the National Weather Service and Denver Water. Weather records date back to the 1960s.

The list of 10 coldest temperatures on record at Antero include…

-54 Jan. 10, 1962
-52 Jan. 11, 1962
-51 Dec. 17, 2015
-51 Feb. 8, 1989
-50 Feb. 7, 1989
-49 Dec. 8, 1978
-48 Jan. 13, 1963
-47 Jan. 6, 1971
-46 Feb. 13, 2004
-46 Jan. 13, 1989

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Colorado was -61°F in the small town of Maybell, located in Moffat County, on Feb. 1, 1985.

(credit: Denver Water)

(credit: Denver Water)

The reason for the extreme cold has a lot to do with Antero Reservoir’s location at roughly 9,000 feet in Park County.

Surrounded by high mountains it’s a perfect place for cold, dense air to settle and hang out on a clear, calm night.

It’s a great example of the extreme microclimates found in a place like the Central Rockies.

Antero Reservoir is currently empty and closed to recreation due to a dam project. You can read more about that here.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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