Deep freeze in Colo.: Antero Reservoir Minus 51

Published: December 23, 2015

Deep freeze in Colo.: Antero Reservoir Minus 51, Are you lamenting the warm Christmastime weather this year? Be careful what you wish for: The temperature plummeted to minus 51 degrees in Colorado last week.

A caretaker at Antero Reservoir recorded the near record low temperature last Thursday, a spokesman for Denver Water, the area’s water utility, said. Lower temperatures have been recorded there just twice before, both times in 1962, when the mercury fell to minus 52 and minus 54, according to the National Weather Service.

Though the reservoir regularly sees temperatures below zero in December, “it is safe to say that -51 is extreme, even for this cold area,” Denver Water spokesman Travis Thompson said in an e-mail.

Boston enjoyed a comparatively steamy day last Thursday, when temperatures reached a high of 52 degrees and fell to 39 overnight. Record-breaking heat is expected on Thursday, with highs forecast to reach the upper 60s.

Even without a warm spell, Bostonians shouldn’t worry about seeing the kind of extreme cold recorded at Antero Reservoir, which sits at an elevation of 8,942 feet.

The geography and conditions around the reservoir were responsible for the temperatures, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Colorado said.

“It’s a lot like being up in the Arctic,” meteorologist Kyle Fredin said, noting that the same type of rapid cooling seen in Colorado can occur in other areas of the country with similar conditions, such as Wyoming.


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