It Was This Cold Last Night Right Next Door to Colorado
A location just down the road from Colorado recorded a not-so-toasty temperature of 23 degrees this morning (Thursday, September 9, 2021), making it the coldest place in the contiguous United States.
I've been keeping an eye on this Utah location for some time. It frequently comes up on the National Weather Service as having had the coldest temperature in the nation. As a matter of fact, it holds the record for second-lowest temperature ever recorded in the contiguous United States at -69.3.
A Place Most of Us Have Never Been
Have you ever visited Peter Sinks, Utah? Chances are you haven't. It's not a town. It is, in fact, a sinkhole. According to Wikipedia, you'll find Peter Sinks 8,100 feet above sea level in the Bear River Mountains in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Why so cold?
It seems temperature inversions trap the cold nighttime air. Even during the summer months, the bottom of the sinkhole rarely goes more than four consecutive days without freezing. Historically, in summertime high temps in the sinkhole rarely get above 80 degrees.
Where precisely will you find Peter Sinks, Utah?
It's located in the extreme north part of Utah, right next to both the Idaho and Wyoming borders. One of the closest communities would be Garden City, Utah, the "Caribbean of the Rockies."
How close is this to our neck of the woods?
Looking at Google Maps, Peter Sinks is a good 369 miles from Grand Junction. It would take you the better part of eight hours to drive there.
Things Could Be Worse
Okay, so 23 degrees is a bit chilly, especially for the second week of September. Then again, it could have been worse. You could have been in Death Valley, California. Yesterday, September 8, it had the highest recorded temperature in the lower 48, coming in at 120 degrees.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast for Peter Sinks. It's kind of fun. More often than not it will come up as the United States' coldest temperature for the night.