It Was -16 Degrees This Morning Just 148 Miles From the Colorado State Line
A big "sorry" to anyone who believed we are only 48 hours away from the official first day of Spring. Surprise! Imagine watching a monkey throwing darts at a dartboard. That's roughly comparable to guessing weather in this part of the country.
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." Crunch a few numbers, and you'll discover it's only 148 miles from the Colorado state line.
How Close Is This To Grand Junction, Colorado?
Things Could Be Worse
A brisk -16 is a little rough for the second-to-last day of winter. Then again, it could have been worse. You could have been in Falcon Lake, Texas yesterday, March 17, 2022. That location had the highest recorded temperature in the lower 48, coming in at 101 degrees. That's a difference of 117 degrees over a distance of 1,243 miles.
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.