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Eskimo pities Alamosan, warmer days ahead

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16th, 2013

Fred Bunch

Courier staff writer

VALLEY — Alamosa was the coldest place in the nation again on Saturday night with a low of minus 32 degrees F, welcoming a warming trend forecasted for later this week.

Since Saturday, the Valley’s temperatures have remained well below zero, rallying with several other places for the coldest spot in the nation, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). On Sunday, Alamosa recorded a low of minus 34 degrees F, a mere five degrees warmer than minus 39 degrees F in West Yellowstone Gate, Mont. On Monday, Maybell, Colo. recorded minus 40 degrees F versus Alamosa’s low of minus 21 degrees F, and Craig, Colo. took the top spot on Tuesday alongside Alamosa with minus 32 degrees F.

Fred Bunch, Great Sand Dunes National Park resource management specialist, answered the question, “How cold is it in Alamosa?” by saying it’s so cold even the Alaskan Eskimos feel sorry for Alamosa residents this winter.

Speaking to attendees at the Rio Grande Water Conservation District Board on Tuesday, Bunch said his sister works as a nurse in Alaska. She was recently attending to an older Eskimo woman when a CNN report came on the television in the room and mentioned Alamosa as the coldest spot in the nation.

“I am from there,” Fred’s sister told her patient.

The Eskimo replied, “I’m sorry.”

Although lows are looking like they will stay below zero throughout the weekend, they aren’t forecasted to drop below the minus 30 degrees F mark. For the rest of the week, the NWS is calling for highs around 20 degrees F and lows around minus 17 degrees F. The Valley is projected to continue to experience minimum temperatures dropping minus 15 and 25 degrees F each morning with light winds capable of producing wind chill readings as low as minus 30 degrees F. Hazardous weather conditions will continue at higher elevations throughout the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges.

Alamosa was also deemed the coldest place in the nation on Jan. 2 and 3 with lows of minus 27 and 30 degrees F, respectively. Some reports consider Jan. 3 the Valley’s coldest day with an average low of minus 1 degree F and high of 32 degrees F.

In Alamosa, the lowest recorded temperature was minus 50 degrees F in 1948, according to The Weather Channel. The highest recorded temperature was 96 degrees F in 1989.

Valley Courier editor Ruth Heide contributed to this story.

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