It’s cold, but not that cold

Abigail Eagye
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

The temperature took a serious dip over the weekend, but the low numbers were not the lowest Aspen has seen in mid-September.The Aspen Water Department recorded a low of 25 degrees Fahrenheit Monday morning. But longtime Aspenite and weather-watcher Jim Markalunas said that doesn’t come close to September’s record low of 15 degrees in both 1961 and 1971. Both of those lows happened to fall on Sept. 18, according to the National Weather Service”It’s probably been the lowest in about 10-15 years, but it’s not the record low,” Markalunas said.

The average low in September is 36 degrees, according to Markalunas’ unofficial records.The water department recorded a low of 40 degrees Saturday morning, but that dropped markedly to 24 degrees by Sunday morning. Although locals felt the chill, that low also was not a record.Still, for those who were in Aspen this time last year, it might feel significantly colder.”Last September was very mild,” he said.

Markalunas recorded only 28 degrees Monday morning in the West End, or what he calls Aspen’s “banana belt.” Although not a record, the cold temps prompted Markalunas to cover his geraniums. Markalunas was also grateful Aspen hasn’t seen any real snow yet.”That’s fine for January, but we don’t want it to snow in September,” he opined. “You should have been here in ’61. We had a Labor Day snowstorm.”

According to Markalunas, that epic storm trapped hunters and campers in the hills and felled power lines, causing outages around the area.Tuesday’s low temperature was predicted to be in the high 20s, rising to the low to mid-30s for the rest of the week.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is