San Luis Valley Farm Winter Wide Photo Credit: EntropyWorkshop (iStock).

The San Luis Valley is one of the coldest places in the country. Photo Credit: EntropyWorkshop (iStock).

According to the National Weather Service, the coldest place in the contiguous United States on November 23 was a town in Colorado's notoriously frigid San Luis Valley.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature dropped to -1 degree Fahrenheit in Alamosa on Tuesday. Weather tracking on Weather Underground shows that this dip occurred around 6:30 AM. On Tuesday, Alamosa shared the title for coldest spot in the lower 48 with Bodie, California – a historic state park near the Nevada border that's found at 8,379 feet of elevation.

The 'coldest spot' title was taken from both towns on Wednesday when Mount Washington in New Hampshire dropped to -2 degrees. The hottest place in the nation on November 23 was Rio Grande Village in Texas, at 84 degrees.

Negative temperatures are common in Alamosa and throughout the entire San Luis Valley during late fall and winter. As a valley that's surrounded by tall mountains, some of which are the Sangre de Cristo fourteeners, cold air tends to settle on the valley floor while warm air rises up the mountainsides. This can result in an inversion that can last for weeks at a time, resulting in extended periods of frigid temperatures.

That's not the case this time, as temperatures in Alamosa dropped from a reported high of 55 degrees on Monday afternoon, down to -1 degrees Tuesday morning, then rising back up to the 50s on Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures in the valley were in the 40s on Wednesday morning.

The -1 degree temperature was far from the record cold of -15 for November 23 in Alamosa, as recorded by the Weather Underground Service.

Around the state of Colorado, temperatures dropped on Wednesday as widespread snow hit mountainous regions. Snow is expected to continue into Wednesday night, with limited flakes predicted to fall in southern Colorado, including the San Luis Valley.

A statewide weather turnaround is expected on Thanksgiving Thursday, continuing into the weekend, with mild and warm weather in the forecast.

Note: Weather Underground temperatures are not official. Official temperatures are those tracked by the National Weather Service. The -1 degree temperature comes from the National Weather Service and other temperatures mentioned in this article come from the historic weather tracking data made available by Weather Underground.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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