Gunnison, Colorado is a Rocky Mountain town that gets cold in the winter. Best of all, it has a weather station that has been operated since 1892, which is very old for a weather station, since most weather stations were not installed before 1950. The following chart shows temperature maximums for the entire history of the weather station. You can modify the parameters for the chart yourself in the web app.

Gunnison Colorado

The Gunnison weather station produces this next chart for temperature minimums. Using the crosshair tool in the interactive chart, the temperatures on specific days can be identified. It shows that it got unseasonably hot on June 12, 1987, when the temperature was 86°F, or 30°C. The year before that, it was 19.9°F, or -6.7°C, on the same day! Western Colorado is indeed a cold place to be in the winter. On February 14, 1954, the temperature dropped to -40.6 C. Incidentally, -40 is the temperature where the scales for Fahrenheit and Celcius cross. You can make your own chart in the web app, with the following link, for the Gunnison weather station.

Gunnison, Colorado temperature minimums

There is also a chart for snow depth, which shows a vague 10-20 year cycle, and that it was especially snowy in 2007, when there was 97 inches of accumulated snow in January.

Gunnison Snow snow

You might have noticed that the months labeled acrosss the bottom of the charts are out of order. How embarrassing! Usually that doesn’t happen, but the data is a little bit glitchy for Gunnison. It’s common for weather stations to have periods of missing data, but whoever looks after the weather station at Gunnison has trouble keeping track of calendar days. This is apparent because February 29 should have a missing record for each non-leap year, but instead the missing record is moved over a few days. There should be a clean, vertical dotted white line at February 29, but for the Gunnison chart, the line is not all there. I can just imagine some poor weather station keeper, isolated in his cabin, not knowing exactly what day it is, and writing down temperatures in his notebook. This has somehow messed up my chart output, so that the months are shown incorrectly.

In any case, I’m pretty happy with my web app. I especially like it that other people are able to use it to perform their own science and come to their own conclusions about climate trends. There’s a lot of distrust and skepticism towards the scientific community, which leads to a need for people to be able have a look at the data themselves without having to rely on what they read in the news. This website is the kind of DIY science tool that the world needs.