Remembering Colorado’s coldest day: -61 degrees in Maybell

DENVER -- While the temperatures in the Midwest may be difficult for many of us to imagine, we've seen them before in Colorado.

In fact, temperatures in the Midwest pale in comparison to what the small town of Maybell in northwestern Colorado experienced in 1985.

On Feb. 1, 1985, temperatures dipped all the way down to -61 degrees Farenheit in the small Moffat County town.

"I don't think I had a thermometer. I don't think I wanted one because then you wouldn't go out and feed your cows," said Georgia McIntyre, one of only a handful of Maybell's residents who also lived in the community in 1985.

McIntyre remembers wearing newspapers in her shoes as extra insulation.

"We used that most of the time when it was cold," she said.

Charlene Scott was a school bus driver.

"I don't remember them ever canceling school. They might have, but I don't remember it," Scott said.

Scott's husband also "reluctantly" helped verify the state record.

"Vern said, 'It'll just read: too damn cold' and sure enough, it said 61 degrees below zero," she said.

Denver has never seen a temperature even close to Maybell's -61 degrees. The city's all-time coldest day was Jan. 9, 1875, shortly after records started being kept. Temperatures dropped to -29 degrees.

It almost happened again 115 years later. On Dec. 22, 1990, Denver saw a low of 25 degrees below zero.

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