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Old 08-01-2011, 11:28 AM
 
151 posts, read 146,235 times
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Default Coldest and warmest areas of Colorado.

I'm asking simply for personal knowledge. As a native Texan I worry that I wouldn't be able to handle the winter in Colorado. Then again, snow is totally different than a few months of cold rain and I find that 30 degrees in Colorado feels vastly different than 30 degrees in the sub-tropic area I live in. Humidity makes all the difference in the world.

Sooo...


What is the coldest and warmest portions of Colorado?

Specifically the mountains, what areas tend to get less snow?

What areas get the most snow?

What area outside of the Rockies is the warmest?

What area outside of the Rockies is the coolest?
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Alamosa, CO is the #8 COLDEST in the nation, at 41.2F average annual temp.

I don't have info on the hottest, but it may be Grand Junction on the western slope, or it may be the dry prairie towns in the S.E. corner of the state, towns like La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Rocky Ford, Springfield, etc. Pueblo also gets a lot heat.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Grand Junction is probably not the hottest place in Colorado, but rest assured it gets pretty darn hot in July and August. Even though July just past was the coolest of the 6 Julys I've spent in Grand Junction with a mean temp of just .74 degrees ABOVE the long term norm, it has been the most uncomfortable due to the persistent cloud cover and higher humidity that the clouds bring. The average high temp for the entire month was right on the button ( 92.10 ), but it hasn't been cooling down overnite, and that put the mean temp above the long term norm. August is off to a sticky start. Although not in the same league as eastern humidity, it's bad enough to take notice. The humidity slows me down quite noticably. I've been doing everything at a slower pace all summer long. I can take the heat, but the humidity gets me down.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:50 PM
 
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Sometimes I would give an arm or leg for less than 100 in summer time. I can put up with humidity all year long from growing up 30 miles from a Texas beach! But it just DOESN'T cool down here. May-October can be brutal, and have been this year due to lack of rain. I'll get there...

So what areas of Colorado get the least snow?
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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We moved north of Denver (Broomfield) and it was NOTHING like I thought. I did get snow boots but they were more water/snow boots that were functional to wear when it snowed. Jackets were the same ones I wore in the winter months in Louisiana (if you we ever call that winter down there). The weather here changes by the minute and I am NOT kidding. One morning we were at the pool and it was in the 80's and by that night it was cold and hailing ;-) I LOVE THE WEATHER HERE. These past few months have been hot but not humid like back in Texas or Louisiana.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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I don't now what the official snowfall total was for the past winter in Grand Junction, but I remember having less than 15 inches thru the entire winter. Not much snow at all this year. In the 5 winters I've lived in Grand Junction there has never been what I consider to be alot of snow accumulation, but it's so darn cold that a mere 2 inches can, and does, stay on the ground for 4 to 6 weeks and the residential streets become a solid sheet of ice. Fortunately the main roads are usually bare within a few hours after the snowfall subsides.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
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Generally speaking, Southern CO gets less snow than Northern CO but there are microclimates everywhere so you need to do your homework. We find our area in So CO to be similar to northern NM, with cactus to boot (literally).
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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Wink Perfectly fine

I'll cut to the chase and suggest that the most temperate weather in Colorado is where most everybody already lives: the front range. If looking for little humidity and where not too hot or cold, then that is it.

Generally, the higher one ventures into the mountains the colder it will be, with increasingly more snow. But as rightly inferred, there are a lot of micro-climates to consider. Along the front range Cañon City is said to be in a relative banana belt, with moderate winter temperatures and little snow. As example in the mountains, Estes Park (7,522 feet) can seem a winter wonderland at times, but nevertheless more usually does not receive all that much snow, most likely due a rain shadow effect from the high peaks just the west of it in Rocky Mountain National Park. If driving up towards Bear Lake (9,450 feet) in winter one will soon begin to encounter appreciably more snow. The west side of the Park is wetter, of a different climate, with the town of Grand Lake at the southwest corner of the Park receiving appreciably more snow than Estes Park.

So, if looking for snow and cold, pretty much just head up into the mountains. Central City may suffice, but if wishing to be sure choose a location such as Summit County, with every town 9,000 feet plus. Or try Silverton (9,305 feet) to the southwest in the San Juan Mountains. Gunnison (7,703 feet) is not as high, but by way of its valley location is reliably one of the coldest places in Colorado in winter. However in summer, throughout the mountains, the tourists find the climate rather agreeable.

Beyond the mountains the extremes in hot and cold may be centered in southeast Colorado. It can certainly get hot enough in summer in towns such as Lamar, and aside from absolute highs perhaps more than rival a contender such as Grand Junction (to the far west side of the state) due probably higher humidity. Such a place is surely cold enough come winter, and if just the reading from the thermometer does not sufficiently impress then perhaps one of the blizzards of the eastern plains might. Maybe Lamar itself is more sheltered, but it can still serve as a certain example of what to expect on the plains.

You'll find comfort in company in feeling that the weather around Denver, if always changeable, is all the same perfectly fine, or close enough to it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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I'm more interested in the warm areas, lol. I can deal with the chill, but I'm not exactly looking to move into an area where the slopes are amazing and the sky "pukes" (as one native so eloquently put it this past winter).

I do like the feel of the mountains, but I'm fine with the lower elevations. And I'm pleased with "banana belt". I loved Canon City this summer, so nice. Salida was awesome too. But I would be as happy near the mountains as in them. I don't necessarily want to be on top of them. (:
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaynaKH View Post
What is the coldest and warmest portions of Colorado?

Specifically the mountains, what areas tend to get less snow?

What areas get the most snow?

What area outside of the Rockies is the warmest?

What area outside of the Rockies is the coolest?
Coldest average winter monthly (Dec or Jan) lows:
Taylor Park, -11.2
Hermit, -8.5
Crested Butte, -6.4
Gunnison, -6.1
Silverton, -4.2

Warmest average summer monthly (Jul or Aug) highs:
Uravan, 94.9
Las Animas, 94.8
Palisade, 94.2
La Junta, 93.8
Holly 93.7

Less snow in/near mountains:
Uravan, 10.4
Fruita, 13.2
Grand Junction, 13.8 (the airport shows 21.5)
Gateway, 14.9
Palisade, 15.1

Most snow:
Wolf Creek Pass: 427.9
Climax: 257.9
Crested Butte, 217.7
Telluride, 193.8
Rico, 177.2

Warmest outside of mountains:
Las Animas, 94.8
La Junta, 93.8
Holly, 93.7
John Martin, 93.6
Rocky Ford, 93.5

Coolest outside of mountains:
Rush, 82.3
Castle Rock, 84
Colorado Springs, 84.4
Fort Collins, 85.5
Lakewood, 85.8
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