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Old 04-11-2007, 04:54 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Among my other hobbies, I'm an amateur climatologist. I've been studying climate and weather for over 30 years, both in my native state of Colorado, and my adopted state of Wyoming, as well as in New Mexico.

The first thing one has to know about climate in Colorado, is that it is very variable from day-to-day, as well as year-to-year. Colorado sits at an interior location, a long way from moisture sources in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. So, droughts are common. Much of the Rocky Mountain West has been in an extended drought for several years now. Global warming theorists believe that this may become the norm for this region; others believe it is just part of the natural cycle of things. The jury is still out. At any rate, things can vary from year-to-year.

Walsenburg generally doesn't AVERAGE that much snow in a winter. When it gets a big winter storm, it's usually because of a critter called a "Trinidad low." This is a large-scale low pressure system that moves east along the Colorado/New Mexico border at slow speed, passing near Trinidad, Colorado (thus the name). When it gets east of Trinidad/Walsenburg, its counter-clockwise motion fetches moisture from the Gulf and slams it against the mountains west of Walsenburg and on north. That's when Walsenburg (well, really all the way from Raton Pass to Pueblo and beyond) can get a "dump" of snow. If the track goes a little farther north or south, Walsenburg gets spared--thus the variability.

I agree with the other posters--if you don't want snow, don't move to the Rocky Mountains. It may not snow a lot in many locales, but it can snow--sometimes quite dramatically. Same with temperature variations. Where I live in Wyoming, two weeks ago, it was over 70 degrees; last Saturday the high was 23. We may get 8" of snow in the next couple of days. Yesterday, the wind was blowing 60+ mph. There is nothing "precious" or "cute" about our weather here. Personally, I'd be bored if it was any other way. Bring it on.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:02 PM
Location: Virginia
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Or look at today- we were buttoning down the hatches for the big spring blizzard. Schools cancelled, we shopped, and guess what- we only got a couple inches with little wind! Channel 11 news stopped me in the mall parking lot today asking for my opinion (angry one) about school being cancelled for no reason. I declined to partake in it of course. Keep in mind, our snow lasts on the ground for a very short period of time, a day or two.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:35 PM
Location: Huerfano County, Colorado
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Default Walsenburg Winters?

For those considering a move to the Walsenburg area that are concerned about the snow...

So long as you choose to live in town, either in Walsenburg or in La Veta, you will probably be okay. We generally get several inches of snow several times throughout the winter, but it's usually gone within a couple of days. More trecherous is the meltoff once the sun comes back out - the days will be warm enough that the snow melts, but the nights still get very cold, causing the day's melt to ice over on the roads. In addition, ground blizzards become a concern because of the strong winds that blow almost constantly in the Walsenburg area. Every several years we get large storms - the four or five feet of snow types - but so long as you live in town services can still usually reach you, and within a couple of days the city streets are once again passable.

I would not, however, recommend moving out into the county if you aren't prepared to be snowed in for several days at a time at least once a year. Our county snowplow drivers work their butts off, but there are a lot of very rural areas, particularly in the Gardner and Pass Creek areas, that they simply cannot get to until the more commonly-used county roads have been cleared. It's best to have enough supplies to last a month, in dry goods an unperishables at least, even though the chances of being snowed in for that long are very rare.

Keep in mind, as well, that a LOT of the "residential" roads out in the county are NOT county-maintained. That means that snow plows don't plow them, and road graders don't grade them. You will NEED to have a good, sturdy 4 wheel drive vehicle to get in and out during the snowy and/or muddy seasons. When the weather is dry the roads are very hard packed dirt, but sprinkle a little bit of water on them and they turn to very slick, very sucking mud.

Another thing to remember before moving to the rural areas of Huerfano County: Emergency services are mostly based in Walsenburg itself. Because of this, response times can be longer - if the weather is bad, quite substantially longer - than you might expect.

As a whole, Huerfano County is a nice place to live - it is still very rural, but is close enough to Pueblo to afford a day in the "city" if you'd like. Real Estate is still fairly inexpensive, though both La Veta and Cuchara are getting quite pricy. The locals tend to be friendly, and there have been great moves lately to spruce up the towns, particularly Walsenburg, and move them forward economically.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:49 PM
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Ladyblue, thank you for your information. I am planning a visit to the area to look at some parcels. What do you know about Blackhawk Ranch? How far away from Walsenburg is this particular Ranch? Are there many others such as this one in the general area? Are there other parcels - acreage - wooded that one can find w/o a realtor or broker. I would like to see some just to get a feel of the area and then perhaps entertain the thought of discussing with a realtor. Looking to relocate in such an area. Can you offer some info regarding the windy conditions. This forum made mention of the windy conditions. Are we talking 40+mph?
Thanks for your info.
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