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Old 05-10-2007, 01:17 PM
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 376,470 times
Reputation: 50


Colorado's four seasons: Fall, Snow, Blizzards, Construction
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:40 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Both climate and weather in Colorado vary greatly from location to location and from year to year. Its interior location away from water sources and its topography make it so.

A few generalizations: There is no well-defined spring in Colorado. Weather can lurch between winter and summer--even within a day or two. Spring is usually the windiest season, though high winds in winter along the Eastern Slope can also occur regularly. Summer is warm to hot in the lower elevations during the day, cool at night. Higher elevations can be warm in the day, and cold at night. Frost is possible just about anytime in the highest elevations, even in high summer. Fall is, for most native Coloradans, considered the prettiest season of the year--warmish days, cool to cold nights, a few early snowstorms punctuated by days of clear skies. Winter is cool to cold, with a lot of sunshine, and snowstorms periodically. The winter season itself generally starts out dry in December, with more precipitation usually coming in late winter and early spring.

Winter temperatures can be bitter cold for days on end in interior mountain valleys (along with pollution-trapping inversions), while chinook winds warm the Eastern Slope into the 60's or 70's on some days.

Precipitation patterns are equally varied. The wettest period in most of northern Colorado is spring and early summer. Most of southern Colorado is dry in late spring and early summer with a precipitation peak in August. Most summer rain comes in the form of brief, but sometimes severe thunderstorms. The area along the eastern slope around Trinidad south into northern New Mexico is one the most thunderstorm prone areas of the U.S. outside of Florida. The area around Pikes Peak and the Palmer Divide, and immediately east of the Wet Mountains near Pueblo is another "hot" area for summer thunderstorm development.

In most of Colorado, December is the driest month. June is usually the wettest month in the northern areas of Colorado, August in the southern areas. Mountain areas can get 20" or more of precipitation a year, the western valleys and the San Luis Valley less than 8". The snowiest mountain areas can get 200" of snow per season, some western valleys and eastern plains locations less than 20".

Colorado is an arid to semi-arid state. Droughts occur regularly and may be severe. Generally low humidity and lots of sunshine. Most of the state is above 5,000 feet of elevation, the average elevation is 6,800 feet. So, the air is thinner and there is lot of UV. Colorado has a very high incidence of skin cancer because of that. Statewide there is generally a very large diurnal (day-to-night) variation in temperature. 40-50 degrees difference between a day's high temperature and the low that night is not uncommon. (My personal record was a September day when I lived in western Colorado: the daytime high was 96 and the low that night was 30.)

There are many people who love the Colorado climate (me being one), but no one should think that Colorado weather is tame. It can have some very wild moments. There are nothing "precious" or "cute" about it.

A good site for climate averages for locales worldwide is the weatherbase.com .
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:12 AM
Location: Loss Wages
1,311 posts, read 5,995,425 times
Reputation: 562
Sounds like home to me. Chicago weather is the same way, unpredictable and full of construction. I can't wait to move to Fort collins then. And so far, everyone has said a some point thunderstorms and moist times of the year do happen. I miss a good thunderstorm. Great thread!
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