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Old 08-28-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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I know some people here like Jazz may be able to answer this. On average does the San Luis Valley get a lot of snow (I mean many days a year with snow).

I know they get blizzards some times, but supposely its not often and is gone with in a day or 2, can anyone confrim this. My wife has a job liined up, but I'm trying to make a decision on moving.

We visited the valley in June and were prefectly fine with it, I know the nights can get down to -40 and Winter is from Oct to April. Its one the 3 poorest areas in Colorado, but its beauty is unreal and the quietness is awesome. All I need to know now is more about the snow

Thanks in advanced
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I've never really paid close attention to the San Luis Valley and never been there during the winter but they don't get much precipitation mostly the bone chilling cold.

Here's a chart on the averages but I don't know how accurate as I am not familiar with the site:

Climate Information for Alamosa*-*Colorado*-*Rocky Mountains*-*United States*-*Climate Zone

I based it off of Alamosa because it's the largest population base in the valley. Those figures will change if you are looking at places like Crestone and those closer to the mountain areas.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisc.
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Looks like the area gets about 33 inches of snow a year.
Average of 4-5 inches a month from Nov thru Apr.
Not too bad.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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The San Luis Valley does not get a lot of snow down on the valley floor. Some winters will have long periods with no snow cover at all. However, what snow they do get does tend to stay around because of the low temperatures. If they do get a heavy snow, the snowcover will reinforce the cold air inversion in the valley, and subzero temperatures can last for days or weeks. Unlike most places east of the Continental Divide, the SLV does not usually enjoy the warming effects of Chinook winds. The SLV tends to get very cold in the winter and stay that way. On the plus side, there is usually a lot of sunshine. The important thing to understand is that the relative lack of snow in the SLV does not equate with warm winter weather. The SLV is COLD in the winter--and winter lasts a long time. Like most of Colorado, spring is not an especially pleasant season there (still cold). Summers are very nice, and fall is great--but winter temperatures are usually setting in by early November. "Summer" in the SLV is pretty much limited to June, July, and August. The other 9 months are cool to frigid--and mostly brown.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for your reply. I guess some people are able to tough out the coldness, but I'm sure its not for everyone. I hear because its dryer there, the same temperature ie 30 degrees might not feel as cold as a more humid place such as Florida would at 30 degrees, does anyone know if there is any truth to this?
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:04 PM
 
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Wink Humidity

Entirely true. 30 degrees fahrenheit in a dry climate, such as the San Luis Valley, will feel more temperate than in a location with more humidity.

Add the prevalence of sunshine and you may find winter there more agreeable than imagined. Presumably you will locate within the valley proper, but know that surrounding areas can be different. Wolf Creek Pass, southwest of South Fork, CO, receives a LOT of snow. Historically the most in Colorado, or very close to it.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Entirely true. 30 degrees fahrenheit in a dry climate, such as the San Luis Valley, will feel more temperate than in a location with more humidity.
Absolutely true, up to a point. When the temperature drops below about -20° F., though, the air's ability to hold moisture is greatly diminished. That is when you will see ice crystals falling out of clear blue sky at those temperatures. At those very cold temperatures, the humidity becomes less and less of a factor. It's just plain cold. Anything below about 20 below zero gets to be dangerous if one is not prepared for it with the right clothing, etc. Below -30° to -40° F., frostbite and hypothermia can occur almost immediately if someone is not prepared for the cold. Add even a little wind to those ambient temperatures, and conditions can become life-threatening in a real hurry. All I can say is that most people can not fathom what that kind of cold is like until they actually experience it. I have--I didn't mind it that much when I was younger (and I was absolutely prepared to live in it), but it doesn't seem nearly as "fun" now. Also, it's expensive. You can imagine the heating costs, even in a well-insulated house, when the difference between the outside and inside temperature is a hundred degrees!
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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Jazzlover is right. You can have a high of 90 and it can cool down to 40 easily. I've been through the valley several times (not recently), and I've never seen snow stacked up there, with the exception of Del Norte. I tell you what, I admire the long time valley residents who live down there and also in Gunnison. My knees kill me just thinking about the bone rattling cold winters they have there. They have one heck of a work ethic as they always get through those winters. They live simply as well.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 08-29-2008 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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I hope hope a well insulated home could retain heat from earlier in the day when it wasn't -40, but yes I can see heat being a major factor. From what I can tell many use wood heat and propane for the most part. It's good to hear snow isn't a real issue there/
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stang65 View Post
I hope hope a well insulated home could retain heat from earlier in the day when it wasn't -40, but yes I can see heat being a major factor. From what I can tell many use wood heat and propane for the most part. It's good to hear snow isn't a real issue there/
Insulation helps, but with today's high propane costs, it's still gonna cost plenty to heat. The costs from that kind of cold doesn't stop there. Frozen water or sewer pipes are always a real possibility. The lack of snow in the valley actually acts as a detriment, because the lack of insulation from snowcover will allow the frost to go way deep.

Vehicle fuel economy suffers greatly in that kind of cold, too. It can also put a lot of wear and tear on vehicles. Engine parts can wear faster, due to the lack of lubrication with a cold start. Plastic, vinyl, even steel can behave badly at those temperatures, so cracked dashboards, windshields, etc. are quite common.
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