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Old 03-09-2008, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 633,167 times
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I have a couple of questions...first of all, how windy is Ft. Collins? The climate graphs make it appear as if it is very windy year-round. Is this really the case? I wouldn't mind the wind so much in the summer, but in the winter I would think it would make it horribly cold. Is this the case? How windy is the Ft. Collins area really, especially in the winter? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! My second question is how green is Ft. Collins in the summer usually? Does it get brown like it does in CA, or is it usually pretty green? I was there last August for a few days and it looked pretty brown...is that the norm for that time of year?
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Anywhere on the Front Range, including Fort Collins, gets some wind. However, in winter the winds actually are often a moderating influence on the climate as the city often gets Chinooks, which raises the temperature. (Notice that Fort Collins average December January highs are surprisingly high in the low-to-mid 40s, much higher than you'd expect for its latitude). There are some very gusty days, particularly near the foothills, but it's not a constant wind pressure like you expect further north, in Wyoming, or further east, to the plains. If you are looking to avoid wind, you'll have far less wind in town than you would on the far west side of town, up against the foothills, or to the east of I-25, where you're starting to leave the shelter of the mountains behind and are more exposed.

As for greenness, it depends on your point of view. The Colorado Front Range area is really the next thing to a desert, so it greens up in the spring, usually, but by July the plains fade to a tan color once again. In town, of course, the trees help make things look green, and of course, the mountains are permanently covered with alpine evergreens. Those coming from other interior western states tend to find the Front Range green in the summer, but by eastern standards, even May and June appear brown and dry except for the older sections of town with mature trees.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 633,167 times
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So, tfox, would you say that I would find the wind in Ft. Collins to be more pleasant than say the wind here in Iowa? The wind here, at least in the winter time makes it seem much colder. We frequently have wind chills which are 15 to 20 degrees colder than the actual temperature. Does this happen much in Ft. Collins? I wouldn't mind the wind in the winter if it is indeed a moderating factor as you say. Anyone else have any more feedback on this as well?
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:55 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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The winter winds we get on the Front Range are not like the winds the midwest gets during a snowstorm. They tend to be warming, as tfox said.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 633,167 times
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Awesome, that makes me feel a bit better about the wind in Ft. Collins. Although I know the front range of Colorado still gets rough winters, I'm looking for winters that are at the very least better than the winters here in Iowa. Sounds like Ft. Collins might have that covered. Still not overly excited about 50 + inches of snow, but I'd rather have snow than have it be like 10 below with a -25 or -30 windchill!
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deselminator View Post
Awesome, that makes me feel a bit better about the wind in Ft. Collins. Although I know the front range of Colorado still gets rough winters, I'm looking for winters that are at the very least better than the winters here in Iowa. Sounds like Ft. Collins might have that covered. Still not overly excited about 50 + inches of snow, but I'd rather have snow than have it be like 10 below with a -25 or -30 windchill!
I think you have the right perspective -- Fort Collins is probably milder in winter than Iowa (though I have no personal experience there), but it's noticably more severe than, say, much of New Mexico, or even Grand Junction, CO. Every year is different here. 2005-2006, for example, was a relatively mild winter with persistently sunny stretches and minimal snow. 2006-2007, on the other hand was a historically snowy winter in which we were hit with repeated blizzard snowstorms from late December to mid February, though it was followed up by a fairly unremarkable spring. This year, we saw a fairly average winter with several heavy snow events, but nothing to write home about, followed by a what's proving so far to be an average spring, if a bit on the dry side.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 633,167 times
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Yes, from what I can tell Ft. Collins seems like it would have a milder winter than Iowa, at least temerature wise. It does seem like winter may last a bit longer there, and there will be much more snow on average, especially during months in which I'm not used to snow such as May and September. That is a bit more snow than I would prefer, however it may be a decent tradeoff for the lower humidity, year-round sunshine, and the generally warmer winters. That is what we will have to determine in the coming months. Ft. Collins definitely seems like it would be a nice place to live...my wife and I loved it when we were there, though that was in August.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deselminator View Post
Yes, from what I can tell Ft. Collins seems like it would have a milder winter than Iowa, at least temerature wise. It does seem like winter may last a bit longer there, and there will be much more snow on average, especially during months in which I'm not used to snow such as May and September. That is a bit more snow than I would prefer, however it may be a decent tradeoff for the lower humidity, year-round sunshine, and the generally warmer winters. That is what we will have to determine in the coming months. Ft. Collins definitely seems like it would be a nice place to live...my wife and I loved it when we were there, though that was in August.
Yes, May and September do bring some freakish weather including snow (this is more common in Spring than Fall, actually). However, it's very possible in April and May, especially, to have a couple inches of overnight snow, only to be followed up the next day with temperatures approaching 80 degrees. A 40-50 degree temperature swing between overnight lows and daytime highs is common in Spring here, which means that even during warm stretches in Spring it's easy enough to have overnight lows dip below freezing. It's one of the many consequences of the thin, dry air at high elevations.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 633,167 times
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That is really interesting...I noticed that the difference between average high and low temperatures on the climate graph seems to be quite large. I would have not guessed, however, that there could be overnight snow followed by 80 degree weather the next day. I would have expected larger temperature swings given the geography of the area, however I would never have thought 40-50 degree swings would be common! I don't think I would mind that too much, but I am still a bit concerned about snows in spring and fall. March is fine, but in May or June would be upsetting to me. I don't mind snow, but I don't like it enough to want to see it in May, June, or Sept! I hear that generally even when there is heavy snowfall, it doesn't stick around too long on average. How true is this? Is this only true during spring and fall or is it also true in the winter months? I was under the impression that this area had mostly warm (but not hot), sunny & dry summers (and by "summer" I don't mean June 21 - Sept 22, but more like May 1 - Sept 30)...is this not the case after all?
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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Well, 40 degree temperature swing is very common here. For example, today's high is 68 and low is 29, that's a 39 degree swing; though both high and low today are above normal for early march, which is more in the mid-50s. Days like today are pretty much expected until mid-May, and as long as you have that low under 32 degrees, you have snow potential.

Frankly, I don't think late spring snow is a big deal unless you're a gardener. Sometimes the weather reports say that we get a 1/2 inch of snow, but by the time I wake up, it's already gone. You rarely have an snow that actually "sticks" to any hard surfaces beyond mid April or so.
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