If you’ve lived in Colorado for any amount of time you have learned about the shockingly bi-polar weather of this state. It can get up to 80 degrees in December where you think spring has come, then you’ll get days of snowy blizzards in April that shut down the schools and businesses. Luckily, within a day or two, the snow is melting, the sun is shining again, and the roads are clear. Snow plows, or dumping salt and dirt on the road is a bit more scarce here than in other states, such as Utah, because of the continuous sunshine melting the snow in a very quick amount of time. However, after dealing with the weather you begin to feel like you are experiencing a 6 to 7 month long winter with some very warm days in between. One day you’re in shorts and flip flops and there isn’t any snow on the ground, except for in the ski resorts, then the next you’re back in full-on winter gear, and those skiers are headed to that amazing powder on the slopes. Oh, and the summers here are short. It’s not until the end of June before you feel like summer has finally decided to show up to the party.
The location of Colorado is unique because, although it’s mainly a mountain state, most people don’t realize that 40% of the land is taken up by the eastern high plains. For that reason we get this spontaneous bi-polar climate. Not only do you get crazy snow storms but the lightning storms will make your hair stand up on end as you will feel the electricity in the air. The storms can be quite incredible and beautiful, however it can trick you. Most people don’t know this but Colorado is number 3 in the nation (behind Florida #1 and Texas #2) for deaths caused by lightning. The dry weather tricks you into thinking the storm isn’t serious and people unknowingly stay out in it longer than they should. Many times schools are put on what they call lightening delay and won’t allow students out until the storm has passed, also, avid hikers learn simple safety tips in order to stay out of harms way.
Some people love this crazy weather, or at least get used to it, and others actually have FaceBook pages dedicated to their distain of it. Yet, through all of this, the sun shines on an average of 300 days out of the year, leaving you the ability to enjoy the outdoors even in the deepest winter months. They don’t call it the sunshine state for nothing. It is quite enjoyable to get beautiful days in the cold winter months, which keep you perky, instead of depressed in the endless cold and gloom for weeks on end.
In the summer the warmest time of day tends to be in the mornings to early afternoon. After that you can usually plan on afternoon rain by around 3 or 4pm. You might even get a hail storm once in a while but within a short amount of time the sun is back out and you’re on your way to enjoying a beautiful evening and a nice BBQ with friends.
Incredibly, it’s because of this insane weather that Colorado can offer endless outdoor activities year-round. It’s nothing to see cyclists in their spandex shorts riding their bikes in the middle of January and there isn’t a week that goes by that you don’t see residents out for a run or a walk. The hiking, camping, rafting, sight-seeing, and of course the skiing (which amazingly can sometimes go until May or June) is superior. Colorado’s natural beauty and weather is exciting. You can sunbathe in the middle of winter and build a snowman right before summer. The way of life is progressive, healthy, active and exciting.
In the end, Colorado’s weather is like that nutty, wild, and spontaneous friend that drives you crazy at times, yet you can’t live without.