What History Can Tell Us About Colorado’s Weather
We here in Colorado know that when it comes to our daily weather, it’s anyone’s guess as to what we’ll see in the next hour, let alone the next day. Good thing variety is the spice of life, because Colorado’s got that in spades. However, according to WeatherSpark, our state’s weather patterns might be easier to anticipate than we thought, and actually tend to err on the milder side (just ignore this winter where we ended up with sub-zero temperatures, and the summer before that where we had the hottest August on record). But overall, here’s how Colorado’s climate tends to shake out.
The summers where we peaked at triple-digit days and the winters when we fell below zero always loom the largest in my memory, but throughout our history, it turns out we’re actually pretty mild out here in the Centennial state. For the most part, our summers are warm and clear and don’t usually go above 96°F (which I’m grateful for, the mid-90s are hot enough). Our winters, meanwhile, tend not to dip below 3°F (ok, that’s still impressive. I’m impressed) and are characterized by frigid, dry, blustery days. You can see the arc of Colorado’s highs and lows in the graph below, the complete version which you can find on WeatherSpark.
During both of these weather moods, Colorado still gets those 300 days of sunshine, baby, as our skies are historically clearer than overcast, and (no surprise here) we tend not to get a lot of rain. When we do get that sweet, sweet precipitation, it’s usually throughout April, May and June. Well, except for when that precipitation comes in the form of snow, in which case we get most of that from mid-October to mid-April. Or around March 19, the day when we get the most snowfall (let’s be real here, we knew that was coming).
Speaking of precipitation (or lack thereof), you might be pleased to know that Colorado’s hot season is still a month or so off, and tends to run from early July through the middle of September. Our average hottest day tends to come in the middle of July, around July 13. In turn, our cold season tends to step in around mid-November and last through the very beginning of March, with our coldest day typically landing on Dec. 30 (so this year was a bit of a misnomer for us). But if you’re not a fan of hot-and-sticky, you’ll be glad to know that we, as a state, historically spend more time in the freezing-very cold-cold-comfortable temperature ranges. It’s why our skiing is so great and our souls are so cold (just kidding).
Finally, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taking great comfort in not leaving work in the dark anymore. At the moment, we’re working our way back towards the longest day of the year, which WeatherSpark expects to be on June 20. On that day, we’ll get 15 hours and 5 minutes of daylight, which is quite a difference from our shortest day of 9 hours and16 minutes, which is expected to fall on December 21. As for how those hours translate to our vibrant mountain sunrises and sunsets, our earliest daybreak is expected to be in June, when the sun will break across the sky at 5:28 a.m. Meanwhile, those of us who went to bed far too late to get up at that hour will look forward to the beginning of November, when the sun will rise at the far-more-reasonable hour of 7:36 a.m.
Really, my overall conclusion is that we’re pretty lucky to live where we do. So, I want to say this to you, Colorado: No matter how much flack we give you for snowing at 10 a.m. and then making us switch into flip-flops at three, thanks for not being so humid that twice-daily showers are a thing.
Inside Fisher's Peak, Colorado's Newest State Park