We are in our first snow and first cold spell of the 2014 winter!
With ski resorts open, snow falling in the foothills and temperatures dipping dangerously below freezing in the Denver metro area, for those that have not experienced a Colorado winter, it’s easy to think of Colorado as a blizzardouz, winter wonder, arctic state for 6 months out of the year.
While our current weather and all the subsequent newscasts would make you believe otherwise, Colorado is not a frozen tundra land like it is sometimes made out to be. We do not usually have subsequent days of below freezing temperatures and rarely drop below the zero degree mark. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it is not something we expect frequently here.
As a Colorado transplant from Germany and then Costa Rica, I wanted to stop and take a minute to give a true view into the winter months of our beautiful state of Colorado as a now experienced Coloradan.
First off, it’s no secret that we get snow. Sometimes lots of it and sometimes just a few flakes. We get flurries and we get mass amounts for an hour and then it stops suddenly.
It does not snow everyday, sometimes not even every week. Sometimes it will snow for just a few minutes and other times for a few days.
Whichever the case may be, many many many times the snow melts away very quickly.
Colorado is known for having 300 days of sunshine a year and boy do we get them even when the snow is falling.
If you’ve ever heard the term raccoon eyes, or seen someone with the infamous goggle or sunglass tan lines on their face after a day on the slopes, you will know just how powerful our sun can be in the higher elevation even with snow on the ground. It’s not uncommon to see people in t-shirts on the ski slopes and even some people with sandals on in town after a snowfall.
In Colorado, if you’re going to make a snowman, you better do so quickly and hopefully you don’t get attached to it because it will soon be melted.
Now lets get to the driving. The number one thing I hear from out-of-staters is how scared they are to drive in the snow in Colorado. While we do urge lots of caution when driving in snow/ice conditions, it is not as bad as some of you may be thinking. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) does a fabulous job preparing our streets ahead of a snowstorm to minimize the amount that sticks to the streets. They also then work tirelessly to continue to plow as long as it is necessary. Check their website and download their app so you have up to the minute alerts on road closures and traffic changes. Accidents are much more prone in winter and all people are encouraged to not drive if you don’t have to during or after a snow fall.
Build up on main streets is almost never a problem and side streets are services very quickly as well. While I don’t recommend a sports car for your daily driver in winter, you are just fine with a non-SUV vehicle.
If you’re thinking of moving to Colorado and are unsure if you’re ready for the weather, let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone. Many people I talk to about relocating to Colorado are apprehensive – that is until they spend a winter here and realize the true beauty of a Colorado winter see that unlike some of the bitter cold winters in other parts of the country like the dry cold in the New England states or the blistery cold winters of Chicago, Colorado winter’s are mild, and relatively insignificant and for the most part, quite pleasant.
If you’re coming for just a weekend ski trip or an extended time, don’t be shy about getting to Colorado to see what our world-famous winter in Colorado are all about!