Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weird Weather

Be Prepared for Anything

The weather in Colorado Springs will confound you. This year, 2013, we had a snowstorm on May 1. The days after that were sub-freezing. In May! And that is not really all that unusual, freak snowstorms in May happen every few years here. The main pattern this year has been no pattern - 70 Degree days followed by highs in the 30s. And the weather changes on the dime, with no warning. On a beautiful day, you can watch the thunderclouds cross Pikes Peak and start rolling down towards the city.

Ice Palace at the Broadmoor back in the day

It will snow in the morning, turn hot in the afternoon, and be balmy and rainy in the evening. Once you've let down your guard, though, it then will turn sub-zero at night. You will see all four seasons in one day here, and it is not at all uncommon to be able to go outside in your shirtsleeves for several days at a time in February. Some areas nearby are notoriously different weather-wise - Pueblo always is about ten degrees warmer, while Black Forest and Monument will get double or triple the amount of snowfall that Colorado Springs itself gets.

Aww, it looks so peaceful in the sweet summertime.

Colorado Springs is semi-arid. What that means is that, unless it is snowing or raining, the area is bone dry. Which is great for forest fires. In 2012, the annual wildfires actually entered Colorado Springs and burned down an entire neighborhood. It's becoming an annual event to climb on your roof and look for the blazes in the foothills. Then again, old-timers will tell you about that time it snowed on July 4. I think that was up in the mountains, though.

Looking in a south-westerly direction from the Air Force Academy

The true weirdness, and yes I am repeating this for emphasis, is how quickly the weather will change. It is absolutely common, more so as you go up in the mountains, for the temperature to rise forty degrees in an hour. You think I'm joking! Think again, I've seen it happen with regularity. You can sit there watching the thermometer and almost see it moving from 35 Degrees to 75 Degrees. Take your eyes away for a minute, and it's gone up three degree. Once that sun hits, everything changes. This is called "Continental Weather." I tell you all this just to warn you that in Colorado Springs, the weather will become your prime concern. You have never seen anything like it, at least I haven't. If you don't respect nature and its power before you come here, odds are good that you will by the time you leave.

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