Colorado weather can be surprising to visitors. While we typically see over 300 days of sunshine here, our weather is unpredictable. Although it's not typical, we can have snow in June or temperatures above 100°F in the fall; sub-zero temperatures with snow one day in the winter, with sunshine and temperatures in the 50's the next day. Despite the craziness, there are some general patterns. From the Colorado Climate Center:
Overall -- semi-arid with precipitation gradually increasing as you go eastward into Kansas and Nebraska -- dry winters, wetter springs and summer, highly changeable weather, often windy, and some occasional monstrous thunderstorms with damaging hail.
- Dry winters with an occasional wind-blown snow. Some very cold temperatures alternating with some surprisingly warm days.
- Windy springs with highly changeable weather, an occasional blizzard, large temperature changes and an occasional gentle soaking rain or wet snow to help nurture the grasslands.
- Low-humidity summers with hot days and comfortable nights -- The threat of big thunderstorms is always there, and the Plains see some of the most ferocious hail storms of the entire continent.
- Pleasant falls -- often dry.
-- provided by Nolan Doesken, Colorado Climate Center
If you travel up into the mountains while you're here, the weather can be even more dramatic in how quickly it changes. If you plan to hike, bike or play outside - in Loveland or in the mountains, here are some things you should know.
- Always check the weather forecast before heading out. Look out the window too. Most weather comes in from the west over the mountains.
- Weather can change quickly, especially in the mountains. Take rain gear and wear layers, to stay warm and dry. Always prepare for storms.
- Keep an eye on the sky. Weather can change very quickly in the mountains, and you want to be aware of any changes coming.
- If you are caught in a thunderstorm, the safest place is indoors or in a car. If you're stuck outside, try to get into an area of tree cover - clumps of trees, not one lonely tree. Avoid rock overhangs. If no cover is available, crouch down as low as possible (do not lay down), and remove any kind of metal you are wearing. Avoid tall objects (tops of hills), water and metal (including fence posts).
- If you are climbing a high peak and feel the charge in the air (a physical warming or your hair stands up), lightning is imminent. Take cover.
- In case of a flash flood, climb to safety.