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Old 06-14-2008, 06:04 AM   #21
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RonBoyd's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,135
Hmmmm. I don't even remember shoveling any snow last Winter (although I am sure I must have). On the other hand, we did do a bit of traveling in the past year. In any event, I stand by my earlier statement.

There is an interesting discussion at Large Cities with Most Harsh Winters (climate, fall, april, july) - Weather - City-Data Forum where there are a wide variety of opinions about Denver's weather. One of the participants, however, adds this comment that I agree with:

"The unique thing about Denver is it's location EAST of the mountains. This plays a hugely fundamental role in determining the climate here. While we are certainly subject to arctic outbreaks and periods of snow, we also benefit from warming winds off the leeward (eastern) side of the mountains (this is called chinook for those who aren't familiar). These winds are also what gives Denver 60+ days in mid-January. High wind events are most common during the winter months with Denver's western suburbs and the Boulder area usually getting hit the hardest (sometimes reaching over 100mph). Chinook events (which create warmer temperatures) are FAR more common than snowstorms. This phenomenon is common in Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico, as well as Canadian cities east of the Rockies (especially Calgary).

Conversely, the mountains also play a role in giving us huge snowstorms; low pressure systems (with counter-clockwise flow) moving along the CO/NM border draw moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and hurdle it into the Front Range. The mountains act as a wall, forcing the clouds to drop their moisture on Denver and other communities along the Front Range. During these types of set-ups, locations east of the Continental Divide receive the most snow (Denver frequently reports more snow than most ski resorts during these storms). These storms mentioned above are rare and, on average, only happen every few years. Most of Denver's annual snowfall is supplied by, perhaps, a dozen snowfalls producing 6 inches of snow or less. Between storms, Denver almost always enjoys a thawing period where most, if not all, of the snow on the ground melts. Even when temperatures remain around freezing, Denver sees many hours of sunshine during winter days."

I have done a lot of traveling over the years and I would find it very difficult to move somewhere else permanently. On the other hand, I am not promoting Denver as a place to retire to -- if nothing else, the cost of living is a little on the high side. And, of course, Denver is NOT Colorado by any means.

Another resource might be this article from February 2007:

Denver Exceeds Seasonal Snowfall - Denver Weather News Story - KMGH Denver

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