Thursday, November 24, 2016

Winter Comes to Colorado

It normally comes a full month earlier. 

When I lived in Colorado Springs there were years I could run out the door to Frontier Park north of my house, and quite literally watch the season-changing front roll in. It’s dramatic like that here in Colorado. It doesn’t always snow, but once that fat gray bank of clouds fills the sky, that’s it. It’s cold, and that cold is here to stay until Memorial Day.

I don’t know the whys and wherefores of this late season and don’t much care, as it was a relief to have as much time as we did to get Big Pink ready for the famously harsh San Luis Valley winter. The clouds and wind blew in during the night, so I didn’t see the change when it came. The winds were strong enough to rock our century-old Victorian, though.

Then came the snow. It would blow in hard, then calm down. Then the wind would gust back up, and another snow squall would pass over us. As of Thursday, 17 November, Winter 2016/17 was on.

Like a lot of Colorado snowstorms, however, this weather event was fleeting. What was gray and white at 11 a.m. had cleared off by 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., everything in the yard had melted except what was in the shadows. Note the straight lines of the snow to the left of the garage. Even the patch to the left of the wheelbarrow was in the shadow when the sun came out. 

The snow melted off, but the cold has remained. Our days of highs in the 50s and 60s F are done, and long single-digit nights are in the immediate future. One thing I’ll say about the cold in the San Luis Valley, it lets you know exactly where the air leak is around your windows. We have some busy days ahead with the caulking gun.