Fun fact: Denver does NOT have brutal winters.
I'm from an hour north of Philly in Pennsylvania. I went to college in Miami, Florida. I was in PA for around a year between college and moving out here to Denver, and I think when I made the announcement that I was moving out here my friends giggled a little. The idea of the beach girl moving to that cold Colorado state seemed like karma. The funny thing is, the joke is on everyone who thought that! Denver has milder winters than the northeast!
I know what you're thinking, and it's probably something to the tune of um, don't think so Blair! The Rocky Mountains are not mild or balmy, but nice try. And you're not wrong. The mountains can be very cold. The thing is though, Denver is not actually "in" the mountains. It's about a half hour east of the foothills and even further from the actual hardcore mountains. A lot of people don't realize that the weather system in the mountains is completely different than the city of Denver. To an extent, the idea of "opposite day" usually applies in that if there's blizzards in the mountains, it's pretty warm here. Now, it can be cold here for sure and it certainly does snow. But it's not like other "cold weather" areas. I wanted to say something about all of this on the blog for two reasons: 1) I genuinely like learning about where other bloggers are from via their blogs when they add geographic or cultural reference points and 2) I get a LOT of comments about having bare legs in the dead of winter and wanted to set the record straight. This is what a typical winter here is like:
- 40-50 degrees most days in winter is pretty normal. Sometimes it's warmer, sometimes it's colder, but between 40-50 is not unheard of by any stretch. And since there's no humidity the cold doesn't stick to you as much than cities and towns with humidity, so it can easily feel 10 degrees or so warmer than that. Plus, we're that much closer to the sun and believe it or not it does really help brighten things up and keep the earth warm.
- For two to four months, it can easily snow about once a week on average. The thing is though that it's only an inch or two, for only part of the day, and generally melts by no later than the next day (the sun is bright, remember?) It's also rarely icy snow but the fluffy flakes, so it doesn't make the roads as slick as other parts of the country. I'm not saying that we never get a blizzard or more than a few inches of snow, but it is rarer than you'd think. This year so far the snow has been sticking around a bit longer than usual, in part because we've had some back to back snowfalls (El Nino? Allegedly that is going to give us more "wintery" weather, so this blog post may be kind of moot). You will be seeing a lot of snow outfit blog posts come January, as I take photos in advance and those are the cards I've been dealt with so far this winter. We'll see what the rest of winter brings in real time though!
- As some kind of equilibrium force, we admittedly do have one or two weeks of consistent 2 degree days...or colder. That's a little bitter cold!! But eventually it warms back up to the 40s or 50, or even 70s. Which brings me to my next point...
- Yes, we have 70 degree days in January and February. I've not only legit went sun bathing in the park and on balconies in the dead of winter, but last winter I went for a run in my undies (for charity) and it was pushing 80. I was overheated being nearly naked and outside in February!! Tons of memes get made each year because one day we're tanning in the park and the next day we get 6 inches of snow. This is very typical for Colorado Weather. Speaking of...
- Seasons are usually strange here in general. Summer is typically hot, but spring and fall are not quite like other places. Fall is usually balmy until it's not. We also may get our first snowfall as early as the first week of October. But again, the temperatures will shoot back up. Spring is fairly unpredictable. Natives say we ALWAYS get some wet and HUGE snow storm in March or April. That's literally only happened once in the 8 years that I've lived here. My sunburns from St Patrick's day every year prove some people are clinging to their childhood memories a little too tightly. To be fair though, in theory it can snow up until May or June (I've only seen this happen in May once-- the week before Memorial Day-- last year. That sucked). Except for those handful of weeks where it's bitter cold here, we don't have a true winter where it's always cold and gray here. It's combination of fall, winter, and spring all at once.
So when you see me prancing around in dresses with snow in the background, looks may be deceiving. There are the times that I suck it up for a 10 minute photo shoot, but several real #ootd photos get taken that could look like a summer outfit despite that it's February...and it's completely temperature appropriate. Last year a bunch of my Instagram friends commented with concern about going out in midi skirts with no tights last year. I get it, when there's snow in the background of my photo it's impossible to tell that the forecast is projected to be 60 degrees and it's already too hot for a jacket if I get the photo before the snow melts. And I appreciate the concern about my potential impending hypothermia! Like I mentioned above, allegedly we're supposed to have a brutal winter this year due to El Nino. So maybe this warning is for nothing. Regardless, this post does indicate what a usual winter here is like. I hope you enjoyed! And below are some photos from last year where looks (could) be deceiving. Play along and see if you can guess which days were hot or cold (I have captions with the answers below each photo).
60 degree day. This area didn't get a lot of sun so you would never know because the snow hadn't melted yet.
Okay, legitimately snowing and cold here! Haha.
I'm in the shade here and the snow hadn't yet melted, but it was close to 50 when this was taken and later in the day it rose to 60. By the end of my outing I was deeply regretting wearing tights with a long sleeved shirt.
So far a lot of my blog posts and Instagram outfit photos have been taken on comfortable days, or at least days where the morning was warm but by the end of the sun being out it was kind of nippy out. We'll see how the rest of the season goes, but one way or another I'm sure I'll confuse my audience who didn't read this post! Thanks for reading and happy Monday!
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