Be Weather Wise
January: ...the heart of winter, snowfall
from 3 inches to 3 feet, on average a foot deep here, 2 feet up on the
nearby forest trails. Night temps from 10 to minus 10. Can be minus 20
rarely. Days from 15 to 35.
February: ...snowfall highly variable but it does add to total depth. The deepest for the winter is right around the end of February. The sun is stronger now and some days are quite pleasant. Temps at night from 5 to 20, days from 15 to 40. No more nights below zero.
March: ...can be the biggest snow month, or an early start on spring.
Between the storms the days are sunny, but the nights still are usually
in the teens. The clear days will reach the 40s. The sunny-day mud will
freeze each night, which makes it a good idea to drive or hike before
noon, then the melting will resume. The snowpack here can be gone and
the ground be dry by the 3rd week of March some years, or this condition
may not be found until late April in a "big snow" year. The robins return first week of March.
April: ...much like March but warmer and windy. Usually another snow storm in the first half of the month, or it can rain anytime this month! Temps will freeze
most nights, but up to 50 (briefly) many days. But lots of windy days!
NOTE: It is still winter up in the high country! April storms here will
sometimes last for days and will add 2 or 3 feet of snow to the 3 to 6
feet already on the trails! The hummingbirds return first half of April.
May: ...the driest month of the year. Rain: one inch to none.
Usually none. Will frost many nights, days often in the 60s. The Pecos
River rises, as the snowpack melts. Will river peaks around May 10th in
a low-snow year, but later as we have a more-snow year, usually around
the 25th in such cases. It is cold, swift, deep, and dangerous at this
June: ...the next driest month of the year, occasionally with a
few rumblestorms (wannabe thunderstorms!) and a splatter of rain. The
last few days of the month can have a legitimate thunderstorm, with
maybe a half inch of welcome rain. A few frosty nights, but the clear
days can hit the high 70s, perhaps over 80 late in the month. It is in
June that we have the highest forest fire risk. Often there are campfire
and even smoking restrictions. Some years the National Forest is closed
"to all use" for a few weeks at this time of year. This does not
prohibit us from having guests, but does ban all outdoor fires on our
property. Fishing good on the Pecos river in June.
July: ...the wettest month of
the year. Our famous "monsoon" rains (daily afternoon thunderstorms)
usually begin in the first week of July, but can be later and erratic.
Hikers should be prepared for rain, and hail! Nights usually drop to the
mid-40s, unless it`s cloudy (warmer). Daytime temps range from mid-70s,
if it`s a clear day, to the low-60s if cloudy, to the 50s on a rainy
day, and into the 40s following a hailstorm! Be prepared! Rain in July
will average an inch per week, sometimes an inch in a single shower! For
the whole month, we expect about 5 inches of rain. Trails will be muddy,
carry an extra pair of socks! Nearly all storms are thunderstorms, some
are violent and spectacular. Stay away from tall trees and hilltops.
August: ...much like July, only toned down a bit. Temps are about like
July, except cooler nights during the final week of the month. Fewer
rainy days, more sun, a better month for hikers. For the month, we
average 3 to 4 inches of rainfall.
September: ...rain comes less often, many wonderfull sunny lazy days! Nights are nippy, in the 30s now and then, with frost possible towards the end of the month. Aspen (and other) leaves start to turn by mid-month in some places, not others. Day temps run in the high 60s, except on stormy days, take a jacket! It is possible (but not likely) for a snow storm around the end of the month!
Overall September is the ideal time of the year to be here!
October: ...can be anything! Usually, sunny days (45 to 60) with frosty nights (around 30 degrees). Aspen viewing peaks in the first ten days of October, but can be a week later in a warm year. Rain will average about an inch, but can be zero for the whole month. We often have a snowstorm in the latter part of the month, but it quickly melts because the ground is still "warm". Hikers should
be aware of the many hunting seasons happening in September and October,
and of course be prepared for some nasty weather.
November: ...truly fall weather now. Days can run from the high 20s to near 50.
Freezing every night, can be in the teens! Storms usually give us snow
rather than rain. By the third week of the month, the ground is frozen,
and any snow that falls will stay.
December: ...the thermometer says winter, but the calender says fall. Night temps will go from zero to minus 15, and some days will barely reach 20 degrees! On a windy day, this is stay-indoors weather, put a log on the fire and watch some TV! Not much snow until near the end of the month, usually less than a foot accumulation. Hikers need good boots and winter clothing. Deer and elk are moving lower now and are often seen. Bald Eagles are heading south
this month and can be seen in the canyon by an alert and watchful
observer. In an inch or two of fresh snow, a keen observer may also find
tracks of rabbits, squirrels (they don't hibernate), coyotes, bobcats,
deer, elk, and mountain lions (cougars). The hunters and campers are
gone, you`ve got the place to yourself!..