The Weather is Changeable
by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO- If you’ve lived in a part of the US where the weather remains fairly constant, for instance Southern California, then Colorado is a rude awakening. In California, for instance, seeing a cloud in the sky once a week is considered a change in the weather. California meteorologists, who are grossly overpaid for the variety of weather they can report, spend a lot of time figuring out different ways to say “sunny and hot.” And when forecasters get all worked up predicting a “storm,” they only mean it’s going to rain – maybe. Getting ready for the storm means putting the rake in the shed.
In Huerfano County, when you hear a storm is coming, there needs to be some serious getting ready. This could mean filling the wood box with firewood, moving the livestock closer to the homestead, or bringing your motorcycle into the house so it doesn’t get too cold. You can assure your spouse that it won’t be sitting in the dining room too long – most storms blast through here in a matter of hours. A storm might mean rain turning to sleet, heavy snow, light snow, freezing fog, ice, fog with snow, drifting snow, and winds building to the point where cows go tumbling across the prairie. Except for the times when people living on county roads get drifted in for days on end and the UPS guy and the garbage truck won’t risk driving off the pavement, area residents are fairly pragmatic about our storms. After all, you can get a lot of sympathy by telling your relatives down South that a storm dumped six inches of snow this morning. Just don’t tell them that the sun came out and melted it all by 5:00.
If you want to give the impression that you have lived here a while, don’t use that tired old phrase “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just stick around twenty minutes and it will change.” Everyone knows you can’t get out of Colorado in twenty minutes, no matter which direction you drive.