DENVER (KDVR) — Freezing temperatures can seem like a year-round thing to any Coloradan, but in many places across the state there are a few months out of the year when you can safely stow your sweaters in favor of a pair of shorts.
This year, the summer season is officially from June 21, the summer solstice, to Sept. 23.
In this way, regardless of where you spend your time, we all have the same amount of time to enjoy summer. However, if you define “summer” as the warmest time of the year, it can be longer — or shorter — depending on where you are.
FOX31 looked at metro areas and mountain cities across the state to see where you can find the longest and shortest summer season in Colorado.
What city has the longest warm season?
You have to look to the state’s Western Slope to find the city with the longest time between its last spring freeze and its first fall freeze according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Grand Junction typically sees its last spring freeze on or around April 14.
This is weeks earlier than any other city in the state. For comparison, Denver typically sees its last spring freeze on or around April 30.
Grand Junction’s seasonal warm period lasts longer than any other city in the state as well, with an average first fall freeze on or around Oct. 23. This puts Grand Junction at an average of 193 days where it does not freeze.
Top five Colorado cities with the longest summers:
- Grand Junction – 193 days
- Denver – 166 days
- Pueblo – 163 days
- Fort Collins – 159 days
- Colorado Springs – 159 days
What city has the shortest warm season?
There are no year-round tropical paradises to be found in the mountains of Colorado.
While Grand Junction doesn’t have to worry about freezing cold for a little over half the year, the same cannot be said for certain mountain cities.
In Vail, the average last freeze comes around June 21. After that, residents there are able to enjoy temperatures that don’t go below freezing for an average of 79 days.
That period ends around Sept. 7, which is when the average first freeze happens.
If you recall, the summer season is defined as being between June 21 and Sept. 23. That means Vail typically sees temperatures dip into freezing while the summer season is still going on.
Steamboat Springs and Aspen do not fair much better, with warm seasons of 96 days and 114 days respectively
There are a few mountain cities, such as Leadville, that do not have an average “last” day below freezing.
Temperatures can get decently high in those places, but it is not guaranteed that temperatures will not dip below freezing there at any point of the year.