Learn About Colorado's Climate

There are so many variables that make the climate of Colorado exciting to study and challenging to predict! Being located in the middle latitudes is ideal for experiencing active weather patterns year-round. Colorado's interior continental location, combined with complex topography, results in dramatic climate differences from place to place and from year to year. Colorado is also known as a "Headwater" state - with some of the highest elevations in the United States located near and along the Continental Divide, waters for 4 major river basins begin within our borders! Combine all these complicated factors, and a fascinating and diverse climate for each corner of the state emerges.

Climate Description

Everything you need to know about Colorado's climate is here, in this comprehensive text description.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation

Better known to the general public as El Niño, ENSO is an oceanic and atmospheric pattern (with a 2 to 7 year cycle) that can affect climate variability around the globe. Read more about what ENSO is and how it impacts climate variability for Colorado.

North American Monsoon

The North American Monsoon is a recurring persistent pattern in the late summer that brings moisture to much of the southwestern U.S. Read more about how it impacts precipitation in Colorado.


Every region of our state receives snow - some places more than others. It impacts transportation, is a major source of tourism for the state (i.e., the ski industry), and also provides water supplies for our state and several other states as well! Learn more about the Colorado's snow climatology here!