Climate and Average Weather Year Round in Aspen Colorado, United States
In Aspen, the summers are comfortable and dry, the winters are freezing and snowy, and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 7°F to 73°F and is rarely below -7°F or above 80°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Aspen for warm-weather activities is from late June to mid August.
Climate in Aspen
The warm season lasts for 3.4 months, from June 2 to September 15, with an average daily high temperature above 64°F. The hottest month of the year in Aspen is July, with an average high of 73°F and low of 44°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.5 months, from November 21 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 36°F. The coldest month of the year in Aspen is January, with an average low of 7°F and high of 28°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in Aspen
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in Aspen
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In Aspen, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Aspen begins around May 29 and lasts for 5.2 months, ending around November 6.
The clearest month of the year in Aspen is September, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 73% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 6 and lasts for 6.7 months, ending around May 29.
The cloudiest month of the year in Aspen is February, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 50% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in Aspen
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Aspen varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 10 months, from July 9 to May 15, with a greater than 21% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in Aspen is July, with an average of 7.6 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 1.8 months, from May 15 to July 9. The month with the fewest wet days in Aspen is June, with an average of 4.3 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Aspen changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 5.9 months, from April 30 to October 28. The month with the most days of rain alone in Aspen is July, with an average of 7.6 days.
Snow alone is the most common for 4.8 months, from November 9 to April 3. The month with the most days of snow alone in Aspen is December, with an average of 4.4 days.
Mixed snow and rain is the most common for 1.3 months, from April 3 to April 30 and from October 28 to November 9. The month with the most days of mixed snow and rain in Aspen is April, with an average of 3.0 days.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in Aspen
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Aspen experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 6.8 months, from April 12 to November 5, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The month with the most rain in Aspen is September, with an average rainfall of 1.2 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 5.2 months, from November 5 to April 12. The month with the least rain in Aspen is January, with an average rainfall of 0.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in Aspen
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Aspen experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 8.0 months, from September 26 to May 27, with a sliding 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inches. The month with the most snow in Aspen is December, with an average snowfall of 9.2 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.0 months, from May 27 to September 26. The least snow falls around August 1, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Snowfall in Aspen
The length of the day in Aspen varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2023, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 25 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 56 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Aspen
The earliest sunrise is at 5:40 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 58 minutes later at 7:38 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:44 PM on December 6, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 53 minutes later at 8:37 PM on June 28.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Aspen during 2023, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Aspen
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
Solar Elevation and Azimuth in Aspen
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in Aspen
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Aspen, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels in Aspen
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Aspen experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 8.0 months, from October 22 to June 22, with average wind speeds of more than 5.1 miles per hour. The windiest month of the year in Aspen is April, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.0 months, from June 22 to October 22. The calmest month of the year in Aspen is August, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.1 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in Aspen
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Aspen is from the west throughout the year.
Wind Direction in Aspen
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Aspen throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Aspen for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to mid August, with a peak score in the second week of July.
Tourism Score in Aspen
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Aspen for hot-weather activities is from late June to late July, with a peak score in the second week of July.
Beach/Pool Score in Aspen
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Aspen typically lasts for 2.8 months (86 days), from around June 17 to around September 11, rarely starting before May 28 or after July 9, and rarely ending before August 24 or after September 28.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Aspen
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Aspen should appear around May 27, only rarely appearing before May 17 or after June 8.
Growing Degree Days in Aspen
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from May 12 to July 27, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.2 kWh. The brightest month of the year in Aspen is June, with an average of 8.2 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from November 2 to February 10, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.7 kWh. The darkest month of the year in Aspen is December, with an average of 2.6 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Aspen
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Aspen are 39.191 deg latitude, -106.818 deg longitude, and 8,904 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Aspen contains large variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 2,808 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 8,629 feet. Within 10 miles contains large variations in elevation (6,437 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (8,950 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Aspen is covered by trees (68%) and shrubs (30%), within 10 miles by trees (73%) and shrubs (13%), and within 50 miles by trees (58%) and shrubs (22%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Aspen, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Aspen.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Aspen according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Aspen is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Aspen and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Aspen and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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