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Average Weather in Air Force Academy Colorado, United States

In Air Force Academy, the summers are warm; the winters are freezing, dry, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 17°F to 81°F and is rarely below 0°F or above 90°F.

Climate Summary

very coldcoldcoolwarmcoolcoldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec75%75%54%54%clearovercastprecipitation: 2.0 inprecipitation: 2.0 in0.2 in0.2 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%drydrytourism score: 6.2tourism score: 6.20.20.2
Click on each chart for more information.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Air Force Academy for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 3.2 months, from June 7 to September 13, with an average daily high temperature above 73°F. The hottest day of the year is July 9, with an average high of 81°F and low of 53°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.6 months, from November 20 to March 7, with an average daily high temperature below 49°F. The coldest day of the year is December 30, with an average low of 17°F and high of 41°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

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

Average Hourly Temperature in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfreezingfreezingfreezingfreezingvery coldvery coldcoldcoldcoolwarmcomfortable
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: 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. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Dedeköy, Turkey (6,383 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Air Force Academy (view comparison).

Clouds

In Air Force Academy, 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 Air Force Academy begins around August 19 and lasts for 2.5 months, ending around November 4. On September 29, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 75% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 25% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around November 4 and lasts for 9.5 months, ending around August 19. On May 5, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 46% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 54% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in Air Force AcademyclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Sep 2975%Sep 2975%May 554%May 554%Aug 1964%Aug 1964%Nov 465%Nov 465%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Air Force Academy varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 4.4 months, from April 27 to September 7, with a greater than 20% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 37% on August 4.

The drier season lasts 7.6 months, from September 7 to April 27. The smallest chance of a wet day is 3% on January 10.

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 Air Force Academy changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 7.1 months, from April 8 to November 9. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 37% on August 4.

Snow alone is the most common for 3.9 months, from November 9 to March 8. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 5% on April 3.

Mixed snow and rain is the most common for 1.0 months, from March 8 to April 8. The highest chance of a day with mixed snow and rain is 7% on April 17.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in Air Force AcademysnowmixedrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Aug 437%Aug 437%Jan 103%Jan 103%Mar 89%Mar 89%Apr 816%Apr 816%Nov 97%Nov 97%Jan 14%Jan 14%Sep 720%Sep 720%rainmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

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. Air Force Academy experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 6.0 months, from April 7 to October 9, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around August 1, with an average total accumulation of 2.0 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 6.0 months, from October 9 to April 7. The least rain falls around January 16, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

Average Monthly Rainfall in Air Force AcademyrainJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 in3.0 in3.5 in4.0 inAug 12.0 inAug 12.0 inJan 160.0 inJan 160.0 inMay 201.4 inMay 201.4 inApr 70.5 inApr 70.5 inOct 90.5 inOct 90.5 in
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Air Force Academy experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.5 months, from October 2 to May 17, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around April 4, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.5 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 4.5 months, from May 17 to October 2. The least snow falls around July 19, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Air Force Academy varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 26 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 14 hours, 55 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 7 minMar 2012 hr, 7 minMar 2014 hr, 55 minJun 2014 hr, 55 minJun 2012 hr, 9 minSep 2212 hr, 9 minSep 229 hr, 26 minDec 219 hr, 26 minDec 21nightnightday
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:33 AM on June 13, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 57 minutes later at 7:30 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:36 PM on December 7, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 52 minutes later at 8:29 PM on June 28.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Air Force Academy during 2017, 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

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 135:33 AMJun 135:33 AM8:29 PMJun 288:29 PMJun 28Dec 74:36 PMDec 74:36 PM7:30 AMNov 47:30 AMNov 4Mar 12DSTMar 12DSTDSTNov 5DSTNov 5daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2017. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

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 Air Force Academy, 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

Humidity Comfort Levels in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jul 30%Jul 30%drydrycomfortablecomfortable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

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 Air Force Academy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 6.8 months, from November 11 to June 4, with average wind speeds of more than 8.9 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 10.7 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 5.2 months, from June 4 to November 11. The calmest day of the year is August 14, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.1 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in Air Force AcademywindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mph18 mphApr 110.7 mphApr 110.7 mphAug 147.1 mphAug 147.1 mphNov 118.9 mphNov 118.9 mphJun 48.9 mphJun 48.9 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Air Force Academy is from the west throughout the year.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westsouthnortheast
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Air Force Academy 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 Air Force Academy for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to late August, with a peak score in the second week of July.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in Air Force Academybest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468106.26.20.20.2 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

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 Air Force Academy for hot-weather activities is from late June to early August, with a peak score in the second week of July.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Air Force AcademyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468103.63.60.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturebeach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

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.

Growing Season

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 Air Force Academy typically lasts for 4.5 months (138 days), from around May 13 to around September 28, rarely starting before April 27 or after May 30, and rarely ending before September 10 or after October 17.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Air Force Academygrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%May 1350%May 1350%Sep 2850%Sep 2850%May 3090%May 3090%Sep 1090%Sep 1090%Apr 2710%Apr 2710%Oct 1710%Oct 1710%0%Feb 190%Feb 19Jul 25100%Jul 25100%frigidfreezingvery coldcoldcoolcomfortablewarmhot
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: 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. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

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 Air Force Academy should appear around April 16, only rarely appearing before March 30 or after May 6.

Growing Degree Days

The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

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 2.8 months, from May 7 to July 31, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 14, with an average of 8.0 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from November 4 to February 10, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.6 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 2.6 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Air Force AcademybrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWh10 kWhJun 148.0 kWhJun 148.0 kWhDec 222.6 kWhDec 222.6 kWhMay 76.9 kWhMay 76.9 kWhJul 316.9 kWhJul 316.9 kWhNov 43.6 kWhNov 43.6 kWhFeb 103.6 kWhFeb 103.6 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Air Force Academy are 38.994 deg latitude, -104.864 deg longitude, and 6,808 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Air Force Academy contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,024 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 6,840 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (3,612 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (9,380 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Air Force Academy is covered by shrubs (61%), trees (22%), and grassland (14%), within 10 miles by trees (43%) and shrubs (33%), and within 50 miles by grassland (47%) and trees (25%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Air Force Academy, 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 Air Force Academy.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Air Force Academy 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 Air Force Academy is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Air Force Academy and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: United States Air Force Academy Airstrip (87%, 5.1 kilometers, southeast); Elbert Mountain, Monument Pass (12%, 32 kilometers, northeast); and Wilkerson Pass (1.3%, 57 kilometers, west).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , 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 aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

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.