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Born and raised in the scorching sun of the Las Vegas desert, I had never truly experienced seasons until I made the move to Boulder. To prepare me for the drastic change in climate, my friends and family felt it necessary to warn me of all the weather I could potentially encounter during my time here.
They told me it would be hot. I brought shorts. They told me it would be cold. I brought jackets. They told me it would snow. I bought snow boots. To combat the winds I was warned about, I brought headbands to keep my hair in check. I even packed an umbrella for safe measure. For never having been a Girl Scout, I commended myself on my preparedness. What my dear friends and family left unmentioned was that I might have to wear all of these items in the same day, and even all of that would not come close to protecting me from any of these elements.
“Yeah, the weather is a little extreme,” said my native Coloradan comrade via the phone that I was clinging to for dear life during one of the recent torrential wind storms. Calling the weather in Boulder a “little extreme” is like calling Mussolini a little extreme. In January, the wind gusts were so strong that CNN even reported on them. A national news station took time out of its schedule reporting on wars, criminals and politics to show footage of wind. I think that should give you some indication of the severity.
As you might imagine, the deafening howls of the wind made it impossible for him to hear me convey these thoughts, and I was forced to drop the call. No, really. My phone was ripped from my fingers by the gusts and blown into unforeseen territory.
After the silly, inconsequential breeze died down and I was freed from my prison of being pinned to the wall, I trudged on to class. Without the wind, it was actually a beautiful day outside, and I relished in this change of pace. I took off my jacket and soaked in the sunshine.
Fifty minutes later as I exited class, I was buttoning, zipping and pulling up my hood as quickly as I could, for a rain shower had mysteriously appeared. I was confused but tolerant. I told myself that rain didn’t bother me as long as it didn’t turn into — and before I could finish my thought, it started to snow. I was done. I was not properly dressed. I still had a long walk back home. And the black ice that was forming on the ground from the mixture of rain and freezing temperatures was doing a great job of reminding me why I quit ice skating lessons in the second grade.
Once I finally arrived at my beloved abode, I was met by the smirking face of my Colorado-native companion. I resembled a drenched desert rat, clueless to the ways of my new element.
“The weatherman didn’t predict any of this,” I stated in my defense. He laughed. “The weatherman. That’s cute. You’ve got a lot to learn, kid.”
He proceeded to lecture me on proper climate preparation, and I will share his knowledge with you in case you, too, are out of your element.
First and foremost, never trust the weatherman. Apparently in Colorado, weathermen are these sinister evil-doers who feed their loyal viewers with lies and false hopes. They predict sun, so you wear a light sweater and end up with mild frostbite in your extremities. They predict snow, so you pile on the layers and end up sweating so profusely that you create your own atmospheric water cycle around yourself. I sense a Disney villain in the making.
Secondly, just bring every item of clothing you own with you at all times. You never know when you might need to swap out your bikini bottoms for long underwear.
Lastly, the irregular weather is the price you pay for living in one of the most beautiful cities in the nation. If you can’t stand the heat, cold, rain, sleet, snow and wind, then get out of the kitchen.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lizzy Hernandez at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.