Yes, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas… But nonetheless, Denver is not expected to have a traditional white Christmas. Many people assume that Colorado is covered in snow all-year-round, due to its reputation as a state that is popular among ski enthusiasts. But while most of Colorado does experience snow-heavy winters, that doesn’t always mean that the snow will be there in time for Christmas. Right now, weather reports are indicating that Denver is not going to have a white Christmas this year. This might send a lot of people into a downward spiral regarding their holiday plans, especially if they’re traveling to Denver specifically to enjoy a snowy holiday as they take advantage of nearby ski slopes. Certain business owners might be unhappy with the fact that they can’t advertise the likelihood of a white Christmas in Denver this year, and some might worry about the global implications that may come with warmer winters. With that being said, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
The fact is that tourist-friendly cities like Denver tend to experience an influx of visitors around the holidays. As tourists get sick of their typical holiday haunts, Denver is being considered something of an untouched gem. This means that a lot of travelers will be on the road around Christmas time, and the Denver area can get particularly congested if traffic is bad. There are, of course, lots of different risks that come with bad weather. A white Christmas may be beautiful to some — but to others, it can represent an inherent risk. To keep from feeling down about Denver’s lack of a white Christmas — and to be prepared for the issues that come with snowy weather — we’re counting down some of the benefits of a slightly warmer winter this December.
1. Safer Roads
People love traveling around the holidays — and those who don’t often feel obligated to do so, in order to visit family. This means that there are inevitably going to be a lot of people on the road at once around the holiday season. This is dangerous enough on its own — the National Safety Council estimates that about 40,100 people were killed in car crashes in 2017. Colorado was home to around 642 of those fatalities. This isn’t taking into account the weather. Colorado, in general, has somewhat rough terrain and winding mountainous roads, at an elevation that many travelers aren’t quite used to. Throw in a good deal of snow, and you’re in even more trouble. Snow not only causes blockages on roads — it also leads to the development of icy patches, which can send drivers careening to the side. Of course, if you’re driving in falling snow, you’re in even more trouble. It’s hard enough to see through rain while driving. Snow and ice create a white sheet, which makes it difficult for drivers to navigate through. Again, many travelers around the holidays are going into unfamiliar territory. Therefore, a Christmas season without snow is much safer for everyone on the road.
2. Lower Bills
Chances are, Coloradans are going to take advantage of their heating systems during the winter. But the fact is that your heating, electric, and water bills are likely to be higher around the holidays because you’ll probably be sharing your home with guests, who will exhaust your resources more than your typical household would. It’s estimated that about half of your home’s total energy is used on heating and cooling, and water heating, in turn, will take up roughly 18% of your home’s energy costs. Your heating systems are going to go into overdrive during the winter. The colder the winter, the harder they have to work. Furthermore, you’ll likely need to use hot water more often when dealing with a white Christmas. Guests will want to not only take hot showers but warm up after they come in from the cold. Hot water will be used by homeowners to clear a path through their driveways and melt ice off of their cars’ exteriors. A milder winter will allow Coloradans to save a bit of money this year.
3. Fewer Injuries
You don’t have to drive to put yourself in danger during heavy Colorado winters. Denver hospitals often see an influx of injuries during the winter, especially when more vulnerable people — the old and the young — are involved. People often have to overexert themselves to live their daily lives during the winter. Just to get out of the house, you’ll have to shovel snow out of your driveway. This in itself can be very risky to certain people. Those over the age of 55 are over four times as likely to hurt themselves when shoveling snow, specifically in heart-related injuries, as indicated by a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. People can easily step outside, slip on an ice path, and hurt themselves. Even if you’re just having fun in the snow, you could easily overdo it and become overly cold, perhaps running a risk of developing hypothermia. For that matter, if you accidentally lock yourself out of your home or get lost outside, you could end up suffering frostbite. A white Christmas is beautiful, but it can create a level of risk.
Yes, we all love the photo opportunities provided by white Christmases. But that doesn’t mean a white Christmas is worth the risk. Look on the bright side — Denver will be a lot safer this year!