15 December, 2008



Ed Bowman
Pete Smythe

Back in the day when Ed "Weatherman" Bowman did the KOA radio weather and produced a nightly, hand drawn TV weather report using a cosmic looking map with "winds aloft, high pressure cells and storm fronts" all lovingly painted, he and Pete Smythe of KOA radio coined the phrase:
"Stock Show Weather"

Every year for the last 104 years, the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo has been held in Denver in January. It is three weeks of straight up Cowtown goodness.

The Brown Palace Hotel

The elegant "Brown Palace" hotel hosts livestock in its main foyer. Fine looking horses are paraded through for the guests to enjoy and a small corral is set up to hold the Grand Champion Steer for public display.

The term "Stock Show Weather" comes from the predictable sub-zero cold fronts, known affectionately as "Alberta Clippers" or "Canadian Clippers" that blow down out of Canada every January. They always seem to come during the Stock show. The last few years have been exceptions......until 2008 when the old weather patterns have resurfaced with a vengance.

In fact, we have been privy to some bitterly cold weather in December....and in January.

After a wonderful and balmy mid-fifty degree Friday, we awoke to chill and ominous clouds on Saturday last. Come Sunday morning, we were in the midst of a fine, cold snowstorm which left about 3 inches of crystalline, dry snow....and absolutely frigid temperatures.

Nothing wanted to move....except the blondes. Nathaniel "No Fear" the Dog and Chester Rachet Cat just had to go outside. You can see their foot prints in the above photo. The high Sunday was an intolerable 12 or 15 degrees. The wind caused it to feel more like 3 to 4 degrees ~ BRRRRRR!

......And then the sky cleared.

At this altitude, when the sky clears there is nothing to hold the heat close to the ground. Convection causes any heat to rise and cold, cold air settles into the river basins and lowlands all across the high plains.

The low temp recorded at Denver International Airport last night was 19 degrees below zero, with winds gusting to 20 mph which translate to a wind chill factor of 48 degrees below zero. A ridiculously cold night.

Stock Show Weather had arrived....much to the dismay of St. Al Goreball of Warming.

Now, I know that weather and climate are two different concepts and scientific disciplines. And I choose not to politicize either one, with the exception of the above reference to Al Gore. It is a little jab.

UNLIKE the frigid temps we are experiencing for most of this WEEK! Canadian cold that has dropped all the way down into Texas (Thank you Melissa) according to her report from Austin.

Stock Show weather indeed!


  1. Always glad to be of service!
    I cannot believe y'all are running around in that cold air.
    This little redneck gal is stayin' inside!
    Bless Y'all!

  2. Love your pix, as always.

    What brave animals you have!

  3. DW,
    I'm not so certain that it is "bravery"...more like a need to pee!

    BTW, MiTX and DW.....it was only 8 below zero at the airport last night.

    The truck makes some delightful sounds when I crank it up on mornings like this.

  4. Wow.
    That makes our 36 degrees sound downright balmy!