Myth or Reality: Does It Really Smell Like This Before It Gets Cold?
A conversation at the radio station focused on a certain smell that emanates in the air when it starts to get cold. And I wondered, "Is that true?".
We were focused on talking about the impending storm (whether it is snow or rain) when my coworker asked me if I ever noticed the smell of cow manure in the air right before a cold front hit.
After thinking about it, I realized that I definitely do smell it more than I usually do before a cold front hits or a storm is about to blow through.
But is there a reason behind all of this? Or is it something that my mind greatly exaggerates? Well after doing some Google research on this very topic, I have come to find out that it IS true. And here is the story behind it:
In a story with the Denver Post back in 2014, this subject was approached by the nationally known newspaper. They talked with Denver Environmental Health about this issue and this is what the department said to the paper:
"Air passing through Weld County down the Front Range carries the odors associated with hog farms and other food processing operations. Hog farm lagoons (animal sewage treatment ponds) are very odorous and smell somewhat like manure. If you were close to those facilities, it would smell different and be much more pungent.”
The website 5280 also discussed this in a topic where they welcomed new residents to the state. This is how they described this phenomenon in the area:
"When the air smells like, uh, poop, a storm is probably moving in. “The reason you’re smelling the cow and dairy lots is because of those northeasterly winds—there’s lots of agriculture [in the Greeley area],” says 9News’ Kathy Sabine. “In the winter, an easterly wind means some type of storm event, typically snow.”
So with the storm coming in this weekend, get ready to smell that smell from Fort Collins down to Denver. And don't get weirded out. We're in Colorado. Where this is considered...normal.