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Colorado, Central and East Adams and Arapahoe Counties

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 10:17 AM EDT on October 22, 2014

governor John hickenlooper has proclaimed this week through October
5th as winter weather awareness week in Colorado.

The two main causes of high winds in Colorado during the cold season
re the air pressure difference between strong low pressure and cold
high pressure systems, and Chinook winds developing across the Front
Range and other eastern mountain ranges.

A strong, cold high pressure system moving in from the north and
etting up to the west of The Rockies can generate a damaging wind
down the leeward slopes of the mountains, known as a bora. These
episodes feature widespread high winds from the west or northwest
into the adjacent plains at speeds which can exceed 100 mph. Much
more rare are those episodes when low pressure is across The
Rockies, and strong, cold high pressure is across the Great Plains.
The result is damaging winds from the east across the western slopes
of mountain ranges and adjacent valleys.

Mid and upper level winds over Colorado are much stronger in the
inter than in the warm season, because of the huge difference in
temperature from north to south across North America. West winds,
under certain conditions, can bring warm, dry Chinook winds plowing
down the slopes of the eastern mountains. These winds can exceed 100
mph in extreme cases, bringing the potential for widespread damage.
Winds of 60 to near 100 mph will occur in and near the foothills in
areas such as Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Canon
City, Westcliffe, Walsenburg and Trinidad. The areas around Boulder
and Westcliffe are especially prone to these extreme wind episodes.

Dangers from high winds include flying debris, reduced visibility ue
to dust, damaged or destroyed structures, downed power lines, and
overturned vehicles. The National Weather Service will issue a high
wind watch when there is around a 50 percent chance for high winds
to develop during the next day or two. When the threat becomes more
certain in a specific area, a High Wind Warning will be issued.
Cold strong winds can also bring dangerously low wind chill values,
prompting a Wind Chill Advisory or wind chill warning.

If high winds are forecast for your area, you should bring
lightweight bjects indoors, or tie them down outdoors, or move them
so they do not become dangerous missiles. Any downed power lines
should not be approached. Instead call the utility company. Stay
clear from buildings under construction during high winds, as they
can easily collapse. Traveling on north south roads near the
mountains along the Front Range during a high wind episode can also
be dangerous. If you drive a lightweight or high profile vehicle,
you may want to wait until the high winds die down.


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