Extreme wind event to slam Southern Colorado on Wednesday

Wednesday's Wind Threats
Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 14, 2021

Tonight's Forecast:
Breezy tonight, but still safe to say that this will be the calm before tomorrow's storm hits. As the storm builds into the state after midnight, we can expect strengthening winds over the higher elevations and the potential for heavy snowfall across the southwestern mountains. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories will expand in coverage after midnight, and will even include the Sangre de Cristo Mountains by Wednesday morning.

COLORADO SPRINGS: Low: 33; High: 43. A very strong cold front will push out of the mountains and into the Pikes Peak Region between 6-8 am. Along with some very strong winds will come the potential for a quick shot of rain showers and/or snow squalls. This could seriously impact the morning commute, especially across the I-25 corridor and into Teller County. Behind the storm, the potential for 60-80 mph wind gusts will continue through the late afternoon hours. Both High Wind Warnings and Red Flag Warnings will remain in effect until 5 pm.

PUEBLO: Low: 33; High: 48. Powerful early morning cold front may bring a passing rain or snow shower between 6-8 am to Pueblo County, but the bigger impact will be the wind as concerns continue to grow for an extreme wind event over Southern Colorado. The most powerful gusts I think will come between 7 am and 1 pm, which is when gusts of 60-80 mph will be possible.

CANON CITY: Low: 39; High: 46. A powerful storm system will deliver extreme and dangerous wind gusts to the Arkansas River Valley on Wednesday. With gusts expected to peak between 60-80 mph, a High Wind Warning is set to remain in place for Fremont County until 5 pm.

WOODLAND PARK: Low: 28; High: 33. As the cold front passes through Teller County, a brief period of heavy snow will be possible, with up to 1" of accumulation. The front will also bring the potential for damaging wind gusts of 60-80 mph, with isolated gusts to 90 mph. As a result, a High Wind Warning will remain in effect until 5 pm.

TRI-LAKES: Low: 20s/30s; High: 30s/40s. A significant and powerful storm will slam into the state on Wednesday, with big impacts expected locally for most of the day. In the morning, a cold front will bring some moisture to the I-25 corridor between 6-8 am, with a brief period of snow and whiteout conditions. Following the front, dangerous gusts from 60-80 mph will be possible as a High Wind Warning remains in place through 5 pm.

PLAINS: Low: 30s/40s; High: 50s/60s. A large wind storm will move into the Plains Wednesday morning just after sunrise, with the potential for damaging wind gusts and high fire danger through the late afternoon hours. Peak wind gusts of 60-80 mph will be possible, with the worst of the wind expected to be across the lower Arkansas River Valley. Blowing dust will also be a big concern, which could reduce visibility in some areas.

WALSENBURG/TRINIDAD: Low: 20s/30s; High: 30s/40s. A very strong cold front will move off of the mountains between 6-8 am, with a brief period of rain or snow showers. Behind the front, strong winds and high fire danger will be the big weather story through the afternoon, with gusts to 80 mph. Blowing dust will also be a concern, which could reduce visibility in some areas.

MOUNTAINS: Low: 10s; High: 30s. Extremely dangerous conditions can be expected in the mountains from very late tonight into Wednesday afternoon. Accordingly, most of our state's mountain ranges will be under either a Winter Storm Warning or a Winter Weather Advisory until 5 pm Wednesday. Gusts in the mountains could top 80-100 mph. The heaviest snow from this storm will favor the San Juans, where as much as 8-18" could fall. Our southeastern mountains will see far less, generally between 1-5".

Extended Outlook:
By Wednesday evening, the worst of the wind will be gone, leaving us with a breezy and chilly day on Thursday. A secondary system will keep strong breezes around on Friday, and the potential for mountain snow showers. For the Plains, we won't get that lucky, but instead will see a cool down as we head towards the weekend. In the extended forecast, the Plains will likely stay dry for at least the next 7-10 days.

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