Hurricane force winds expected through Thursday morning
DENVER — High Wind Warnings are posted for the west side of the Front Range including the Foothills and Continental Divide for Wednesday and Thursday morning.
It’s a classic “Colorado Hurricane” setup with 80-100mph wind gusts expected. “Most of the gusts will be in the 55-75 mph range,” says meteorologist Jennifer Broome. “Gusts of 25-35 mph are possible in metro Denver.”
Storm tracker Daryl Orr recorded a gust of 83 mph at Highway 93 and Highway 72 in Golden at about 7 a.m. Wednesday. Check out the video clip above… Daryl can barely stand up in the wind.
It caused problems on the east side of metro Denver at Denver International Airport. The high winds slowed arrivals up to an hour or more by mid-morning. That, in turn, delayed a number of departures. Check the status of your flight before heading to the airport Wednesday.
We call this a Category Two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. You might remember the high wind event last month when Peak 7 in Breckenridge recorded a wind gust of 126mph.
High winds ripped through the area Tuesday night, blowing snow and creating problems for drivers. The wind was so strong it knocked a semi-trailer onto its side on I-70 near C-470.
“As he was coming down the wind caught a hold of the truck and overturned it onto the guard rail,” said CSP Trooper Nicholas Carnival. The driver was not hurt.
Loveland Pass was closed due to the winds, and gusts reached 75 mph in Genesee.
“It’s been brutal. You have to drive with both hands on the wheel and there’s all sorts of snow and ice on the road. You have to watch out for that,” said John Rummans.
Denver is not included in the warning but could still see gusts to 50mph at times.
If there’s a silver-lining to this “Colorado Hurricane” it’s certainly the effect these Chinook Winds have on air temperature.
Temperatures will be in the 60s across the Front Range on Wednesday. The record high in Denver on Wednesday is 72 degrees set in 1936.
“A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for the northern mountains through 11am Thursday with 12-18″ of snow possible,” Broome says.
Denver could see some light snow showers Thursday morning. Accumulation is not expected to be significant.