Obnoxiously windy today, but the snow is melting

estesparkwind

In Estes Park this morning, areas of Fish Creek Road were partially obscured by the blowing snow. (John Cordsen / Estes Park Trail-Gazette)

Weird weather today. I expect this sort of thing in early spring, not early January.

After several weeks of intermittent snowfall, resulting in a persistent ground cover of 2″-5″, and temps that have ranged between frigid and ridiculous, the temperature today has jumped up to 55°F (at my house, not at the airport). The wind has been pummeling the house all day with 25-45 mph winds, and a reported gust an hour ago of 50 mph. This morning there was a gust of 109 mph in South Park (yes, it’s a real place). Nederland and Boulder have had gusts of 91 mph. Gold Hill saw 94 mph.

They don’t call these chinook winds “snow eaters” for nothing. My driveway this morning had a solid 5″-6″ of snow on it, unshoveled for weeks. It’s now showing bare patches and rapidly melting ice in many places. Should be mostly clear by evening. (From Wikipedia: “A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind.”)

In a funny way, it’s tiring to hear the wind howling around the chimney and house. I’m not out in it, yet it’s wearing me down anyway. Some psychological thing.

I checked my beloved TundraCam earlier this morning and saw what looked like hurricane-force winds blowing up there. Not uncommon for an exposed ridge at 11,000 feet. But now I can’t connect to the camera at all. It may be my Internet connection, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the wind knocked out something up on the mountain. And if that’s the case, it may be spring before it’s fixed. Looks like some of the cameras in Estes Park have been knocked out too. And the way the Longs Peak cam there is bouncing around, it may not last much longer.

The wind map looked like this a few minutes ago:

windmap-Jan5

 

I was thinking I’d take advantage of the warmer temperatures and get out today. Maybe play a little Ingress. But as windy as it is, I thought better of it (obviously).

Tues., Jan. 6, 9 am: The wind has stopped and all the snow around my house is gone, aside from meltwater still running down the street. It was still 50ish degrees last night at 10 pm. Totally freaky weather. Oh, and all the webcams seem to be working this morning.



Categories: Green

6 replies

  1. Your thermometer is currently showing 14°C which is actually warmer than our normal coldest winter temp of around 7° or 8° Celcius; has Global Warming struck Colorado?

    • No, we just have very interesting, changeable weather. Lots of mild periods mixed with our bouts of snow and freezing temperatures. It’s a common misperception that Denver looks like the North Pole all winter. Not so.

  2. It was mid 50’s here today with strong winds – still below normal and expecting 2 mornings of lower 20’s. Followed by extreme cold and wet weekend. (UGH – but may mean beautiful spring flowers who like this sort of stuff)
    Doesn’t that map look a bit like a shaggy dog?

  3. What crazy extremes (not cra-cra) as you have real warmth and no snow, we hit our high of 18 about 0600 and descending to low single digits tonite, expecting windchills below zero into tomorrow at least. Forecast doesn’t show measurable snow, but extending 10 days, we won’t see 32 anytime soon. I loved the photo you used… till realizing it was blowing snow 🙂 just cked the tundracam & blue skies, but really shaking in the wind up there!

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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