The Paw Print
Seasonal transitions have always caused turbulent and sudden changes in weather, and Colorado locals know all too well how within the hour the transitions of the weather can happen and then vanish all too suddenly.
It should be no surprise to the locals of the San Luis Valley and other parts of southwestern Colorado that as the winter season is coming to an end and spring is also coming with, if not being ushered in, extreme winds and chilling temperatures.
All over the state since the end of February of this year there has been several instances of violent gusts of wind that have brought warm and freezing temperatures with it. Across the central plains of the state, the flatlands and open stretches of highway motorists travelling along I-25 were warned against the turbulent and unstable force of winds coming constantly at speeds up to 65 miles an hour, a hazardous road condition to high profile vehicles as well as lighter, less powerful vehicles on the interstate.
The winds themselves are powerful and unforeseen force on the average driver, causing every motorist to pay extra effort in maintaining vigilance to prevent the wind from forcing the vehicle off course, but also with the high winds and the vast open country common among Colorado, high winds also carried massive dust and snow masses that greatly impacted the visibility on the road. Advisories warning against visibility less than 10 miles ahead in normal driving conditions made La Veta Pass a much more hazardous trip forcing all motorists to drop drastically in speed and slowly creep through.
Blowing dust was such an issue, that state officials issued blowing dust advisories citing dust impacting not just visibility, but also local health. People with heart and lung illnesses, elderly citizens and young children were told to avoid venturing out in exposure to the high winds and dust. Threats of rapidly dropping body temperature from exposure to wind chill were also pretty serious to all persons who were outdoors for any period of time. In an area such as Alamosa and various areas of the San Luis Valley, moisture and precipitation were also big contributors to hazards associated with high winds. All over the state, various wind-related damages have also been recorded as well as some localized fires were quickly discovered and contained.
Typically, the onset of violent winds in the area are resulting cold fronts coming from surrounding areas and diminish and vanish within a few days, however this recent string of high winds and massive shift due to wind chills has made many residents take notice. While the implication of a small “high wind season” may make many concerned of the future weather to come or the evident effects of ecological changes, the winds are already dying down and will bring the beginning of spring many eager anticipators excited and grateful for some simple, calm weather with much warm sunshine.