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High wind warnings for Colorado mountains, foothills Saturday after snow moves out

NWS says gusts of up to 80 miles per hour are possible
Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 18:45:55-05

DENVER – After finally getting a decent dose of snow late this week, high wind warnings go into effect for the mountainous areas on either side of the Continental Divide Saturday, where gusts of up to 80 miles per hour are possible.

Winds had picked up in both the mountains and on the plains Friday afternoon after the snow moved out. At Denver International Airport, winds were 23 miles per hour and gusting to 36 miles per hour out of the northwest just before 3 p.m.

At Boulder Municipal Airport, winds were gusting to 35 miles per hour Friday afternoon, dropping the wind chill into the teens. And at Berthoud Pass, northwesterly winds were gusting to 49 miles per hour just after 3 p.m., dropping the wind chill to -38 degrees.

The National Weather Service in Boulder said some areas of the eastern plains have seen gusts in the 45-50 mile-per-hour range.

The winds will die down slightly Friday evening before ramping back up in the mountains late Friday night through Saturday evening, according to the NWS.

The high wind warnings go into effect at midnight and are slated to stay in effect until noon Sunday.

The NWS says westerly winds will be 35 to 45 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 80 miles per hour, in western Jefferson and Douglas counties; in Gilpin, Clear Creek and northeast Park counties below 9,000 feet; in southern Grand and southwestern Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Summit and Park counties; and in areas of Jackson, Larimer and Boulder counties.

“Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Expect considerable blowing and drifting snow over the high mountain passes,” the NWS Boulder wrote in its warning.