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Hold on to your hats: Spring winds are kicking up across Southwest Colorado

Cold and warm systems merge this time of year to create thermally driven gusts
Northerly winds with gusts up to 40 mph were reported Wednesday to the National Weather Service at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. (Durango Herald file)

Wind gusts up to 40 mph were reported Wednesday at the Durango-La Plata County Airport, the result of seasonal changes as warmer and cooler weather systems meet.

“What we have is a low-pressure system centered over the Great Lakes and a ridge of high pressure over the West Coast,” said meteorologist Lucas Boyer with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The combination of a building high and a deepening low, separated by a northerly jet stream digging southward, can cause the northerly winds experienced Wednesday across Southwest Colorado, he said.

Boyer said a lot of the wind this time of year is thermally driven, and tends to die down after sunset. Winds will continue on Thursday, but will likely be about half as powerful, he said.

More wind gusts are forecast for Sunday, largely driven by a system blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. That storm will cause a southwesterly wind, which is often typical for the region. Winds coming in Sunday are expected to last through Monday afternoon.

“The big picture for all of this is that we’re in our spring transition where we’re starting to pick up our warmer air masses while we’re getting the remnants of colder air masses dropping down,” Boyer said.


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