Colorado weather: Extreme winds continue in the mountains and foothills

Corey H. Jones/CPR News
Winds blow through metro Denver with extreme gusts reported at higher elevations on Monday, February 20, 2023.

Much of the mountains and foothills along the Front Range remain under a high wind warning until noon on Tuesday. That includes areas from Estes Park to Evergreen to Breckenridge.

According to the National Weather Service, many of those areas have seen gusts between 60 and 80 miles per hour, and strong winds will blow again late overnight through Tuesday morning.

A map of Colorado from NWS shows the highest winds expected on east facing slopes of the Front Range above 6,000 feet, particularly areas just west of Boulder and Golden. Early this morning, a gust of 100 mph was also reported in Georgetown.

Forecasters say isolated power outages and broken tree limbs are possible in those areas, and they caution drivers of high profile and lightweight vehicles against traveling in those areas overnight. Xcel Energy reported several small power outages, especially in areas around Boulder, early this afternoon.

Those gusts drop to 30 to 50 mph closer to the I-25 corridor in areas around Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. The high winds are also preceding a winter storm system expected to arrive by mid-week.

“We’re warm and windy for a couple of days, and then we go back to the deep freeze,” said meteorologist Chad Gimmestad with the National Weather Service’s Boulder office.

Gimmestad said foothills in the northern Front Range as well as areas around Fort Collins, Loveland and Estes Park are under a winter storm watch for all of Wednesday and could receive six to eight inches of snow. Areas further south, including Denver, may only receive a dusting of snow.