Another week, another winter storm. Not exactly.
a blizzard cometh
It began as a wind-driven, cold rain before becoming a powerful blizzard working its way through Colorado. Heavy snowfall. Winds in the 40-55 mph range, gusting to 65-70 mph. Zero visibility. Temperatures dropping from the lowers 40s in the pre-dawn hours to the upper 20s at midday. The blizzard is being driven by a strong, cyclonic low-pressure system which rapidly intensified (bombogenesis) on Tuesday. The central pressure of the storm has been measured at 969 millibars, comparable to a Category 1/Category 2 hurricane. Conditions similar to this winter storm last occurred in 1972.
With calving season in progress, the JN Ranch made preparations to shield their cattle and new calves from the weather. The herd was moved into a semi-wooded area on their winter range. Along with repositioned hay and water stock tanks, bedding hay was added to supplement the ground cover to turn the area into a more sheltered, drier one.
cottonwoods bending in the wind
a view to the woods
Fortunately, we only received around an inch of snow, most of it wind blown. There were moments visibility was reduced to near zero. With the hospital opting to curtail operations, Laurie and Andrea had a snow day. They used the day to catch up on their homework.
Definitely, a day to stay inside.
A few notables –
- strongest wind gust, statewide, reported at COS airport – 97 mph
- barometric pressure of the storm center – 969 millibars
- I-25 between COS and Denver – closed
- I-70 between Denver and the Kansas stateline – closed
- I-70 westbound Denver into mountains – closed in spots; extreme avalanche danger
- stranded on the road – too many