Okay. I’ll admit it. I am a weather chaser. No, I am not a lunatic that races across the country with a million pieces of crazy equipment trying to find the center of a tornado, nor do I go out of my way to drive in snowstorms although I love winter driving. However, I do find myself out on the porch (way too long) during thunderstorms and I keep an eye on the sky for tornadoes for I have seen several since moving to Colorado.
My husband took this photo from his office
Boulder may seem like a quaint and quiet community for some, but after living here for almost 25 years, I know otherwise. Being situated in a valley while kissing the toes of the Rocky Mountain foothills, can make for some amazing weather. Some may think that the Windy City is located in Chicago, but that, my friends, only refers to the political wind bags. Boulder truly is the Windy City. Temperatures have heated up in the Front Range this week while a cold front coming in from the west continued to dump snow in the mountains so I expected wind. It did not surprise me when they surpassed hurricane force.
There have been high-profile vehicle warnings all day! On my way home from an appointment, I saw a huge semi that had flipped over. I snapped a photo while stopped in traffic. When I got home, I took some video on the deck then noticed smoke rising from the valley. It is scary enough to hear my house being pummeled by gusts, but watching a fire being fought in 90 mph wind gusts can be especially terrifying when they are coming from only 3 miles away.
Knowing the accessibility of the fire and the fact that it would have to skip over a highway to reach our house, I went back to my computer. Then I heard a big “BOOM!” I raced to look out the window and our antique iron glider had been pitched against the railing. While it banged away, I tried to slide open the door, but the westerly wind blasted into the room and threatened to level everything inside my house. I went to a door on the leeward side to see what had crashed. After stepping back outside while leaning into the wind to move forward, I found several big heavy concrete roofing tiles that had fallen right where I stepped moments ago. It had officially become hard hat weather.
Years ago, I watched our 250 pound trampoline skitter through our backyard and disappear in high velocity winds clocked at over 120 MPH in Niwot. I raced outside and found it lodged in tree at the top of the block, threatening to flip into our neighbor’s picture window. I ran home and got a knife to cut the center of the tramp which deflated its sail. That day many car doors caught the wind and bent backwards. Light fixtures were sheared off houses. Patio sets were scattered and glass shattered as they were lifted up in the wind and thrown like paper plates. Anything that wasn’t nailed down blew to Kansas.
I turned on the TV and the fire is 100% contained, but 80 MPH winds will continue through tonight and tomorrow. It could be a long night, but lots of snow is falling in the mountains. God, how I love Colorado! It’s always a Wild Ride!
Do you ever get wild weather where you live?
All photos and video by Susie Lindau