Is it getting windier in Colorado? It’s hard to say. |

Is it getting windier in Colorado? It’s hard to say.

Last month marked the second windiest March on record in the San Luis Valley’s San Acacio, but wind trends are hard to track due to limited data, climatologist says

Olivia Prentzel
The Colorado Sun
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun
Dust carried away by the wind from a single tractor as traffic pass through a construction zone on Highway 550 April 13, 2023, near Montrose.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

Michael Hirakata remembers monitoring the wind as a boy while he helped his father plant melons on their family farm in Rocky Ford. In the 35 years since he started farming in eastern Colorado, Hirakata can’t remember a season where wind hasn’t been a nuisance. 

It’s a force of nature Hirakata can’t ignore when prepping his fields. He will plant seedlings for Colorado-famous cantaloupes this week — if the winds let him. Last week, forecasters warned of wind about 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph in the area. If winds exceed 15 mph this week, Hirakata will wait. 

Halfway through Colorado’s windiest month, Hirakata is not alone hoping for a lull in the wind. 

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday ahead of 15 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph expected to plague the eastern half of the state with high fire danger. In parts of northwestern and western Colorado, forecasters cautioned 55 mph gusts could blow around unsecured objects and bring down tree limbs. Wind-blown dust could make it hard to exercise outside for people with respiratory illnesses, older adults and kids, the office added.

Wind gusts topping 80 mph in late March along the Front Range also had many wondering if the dust in their eyes and wind-chapped cheeks were the products of a windier year than most … or does it just feel that way?

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