100 MPH Winds in Colorado Springs

I thought the winds were bad here Christmas Day, but yesterday they were just outrageous. They hit 100 mph in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Springs Airport recorded an all-time record wind gust of 80 mph at 12:02 p.m. and a gust of 101 mph was recorded at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station earlier in the day.

The El Paso County Courthouse was evacuated and closed for the day after the powerful gusts ripped chunks of roofing from the top of the 5-story building. Tejon Street and Vermijo Street were closed, and deputies used shields to protect people from the debris as they escorted them out of the building. The courthouse is scheduled to reopen at noon Tuesday.

The photo above is from a news video (available here) that aired on KRDO, Channel 13, the local ABC affiliate in the Springs. The good stuff starts at 39 seconds in, after the reporters stop yakking. In the video you can see the wheels lifting off the ground as the truck sways on the highway.

There's also a viewer taken short clip in the video of a big tree going from standing upright, to swaying, to boom, it's yanked out from the ground by its roots. Below are screengrabs of the three stages. [More...]

There's also this one of a tree landing on a house after it's roots are ripped from the ground.

There were more than 1,000 service calls in the Springs and more than 200 downed trees.

Colorado Springs city crews, Colorado Springs Utilities workers, private contractors and even the city fire department teamed up to respond to more than 1,000 calls for service and at least 200 reports of downed trees affecting power lines.

I sure hope it stops by mid morning when I have to go to the jail in the foothills (west of Denver, where the threat is snow more than wind yesterday and today.) Deep in the mountains, Crested Butte had to close the ski area due to the amount of snow -- 23 inches in 24 hours and 69 inches since Jan. 2.

On a related note: More than 1 million people have viewed the video of the Canada Lynx that sauntered across a ski slope filled with skiers and snowboarders at Purgatory in Durango around New Years.

A spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the lynx on the video looks healthy and doesn’t appear to be suffering from an injury. The lynx isn’t wearing a tracking collar, indicating it was born in the wild.

Sad news, the lynx was just found dead at the same ski slope.Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced in a news release Monday that a preliminary examination revealed the lynx to be emaciated.

Purgatory ski patrol members found the animal on a ski slope on the west side of the resort in the Chairlift 8 area. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has retrieved the carcass and it will be sent to the agency’s lab in Fort Collins for a necropsy – the animal equivalent of an autopsy....A cursory examination of the carcass by wildlife managers in Durango showed the lynx to be emaciated.

The Lynx were native to Colorado, but died out in the 70's and had to be reintroduced from Canada and Alaska.

Lynx, native to Colorado, virtually disappeared from the state by the 1970s because of hunting, poisoning and development. The state brought them back starting in 1999, transplanting lynx from Canada and Alaska.

The medium-size cats have tufted ears, short tails and broad paws that work like snowshoes, letting them walk across powdery snow. They can grow to nearly 3 feet long and 30 pounds.

There have been more sightings recently, which according to the article is a sign that they are "getting comfortable in the high-altitude forests of southwestern Colorado, which are prime lynx habitat."

Here is the Parks and Wildlife website page on Lynx.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The fact that the lynx was... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 10, 2017 at 12:03:39 PM EST
    around so many humans indicated that something was  not right with it. Not surprising that it was found to be emaciated.

    With as many problems there were just getting the reintroduction/breeding program going, I'm hopeful that it is succeeding.  

    The Canada lynx... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 10, 2017 at 02:09:55 PM EST
    a beautiful, beautiful cat.

    Poor lynx, beautiful animal. (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 10, 2017 at 03:47:03 PM EST

    That lynx was so pretty (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 11, 2017 at 03:32:34 PM EST
    Sad to hear he did not make it. Those paws are amazing.

    Just thinking of driving on I-25 in horrible wind and snow makes my knuckles clench. There are times I am glad to be in FL.