We’ve had some windy days lately. Two days ago (October 20, 2019) we had gusts up to 40 mph (miles per hour) — it was hard to walk in that wind!
As we battled the blustery weather while walking the dogs, I happened to look to the west, where I saw lens-shaped clouds hovering over the tops of the mountains.
Once inside, I decided to clean up some photos on the computer. I happened across this shot of Longs Peak from near Estes Park from fifteen years ago.
What caught my eye initially was the odd shaped cloud over the east face of the mountain top — just like what I’d seen while walking the dogs. This is called a ‘lenticular cloud’, meaning lens-shaped. Lenticular clouds indicate that the wind is really ripping, pulling relatively moister air up to the top of the mountain, where it forms a cloud as it crosses over. Although these clouds seem to stand still, in reality, they are constantly forming on the near side, then evaporating on the far.
According to the Rocky Mountain National Park Service Wind page, in the winter, the average daily wind speeds on Longs Peak are 65 mph, so the average is higher than our peak wind speed on Sunday. It often blows at over 100 mph, and the maximum wind speed recorded was in excess of 200 mph!
Suddenly, I’m more appreciative of our relatively calm air.
Yikes! 65 mph is like being in a hurricane. Guess this just proves everything is relative. Good to see you and sweet Zöe on Monday. Sam adores her!
I know, right? It just howls up there.
Fun seeing you and Sam, too. He’s such a good boy!
I think I heard about this weather from my daughter and her boyfriend. They set out after a wedding in Denver last weekend to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and got turned back because of the dangerous conditions.
Depending on where they were hiking, they would have been miserable. Longs Peak, that I mention in this post, is in Rocky. It’s above 14,000 feet, but the lower parts of the Park can be blustery as well. I’m glad they showed good sense and turned back.