Eagle County services restricting in person interactions

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, Eagle County government will be providing services via phone and/or online services and restricting in person interactions until further notice. All essential county services are still being provided and contact information and on-line services can be accessed at https://www.eaglecounty.us/Administration/News/Eagle_County_Government_Services_Restricting_in_person_interactions

Emergency Management

Contact Us

  • Phone: 970-328-3545
    Fax: 970-328-8694

    Emergency Management
    P.O. Box 850
    Eagle, Colorado 81631


    Call 9-1-1 for emergencies
    or 970-479-2201

High winds a major threat in the winter

Contact: Barry Smith, Emergency Management, 970-328-3545

There are two main causes of high winds in Colorado during the cold season. They are the air pressure difference between strong low pressure and cold high pressure systems and chinook winds developing along the Front Range and mountains in the eastern half of the state.

A strong low pressure system in Colorado coupled with a high pressure system to the west can send a cold wind, known as a bora, through the western part of the state and down the slopes of the eastern mountains. The result can be widespread high winds from the west or northwest into the adjacent plains at speeds which can occasionally exceed 100 mph. The damage caused by this event can potentially be much more widespread than damage caused by a localized severe thunderstorm in the warm season.

Jet stream winds over Colorado are much stronger in the winter than in the warm season because of the huge difference in temperatures from north to south across North America.

Under certain conditions very swift winds can bring warm, dry chinook winds plowing down the slopes of the eastern mountains. These winds can also exceed 100 mph in extreme cases bringing the potential for widespread damage. Winds of 60 to near 100 mph are possible in and near the foothills in the Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Canon City, Westcliffe, Walsenburg and Trinidad areas. The area around Boulder is especially prone to these extreme wind events.

Dangers from high winds include flying debris, collapsed structures and overturned vehicles. The National Weather Service will issue a high wind watch when there is a 50 percent or greater chance for high winds to develop in the next few days.

When the threat becomes more certain in a specific area a high wind warning will be issued. Cold strong winds can also bring dangerously low wind chill values prompting a wind chill advisory or wind chill warning.

If high winds are forecast for your area it is a good idea to bring lightweight belongings indoors, tie them down or move them so they do not become dangerous missiles. Do not approach downed power lines but do call the utility company and report them. Stay clear of buildings under construction during high winds. They can easily collapse. Traveling on north-south roads near the mountains along the Front Range during a high wind event can also be dangerous. If you drive a lightweight or high profile vehicle you may want to wait until the high winds die down before traveling.