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From bitter cold to brutal wind, February brought wild weather to southern Colorado

By Rachael Plath, Good Morning Colorado Meteorologist/Reporter, r.plath@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 05:46:20 AM CST

Hurricane-force winds battered the Front Range while cold air surged into the state. The Stormtracker 13 Team is wrapping up this active month of weather.

February blew in and blew out, leaving impressive wind gusts records in its wake.  A gust of 85 mph was reported from Pikes Peak, with another gust of 84 mph reported near the Air Force Academy on Feb. 15.   There were also reports of 50 to near 70 mph winds around Colorado Springs and along the interstate. 

Several large trees in the path of the wind toppled over, adding to the damage sustained across the region.

Strong winds combined with the drought-stricken lower elevations of southern Colorado, producing blinding dust storms that made driving conditions difficult.  This prompted the National Weather Service in Pueblo to make changes to add Blowing Dust Advisories and Dust Storm Warnings to its roster of issuable alerts for the southern Colorado region.

“There has been an ongoing moderate to exceptional drought across the southeast plains of Colorado, and with those dry conditions, blowing dust episodes have increased over the past several months,” explained the NWS.

Snow piled up across the high country and ski resorts this month, with several locations reporting upwards of 5 feet of new snow. 

Aside from the snow and wind, the cold made headlines early this month.  Colorado Springs reported a high temperature on Feb. 5 of 1, with a high temperature this same day in Pueblo of 4.

Within the next 12 days, Colorado Springs and Pueblo experienced their warmest temperatures.  Colorado Springs hit a high of 66 on Feb. 16, and Pueblo hit a high of 71 on Feb. 15.  Pueblo hit 71 for a second time on Feb. 18.

In meteorology, seasons are not determined by the equinoxes and solstices.  Rather, months are grouped in threes based on similar temperatures.  Winter, according to this methodology, lasts from December to February.  Therefore, March 1 is the first day of meteorological spring.

For a look at what the first week of March has in store weather-wise, click here.

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