Here in one of the windiest regions in America we often see winds gusting to 75 MPH along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Why do these winds develop though and what do they mean for weather patterns?

Some of us may not know that winds blow from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, but with high pressure frequently developing to the southwest amongst the Rocky Mountains and low pressure developing over the plains of Montana we often see stronger winds.

As the winds blow from high to low pressure the air must first be dragged up and over the mountains.

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Once reaching the summit the winds are pulled down the backside allowing for winds to quickly accelerate along the vastly open plains.

In addition, as these winds, commonly known as chinooks, race down the slopes the air is compressed and forced to warm allowing places with lower elevation to be more mild, yet breezy.

On the flip side, when meteorologist see this type of weather pattern develop they must keep an eye on the severity of the winds.

These winds can cause serious damage and can even endanger drivers.

That’s why when winds are forecasted to be at least 40 MPH and sustained for at least an hour a high wind warning will be issued roughly 12-48 hours in advance to inform people of the possible danger.

And now you are a little bit more weather wise.


Reporter: Mikenzie Frost