Why yes, we’ve noticed it too. People everywhere, all over the socials, have had one complaint in common lately: why is it so windy in Fort Collins all the time?
The short answer? It’s the number one windiest city in the State of Colorado, and we’re not even joking.
According to City-Data.com, Fort Collins – and Wellington, actually – tie for the highest average wind speed for all cities in the state. We average 12.8 MPH in both cities. And we’re just talking everyday wind, not what you get during thunderstorms.
The crazy part is of all the cities in the state, the top ten are ALL Northern Colorado cities.
But why? Mostly, you can blame the mountains.
Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, etc. are all relatively close to the mountains, and the jet streams we get usually come out of the northwest. The National Weather Service explains: “The two main causes of high winds in Colorado during the cold season are the air pressure difference between strong low pressure and cold high pressure systems, and Chinook winds developing across the Front Range and other mountain ranges. A strong, cold high pressure system moving from the west across the Rockies can generate a damaging wind down the leeward slopes of the mountains.” Also known as “right into the heart of Northern Colorado.”
Additionally, they add: “Mid and upper level winds over Colorado are much stronger in the winter than in the warm season, because of the huge difference in temperature from north to south across North America. West winds, under certain conditions, can bring warm, dry Chinook winds plowing down the slopes of the eastern mountains.”
Generally speaking, strong jet streams make their way from northwest to southeast across the United States and therefore, also our state. Add the funky turbulence of the Rocky Mountains into the mix and this explains why, of the Top 20 windiest cities in Colorado – NoCo specifically makes up the top of the list below from City-Data.com.
It also explains why our strong winds are almost entirely out of the west all the time. Prepare to be amazed. Here’s a chart of which direction the winds of Fort Collins come from all year, courtesy of Meteoblue.com.
The Colorado city, its population and average wind speed in MPH, ranked below:
1. Fort Collins, CO (152,061) 12.8
2. Wellington, CO (6,725) 12.8
3. Kersey-Gill, CO (7,273) 12.7
4. Windsor, CO (20,422) 12.7
5. Loveland, CO (71,334)12.6
6. Greeley, CO (96,539) 12.5
7. Estes Park, CO (6,086) 12.5
8. Evans, CO (19,944) 12.5
9. Johnstown, CO (12,093) 12.5
10. Longmont, CO (89,919) 12
11. Firestone, CO (11,175) 11.8
12. Fort Morgan, CO (11,407) 11.8
13. Frederick, CO (10,196) 11.7
14. Sterling, CO (14,637) 11.7
15. Fort Lupton, CO (7,689) 11.6
16.Erie, CO (19,723) 11.4
17. Boulder, CO (103,166) 11.4
18. Bald Mountain, CO (12,449) 11.3
19. Steamboat Springs, CO (12,100) 11.3
20. Lafayette, CO (26,784) 11.2
The Highest Wind Gusts Recorded Each of the Past 25 Years in Colorado
See which days have brought the strongest winds to Colorado for each of the past 25 years.