High intensity down-slope winds referred to as ‘Chinooks’ are common in Boulder County. These powerful winds can occur anytime, but are most common from December through May. Historically, the most severe Chinooks have occurred during the month of January, when the jet stream is the strongest and is usually directly over the area.
Follow the same precautions for high-winds that you would for tornado:
- Go to the basement. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or small interior room, on the lowest floor, such as a bathroom or a closet,
- Avoid windows.
- Do not remain in a trailer or mobile home when high winds and strong gusts are present. Take cover in a sturdier building or in a ditch.
- If you are in a high-rise building, go to the most interior rooms or hallways.
- Stay out of structures with wide free-span roofs like auditoriums and gyms.
Outside or in a vehicle:
- Seek cover in a nearby building, or lie flat in a ditch or ravine.
- Avoid seeking shelter under an overpass or bridge.
- These areas are extremely dangerous when strong gusty winds are present.