At the base of mountain ranges we get so used to winds that come “downhill” and warm us up. Not today!
Today’s wind along Colorado’s Front Range is called a “Bora” wind, which is a cold (or chilly, depending on what your tolerance is to temperature) that blasts down the slopes putting a bracing element to a spring morning.
Bora winds form when cold, dry air heads up one site of a mountain range. It cools off pretty fast as it goes up in elevation. When it comes back down the other side of the mountains it warms up only to a slightly higher temperature than where it started. Combined with the speed of the wind, it creates a “tear-inducing” breeze that cuts right into your best windbreaker.
The Chinook wind we’re so used to happens when cool and damp air is forced upward by mountains. The air doesn’t cool off very fast because of all of the moisture it carries, which usually ends up raining/snowing out over the mountains. Well, when this air heads down slope all dried out, it warms up way, way faster than it cooled down and… VOILA! The “Snow Eater”