Dancin' in the Slaughterhouse

People who don't live in Colorado have a lot of misconceptions about Colorado weather. The fact of the matter is that we have close to 300 days a year with sunshine, the temperature is wildly variable - sometimes we have 70's in January!, and it actually doesn't snow that much in the Denver Metro area. On the whole, it's extremely nice here. But then there are the windy days.

High wind days in the Colorado Front Range are like an apocalypse.

At the Jefferson County airport, wind speeds up to 90 mph were measured. High winds are expected to continue throughout the day in areas close to the foothills, west of I-25.

For reference, my office building is right next to the JeffCo Airport...

The suburbs become surreal realms of wandering trash bags, garbage can lids, and (if it's really blowing) garbage cans. Waves of debris (from snow and dust to leaves and tumble weeds to groups of somersaulting children) roll down the streets.

As you move into less populated areas the little "waves" from residential streets grow into ominously huge sheets of dirt, sand, small gravel, tumble weeds the size of Christmas trees (Tumble weeds are everywhere in Colorado, it's true.), and the occasional Kansas farm house. God forbid you should have to drive by a major construction site.

Even low-profile vehicles shimmy and shake as if about to be lifted into the sky. My way into work was closed this morning -- I have to assume somebody got rolled over by a gust. And now that I'm here, I'm realizing just how porous my office building is -- the wildly surging water in the toilets are especially disconcerting. And it cuts right through your body, as well (What's the wind chill when it's 27 degrees with 90mph gusts?). Your skin turns to dust, and the wind literally takes your breath away.

Like most winter weather, though, I hate dealing with it directly, but I'm glad it happens. It's kinda cool.

[The post title is for you Tom Waits fans out there.]