The well named ‘jet stream’ is going across the USA at the 9000 meter elevation at over 160 miles per hour! At sea level, there is nearly no wind at all but go into the Rocky Mountains or any mountains and it is extremely high. I lived on mountain top observatories in my childhood and yes, you can get blown off the mountain in winds like this while the valley is relatively quiet below!
Air transport when the jet stream (given this name due to the fact that jets flew this high and experienced this winds in the 1950’s) is very high, jets flying eastwards make good time while jets flying westwards struggle against the windflow and can be delayed due to this and use much more fuel, flying.
This shows sea level winds which means there is a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean offshore of England, France and Spain:
This map shows huge waves around the gyre that covers nearly the entire Atlantic Ocean between Canada and Europe:
Here is an example of this sort of wave activity from earlier this year (which has been quite a stormy year) in the Atlantic Ocean:
International shipping struggles when there are huge waves like we see this winter:
There is this twin gyre in the Pacific causing high waves between Japan, Siberia and Alaska.
Boulder, Colorado is very vulnerable to these sort of wind/fire events due to the Rocky Mountains which rise to the west of the city.
Here is a satellite map of the fire region: the two red icons are where the fire started and to the west of the city of Boulder, Colorado is the high mountains with snow on them. The wind, when the jet stream blows from west to east, accelerates as it roars off of the mountain peaks and into the flat valley below:
Where I live in the mountains in NY, the valleys cross north to south, not just east to west so high winds that touch the mountain tops doesn’t come anywhere near our valleys except on rare occasions.
My concerns about the fast moving fires in a region that often has these sorts of high wind events like California, too. Namely, if you look closely, the fires often move, in high winds, from house to house not even singing any trees, for example! Only when the house is fully on fire does it cause trees right next door to burn, too. I notice this in all videos of high wind/ house fire events.
I blame air conditioners and ventilation systems that can’t be shut down and isolated so they don’t suck in flaming embers! I proposed long ago that houses should have exterior roof sprinkler systems to stop fires, for example. California is now shutting down electrical transmissions during high wind storms due to these causing so many flash fires!
I suppose Colorado doesn’t do this. This is from two weeks ago:
All this is because we are in a la Nina event. During la Ninas, Arizona has lush winter greenery from many storms:
It may even snow in the valley in Tucson! This happened a lot during the 1960’s when we had a volcanic eruption and then a la Nina event! The eastern half of the US is unusually warm and the western half is enjoying violent, frequent storms and it is as cold in Arizona or colder than New York at this very hour today! HAHAHA.
I find this funny, of course, I get to feel funny about this. I do feel sorry for people who built wooden houses on the Rocky Mountain hillsides which is prime territory for brush fires in high winds. My parent’s ranch was built with thick Mexican adobe bricks! You can’t burn it if you tried.
One pet peeve I have is plastic siding: it has zero strength unlike wood siding of the old sort which strengthens a building greatly, modern houses have plywood instead of 3/4″ wood planks for siding which is much weaker than wood planks, the inner walls are sheets of sheet rock unlike the wood strips covered with thick plaster!
Overall, modern houses are very, very flimsy. I often refer to modern houses as ‘a house of cards’ due to cheap building practices and materials used these days! They all look big and strong and safe and are useless in truly bad weather like hurricanes, etc.