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Strong winds cause problems in Colorado Springs area to start the week

March 31, 2014 Updated: March 31, 2014 at 11:16 am
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photo - A down tree Monday morning near the intersection of Downing Drive and Brady Boulevard in Colorado Springs.  Photo by Kevin Carmody / The Gazette
A down tree Monday morning near the intersection of Downing Drive and Brady Boulevard in Colorado Springs. Photo by Kevin Carmody / The Gazette  

Strong wind gusts in Colorado Springs have caused their share of problems Monday morning, as traffic lights came loose on Garden of the Gods Road and a traffic sign on Interstate 25 was knocked over near the Nevada Avenue exit, according to reports from the city's streets division.

A high wind warning for El Paso County and the Rampart Range will remain in effect until 10 a.m., but the National Weather Service said windy conditions will likely last until early afternoon.

The strongest winds have been recorded at the U.S. Air Force Academy with gusts up to 59 mph about 7 a.m. and at the Colorado Springs airport with 42 mph, said meteorologist Mark Wankowski.

"The winds will start subsiding in the next two to three hours, but breezy conditions with gusts from 20 to 35 mph will last through the rest of the morning and into early afternoon," Wankowski said.

Low humidity levels in southern El Paso County, in addition to gusting winds, prompted a red flag warning to be in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the weather service.

The red flag warning also includes Fremont, Pueblo, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent and Prowers counties.

A fire weather watch in the San Luis Valley and all of the southeast plains will go into effect from noon to 7 p.m. due to gusty winds, humidity readings as low as 6 percent and dry fuels, the weather service said.

"A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly," the weather service stated. "A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior."

Colorado Springs will see mostly sunny skies Monday with a high near 52, according to the forecast. Temperatures could dip to a low of 23 with winds up to 15 mph in the evening.

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