Record wind speeds were recorded at the Colorado Springs Airport during last week’s blizzard that paralyzed the city, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Pueblo said Friday.

The wind jets that swept over the airport, the city’s official measurement site, were the strongest recorded. The strongest gust measured 96 mph at 1:04 p.m. March 13, meteorologists said.

The previous record was 78 mph in 1999 and 2017. Wind gust records at Colorado Springs Airport date back to 1973.

The record-breaking winds can be attributed to the strength of the storm, which set a state record for low barometric pressure, said Greg Heavener, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

“It was just the fact that the system was so strong, there was just so much wind with it that it was really amazing,” Heavener said.

“It was astounding, really, to see it blow away the previous record by 18 miles an hour or so.”

Eighty-five to 90 mph winds whipped the area from Colorado Springs Airport into the eastern stretches of El Paso County, he said.

Leslie is a Digital Producer. When she's not behind a computer, she's outside hiking or paddle boarding. Leslie started as an intern in the fall of 2018 then joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

Ellie is a general assignment reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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