Following a night of gusty winds and rattling windows, Winter Storm Brutus (so named by the Weather Channel), pushed into Metro Denver this morning, bringing much colder air and its cargo of rain, sleet and snow. Heading east on I-70, we escaped the clouds and precipitation after crossing the Palmer Divide but the storm's powerful wind field offered additional challenges for our journey.
All across the High Plains, from Limon, Colorado, to Wakeeney, Kansas, strong southerly winds buffeted our vehicle and tossed armies of tumbleweeds across the highway; blowing dust and crop debris reduced visibility, producing a brownish haze in all directions. The winds died down and the views broadened in central Kansas, where summer-like air, pumped northward ahead of the advancing storm, will set the stage for thunderstorms as the potent cold front invades the Heartland.
We arrived in Columbia just in time for another night of strong southerly winds. Though we escaped the storm's assault on Colorado, the massive system will soon drag its wintery chill into the Midwest; fortunately (for travelers), we will be spared the heavy snow and ice that now coats the western mountains and Northern Plains.