Uprooted Magnolia

a Chinook of a day

Posted in Photography, Stormy Skies by leahyetter on December 30, 2011

So, I’ve talked about windy Wyoming before but yesterday was for the record books.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We drove around the southeast on ranch business with the pedal to the floor at 100mph but ground speed was only about 60. On highway 30, dirt was being blown 20 to 30 ft in the air. Patrick and I had to yell just to hear one another because the road noise was so loud. The truck doors and windows rattled and I swear the windshield cracked a little more.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Once we were on the interstate heading home, we saw a wall of weather straight ahead and we weren’t sure what was in there. Snow or rain?

© Leah Yetter Photographer

As we got closer, my palms got sweaty.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

At least to my right, I saw blue sky. How bad could it be? (Excuse the dirty window. If I rolled it down to shoot, I would have been sucked out and blown across the prairie. And I wasn’t up for that risk.)

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The digital highway signs we telling us that winds were 65+mph. I just knew we were going into a hurricane.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Turns out, we were experiencing a Chinook wind. But it was kind of a letdown, or a relief depending on how you look at it. Once we got into that weather wall of rain, sleet, and snow, the wind died down and it got eerily quiet. Not much really happened.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

A Chinook Arch over the bluffs in Chugwater WY

-After doing my research, I’ve learned that a Chinook wind is a Foehn wind. A rain shadow wind that has dropped it’s moisture and these turbulent winds have created warmer temperatures.
Thank you Wikipedia.

We got to the ranch where the wind had finally let up and it was peaceful until about midnight. All night and today the winds are back to howling and beating up the grass and trees. Any remaining snow has melted away.

In the high country of Colorado, there were wind speeds up to 102 mph. Can you believe that? We aren’t the only ones experiencing the high winds and we are thankful that the temperature remains in the 50’s. That’s good for the livestock.

We’re not sure what to expect for New Years Eve but snow is in the forecast. We’ve had several invites for various activities but we just might sit this one inside by the fire watching it on TV. Needless to say, we’re not too anxious to get back on the road after the slick pavement over Christmas and the wild winds of yesterday.

16 Responses

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  1. Brian Westbye said, on December 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Stunning shots. What timing!


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks Brian! It was good timing but at the time, I was quite nervous!


  2. StrangeLittleGirl Photography said, on December 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Awesome pics, dramatic!


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks! I sometimes feel my shots just don’t do it justice for what I see with my own eyes out here. The sky is HUGE and there is a lot happening out there that I just can’t document. I’m glad you like these though, thank you!


  3. Lenore Diane said, on December 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Phenomenal. I’m a weather geek, Leah. These photos with your description… Amazing!


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Lenore! I was never a weather geek until I came out here. I can actually SEE the weather coming and going whereas back east, too many trees are in the way. I do love trees but it is fascinating to be able to see for miles and miles! 🙂


  4. Susan Hymers Hawkins said, on December 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I absolutely love love love your blog and pictures. Can’t imagine how our American pioneers survived this same weather!


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      I agree! I don’t know how they made it either! Thank you for the compliments. So glad you are enjoying it here. 🙂


  5. Tarheel Rambler said, on December 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Another thing I remember about Wyoming is the wind, that seems to blow pretty strong a lot of the time. I remember my grandparents sending pictures of the snow drifts that were piled up by the wind.

    Great series of shots and glad you weren’t blown to North Dakota!


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks! I coulda been blown to the Dakotas if I didn’t hold on to the truck door when getting out!


  6. melissakoski said, on December 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Amazing photos of the weather! I’ve only been able to see a wall of weather twice in Michigan…no big sky views here. Love seeing your part of the world.


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Awe thanks Melissa. But I don’t get turkey’s in my backyard like you do!


  7. Name ken said, on December 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    DAMN! if I ever make it out there to visit I would wish it to be such an amazing day. What a fun read.


    • leahyetter said, on December 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Kenny! Come on out, we can stick you in the bunkhouse as long as you help with the cattle work. 😉


  8. Booksphotographsandartwork said, on January 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Great photographs. And interesting weather. We are having a lot of high winds here today and the temperature is supposed to get down to 20 in the morning. I feel so bad for the dogs whose owners have not adaquately provided for them. We moved our outside dog’s house to a corner between the heat pump and wall of the house. The heater part is just is right on the other side of the brick I think. He has a very thick blanket under a piece of plastic and lots of hay inside. So he should be warm. I see so many who are well cared for and it breaks my heart. Oh sorry to have rambled like that. I think it’s bed time for me.


    • leahyetter said, on January 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      I know what you mean. The hay and straw does wonders and just getting them off the ground is key. We have 15 hunting hounds and have to keep them raised and bundled in their houses. When they come out of their houses to eat, they are so warm I almost want to crawl in with them. Hope you weathered the wind and chilly temps. No worries on the ramble, happy you commented. Happy New Year!


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