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Denver weather: A very windy Wednesday

The National Weather Service is preparing the Front Range for some of its strongest winds ever. Forecasted gusts up to 100 mph in the region are possible Wednesday. NWS has already issued High Wind Warnings and Red Flag Warnings while the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued an Air Quality Alert.

Denver’s strongest wind gust was recorded in 2013, when a tornado clipped the airport, as air blew by at 97 mph. Today, the Mile High City is not expected to set a wind record, but a few gusts may enter the five strongest in Denver’s history.

NWS forecasts for a chance of precipitation before 11 a.m. in Denver today. South winds of 25 mph will whip to the west at over 40 mph, gusting to 80 mph. The high will be 45 degrees under partly sunny skies, but the winds will make it feel much cooler. There’s a 40% chance of precipitation but there will be little to no snow accumulation.

Most eastern parts of Colorado will be impacted by winds, with the NWS warning in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Even stronger winds will be possible along and near the foothills with gusts up 100 mph. Blowing dust could reduce visibility to near zero at times. Winds will die out quickly Wednesday evening.

The strong winds and low humidity also means a Red Flag Warning for the foothills, the Palmer Divide and northeast plains. The gusts will also push particles into the air for the seven-county Denver-Boulder metropolitan area, meaning poor air quality is expected.

Authorities agree that staying inside on Wednesday would be wise.

Temperatures will dip to 23 degrees overnight Wednesday.

Thursday will be sunny with a high of 53 degrees. Winds could gust near 20 mph. The nighttime low will be 24 degrees.

Friday will rise to a high of 44 degrees and dip to a low of 18 degrees. Weekend highs should be in the 50s.

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