Is it getting windier in Colorado? It’s hard to say |

Is it getting windier in Colorado? It’s hard to say

Skiers react to the wind gusts while navigating at Winter Park ski area’s village March 31 in Grand County. The neighboring Clear Creek County clocked a 78 mph wind gust at Floyd Hill the same day, according to the National Weather Service.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

Michael Hirakata remembers monitoring the wind as a boy while he helped his father plant melons on their family farm in Rocky Ford. In the 35 years since he started farming in eastern Colorado, Hirakata can’t remember a season where wind hasn’t been a nuisance. 

“Some years the winds are worse than others, it’s hard to predict. But I don’t remember a season without wind,” Hirakata, president of the Rocky Ford Growers Association said. 

It’s a force of nature Hirakata can’t ignore when prepping his fields. He will plant seedlings for Colorado-famous cantaloupes this week — if the winds let him. Last week, forecasters warned of wind about 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph in the area. If winds exceed 15 mph this week, Hirakata will wait. 

“We’ll look at the weather and we’ll either beat the wind or we’ll wait ’til it’s finished,” Hirakata said. 

Halfway through Colorado’s windiest month, Hirakata is not alone hoping for a lull in the wind. 

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