Wind gusts to nearly 90 mph blow in mountains, foothills

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Wind gusts surpassing 80 mph howled in the foothills in Jefferson and Boulder counties on Monday morning, with conditions expected to continue throughout the day.

About 2,000 customers lost power in Jefferson County and another 250 were in the dark in Boulder County.

A high wind warning from the National Weather Service is in effect across the mountains and Front Range for Monday.

Gusts of 40-100 mph are likely from the mountains to the foothills to Denver and the Front Range. The cross wind will make driving difficult on Interstate 25 from Denver to Colorado Springs.

The National Weather Service said Gold Hill recorded a wind gust of 87 mph on Monday morning. Other strong gusts were reported in Louisville (82 mph), Boulder (79 mph), Broomfield (68 mph), Longmont (61 mph) and Denver International Airport (53 mph).

More power outages are expected as well as delays at DIA. The winds will warm temperatures to near 60 degrees, making for rapid melting from last week's snowstorm.

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U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass was closed because of avalanche dangers. Delays are possible with hazardous materials vehicles being shuttled through the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels at the top of the hour.

The winds are part of the Pineapple Express that is delivering heavy rain and snow to California. It's infamous for warm winds disrupting valley inversions and forcing rain to mix in with snow at the base areas of ski resorts in Colorado.

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There could be 1-2 feet of total snow by tonight in the higher elevations. There will be breaks in the snow followed by another wave of snow on Tuesday.

Winds will continue Tuesday and Wednesday along with mountain snow. Temperatures across the Front Range will be in the 50s.

A cold front might deliver a few snow showers to Denver on Thursday morning followed by falling temperatures into the 30s through the weekend as the winds die down.