Day 58 of 365. CHINOOK WINDS! This winter seems to have lasted an eternity! I am ready for spring that is for sure! So glad that the sub zero temperatures are no longer with us, at least for now. Last night and today there has been a lot of wind! Those of us who live on the lee ward side of the mountains are very familiar with WIND!!! There is a term for our familiar wind that blows and brings with it dry warm air, it is called Chinook wind or Foehn wind in other parts of the world. I welcome these winds as things warm up and the snow and ice melt away. The word Chinook comes from a group of Native Americans from the north shore of the Columbia River, where the winds originate. The word, Chinook means “snow eater,” an appropriate name for such wind. These winds originate on the Pacific coast and as they blow up the western side of the Canadian Rockies the wind is cold, but as the wind descends down the leeward side of the eastern slopes the air is warmed significantly “eating” the snow and ice away! There are other winds that result from cold fronts that bring snow and colder temperatures however. Not all winds are Chinook winds. When you go outside take note of the winds and whether or not they are the Chinook variety!!! Hang on to your hats!!!