FTB 09-19-2017: Gusty Winds and High Fire Danger

Issue Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Issue Time: 10:20 AM MDT

— Flooding is NOT expected today

High winds expected today as the upper level trough brushes Colorado’s northern border. The approaching jet stream has streaks up to 140 knots with 110-120 knot values over the northwest corner of the state. Higher elevations in the mountains and along the Palmer Divide could see gusts in the 40-50 mph range. The 700mb direction and speed today is one associated with stronger winds along the Front Range as well. Thus, downslope westerly/southwest flow is expected across the state today, which should keep things quite dry. The exception is north over the CO/WY border where a shortwave moves through early this evening, which may help initiate some isolated storms. With low dew point values and high-cloud bases, most precipitation will evaporate before reaching the ground. However, some measurable precipitation could fall along and near the Gore Range.

The increased downslope flow will create very low relative humidity this afternoon and increase temperatures a few degrees just east of the mountains. Low humidity combined with fast wind speeds will generate extreme fire danger across the state today. Burning should be avoided and extra caution should be used with any open flame. A wind advisory is in effect until 7PM tonight for the northwest corner of the state as the jet stream moves in and mixes down through the afternoon. Sustained southwest winds of 20 to 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph are expected. Winds should begin to die down late tonight with the decoupling of the upper and lower atmospheres. Flooding is not expected today.

Today’s Flood Threat Map

For more information on today’s flood threat, see the map below (hover over threat areas for more details). For Zone-Specific forecasts, scroll below the map.

Zone-Specific Forecasts:

Front Range, Urban Corridor, Northeast Plains, Palmer Ridge, Southeast Mountains, Raton Ridge, Southeast Plains:

Sunny throughout the day with strong SW winds. The downsloping winds will cause temperatures closer to the mountains to increase a few degrees. A Red Flag Warning has been issued through this evening, so please avoid burning and use extreme caution with any open flame. An isolated storm along the northern Front Range with trace amounts of precipitation may be possible this evening. Flooding is not expected today.

Primetime: 5PM to 10PM

Northwest Slope, Grand Valley, Southwest Slope, Northern Mountains, Central Mountains, San Luis Valley, San Juan Mountains, Central Mountains:

Sunny this morning with winds increasing; especially over the northwest corner of the state. Winds are expected to be 20-35 mph with winds gusting as high as 50 mph. Some clouds and minimal rain are possible over the Northern Mountains (Gore Range) this evening. Precipitation amounts are expected to be under 0.25 inches. Flooding is not expected today.

Primetime: 5PM to 10PM