SPM 09-22-2017: Disturbance Moved Closer To Colorado, But Moisture Lacking

Issue Date: Friday, September 22, 2017
Issue Time: 11AM MDT


A large upper-level trough approached Colorado on Thursday, but was hardly noticed at the surface. Gusty, dry southwesterly winds caused very low relative humidity levels once again, keeping the fire danger elevated. Additionally, plenty of sunshine and downsloping flow (east of the Continental Divide) resulted in temperatures much above normal. Temperatures reached as high as the mid-90s F in the lower elevations of the Arkansas River. The Denver metro reached the low-90s F, which was a daily record. Winds gusted to 45 mph statewide, with gusts up to 60 mph in the higher mountain passes.

Later in the day, some upper-level forcing generated isolated to scattered showers over the higher terrain of southwest Colorado. Due to the dry lower atmosphere, only a few tenths of an inch of rainfall were measured, limited to the higher elevations.

Flooding was not reported on Thursday. For rainfall estimates in your area, check out our State Precipitation Map below.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.