FTB 08-25-2019: Widespread Critical Fire Weather & Increasing Temperatures

Issue Date: Sunday, August 25th, 2019
Issue Time: 9AM MDT

— Flooding is NOT expected today

The main weather story today will be increasing temperatures and critical fire weather as a trough moves eastward to our north. This will tighten the pressure gradient and allow some strong winds to mix the surface. Over the last hour, a gust of 48mph was recorded at Berthoud Pass with a gust of 28mph recorded over Copper Mountain. PW has dropped off to 0.66 inches at Grand Junction (most moisture around 600mb) and 0.37 at Denver, which means the increasing surface winds and warm temperatures have caused a Red Flag Warning to be issued for the Northwest Slope and various locations over the high terrains from noon to 8PM. With abnormally high temperatures, relative humidity is expected to drop into the low teens this afternoon as well. As for rainfall, outside of a slight chance for a few drops near and along the Continental Divide over the Northern and eastern San Juan Mountains, it should be a rain free day. Flooding is not forecast.

Today’s Flood Threat Map

For more information on today’s flood threat, see the map below. For Zone-Specific forecasts, scroll below the map.

Zone-Specific Forecasts:

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

The Red Flag Warning will be the main weather event for today. Westerly surface winds are expected to be in the 15 to 25 mph range with gusts up to 40mph possible. We are already seeing higher gusts over the passes this morning, so be sure to stay alert when driving. These conditions will allow fires to start easily and spread rapidly, so use caution with open flames. High temperatures will climb close to 100°F over the lower elevations of western Colorado. Best chance for an isolated sprinkle is over the Northern or eastern San Juan Mountains along the Continental Divide. Flooding is not forecast.

Urban Corridor, Northeast Plains, Palmer Ridge, Raton Ridge, Southeast Plains:

Hot temperatures once again for the area with the thermometer nearing or exceeding over 100°F in isolated pockets over the lower elevations this afternoon. Some gusty winds are also likely along the I-25 corridor this afternoon. Rain is not in the forecast, and this morning’s fog over the eastern border should burn off rapidly with the dry air mass mixing out the remaining surface moisture.