FTB 09-16-2020: Dry and Smoky

Issue Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Issue Time: 09:35AM MDT

— Flooding is NOT expected today

It will once again be dry and warm today across Colorado, with even less likelihood of any mountain clouds being able to generate measurable precipitation. Diurnal heating will still allow some mountaintop clouds to develop over the high terrains, especially the San Juan Mountains, but that should be about it. A shallow cold front has worked its way into the Northeast Plains of Colorado, but this front is not bringing much moisture with it as dew points are in the 40Fs behind it. This will not be enough moisture to allow precipitation over the plains locations today, but it should keep high temperatures a few degrees cooler over the Northeast Plains compared to yesterday. High temperatures will still be a few degrees above average across Colorado today. No flooding is expected.

Unfortunately, the smoke concentration is on the rise as more smoke moves into Colorado from the north. The true-color satellite image below shows this smoke is circulating from the US West Coast directly into northern Colorado due to our location on the eastern side of the High pressure clockwise flow. This infiltration of smoke is lowering air quality this morning into the Moderate to Unhealth for Sensitive Groups range, and it will likely continue to affect air quality today.

Today’s Flood Threat Map

For more information on today’s flood threat, see the map below. Hover over the threat areas for more details, and click on burn areas to learn more about them. For Zone-Specific forecasts, scroll below the threat map.

Zone-Specific Forecasts:

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

Smoke will create hazy conditions, but there should be plenty of sunshine. A passing weak cold front will increase surface dew points a few notches today, with 30Fs along western portions of the plains regions and increasing to near 50F along the eastern border. However, this limited moisture will not allow any precipitation to fall today. The cold front will keep daytime high temperatures down a few degrees compared to yesterday, with highs in the low 80Fs over northern regions and mid 80Fs over southern regions. The cold front is currently generating winds up to 40 mph over the Palmer Ridge and up to 30 mph over the Northeast Plains. These winds should decrease over the course of the day. No flooding is expected today.

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

There will be plenty of sunshine and more smoky haze, especially over the southwestern part of Colorado where a hole in wildfire smoke kept skies fairly clean (see the SPM). Temperatures will again climb above normal for lower elevation locations, with upper 80Fs expected in the Grand Valley, low to mid 80Fs along the Southwest and Northwest Slope, and mid 70Fs for the San Luis Valley. Some afternoon fair weather clouds will build over the high elevation mountaintops and ridges, but there is less chance of seeing measurable precipitation from these clouds today compared to yesterday. No flooding is expected.