FTB 09-29-2020: Elevated Fire Conditions over the Plains with Temperatures Warming Statewide

Issue Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
Issue Time: 9:10AM MDT

— Flooding is NOT expected today

Nearly clear conditions over the state this morning with a very dry air mass overhead, so extra radiational cooling occurred again last night. This caused freezing temperatures over the mountain valleys, Northwest Slope, San Luis Valley, and Southwest Slope, so it’s another cold start to the morning. Dew points across the state are below 30F, so it will be too dry for rainfall today. Additionally, it’s another day without much vertical lift. Overall, forecasting a beautiful fall day with nearly clear skies. Furthermore, temperatures will keep increasing until they are slightly above normal, and highs are already between 5 and 12F warmer than this time yesterday.

There’s also a downtick in fire weather conditions due to surface winds relaxing when compared to yesterday. This is because the majority of the jet is now to our east (purple). The clouds over the northeast corner of the state are being generated by this feature, but any rainfall is well to our northeast (orange “X”) in the left exit region of a jet streak. Surface flow is expected to turn northwesterly over the plains due to this upper disturbance (orange “X”) throughout the day. Winds will likely reach between 15 and 20 mph this afternoon over the northeast quadrant of the state. So, elevated fire conditions will be possible for a couple of hours due to relative humidity dropping into the teens.

Today’s Flood Threat Map

For more information on today’s flood threat, see the map below. If there is a threat, 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:

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

Highs will be on the upswing today with the ridge dominating the weather regime. Along the I-25 Corridor, highs will reach the upper 70Fs and low 80Fs, and 80Fs are forecast over the eastern plains. Over the mountains, high temperatures will jump back into the 60Fs and 70Fs. Increasing northwesterly flow over the lower elevations could push near surface smoke into the Urban Corridor, but at this time, it looks like only the northern Urban Corridor will be affected. Too dry for any rainfall, so the main weather concern will be the elevated fire conditions over the northeast quadrant of the state due to the proximity of the jet/trough. Gusts may reach 30 mph over the Northeast Plains for a couple hours this afternoon. Rainfall is not forecast.

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

It was a cold morning again for the valley locations, which includes the Southwest Slope today. Over the northern portion of these zones it’s already 5 to 10F warmer than yesterday, so highs will be trending upwards. Highs are expected to rebound into the 70Fs over the lower elevations and reach the 60Fs for most of the mountain towns. The very dry atmosphere means bluebird skies with a broken cloud cover possible over the Southwest Slope/San Juan Mountains this afternoon. Surface winds will remain light with the ridge overhead, which will reduce the fire danger.