SPM 07-20-2021: Isolated Afternoon Showers in Western Colorado

Issue Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Issue Time: 9:10 AM MDT


Monday was hot and largely dry across much of Colorado thanks to an upper-level ridge moving eastward across the region. The hot and dry weather elevated fire weather conditions for both the Morgan Creek and Muddy slide fires in the Northern and Central Mountains. Smoke from these fires, as well as those in the surrounding western states, left smoke and haze in the air and reduced air quality.

Still, monsoonal moisture helped fuel isolated afternoon storms in the Northwest Slope, Grand Valley, and Southwest Slope. Afternoon showers in Dinosaur resulted in 0.32 inches of accumulation according to a CoCoRaHS observer. Cedaredge, in the Grand Valley, received 0.28 inches. Storms were more widespread in the Southwest Slope, but rainfall totals were more modest, Trace – 0.24 inch observations were scattered across Montezuma, La Plata, and Archuleta counties, which is just under the threshold to show up in the State Precipitation Map below. However, a US Climate Reference Network gauge at Mesa Verde recorded 0.48 inches in a single hour.

For rainfall estimates in your area, check out the 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 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation contain bias corrections that are not disaggregated into the hourly estimates, so there will likely be some differences. The accumulation ending time is 7AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are vulnerable fire burn areas (post 2012), which are updated throughout the season to include new, vulnerable burn areas. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.