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Late snow, high temps, equal added fire danger in Southern Colorado

Dry November
Posted at 8:57 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 22:57:33-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It is so dry, fire restrictions continue in Colorado Springs into November. In a typical year there is some level of measurable snow by the end of October, but not this year,

"This past weekend we were in high fire danger, because we were in 70-degree weather," said Colorado Springs Fire Department, Wildfire Mitigation Administrator, Ashley Whitworth. The humidity level was also very low.

Dry air in Southern Colorado also contributes to wide temperature swings. “Get those really chilly nights and then they can warm up from a chilly night to a pretty warm afternoon,” said News 5 Meteorologist, Sam Schreier. He explained the lower the humidity, the less energy it requires for temperatures to go up or down.

The cold nights trigger vegetation to go dormant and dry on the surface. The result is fire fuel that will ignite more easily on hot days.

Snow is not in the immediate forecast. Because of the extended dry conditions, even small storms will only bring a short-term break from wildfire danger. "All of the moisture really is sucking into the ground and so it is going to leave everything on top of the ground still dried out,” Whitworth. Until there are significant storms fire restrictions will likely continue.