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After multiple fires Thursday, dangerous fire weather returns Friday to Colorado

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 30, 2023

Tonight's Forecast:
Weeks of dry weather have caught up with us today as multiple fires are burning across the region this evening. Our crews have been busy covering all of them, and the two largest are the 403 Fire burning in eastern Park County, and the Elbert/El Paso County line fire, known as the 125 Fire. As of 6:30 pm, the 125 Fire has burned at least 500 acres and is 50% contained.

Weather conditions should improve slowly after sunset as all current Red Flag Warnings should be allowed to expire by 8 pm. Overnight wind speeds however will remain breezy, with 25-35 mph gusts in some areas.

Colorado Springs forecast: Low: 32; High: 60; Dangerous fire growth potential resumes over Southern Colorado late Friday morning, with a Red Flag Warning set to go into effect at 11 am. The warning will continue until 7 pm as gusts to 50 mph and single-digit relative humidity will return to the Pikes Peak Region.

Red Flag Warning Friday
Red Flag Warnings return to Southern on the final day of March

Pueblo forecast: Low: 31; High: 66; One last day of extreme fire potential before at least a small break from the worst of the wind on Saturday. Red Flag Warnings will begin in Pueblo County at 11 am, and will continue through at least 7 pm due to 55 mph wind gusts and single digit relative humidity.

Canon City forecast: Low: 32; High: 63; Even without the addition of a Red Flag Warning on Friday, we're still tracking the potential for damaging wind gusts to 60 mph. Current High Wind Watches are likely to turn to High Wind Warnings. These will go into effect starting at 9 am, and will continue until 7 pm.

Woodland Park forecast: Low: 24; High: 51; More crazy wind can be expected Friday afternoon across Teller County, with peak gusts likely in the 45-55 mph range during the day. Even without any Red Flag Warnings due to slightly high humidity levels, any fire that breaks out will have the potential to spread quickly.

Tri-Lakes forecast: Low: 20s/30s; High: 40s/50s; The unfortunate combo of high winds and high fire danger will return to northern El Paso County on Friday, with both a Red Flag Warning and High Wind Warning in effect. Peak afternoon wind gusts to 55 mph will be possible.

Plains forecast: Low: 30s; High: 50s/60s; Dangerous fire weather conditions will return to the Plains on Friday, with another Red Flag Warning set to go into effect beginning at 11 am. With 50-60 mph gusts in the forecast, we can also expect poor air quality at times due to areas of blowing dust.

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: Low: 30s; High: 50s; We're looking at an almost carbon copy of today's forecast for the southern I-25 corridor due to more powerful wind gusts and extreme fire danger. With peak gusts expected to reach or even exceed 60 mph, it's looking like another very active day due to Red Flag Warnings and High Wind Warnings.

Mountains forecast: Low: 0s/10s; High: 20s/30s; Snow will mostly miss the southeastern mountains tonight and Friday as most of the moisture is expected to fall along and west of the Continental Divide. Locally, we're looking at a cold and windy day on Friday with High Wind Watches being issued for eastern slopes of the Sangres and the Wet Mountain Valley. Peak gusts in some areas could top 70 mph.

Extended outlook forecast:
Even with a small break on Saturday from some of the strongest winds, fire danger is expected to remain high throughout the weekend. Fire Weather Watches have already been issued because of the high fire danger threat for Saturday, and this is likely to continue throughout the weekend and into early next week.

What we could really use is some moisture, and we've got at least the potential for some rain and snow showers by next Tuesday and Wednesday. With a windy and dry forecast like this continuing for the next couple of days, that rain and snow can't come soon enough!

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