Calm and nice start today, clouds and downslope winds this afternoon

You'll want the water bottle with you this afternoon as dry downslope winds sweep across southern Colorado
Posted at 6:31 AM, May 20, 2024

Today’s Forecast:

The work week starts where the weekend left off: nice, calm, and sunny. But, a large area of upper-level low pressure is moving east today and will change the picture this afternoon. Expect clear skies for most through the lunch hour - with some clouds this morning over the Palmer Divide as a cold front skirts to the north. As the low approaches, downslope breezes increase during mid-afternoon with gusts of 30-35 mph. A few showers will spark off over the high terrain this afternoon with clouds increasing over I-25. Dry low-level air should keep the corridor dry, and warm with another day of 80s for most of the plains.

A slight risk of severe weather is possible for the central and northeastern plains this afternoon. Storm coverage will be isolated, but the spots that do see storms will see strong storms with significant instability in place. The best chances are in northeastern Colorado - but it's a good afternoon to be weather aware on the eastern plains, particularly along and north of highway 50.

Colorado Springs forecast: High: 80; Low: 46.
Clear and calm in the Olympic City through the lunch hour. By mid-afternoon, clouds increase from the west. Downslope breezes increase as well - gusting to 30-35 mph. By evening, skies will be mostly cloudy. Winds remain gusty into the evening.

Pueblo forecast: High: 88; Low: 49.
Mostly sunny and warm to start off the work week - continuing where the weekend left off. Thanks to downslope winds, today will be very warm. Generally temperatures will be similar to yesterday, with upper 80s for most. Lower-elevation parts of town will likely hit 90 degrees. Winds this afternoon will gust 35-40 mph. Clouds and winds continue during the evening.

Canon City forecast: High: 83; Low: 50.
Sunny and breezy with clouds increasing after 12PM. Winds start light out of the south. In the afternoon, winds will gust to 35 mph with a sprinkle possible during your PM commute (low odds...about 15%).

Woodland Park forecast: High: 70; Low: 36.
Sunny through early afternoon (around 12/1PM), with clouds increasing after that with incoming storm energy and moisture. Through the afternoon there's a slight chance for a thunderstorm and it'll also be gusty. Winds will gust to 40-45 mph.

Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 70s; Low: 30s.
Sunny for the first half of the day, increasing clouds with a slight chance for a shower or thunderstorm in the second half of the day. South winds at 15-25 mph gusting to 35 mph.

Plains forecast: High: 80s; Low: 50s.
Sunny and warm for the first half of the day. Southeasterly upslope flow develops this afternoon along a dryline boundary. This will create a risk for isolated severe thunderstorms this afternoon. The best chances are on the northeastern plains, but if a storm is able to fire further south in Kiowa, Bent, Otero, and Crowley counties, there will be a lot of storm fuel to work with, as well as favorable winds. It's a good afternoon to remain weather aware - although storm coverage will be low.

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 82/84; Low: 47/49.
Sunny to start, changes this afternoon. Winds increasing from 10 mph this morning to 25 mph this afternoon. Wind gusts in the afternoon will be between 40-45 mph with mostly cloudy skies by sunset.

Mountains forecast: High: 60s/70s; Low: 40s.
RED FLAG WARNING for the Southern Mountains from 12:00PM - 8:00PM

Sunny through 10AM, then partly cloudy to mostly cloudy for the rest of the day. As low pressure approaches, winds increase and so do the clouds. Showers and thunderstorms develop over the mountains between 12 PM - 3 PM this afternoon. Wind gusts range from 40-45 mph through the afternoon - these dry downslope winds will also result in high fire danger. A Red Flag Warning will be in place from noon to 8PM for the southern mountains.

Extended outlook forecast:

Another round of storm energy arrives Tuesday, and with better moisture and energy profiles. The day starts clear, clouds move in by noon, storms first fire off over the mountains, with showers moving into the I-25 corridor and then the plains during the afternoon. Severe weather is not expected but a couple rounds of showers and storms are likely. Highs will be significantly cooler in the upper 60s to low 70s. A bit of leftover moisture will lead to a few mountain showers and a corridor sprinkle Wednesday, but generally for the rest of the week, quieter weather arrives - with mainly sunny and calm conditions heading into Memorial Day weekend.

Curious about the First Alert 5 Weather Storm Impact Scale? Check out our cheatsheet explainer.

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