High impact weather is hitting southern Colorado in the form of dangerous wind and critical, widespread fire danger.
Fire danger is exceptionally high today with wind gusts over 50 mph widespread across southern Colorado.
If a fire were to catch today, it could easily spread through the grassy areas due to the high winds and low humidity.
High Wind Warnings are in effect across southern Colorado with the strongest wind gusts in the 60 to 90 mph range across the Wet Mountains, Sangre De Cristos, Wet Mountains Valley, and I-25 south of Pueblo.
As of 5:15 AM, High Wind Restrictions are in place over Huerfano county, meaning any high profile vehicle could be stopped from traveling along I-25 or smaller highways.
Blowing dust could reduce visibility to 0 miles at times along and east of I-25 at any point today.
Colorado Springs forecast: High: 63; Low: 24. Steady or falling temperatures today with a chance for a brief rain or snow shower over the mountains on the west side of town and up north near Palmer Lake. Most of the city will be dry and VERY windy with gusts in the 40 to 60 mph range, especially on the southwest side of town and into the foothills.
Pueblo forecast: High: 71; Low: 26. Mild temperatures in the early afternoon with very strong winds and blowing dust through the afternoon. Wind gusts could be in the 40 to 60 mph range today with dust really limiting visibility at times. Grass fire danger remains exceptionally high today.
Canon City forecast: High: 64; Low: 27. Mild and very windy today with blowing dust and wind gusts in the 4o to 60 mph range today. Grass fire danger remains exceptionally high today.
Woodland Park forecast: High: 50; Low: 15. A brief rain to snow shower will be possible today over Teller County, mainly in the mid-morning, but dry and windy skies will be the prevailing weather element. Wind gusts could be in the 40 to 55 mph range today, so fire danger in the grass is very high.
Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 50s; Low: 20s. Chilly and very windy today with gusts in the 30 to 55 mph range today. Fire danger is high in the grassy areas and there could be some blowing dust throughout the day.
Plains forecast: High: 70s; Low: 20s. Warm and VERY windy with high fire danger and blowing dust that could reduce visibility to 0 miles at times. Gusts will generally range from 40 to 60 mph, so any grass fires that start could spread very easily today.
Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 60s; Low: 20s. Extremely dangerous wind gusts today with active High Wind Restrictions in place across Huerfano county as of 5:15 am. Wind gusts along I-25 from Colorado City through Walsenburg have ranged from 65 to 85 mph so far today, and they could stay that strong through the lunch hour. Blowing dust could limit visibility to zero miles today, and power lines could be knocked down. Similar wind gusts are expected west into the Wet Mountain Valley and up near La Veta Pass.
Mountains forecast: High: 40s; Low: 20s. Dangerous wind speeds with extremely high fire danger will impact our mountains from the Sangre De Cristos to the Wet Mountains and down into the Wet Mountain Valley. Gusts in these areas could gust from 60 to 90 mph with some of the strongest gusts being over 8,000 feet up on the Sangre De Cristos. We've already seen an 85 mph gust on the west side of the Wet Mountain Valley this morning, so blowing dust could be an issue.
Extended outlook forecast:
The winds will relax broadly into the 30 to 50 mph range late today and become much more calm by early Wednesday morning. The winds will accelerate again on Wednesday, but nowhere near as strong as what we're seeing today. It'll be chilly on Wednesday with highs in the 40s and 50s.
The rest of the week warms up with stronger winds and high fire danger as we move into the weekend.
Want to sign up for emergency alerts in El Paso and Teller counties? To sign up for the Peak Alerts system visit https://elpasoteller911.org/246/Peak-Alerts or for more information call (719) 785-1900. If you have questions you can also email email@example.com
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN EVACUATION
To be prepared to evacuate:
- Pack a kit that includes everything your family needs to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
- Don’t forget communication: Print a hard copy list of phone numbers, a battery or solar-powered radio to monitor emergency notifications, and sign up for emergency notifications through PeakAlerts.org to get emergency notices.
- Don’t forget prescription medications, important documents, and take photos of a home inventory for insurance.
- Have your kit ready to grab at a moment’s notice because disasters don’t wait for you to get your stuff.
Keep in mind everyone's kit will be different depending on different needs. Learn more about what should be in your kit with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office 'Ready, Set, Go' program.
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