Fire danger threats widespread on Wednesday throughout Southern Colorado

Red Flag Warning
Posted at 6:34 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 08:57:30-05

Today’s Forecast:
Wednesday will be a warm and windy day for Southern Colorado! Peak gusts in Colorado Springs today will range between 30-35 mph, with gusts to 40 mph possible around our foothills and up towards Teller County. Outside of the mountains, today's strongest gusts will be along and south of the Arkansas River Valley. Gusts in these areas will range between 35-45 mph.

These downslope winds that blow from west to east also lower humidity values east of the mountains, thus increasing the risk of fast moving wildfires. A Red Flag Warning will go into effect starting at 10 am for much of Southern Colorado, with the threat not expected to lower until after sunset. On Red Flag Warning days, my best advice is to avoid outdoor burning.

Colorado Springs forecast: High: 64; Low: 29. Downslope wind gusts will be stronger today than yesterday, with a heightened risk of high fire danger in the Pikes Peak Region. A Red Flag Warning will go into effect starting at 10 am. Peak gusts in the Pikes Peak Region will be up near 35 mph.

Pueblo forecast: High: 70; Low: 30. Unseasonably warm weather will return to Pueblo today, with the potential for another day in the lower 70s. Unfortunately the warmth comes as a direct result of the wind and high fire danger, with gusts today around 40-45 mph.

Canon City forecast: High: 68; Low: 33. A windy and warm Wednesday, with dry skies this afternoon and peak gusts up near 40 mph. Due to more moisture in the air in Fremont County versus surrounding areas, we will not be included in today's Red Flag Warnings.

Woodland Park forecast: High: 52; Low: 21. Although we aren't expecting Red Flag Warning conditions to be met today in Teller County due to higher humidities, the wind will strong. Gusts this afternoon could top 40 mph in some parts of Teller County.

Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 50s/60s; Low: 20s. Warm and windy in northern El Paso County today, with Red Flag Warnings in effect from 10 am until 6 pm. A cold front dropping in from the north around midnight will bring the potential for a few snow showers to develop during the overnight hours.

Plains forecast: High: 60s/70s; Low: 20s/30s. Red Flag Warnings will go into effect at 10 am today on the eastern Plains, and will continue until 6 pm. Peak gusts this afternoon could top 40 mph in some areas.

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 60s; Low: 20s/30s. Breezy conditions this morning will give way to increasing wind throughout the day, with peak gusts this afternoon up around 45 mph. Due to our forecast of snow wind and low relative humidity, we'll see a Red Flag Warning today from 10 am until 6 pm.

Mountains forecast: High: 30s/40s; Low: 10s/20s. Heavy wind will impact our state's southeastern mountains today, with peak gusts this afternoon ranging from 40-60 mph. Some snow will be possible this evening in the northern Sangres, with accumulations likely staying under 1".

Extended outlook forecast:
A cold front will drop in from the north later tonight, and while moisture will generally be lacking with this system, we can't rule out a few snow showers on the Palmer Divide. Less than 1" of snow will be possible from Teller County to northern El Paso County through tomorrow evening. For Colorado Springs and the rest of Southern Colorado, a few hit or miss showers will be possible by Thursday afternoon and evening, with minimal impacts due to relatively warm temperatures.

Highs in the 40s and 50s on Thursday will give way to widespread 50s Friday and 60s to lower 70s by the weekend.

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

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