Fire and ice for Southern Colorado over the next 72 hours

Red Flag Warnings - Southern Colorado
Posted at 5:54 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 00:23:59-04

Tonight's Forecast:
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch will remain in effect for most of the I-25 corridor and eastern Plains until 8 pm. Strong to severe thunderstorm development will favor the east and southeast Plains through sunset this evening. Storms here will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. After sunset, the storm energy will decrease, with the last of the precipitation moving into Kansas by around 10 pm.

Colorado Springs forecast: Low: 48; High: 90; Record breaking heat will be possible on Thursday as the southwest flow brings a warm downslope set-up to the Pikes Peak Region. On top of the heat, Red Flag Warnings will return to our forecast from 11 am to 9 pm.

Pueblo forecast: Low: 47; High: 97; With a record high of 98° for Pueblo on Thursday, our forecast comes within one degree of breaking that. Stay tuned! Otherwise, hot, dry, windy weather will also mean another day of high fire danger, with Red Flag Warnings from 11 am to 9 pm.

Canon City forecast: Low: 51; High: 94; Mostly sunny, hot and windy on Thursday. With low relative humidity down to the single digits and wind gusts to 40 mph, we'll see critical fire weather conditions during the day.

Woodland Park forecast: Low: 44; High: 80; Rain today, windy and dry tomorrow. This is Southern Colorado folks! On top of the late May warmth, Red Flag Warnings will return to Teller County during the day, increasing the threat of the High Park Fire growing.

Tri-Lakes forecast: Low: 40s; High: 70s/80s; Unseasonably warm, windy and dry weather on Thursday, with Red Flag Warnings returning to our forecast starting at 11 am. We'll trade in the shorts tomorrow for parkas Friday as SNOW is likely by the evening hours.

Plains forecast: Low: 50s; High: 90s; Even after rain and thunderstorms today, the threat for high fire danger returns to the Plains on Thursday as dry southwesterly winds will bring the threat for fast-moving grass fires to our forecast. Avoid any activities that could start a spark to minimize fire potential!

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: Low: 40s/50s; High: 80s/90s; Super hot and dry, with another round of Red Flag Warnings for the southern I-25 corridor on Thursday. Stay safe and avoid outdoor burning of any kind.

Mountains forecast: Low: 30s/40s; High: 60s/70s; Red Flag Warnings will return to the mountains and mountain valleys on Thursday all ahead of the potential for snow from Friday afternoon through the first part of the day on Saturday.

Extended outlook forecast:
A potent winter storm, that's right, winter storm, will impact the state from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. The calendar says mid-May, but snow and cold will come roaring into the picture, and for some areas, there could be quite a bit that piles up.

Timing wise...a cold front Friday will bring a good 30-40 degrees of cooling to the forecast. Behind the front, cool upslope flow and moisture will increase, with rain changing to snow by the late afternoon and evening. The wintry weather will continue into overnight hours before tapering off in most places by Saturday morning. An early look at snow totals favors between 2-5" for Colorado Springs, 6-10" for Monument Hill, and 7-12" for Woodland Park. Snow could fall as low as Pueblo and Canon City, although accumulations here are much less likely, at least for Pueblo.

Cold air associated with the storm will be the other big story. Any vegetation that can be covered or brought inside should be, with the key period for major impacts to occur from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

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

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