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Near-Record heat, fire danger, and smoke plumes from New Mexico

Wildfire smoke path
Posted at 5:42 AM, May 11, 2022

Today’s Forecast:
The title pretty much says it all, it'll be a hot and windy day with Red Flag conditions and heavy smoke out of New Mexico.

Over 250,000 acres have burned in New Mexico, mostly from the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires. Those two fires, along with the Cerro Pelado fire, will continue to blow smoke into Colorado today and tonight.

Trinidad and Aguilar on I-25 southbound will likely see the heaviest smoke today, as well as the small mountain towns west of I-25 in that area. Smoke will stay thick through eastern Pueblo County and farther east through Crowley and Otero counties.

We'll be very hot and dry today with near-record warmth in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Colorado Springs forecast: High: 87; Low: 54. Sunny, hot, and windy with high fire danger in the afternoon and evening. Wind gusts will max out near 40 mph today with the current heat record at 87 degrees, set back in 1961.

Pueblo forecast: High: 93; Low: 52. Sunny and hot today with high fire danger and gusty daytime winds. Wind gusts will max out in the 30 mph range today with the current heat record at 95 degrees, set back in 1962. Wildfire smoke from New Mexico will be visible east of Pueblo across the county.

Canon City forecast: High: 89; Low: 56. Sunny and hot today with high fire danger and gusty afternoon winds. Wind gusts will max out in the 30 mph range.

Woodland Park forecast: High: 75; Low: 44. Sunny and warm with high fire danger and strong daytime and evening winds. Wind gusts will max out in the 40 mph range.

Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 40s; Low: 20s. Mostly sunny and warm with high fire danger and strong daytime and evening winds. Wind gusts will max out in the 40 mph range.

Plains forecast: High: 60s; Low: 20s. Sunny and very hot with high temperatures in the low to mid 90s. We'll see wind gusts in the 30 mph range with high daytime and early evening fire danger. Wildfire smoke from New Mexico will be thick today, especially across Las Animas, Otero, and Crowley counties. If you're sensitive to smoke, stay inside today.

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 60s; Low: 20s. Sunny and windy with high fire danger and really thick wildfire smoke. Fires in New Mexico will continue to spread smoke through Aguilar, Trinidad, and the surrounding towns today and tonight. If you're sensitive to smoke or have breathing problems, just stay inside as much as you can today.

Mountains forecast: High: 40s; Low: 20s. Sunny and windy with widespread fire danger through the afternoon. Wind gusts will max out in the 40 mph range today and stay pretty gusty overnight. Wildfire smoke from New Mexico will be visible in and around the southern Sangre De Cristos today.

Extended outlook forecast:
Thursday is going to be a little cooler across the region following a cold front that moves through the mountains overnight. At the same time, a dry line will punch VERY dry air into and out of the mountains through the daytime, leading to strong wind gusts and continued high fire danger.

Temperatures will stay a little closer to seasonal through Friday with highs more widespread into the 80s over the weekend. We'll stay bone dry over the next 7 days with no rain or snow in sight.
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