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Continued drought likely for Southern Colorado through the end of spring

Average Red Flag Warnings
Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 03, 2023

We're only a few weeks into spring and so far, there's been more Red Flag Warning days than snow days for Southern Colorado.

This comes during a five-day long stretch of high fire danger.

But wait...is that uncommon this time of the year?

In looking at the average number of Red Flag Warnings per month, April is the worst.

During a "normal" April, we see on average around nine days with high fire danger.

This is based on the past 10 years of data across Southern Colorado (2013-2022).

May and March follow closely behind, with October also a peak month for Red Flag Warnings.

Average Red Flag Warnings
Average Red Flag Warnings per month for Southern Colorado (2013-2022)

In looking at the forecast, the Fire Danger Outlook for Southern Colorado will remain "Critical" on Tuesday, especially for areas along and south of the Arkansas River Valley.

A cold front Tuesday night will bring chilly conditions, light snow showers and less wind on Wednesday, with a much more limited threat for wildfires late this week.

Fire Danger Outlook
Fire Danger Outlook for Southern Colorado for the rest of the week

Lastly, let's take a closer look at the Spring Drought Outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Drought conditions are expected to worsen for areas shaded in yellow, along Colorado's southern border.

Shaded in brown...these are the areas that are most likely to see a persistent or worsening drought situation this spring.

But it's not necessarily bad news for everyone...

The outlook in northeastern Colorado is in favor of improving drought conditions, or better yet, a possible end to the drought all together.

Spring Drought Outlook
NOAA's 2023 Spring Drought Outlook

Since drought and fire danger seem to go hand-in-hand, this is something that we'll be watching very closely over the next couple of months.