(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — Dry and warm weather will continue into Saturday, Oct. 22, with breezy conditions Saturday increasing the fire threat across southern Colorado, and some areas will even call it windy by later in the day.

Highs will be well above normal once again on Saturday with mid-70s to mid-80s east of the mountains. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for much of southeastern Colorado due to gusty wind in the afternoon, coupled with dry conditions, low humidity and very warm temperatures.

On Saturday night, a couple of things to note will happen. Wind along the ridge tops and along the eastern slopes of the mountains, especially southwest of Pueblo will become strong into early Sunday. Gusts between 50-70 mph are possible by sunrise. The other thing that will happen is the development of rain and snow showers depending on elevation by Sunday morning, Oct. 23 along and west of the Continental Divide.

We expect the first significant winter weather system for the mountains Sunday with deteriorating travel conditions through the day over the passes, as the snow becomes heavy at times and wind helps to create localized whiteouts for drivers. Be prepared for winter travel if your plans take you west this weekend. Some of the mountain areas are likely to get more than a foot of snow by late Sunday or early Monday.

Sunday will be a very windy day across southern Colorado and even as temperatures begin to drop, fire danger will remain high because of the wind. Wind gusts on Sunday are likely to be near or even exceed 50 mph for much of the area. Snow showers will develop during the day over the Sangre de Cristo range and over Pikes Peak during the late morning and afternoon.

As the storm transitions from the mountains into the plains late Sunday, we may see the first flakes of the year over Highway 24 in Teller County and the Palmer Divide. There is even some indication that light accumulation on the grass will be possible for places like Palmer Lake, Monument and Black Forest – especially if it is still snowing late Sunday evening or early Monday morning.

Monday, Oct. 24 looks to be mostly cloudy and quite cool with some lingering energy overhead – this might even produce a couple of stray showers over and near the hills through the morning and early afternoon. Monday night looks to be quite cold across the area with spots that haven’t seen the first hard freeze of the year finally checking that seasonal box off.

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