Friday is shaping up to be a potentially dangerous day across southern Colorado with very warm to hot temperatures, strong winds, low humidity and even a chance for severe weather late in the day across extreme eastern Colorado. The fire danger on Friday will be as high as it can get, in the extreme category. High temperatures will soar into the 80s and 90s across much of the area. Winds could gust as high as 60 to 70 m.p.h. which will not only add to the fire danger, but cause blowing dust that could drastically lower visibility from time to time. A High Wind Watch has been issued for Friday with the anticipation of those strong winds.

Humidity will be quite low, as low as 5 or 6%, so the combination of low humidity, hot temperatures and strong winds will create extreme fire danger. Any fire that breaks out Friday will have the potential for explosive growth and spread. With this possibility, a Fire Weather Watch is in effect Friday from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. as we’ve been saying, and will continue to say until we get a break from the warm and dry conditions, please continue to avoid any activity that could potentially spark a fire.

There is some hint of relief on the way this weekend. A system forming over the Pacific NW will develop at the end of the week and is our next chance for a pattern break. One system moves across the Rockies Friday night and early Saturday. A northern track with this one should bring some rain/snow to the mountains and valleys, mainly along and west of the Continental Divide with more wind locally and a cooler start to the weekend.

Behind this system, a trailing wave looks to drop temperatures more for Sunday and bring us a chance of an unsettled day with some showers locally along the Front Range and some wet snow over the higher elevations. Warmer weather quickly returns to southern Colorado by the middle of next week with highs climbing back into the 70s and 80s by Wednesday.