Hot & dry through mid-July in Colorado Springs


July is the hottest month of the year across the inter-mountain west and 2020 looks like it may end up in the record books for heat. My 7-day forecast through Sunday, July 12 has a couple days near all-time record highs in Colorado Springs.

The all-time record in Colorado Springs is 101°. It was last set on June 21, 2016, but was also set on June 26, 2012, the day the Waldo Canyon Fire entered the city of Colorado Springs, burning more than 350 homes on the northwest side of town.

On Wednesday, we’ll be within a couple degrees of that all-time record high. I’m forecasting 98, which would take down the record set in 1989. Pueblo will be pretty close to a record as well.

A ridge of high pressure is going to center in the vicinity of the four corners not just for the back half of this week, but for most of next week too. This doesn’t bode well for significant moisture in the foreseeable future.

In fact, the Climate Prediction Center outlook for July 13 – July 19, just beyond my 7-day forecast, shows a high likelihood that Colorado will be below average for water and above average for temperature.

While a persistent area of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere is in the process of setting up early this week and will remain over the western U.S. through July 20th. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll see the favorable pattern set up and sustain at some point later in the month or early August, but it’s looking more likely that we’re going to be disappointed this year.

This pattern isn’t good news for the ongoing drought in southern Colorado. A significant portion of the viewing area is in an extreme drought, while Baca County has seen the most significant category of drought develop over the plains in recent weeks.

With the expected pattern occurring during what is, on average, the wettest month of the year, expect the drought to continue to expand and worsen.

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