COLORADO SPRINGS — A Red Flag Warning continues across much of southern Colorado through Tuesday evening. The combination of very strong winds, low humidity and dry conditions is causing very high to extreme fire danger across the area. Any fire that develops in these conditions has the potential to grow and spread incredibly fast. Please try and avoid any activities that could potentially spark a fire.

As the nose of an approaching jetstream heads into Colorado early Tuesday morning two things will happen. Snow will increase and become heavy along and west of the Continental Divide, creating dangerous travel conditions and the wind will increase over the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

The increasing wind overnight will become quite strong initially over the slopes of the Wet and Sangre de Cristo mountains. These winds will continue into Tuesday evening from the mountains out into the plains. A High Wind Warning remains in effect through this evening for the continuation of strong and potentially damaging winds.

The evolution of the strong wind can be seen in the slideshow below. Use the arrows to advance forward or backward in time. Multiple computer simulations have strong wind from around 25,000′ in the atmosphere accelerating down to the surface in the High Wind Warning area between 2 am and 11am Tuesday. Some of the gusts may approach 100mph.

The wind will spread east over the plains Tuesday morning and while they won’t be as strong as areas near the foothills, widespread gusts between 45-60mph are expected and a few gusts may near 70mph. Blowing dust may occur due to ongoing drought conditions and high-profile vehicles and semi-trucks traveling north/south are at risk of tipping over in the strong wind.

Some of the wind gusts seen so far on Tuesday:

Tuesday night a cold front will move south over the plains, bringing a change in wind direction, much colder air and the possibility of scattered snow showers Tuesday night and Wednesday. Moisture east of the continental divide doesn’t appear to be particularly heavy, but isolated mountain areas east of the Divide could pick up a quick inch or two of snow. Anything over the plains is expected to remain light.

Into early Wednesday morning, snow along the continental Divide and western slope will be wind driven and heavy with some areas possibly getting between one and two feet of snow for places like Vail Pass, Tin Cup and Crested Butte. Travel could be dangerous and you should prepare for winter travel conditions if heading west.

Temperatures on the back side of the storm Wednesday will be 25-30 degrees colder than Tuesday and wind gusts around 40mph will help it feel even colder. Fire danger will remain high, even with the temperature drop.

Conditions will begin to improve Thursday with the best days of the next week coming Friday and Saturday. Get the FOX21 Storm Team 7Day Forecast.