DENVER (CBS4) – Winter Park had 20 inches of snow this week and the statewide snowpack has improved. In the meantime, it has been a month since the metropolitan area has experienced significant humidity.
The combination of dry ground, very low relative humidity and westerly winds blowing up to 45 mph will push fire danger into a critical category for lower elevations in Colorado on Thursday. Consequently, a red flag warning has been issued until 7 p.m. for Denver and the entire I-25 corridor. The eastern plains are also included.
CBS4’s weather team also declared a first-day weather alert on Thursday due to the danger of fire. If a fire were to break out, it could spread quickly under current conditions.
Thursday afternoon will also be noticeably warmer than Wednesday, which will also contribute to concern over wildfires.
The only moisture in Colorado will be in the mountains where orographic snow showers will continue at times through Friday afternoon. Any accumulation will be minor and should be limited to 1-2 inches mostly above 9500 feet. There will also be occasional wind gusts up to 50 mph in the mountains and travel may be slow at times along I-70 and other mountain roads.
Snow on Thursday and Friday will be less than earlier in the week. Since Tuesday Winter Park measured 20 inches, Snowmass had 18 inches, Aspen Mountain had 16 inches and Beaver Creek measured 10 inches.
All the snow has contributed to increased snowpack in Colorado’s eight river basins in recent days. On Monday, the average statewide snowfall was 88 percent of normal. Thursday morning it was 92% above normal. Ideally the water makers would perfect it to be 100%, but obviously it could be much worse.
The only chance of moisture in the 7-day forecast for the metro area is Saturday evening. Right now, it looks like there’s only a 20% chance of nuggets.