(Thank you to all the new subscribers! Let’s dive into a busy weekend forecast)
It has been another wild week of weather across Colorado. Multiple flash flooding events hit the San Juans, the Central mountains and I-70 shutting down roads and causing travel headaches and with an incoming cold front meeting up with the already in place monsoon moisture, a busy weekend of impactful weather is coming.
First off, if you have weekend plans in the mountains, you’ll need to reassess whether or not you’d like to continue with those plans as this looks like a weekend of rain and cool (cold in some areas) is certain. Monsoon moisture has been streaming into the Four Corners regions for the last several days leading to heavy rains in the mountains west of the Continental Divide. As the upper-level winds shift east slightly, monsoon moisture will fill into the Front Range bringing the I-25 corridor from Ft. Collins to Pueblo the chance of heavy rains as well.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Grand Junction spoke to this weekends storms chances saying that “flash flood potential remains high through the weekend with more mudslides and road closures anticipated” alluding to the closures along I-70 and other roads west of the Continental Divide that have shut down in the past few days. The NWS in Pueblo Colorado is anticipating just as bad of conditions across southeast Colorado as the cold front swings through bringing an enhancement to the already wet forecast. “Significant flash flooding would be possible on Saturday including the potential for roads to become inundated, mudslides to occur, along with substantial debris flows.” And across northeast Colorado, the NWS in Boulder has issued a flash flood watch for Denver and the surrounding areas as heavy rain is looking more and more likely between now and Saturday evening.
Friday will be mostly dry for the Urban corridor but the mountains and Foothills will see ample rain and storm coverage Friday afternoon. Eventually, a cold front will move through this evening bringing lower elevations the shot as seeing some rain.
A more pronounced cold front will move through on Saturday that will meet up with sufficient monsoon moisture and will increase the chance of rain and storms through the majority of the day on Saturday. The winds that normally steer storms will not be very strong so storms that develop will not move very fast leading to the possibility of flash flooding. This area extends from Telluride to Glenwood Springs to Denver to Ft. Collins.
Saturday is likely going to be a very busy weather day across Colorado.
Sunday, lingering moisture and instability will produce another day of widespread rain across Colorado albeit there will be a slight decrease in coverage and amount of rain. A trend of lessening rain chances will continue through midweek next week but rain chances remain rather elevated through Tuesday compared to normal across much of the Centennial State with the mountains being favored for the majority of the rain Tuesday and Wednesday.
With all the rain and clouds expected, temperatures will fall and we can expect highs to be about 10-15-degrees below average this weekend. Upper 70s and low 80s are expected on the Front Range Saturday through Tuesday. On the mountaintops, highs will only reach the 40s and low 50s while the mountain towns and cities feel 50s and 60s through early next week.
Drought is still ongoing, and is still very bad, in Western Colorado so yes, this rain is absolutely needed but as we’ve seen and will continue to see, the threats that come with this kind of rain potential are extreme.
Just about everyone in Colorado will be impacted by this weekend’s rain. Flooding around and on top of burn scars will pose the greatest risk of flash flooding but with the possibility of heavy downpours across the metro, some urban flooding is expected in poor drainage areas.
We have had a rather wet July in many areas of Colorado and we are definitely ending the month with a bang. So far, Denver is running more than an inch and a half below what is typically expected for the month and that deficit could be made up by Saturday evening.