Another hot day is on tap for Colorado as a ridge of high pressure is sitting overhead. High pressures are notorious for sunny skies and warm temperatures and today, aside from the smoke that will be in the air, that will ring very true.
Temperatures across the Front Range will likely end up being some of the hottest temperatures ever felt in September.
The image above shows the ridge of high (H) pressure sitting almost directly overhead. This is the cause of our big time heat expected today. And while the ridge is over the FOur Corners region, the entire intermountain west will be feeling the grips of this “heat dome.”
Denver is expected to reach 98º this afternoon which would land today’s date near the top of the list for the hottest September days on record.
We will be in a tie for third place if we hit the forecasted high of 98º. I think it’s likely that we get to 99º and possibly even 100º. When looking at the dates of occurrences for these hot September temps, you’ll notice that most of these have happened since 2013 signaling a trend over the last decade that intense heat is becoming more likely.
There are only two times in history where Denver has seen 100º heat in September. Once in 2020 and once in 2019. Will we have a third consecutive year with 100º heat in September?! It’s possible.
Fort Collins is forecast to hit 97º today. That would put them in a top 5 spot. Similarly to Denver, most of the chart-topping dates have occurred since 2013. 2019 and 2020 are making a lot of appearances on these lists..
Colorado Springs has a forecast of 96º expected today. That temperature will tie them for second (which was just tied yesterday!). It’s also very possible for the Springs to hit 97º making today a tie for the hottest September day on record. Again with Colorado Springs, a lot of their hottest September days have occurred in recent years.
Pueblo is expected highs to reach 101º today (!!). This will make the list of hottest days but Pueblo has seen temperatures reach 103º during September – which happened just last year with the second hottest temperatures happening in 2019. It is very notable that the most extreme heat that has happened in September has all happened in 2019 and 2020 for many cities across Colorado.
Dillon, a mountain town is expecting temperatures to hit 80º today. That may not make the top 10 list for hottest days but you can see that 80º is not far from making the list. The notable part here is that the mountains (this location in particular) doesn’t see heat reach into the 80s very often at all in September. So, although today may not be hugely record-breaking, it is still a warm day even up high.
And finally, over in Grand Junction, temperatures are expected to reach 96º. This is a temperature that may not break into the top ten highest September temperatures, but similarly, they will be very close and the fact that they are close to making the list, is notable.
Temperatures are continually staying hotter longer into September alluding to the fact that our summers are lasting longer. This has been a trend that we’ve been watching and is a trend that is likely to continue.
Overall, it will be a very hot day across Colorado – especially the eastern half. There are signs of “cooler” temperatures moving in for the middle of next week and then even further signs of an actual chilly forecast in the 10-day period but that’s a bit far out to talk details.
For now, it’s going to stay warm and dry through the middle of next week with minimal (almost zero) rain chances.