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Flash flood watches issued for Wednesday across western Colorado as Nora remnants move in

Remnants of Hurricane Nora moving toward western Colorado
glenwood springs rain
Posted at 11:59 AM, Aug 31, 2021

DENVER – Flash flood watches will go into effect Wednesday morning for much of western Colorado as remnants from Hurricane Nora move northward, bringing rain to much of the area and threatening burn scars.

The flash flood watches go into effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday and span the San Juans, Elk and Flat Top Mountains up to the central Colorado River basin and over through eastern Utah — especially at the higher elevations. It is currently set to expire at midnight.

According to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, the tropical moisture could bring more than an inch of rain across those parts of western Colorado starting Wednesday morning and through the day and evening. Some thunderstorms are possible as well.

“Regardless, anticipate quite a bit of rain to fall, so areas of steep terrain and burn scars seem more susceptible to the flash flooding threat,” NWS forecasters wrote in Tuesday morning’s forecast discussion.

Some of the rain will make its way to the eastern half of the state later Wednesday and into Thursday morning, with higher precipitation totals more likely over the northeast plains, according to the NWS in Boulder.

The rain is expected to test Glenwood Canyon again after Interstate 70 was closed for two weeks at the beginning of the month following mudslides in late July. CDOT has said if the area goes under a flash flood warning, the interstate is likely to be shut down. The last major rain event brought down some debris but did not cause an extended closure.

And it could continue to help improve drought conditions on the Western Slope, where the bulk of the drought persists in Colorado, though there has been improvement over the last three months.

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Drought conditions in Colorado as of Aug. 24, 2021.

It could also help boost firefighting efforts on the Black Mountain Fire just west of the East Troublesome Fire burn scar, which was 170 acres in size as of Tuesday morning.

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