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Denver weather on Saturday: "Extreme fire behavior" possible as red flag warning goes into effect

Denver weather this weekend brings a red flag warning where strong wind gusts and dry conditions could trigger "extreme fire behavior" on Saturday. The mountains will fall under a winter storm watch.
Posted: 11:19 AM, Mar 01, 2024
Updated: 2024-03-02 09:40:37-05
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DENVER — Anyone taking in Colorado’s outdoors on Saturday is urged to use caution and avoid burning anything as a red flag warning goes into effect.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder said the red flag warning will go into effect starting at 10 a.m. through 7 p.m. Saturday for a large portion of Colorado’s Front Range and eastern plains.

"We are looking at a High Fire Danger for most areas along the Front Range and Eastern Plains, as the winds will start to pick up throughout the afternoon," said Denver7 meteorologist Steve Roldan. "Temperatures will climb into the mid 60's. Warm temperatures, and strong gusty winds will make for that high fire danger."

The combination of strong winds, blowing from the southwest with gusts up to 45 mph plus low humidity will create conditions for “extreme fire behavior,” said the NWS in its alert.

The Denver metro is also included in the warning as is the following counties, according to the NWS:

  • North Douglas County below 6,000 feet
  • Denver, west Adams and Arapahoe Counties
  • East Broomfield County
  • Elbert County
  • Central and east Douglas Counties above 6,000 feet
  • Northeast Weld, Central and south Weld County
  • Morgan County
  • Central and northeast Elbert County below 6,000 feet
  • North Lincoln County
  • Washington county

The warnings come on the heels of a strong storm system that will dump large amounts of snow across the western portion of the United States and bring up to 15 inches of snow to areas in Colorado’s high country this weekend through Monday morning.

“It’s going to lose a little steam as it gets closer to the state,” added Hidalgo. “Likely looking at some of our heaviest snow right in through the northern and also down through the southwestern mountains, we’ve got a number of watches going into effect for quite a few counties.”

Still, the NWS in Boulder was calling for 8 to 18 inches of snow between Saturday evening and Monday morning.

A winter storm warning is in place from 5 p.m. Saturday until 11 a.m. Monday.

For a list of Colorado counties under the winter storm warning, click this link.


Slick travel conditions can be expected through the mountains, with limited visibility possible due to blowing snow and wind gusts up to 75 mph, said the NWS, recommending people delay travel if possible if needing to head through the high country.

For the Denver metro area, Saturday’s weather should remain warm with windy conditions. The high temperature in Denver on Saturday is expected to be close to 70 degrees. On Sunday, expect slight cooler temps in Denver with a high of 55 degrees and the potential for showers.

Although Colorado’s mountains can expect snow, Hidalgo said Denver and the eastern plains could see periods of light rain and snow mix starting Sunday through Monday.

As the calendar rolls into March, the winter blasts in February have helped the Denver metro area get a little closer to normal snowfall totals for the season.

The 13.7 inches of snow recorded at Denver International Airport boosted the cumulative total for the year at 29.1 inches, which lags behind the 34.9 inches normally seen at this point in the season.

To view the Denver snowfall statistics infographics in fullscreen mode click this link.

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