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Red flag and high wind warnings in effect for high fire danger in eastern Colorado

Gusts of 90+ mph already reported in mountains Tuesday morning
trees down powerline steamboat
Posted at 12:45 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 19:46:25-04

DENVER – Red flag warnings and high wind warnings are in effect from the foothills across the eastern plains for critical fire danger and winds that could gust up to 65 miles per hour.

Red flag warnings are in effect for the metro area and foothills, and most of the eastern plains, on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and again Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., for northwesterly winds of 30-40 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph and relative humidity in the 15-20% range, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

High wind warnings are also in effect for most of the metro area and eastern plains until 9 p.m. Tuesday. A wildfire was reported in Boulder County early Tuesday but was knocked down before it could spread.

“Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects and a few power outages may result,” NWS forecasters wrote. “Strong winds will likely lead to rapid fire growth of any new fire. Blowing dust will reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile in places.”

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The NWS said the most critical red flag conditions will be from Weld County southeast into Morgan, Logan and Washington counties.

A weather station at Berthoud Pass recorded a 91-mph gust, while the Buckeye station north of Fort Collins recorded a gust of 75 mph before noon on Tuesday. Gusts between 30 mph and 60 mph have been recorded between the south Denver metro area and Greeley.

Several ski areas have been delayed or closed for the day because of the high winds.

In the mountains, winter weather advisories are in effect until midnight due to winds gusting up to 70 mph, with a general forecasted 2-5 inches of snow, though some areas could get 5-10 inches, the NWS said.

Drought conditions in Colorado as of March 29, 2022.

Drought conditions along the northern Front Range foothills and in the metro area have improved over the past few weeks, as the metro area up to Fort Collins is rated as abnormally dry on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale. Other parts of the eastern plains are experiencing moderate and severe drought, while most of the mountains are currently seeing moderate drought.

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