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Red flag warnings for foothills Tuesday; mountain snow coming later this week

Posted at 12:04 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 14:04:06-05

DENVER – Red flag warnings are in effect for the Colorado foothills, most of Larimer County and parts of Weld County Tuesday due to high winds as the mountains prepare for a round of snow later this week.

The red flag warnings are in effect from noon to 5 p.m. in Boulder and Larimer counties between 6,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation, where westerly winds will be 25-35 miles per hour and gust up to 65 miles per hour. Relative humidity could fall to the lower teens, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

They are also in effect for the same elevations in western Jefferson, Douglas, Gilpin, Clear Creek and northeast Park County, and for parts of Larimer and Weld counties at lower elevations, for 15-25 mile-per-hour winds that could gust as high as 45 miles per hour.

The high winds and low relative humidity could cause any fire that starts to spread quickly amid the drought conditions across the area.

The wind won’t be as strong in the Denver metro area and most of the plains south of Weld County, but high temperatures will be in the low 60s in the area up until Christmas.

Meanwhile, the mountains are expected to get another round of much-needed snow later this week, according to the NWS.

The snow is expected to return on Thursday as the storm that will hit the west coast moves eastward. The NWS in Boulder said Tuesday the best chance for snow across all of the state’s mountains will be Thursday night through noon Friday.

“Wouldn’t be surprised to see some moderate to heavy snow bands developing over the mountains at some time during this period,” NWS forecasters wrote Thursday morning. “In addition, wind gusts between 40 mph and 55 mph may cause blowing snow, reduced visibility and hazardous travel conditions over the higher mountain passes.”

The NWS says there could be a lull in the snow Friday afternoon before it returns Friday evening, with periods of snow expected through the weekend.

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