Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Incredible Heat & Colorado Ablaze

Wildfires continue raging out of control in the West, as impressive heat continues to impact that region. Many parts of the Western Plains and Rockies have seen record high temperatures...for this time of year and even for all-time. According to Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather, Dodge City, KS hit 110 degrees yesterday, the all-time record high temperature for any month. Colorado Springs, CO hit 101 degrees, also the all-time high for any month. Denver hit 105 degrees on Monday, also an all-time record for any date. So it's been obscenely hot....making this the third consecutive summer with some sort of rampant, high end "heat dome" in play in the US.

Fire Forecast for Monday in the Rockies/Plains.
Check out the forecast for Denver over the next few days. Continued blazing hot. We may say that rain is good...and this is obviously true. But in the West this time of year, the rain comes sparsely, but the lightning often comes plentifully. And unfortunately, isolated or scattered t'storms are the worst possible thing for Colorado right now. Ideally, this region needs a decaying Pacific hurricane or some sort of connection to plentiful Gulf moisture to really see beneficial rains.

Looking ahead weather-wise, the major models continue advertising almost no relent to the weather out West. The monsoon should become increasingly more active, which unfortunately means more opportunities for lightning, but also at least some opportunities for beneficial rain in spots. Hopefully more of the latter than the former will occur this year. If you are interested in learning more about the Southwestern US monsoon, the NWS in Tucson has put together an outstanding reference page that you can find here. Having spent a couple years out West, this was really a fascinating aspect of their weather.