Weather Outlook – the Week Ahead

Starting the week with fire weather alerts has been the rule for March, and this week appears to be no different despite our hopes in Friday's report.

Monday's fire weather potential will be more localized, and mainly be a possibility in the eastern portion of the forecast area, which could include Kiowa County. Tuesday's potential is more wide-spread, over a longer period of the day. The National Weather Service is monitoring closely and will be issuing fire weather highlights as needed over the coming days.

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week Wrap Up

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - NWS Logo Tornado - NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

(Seventh and final article in a week-long series on flood and fire issues in Colorado. Friday's article can be found here.)

Colorado has more than its fair share of floods, flash floods, and wildfires. During the past week, in our effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation, we have presented information to you on how to stay safe and minimize property damage during flood and wildfire threats.

Weekend Weather Outlook

National Weather Map

For the optimist looking for precipitation in Kiowa County this weekend, there is hope in the forecast for Friday night and Saturday - though in very slim amounts.

There is a 20 percent chance of rain after 2:00 p.m. Friday (March 25, 2016), turning to a 30% chance of a rain/snow mix overnight. Less than 0.10 inch is expected.

Saturday brings a 50 percent chance of a rain/snow mix, with less than one-half inch of snow accumulation expected. Precipitation chances drop back to 20 percent Saturday night, and are non-existent for the next several days after that.

Southeast Colorado Slips into Drought

Colorado Drought Map

Following a rapid expansion of abnormally dry conditions across the southeast quarter of Colorado in March, moderate drought is now impacting most of Baca County and the southern half of Prowers County. A small sliver of southeast Bent County has also entered moderate drought.

Over 28 percent of Colorado is considered abnormally dry - similar to one week ago - however an additional three percent of the state has entered the lowest level of drought, resulting in an overall expansion of the impacted area.

Flash Floods and Warnings

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - NWS Logo Tornado - NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

(Fourth in a week-long series on flood and fire issues in Colorado. Tuesday's article can be found here.)

Flash floods are no strangers to Colorado. Since the year 1900, nearly 300 people have been killed in flash floods across the Centennial State.  

In terms of lives lost, the worst flash flood occurred on July 31, 1976 in the Big Thompson Canyon between Estes Park and Loveland. A nearly stationary storm produced around 12 inches of rain within 4 hours, claiming 144 lives.

Like Flash Floods, River Flooding Also a Risk in Colorado

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - NWS Logo Tornado - NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

(Third in a week-long series on flood and fire issues in Colorado. Monday's article can be found here.)

Today's topic during this Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week is flooding which develops in the time frame of longer than 6 hours to several days.

There have been some notable floods across the Centennial State:

In early June of 1921, a flood along the Arkansas River devastated the City of Pueblo. Scores of drownings occurred.

Fire Risk Then Snow for Kiowa County Tuesday

UPDATE: The Red Flag Warning has been extended two hours - from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday)

Spring has started with a mixed bag of weather conditions forecast for the week.

Tuesday (March 22, 2016) will see a Red Flag Warning for the elevated fire danger throughout the afternoon as temperatures approach 80 degrees, humidity drops and southwest winds reach 25 miles per hour. In some portions of southeast Colorado, winds could gust to 45 mph.

By Tuesday night, a chance of rain sets in until 4:00 a.m. before turning to snow.

Fire Weather Returns to Kiowa County

PROMO 660 x 440 Fire - Wheat Stubble Soot Flames - iStock

UPDATE: As expected, the watch has been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning for Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Look for southwest winds gusting to 45 miles per hour and humidity as low as six percent.


In what seems to be a routine start to the week, the National Weather Services has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Tuesday (March 22, 2016) from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for most of southeast Colorado. The watch area includes Kiowa County.