Another dry weekend is in the forecast for southeast Colorado and Kiowa County - and once again fire alerts will be possible early in the week.
Friday (April 1, 2016) starts off cooler and windy, with a high in the low 50s and north wind 10-20 miles per hour.
Five to 15 mph wind is expected Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Overnight lows will be 30s.
Monday continues the warming trend with a high in the low 70s, and Tuesday will approach 80.
While the overall area considered "abnormally dry" decreased slightly in Colorado over the past week, the area in low-level drought increased.
According to the March 29 report, all of Prowers County and most of Baca County are in moderate drought. Drought also increased in eastern Bent County and a small sliver of southeast Las Animas County.
UPDATE: as expected, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Warning covers all the counties under the Fire Weather Watch mentioned in the original article, and adds Crowley, Lincoln, Otero and portions of Elbert and Las Animas Counties. Winds will be out of the south gusting as high as 50 miles per hour and relative humidity as low as 11 percent. All outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.
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.
(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.
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.
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.