Denver weather: Strong winds, high fire danger Thursday

Strong winds and extremely dry conditions will lead to dangerous fire conditions across the Front Range on Thursday.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph coupled with low humidity levels could lead to unusually high fire conditions on Thursday afternoon for much of the Interstate 25 urban corridor.

The National Weather Service in Boulder issued a red flag warning for most of the day on Thursday, and the warning includes the entire Denver metro area as well as Colorado Springs.

“Burning of any kind is not suggested, and use caution with any type of flame,” the National Weather Service said about Thursday’s winds.

In Denver, winds could gust up to 45 mph, with potentially higher gusts east and north of the city. That’ll lead to the possibility of trash cans getting blown over, downed trees branches and perhaps some isolated power outages. The strongest winds will likely take place on Thursday afternoon.

More significantly, however, relative humidity values could drop below 10%, rapidly increasing fire danger today. A dry front will push in cooler but windier weather around midday. Winds will spike during the early afternoon hours, and the moisture-starved air mass will make fire danger especially prevalent later on.

“These conditions combined with drier fuels pose a significant fire risk by the afternoon hours into the early evening,” the National Weather Service said..

Generally speaking, fire danger is fueled by three distinct factors: gusty winds, dry weather and warm temperatures. All three will be in place on Thursday, with highs near 70 degrees.

Winds should quickly taper off around sunset on Thursday night, though some patchy stronger gusts could still take place north and east of Denver.

Following Thursday’s winds, temperatures will cool down into the upper 50s for a high under sunny skies on Friday. Temperatures should quickly bounce back by the weekend, though, with highs near 70 expected on both Saturday and Sunday.

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