A large area of high pressure, or a dome of heat, is still on track to bring record-breaking heat to most of Colorado this week. Daily, monthly and all-time record highs are likely to fall as the workweek unfolds.
We expected June to be hotter and drier than what we’ve experienced the last few months and we sure are about to live up to that hot expectation. An Excessive Heat Warning has been issued for areas around Grand Junction and Nucla in Western Colorado from Monday afternoon to Friday afternoon. This is the first-ever Excessive Heat Warning issued in Colorado. In 2017 there was an Excessive Heat Watch issued for a similar area and there have only been three instances (in 2008, 2017 and 2020) where heat advisories were issued for a portion of Colorado.
Since we have such dry air here, it’s more difficult for heat to reach excessive levels, which is a notable fact as we brace for this extended outlook of triple-digit heat. A quick note: yes, we have a “dry” heat here, but when temperatures are this high, it doesn’t matter — it can be just as dangerous as a “wet” heat.
The peak of the upcoming heatwave will come on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday although this entire upcoming workweek with feature above-normal temperatures across the state.
Grand Junction is expecting high temperatures to rise above 105 degrees multiple times this week. Grand Junction’s hottest temperature in June is 105 degrees and their hottest all-time record high is 106 degrees. Both of these records are in jeopardy this week.
Though temperatures in Denver will near but likely not break monthly or all-time record highs, the NWS in Boulder is forecasting temperatures near or above 100 degrees for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which will likely break daily temperature records.
Denver weather records
Denver’s record high on Tuesday is 97 degrees. The forecast is 100 degrees.
Denver’s record high on Wednesday is 96 degrees. The forecast is 99 degrees.
Denver’s record high on Thursday is 98 degrees. The forecast is 98 degrees.
Boulder, Fort Collins and other Front Range cities are expected to hit 100 degrees as well on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, which will likely break records for those cities as well.
As temperatures rise, remember to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks if you’re working outside and do not leave animals, children or older people in cars for any period of time during this stretch of intense heat. The temperature on the inside of a car can quickly rise above 120 degrees in this kind of weather.
Sub-tropical moisture is expected to move into the region through the remainder of the week but since we are enduring a stretch of very dry and very hot weather, it will be hard for rain to make it to the surface in some areas. What will be more likely is Virga and gusty outflow winds. Our typical summertime pattern with afternoon storms looks to return by Friday and last through the weekend at least.
Mountain locations have a better chance of seeing thundershowers, but again, the possibility of beneficial rain is looking less than stellar. Dry thunderstorms are a possibility this week and due to the immense stress on vegetation that is about to occur, lightning may be the cause of new wildfires. Another concern to watch.
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