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By Justin McHeffey

This warm and dry weather trend doesn’t let up all week. Fire danger is back in the picture Wednesday for the Denver metro area and all of eastern Colorado. That means fires can start very easily, and those that do will spread quickly. A grass fire burned at the CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora on Monday, signaling the need for moisture as Denver enters its snowiest month of the year.
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The Red Flag Warning is posted from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday. We’re expecting wind gusts near 50 mph from the Front Range all the way out to the Kansas and Nebraska state lines. Humidity values will fall to 14 percent during the warmest times of the day. Our highs in Denver climb to the middle 60s by the afternoon — about 15 degrees above average for this time of year.
nrcs 3 1 Warm Weather Taking A Toll On Denver Metro And Plains

(credit: NRCS)

The lack of moisture over the past few weeks has impacted vegetation and snowpack east of the mountains. Most weeds, plants, and shrubs have severely dried out — that keeps the wildfire threat high in between storm systems. Although the numbers still appear strong on the snowpack map, they only remain high thanks to the active weather we had earlier in the season.
swe 3 1 2016 Warm Weather Taking A Toll On Denver Metro And Plains

(credit: NOAA)

According to NOAA’s remote sensing model, snow water equivalent has completely melted east of the high country. We depend much more on the mountains for water storage (snow) during the winter, but this does show how critically moisture is needed out east.
The climate outlook shows relief from this dry cycle in the next 3 months. However, the short-term forecast stays unseasonably warm through next weekend with high temperatures near 70 degrees.
Justin McHeffey provides nightly reports from the Mobile Weather Lab. He travels Colorado in search of Mother Nature’s most powerful and beautiful conditions. Like his Facebook page Meteorologist Justin McHeffey and follow him on Twitter @WeatherMcHeffey.
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