DENVER (CBS4) – The first 90 degree heat of the season for Denver and the Front Range was enough to break a record. The heat also helped pose a threat for isolated thunderstorms capable of producing hail and very gusty winds.
The official thermometer for Denver located at DIA reached 92 degrees at 4:23 p.m. Tuesday. It was the hottest temperature recorded in Denver since last September and about 20 degrees above normal for the third week in May. The normal high on May 19 is 73 degrees.
Last year the first occurrence of 90 degree heat waited until June 26 which was the latest first 90 degree temperature in 37 years. But once the 90s arrived last year, Denver experience 48 days with temperatures reaching at least 90 degrees which is far above the average of 30 days. The record for 90 degree heat belongs to the very warm year of 2012. That was the year Colorado saw several unusually devastating wildfires including the Waldo Canyon fire and the High Park fire.
The heat also help destabilize the atmosphere enough on Colorado’s Eastern Plains for a line of thunderstorms to develop. The storms produced very gusty winds and even some hail but no damage had been reported through 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Line of thunderstorms continues along a convergence line on Colorado's eastern plains. No threat for these storms getting anywhere near the metro area but we could still a few new storms develop closer to Denver later this evening. More wind than rain with all of them. #cowx #4wx pic.twitter.com/FicVPnksqy
— Ashton Altieri (@AshtonCBS4) May 20, 2020
Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon could bring a repeat with a few isolated storms on the Eastern Plains. These storms could once again be severe.
The most significant threat for severe weather on Wednesday afternoon will be in far northern Weld and Logan Counties. The highest threat will shift into far southeastern Colorado on Thursday.
For Denver and the Front Range, the chance for thunderstorms will stay small on Wednesday and Thursday should drop to near zero on Friday. Then chances will gradually increase again over the weekend with a 40% chance for showers and thunderstorms on Sunday. Chances should be slightly lower for Memorial Day on Monday.