Colorado weather: Fire danger is high as record heat hits Front Range

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Morning sun pierces the haze around the Denver skyline, seen from the west, Aug. 12, 2022.

Tuesday will likely be the warmest day of the year so far in many parts of Colorado.

In the Front Range, temperatures are supposed to reach up to 80 degrees, breaking a 40-year-old record. Denver’s record high for April 11 was set in 1982, at 80 degrees. 

Southern Colorado should also expect very warm temperatures. Pueblo could experience 89 degree heat, which would break the record of 88 degrees set in 2012. 

Temperatures that high are relatively uncommon for this time of year. According to the National Weather Service, the Denver metro area and Southern Colorado typically have average highs in the 60s. 

The entire Front Range is under a fire weather watch through Wednesday evening, as the warm temperatures combine with low humidity to create ideal conditions for rapid fire growth. The conditions are exacerbated by the persisting drought along the I-25 corridor. Officials are asking residents to avoid any activity that can produce a spark. 

The warm weather isn’t expected to last very long. 

“High temperatures will be 20-25 degrees cooler by Friday with showers likely across much of the region,” a NWS forecast said.

Meanwhile, the Western Slope and the mountains will also experience relatively high temperatures, but are not under fire warnings. Grand Junction will see the highest temperatures in the region — with a forecasted high of 82. That, however, will not be enough to break the daily record high of 84 degrees, which was also set in 2012.