Weather: Southwest heatwave expands to Colorado

No monsoon relief for now

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A broad swath of very dry air extends from the Pacific across the Desert Southwest in this June 26 NOAA satellite image.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Temperatures Wednesday soared to near-record levels in Frisco, topping out at about 80 degrees as an early summer high pressure system built into the Southwestern U.S. Average temperatures for most Summit County weather stations this time of year are in the mid-70s.

Excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service covered a large area in Southern California and Southern Nevada, where Las Vegas reached a high of 117 degrees, busting the old record for the day by 2 degrees. There’s little relief in sight the next few days with the heatwave expected to continue.

Parts of southeastern Colorado hardest hit by drought the last few years also reached triple digits Wednesday, with Lamar reaching 104 degrees. Drought conditions actually feed heatwaves, with parched soil contributing to higher temperatures.

Hot conditions also prevailed across western Colorado valleys, where highs will be in the upper 90s and 100s the next few days.

For Summit County, the next few days are expected to be even a little bit warmer, with forecast highs in the low 80s, near the all-time record highs for the region. Chances for thunderstorms and cooler weather increase on the weekend, with a 40 percent chance of showers by Sunday.

Meanwhile, parts of the Midwest have experienced unprecedented early summer flooding, with parts of Iowa picking up more than 6 inches of rain in just a few hours Wednesday morning falling on ground already saturated by record May rainfall.

All in all, weather patterns reflect a trend toward more extremes, as most climate models project more intense rainstorms with the warming atmosphere holding more water, and drought conditions exacerbating heatwaves in the parched Southwest.

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3 Responses

  1. Did you notice that next week’s heat includes potentials to break Earth’s record hottest temperature?

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