Record heat fuels destructive fires in drought-baked Colorado

Jeff Masters / Wunderground: Destructive wildfires erupted in three locations […]

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Climate State

Date Posted:

June 12, 2013

Jeff Masters / Wunderground: Destructive wildfires erupted in three locations in drought-baked Colorado on Tuesday, fanned by strong winds and the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the state so early in the year. The mercury soared to 100°F in Denver on Tuesday, their earliest 100° day on record (previous earliest 100° day: June 14, 2006, 102°.) It was the second consecutive day Denver recorded its hottest temperature for so early in the year. At Lamar in Southeast Colorado, the mercury soared to 111°, just one degree below their hottest temperature ever measured, and 3° shy of the all-time hottest temperature ever measured in Colorado, the 114° reading in Sedgwick on July 11, 1954.

The most destructive fire in Colorado Tuesday was the Black Forest fire burning near Colorado Springs. The fire destroyed over 60 buildings and forced the evacuation of several thousand people. The fire was aided by nearly ideal conditions on Tuesday afternoon–Colorado Springs hit 97° (only the 2nd time the city has been that hot this early in the year), with sustained winds of 29 mph gusting to 36 mph, and a humidity of 4%. Colorado Springs is under extreme drought.

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