Above average temperatures roast Northwest Colorado

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It's hot.

Many people in Moffat County seem to be moving about a half-step slower and are doing their best to stay indoors because the sun seems to be blazing with a little extra effort these days.

And, it is.

"The weather in the Craig area has been 2- to 3-degrees above normal," said Jeff Colton, meteorologist for the Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service. "Overall, it's been a typical summer, with June being very dry, which it typically is in Western Colorado. There is a big high-pressure system over the Western United States, as is normal for this season."

The high temperatures for this area are normally in the high 70s- to low-80s, but lately the highs have been in the mid- to low-80s.

Along with a lower than average humidity, Craig and the surrounding areas are hot, very dry and combustible.

"With the thunderstorms being high, with the rain evaporating before it hits the ground, we have gusty winds and little rainfall, which makes us concerned about the lightning problem," Colton said.

A series of fires presently burning throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain area testifies to the flammable conditions.

The forecast for this week calls for more of the same if not hotter.

Today, the highs will be 85 to 95 degrees with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Tuesday will also see temperatures in the 90s, and Wednesday and Thursday will have similar temperatures, again with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

The forecasted rain could come in the nick of time to save crops that are drying out in the heat.

Last year, Moffat County residents qualified for drought assistance. At the end of June, .40 inches of precipitation were charted. This year, .63 inches have fallen, but the year-to-date precipitation of 6.80 inches is less than last year's 7.48 inches.

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