The heat is on: dry, hot weather conditions expected on July 4th, all summer
Weather this summer is expected to be hot and dry, creating the perfect conditions for fires, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Lyons from Grand Junction.
A small cold front moved through the area on Thursday as most of Western Colorado was under a red flag warning, meaning strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures set the stage for high risk of wildfire.
When wind speeds of 15 miles per hour, gusting higher and sustained for three hours or more are combined with hot, dry conditions, it creates “fire weather conditions,” Lyons said. “We will see rain eventually, but it does look like fire weather concerns will potentially continue through the summer.”
Thursday’s cooler air is expected to be followed by isolated afternoon thunderstorms Friday to Wednesday as the heat returns, and the warming trend will see temperatures hitting 90 degrees by the July 4th holiday.
The red flag warning should lift as winds calm; however, storms will bring a new weather hazard.
“The main threat will be lightening from these storms,” Lyons said. “As we go into next week, heat will also be a concern.”
It’s a forecast that makes City Pool Life Guard Caroline Riley smile. The pool will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. on Independence Day.
“If it’s hot, it means a lot of kids come. I’d rather have a hot day than a cold day to sit in the chair,” she said.
Josh Jackson and his crew at Structures Unlimited worked through the last 90-degree spell to build the new restrooms at Breeze Street Park.
They will hand the project back to APH Construction on Friday and plan to “head inside” during the next spell of hot weather, said Jackson.
City Parks and Recreation Department employees Edgar Israel Reyes and Nathan Duzik couldn’t decide if the hot weather was good or bad.
“We are never happy, if it’s too hot or too cold, but at least we are not like Texas with over 100 degree heat,” Reyes said.
Reyes plans to enjoy a lazy July 4th holiday sleeping.
Duzik is looking forward to time with family, and while he doesn’t like the hot weather, “At least it’s better than 30 below.”
To stay safe in the summer heat, Lyons recommends people “drink plenty of water. Check your back seat. Don’t leave children or pets in the car and exercise caution when building fires.”
When you hear “family medicine,” think of your family doctor — the person who provides you with general health care for all ages.