Weather Watch: High winds bring fire caution to Moffat County |

Weather Watch: High winds bring fire caution to Moffat County

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

Northwest Colorado may be seeing some of those April showers this week, which it may need badly.

Moffat County is under a fire weather watch Sunday and Monday by the National Weather Service, with extremely dry and windy conditions necessitating caution.

Meteorologist Chris Cuoco, with the NWS Grand Junction office, said the forecast of winds blowing as much as 40 miles per hour, a 10 percent rate of humidity and grasses that haven’t yet “greened up” are all factors that could add to fire weather.

The introduction of a thunderstorm would increase that risk even more, though no such activity is on the horizon, he said.

Human causes are more the issue at this stage, with a stray cigarette butt, a hot ATV engine or an agricultural burn in the area potential causes of a blaze.

“We’d like the farmers and property owners out there who are burning ditches or fields to realize Monday’s probably not the day to do that,” Cuoco said. “It could get very hard to control.”

A storm system sweeping in from the Great Basin is part of the cause of a “tight wind band,” and the chances of moisture from this will greatly improve by Wednesday afternoon.

Temperatures will drop into the 50s on Thursday as a result, but the storm’s aftereffects will be minimal as conditions go back to dry and breezy headed into the following weekend.

“(Next) Sunday, we’ll get a return of stronger northwest winds but really not much change in moisture chances,” Cuoco said.