West Slope under red flag warning, wildfire smoke advisory

Another hot, breezy day, combined with the threat of dry thunderstorms, has the Western Slope and other areas of Colorado and eastern Utah under a red flag warning today.

The warning is in effect until 10 p.m. today over the San Juan Mountains, the Bookcliffs and the Tavaputs Plateau in western Colorado and the Utah portion of the Tavaputs Plateau, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Forecasters say scattered dry thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and continue into the evening over the higher elevations of northeast Utah and the San Juan Mountains. Isolated, weak thunderstorms also will form over most mountain ranges this afternoon and evening. Gusty winds will be erratic and peak gusts of 50 mph may occur, according to the Weather Service.

Meanwhile, the state has issued a wildfire smoke health advisory for portions of south-central and southwest Colorado, including the San Juan, Piedra and upper Rio Grande River Valleys and sections of the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests. Cities impacted include, but are not limited to, Pagosa Springs, Piedra, Arboles, Spar City, Creede, South Fork, Lake City, Silverton, South Fork, Del Norte, Durango, Cortez, Telluride, and Montrose.

The advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Sunday. A high pressure system over the Great Basin will keep smoke from wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico over much of south-central and southwestern Colorado, according to the website for the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

In Grand Junction, today’s high is expected to hit 101 degrees.


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