The wind will jump into the gusty category under a Red Flag Warning for portions of the Western Slope this afternoon. That erratic wind behavior is also expected through midnight as a cold front approaches from the north. The advancing front later tonight will also bring rain chances into Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening for many locations.
Until a significant pattern shift occurs, expect a hot, hazy and dry Monday with near record temperatures again for many spots. Smoke and haze has been reported in from the east early Monday and then forecast from the west during the afternoon. Air quality is moderate. Sensitive groups should limit outdoor activities.
A rare early September winter class storm system is expected Tuesday through Thursday with snow/freezing related hazards for many High Country areas. As of Monday morning, a Winter Weather Advisory is in place north of Mesa County, a Winter Storm Warning exists for the mountains to our east (West Elks/Crested Butte and the San Juans to our south) and along the Front Range. A Freeze Watch is also in place for Pitkin and Eagle Counties along with a few high valleys in the north. Travelers can expect rain in the lower elevations Tuesday morning, temperature lows will be near the norm (mid 50’s for Grand Junction and low 50s for Montrose), but the High Country will have a rain-snow mix and snow depending on the elevation. Up to a foot of snow is to be expected above tree line. High temperatures Tuesday afternoon could tie or set records. That will be known as a low-high or the coldest high temperature. Grand Junction has a 1977 temperature low-high record of 58°. The chilly air will arrive early Wednesday morning and all locations will experience the coldest lows of the season. Upper 30s for Montrose indicates a chance of a rain-snow mix and low 40s in Grand Junction will keep a cold drizzle.
Normal high temperatures for early September at Grand Junction is 84° and at Montrose, 81°. Late week and upcoming weekend temperatures should eventually make it to these norms with clear, dry and near perfect early fall weather. Autumnal Equinox happens September 22, 2020.