There’s an increasing list of hazards for the Western Slope during the first week of July.
The closure of I-70 late Monday and also over the holiday weekend notwithstanding, there have been flash flood watches and warnings across Mesa County and Garfield County on Monday (Dolores and Montezuma Counties can be added to that list). This was specific to the Pine Gulch Burn Scar and was initiated due to heavy rainfall from nearly stationary storms. These storms will continue to move through the region west to east and the safety closure of I-70 was due to the upgraded Flood Watch to a Warning for the Grizzly Creek Burn Scar. The flood warning for that burn scar is expected to lift at 6:30 pm Monday July 5 and subsequently the re-opening of the interstate is expected thereafter if there is no debris on the roadway. Each afternoon through the middle of this week, mountain born storms are anticipated. By the middle of the week most of the pop up thunderstorms will be dry and will likely result in gusty wind speeds and lightning.
The next hazard for the upcoming week is heat. Grand Junction will experience, from the midweek through Friday, a stretch of 100 degree days. The afternoon temperatures for GJ Wed through Fri will be very close to the records (W-103F TH-104F F-103F). Heat Exhaustion will become an issue for many locations on the Western Slope and an Excessive Heat Watch/Warning is anticipated this week.
Another hazard for the region will be the wind once we approach the upcoming weekend. A storm system passing by to our north will be generating stronger wind speeds FRI/SAT and should result in a Red flag Warning for several locations. The upcoming weekend will be hot and dry with plenty of sunshine.