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More record-setting heat; Waldo Canyon Fire consumes 15,000 acres

By: Angela Fritz 7:17 PM GMT on June 27, 2012

Tuesday's heat toppled many records in the Central U.S., particularly in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. On Monday and Tuesday combined, 11 locations tied or broke their all-time record high temperature, 78 locations broke their all-time record high for the month of June, and 382 daily high records fell. Some notable Tuesday records from our Weather Historian:

115° in McCook, Nebraska is the all-time record for any month. The old records for site are 114° 7/20/1932 and for June 112° 6/5/1933—both set in the heat waves of the 1930s. Yesterday's 115° at Mc Cook also broke the all-time Nebraska state June record of 114° which was set in Franklin in 1936.

105° in Denver, Colorado, ties Monday's all-time record, and ties the 5-day record for number of days above 100°.

101° in Colorado Springs, Colorado is the all-time undisputed record high for any month.

111° in Miles City, Montana is the all-time high for any month.

111° in Lamar, Colorado tied that all-time heat record in any month.

115° in Hill City, Kansas is the new June record, but fell short of all-time 117° reading, and one degree short of Kansas state June record.

110° in Dodge City, Kansas ties the all-time high for any month, which was just set last June.

Wheat Ridge, Colorado (103°) and Cedar Bluff Dam, Kansas (110°) also tied their all-time record highs on Tuesday. Our Weather Historian Christopher C. Burt, who mused that this heat wave is starting to shape up like the record setting heat waves of the 1930s, will have a full-length post on this week's incredible heat wave on Friday. Today the heat shifts eastward, with eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois in an excessive heat watch, and eastern Kansas and western Missouri in an excessive heat warning. St. Louis could start to see 100°+ today, and Chicago will likely have their warmest day on Thursday. This heat wave will reach the eastern U.S. by Friday.

Waldo Canyon Fire engulfs parts of Colorado Springs

Firefighters are "on the offensive" on Wednesday as they fight the Waldo Canyon Fire, which started Saturday afternoon for reasons unknown. The fire is 5% contained as of Wednesday afternoon, though firefighters are using triage protocol, according to the AP, to save the homes that they are able to save. 30,000 people have fled their homes on Wednesday as the fire grew to over 15,000 acres. The region remains in a red flag warning as conditions continue to be unfavorable for fighting both this and the High Park fire, which continues to burn west of Fort Collins. Humidity is expected to remain around or less than 10%, and winds could gust up to 50 mph.

Figure 1. The Waldo Canyon Fire as seen on Wundermap, which is burning just northwest of Colorado Springs, and is 5% contained. This fire has engulfed over 15,000 acres since it began on Saturday, as firefighters try to fight the blaze under weather conditions favorable for wildfires.

Debby Says Farewell

Tropical Depression Debby is in the Atlantic and moving further out to sea and rainfall is winding down. Over the past week, Debby has dropped more than 20 inches of rain over northern Florida, and widespread amounts of 10+ inches as far south as Port Charlotte. While still classified as tropical, Debby seems to be losing her tropical characteristics as it merges with the frontal boundary that guided it across Florida. The depression continues to be hammered by westerly wind shear, and could be classified as post-tropical or dissipate all together soon.

Figure 2. Rainfall accumulation over the past 7 days as of June 27. Debby has dropped more than 20 inches of rain over northern Florida, and widespread amounts of 10+ inches as far south as Port Charlotte. Image modified from NWS.

Meantime, in the main development region of the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center is giving an African easterly wave a 10% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours. This is the first main development region activity we've seen so far this season, though its peak usually doesn't happen until later in the Summer and early Fall. This wave is producing some thunderstorm activity which is visible on satellite, and it appears to have moderate mid-level circulation. Wind shear in the region is relatively low, only 10-15 knots, and the wave is moving into a more favorable wind shear zone, which will remain until it reaches the Lesser Antilles. The moisture in and around this wave is also relatively low. I would also put this wave's probability of development at minimal over the next few days.

Waldo Canyon Wildfire
Waldo Canyon Wildfire
Fire from the Waldo Canyon wildfire burns as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Gaylon Wampler)

Heat Fire Hurricane Extreme Weather

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1002. MTWX
Quoting OldLeatherneck:

Apparently, the website is overloaded. I was trying to access this site for 30 minutes before saw your post with your link.

The wildfire situation in Colorado is devastating. First, our thoughts and prayers must go to the many families who have lost their homes and precious treasures. Secondly, our thanks must go to the many brave firefighters who are risking life and limb to battle these blazes in the worst of conditions. Thirdly, we feel for the many business owners and workers in the many resort areas of the Rocky Mountains who are losing their sources of income.

Finally, anyone who thinks that the frequency and severity of these wildfires has no linkage to AGW or Climate Change is seriously deluded!

It's back up now.

Omg that are really high temperatures.
Debby better be reincarnated by the NHC at 5PM...

Warm core still (based on FSU phase diagram)

Round, tight low level circulation

Persistent convection near the center (admittedly not over, but closer than many times while she was over the Gulf)

And that talk of it being entangled in a front is foolish, if anything that washed out front is a divider on tropospheric moisture. Debby is not getting any baroclinic energy from it...

Thanks for the acknowledgement.

It's the end of another work day. Heading home now....will check in later in the p.m.to see what's up with the weather.
The blog jumped from 2137 thru 2138 to 2139. As it says on the top comment,
there's a New Blog... and it ain't this one, or at the next number for that matter