DENVER – When Denver topped 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon, it was the 30th day so far this year that temperatures have reached that level and the earliest in a year the KDEN weather station has ever seen that many 90-degree days, according to the National Weather Service.
Since the 30th 90-degree day happened on July 11, it beat the previous record of July 15, which was set in 2012—the drought-stricken year that brought the two most-destructive wildfires in state history, the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires.
And though monsoon moisture is expected to bring some much-needed rain to most of Colorado over the next few days, Thursday’s latest U.S. Drought Monitor update shows 40 percent of the state is experiencing extreme drought and 13 percent – mostly in southern Colorado – is experiencing exceptional drought, which is the most severe category handed out by the monitor.
Denver itself is classified as “abnormally dry” in the latest Drought Monitor update. But the heat has been prevalent: the city also tied its all-time record high of 105 degrees on June 28. The previous two record highs were both set in late June of 2012.
But Denverites and most people in Colorado will get a break over the next week. Monsoon moisture and fronts are expected to bring cooler temperatures and some heavy rain to much of the state through Saturday.