DENVER — Temperatures soared to 101 degrees in Denver Tuesday afternoon, way above the average high of 83 degrees for mid-June and blowing away the old record of 97 degrees, set on June 15, 1993.
The heat has been severe statewide with readings at or over 100 degrees across the eastern plains as well as out west in the Grand Valley around Grand Junction.
Only a couple thunderstorms managed to pop up in the withering heat. One produced golfball sized hail in central Elbert County around 4 PM. The few storms will end early tonight.
Smoke and haze from western wildfires is entering Colorado and will create colorful sunrises and sunsets over the next few days, but will also limited visibility. An Ozone Alert is also in effect along the Front Range. Low level ozone is a lung irritant, those with heart or respiratory issues should limit physical activity outdoors.
More extreme heat and few cooling thunderstorms are in store for Wednesday.The record high for Denver for June 16 is 96 degrees (in 2020), so this heatwave will be one for the record books.
Conditions will begin to improve starting Thursday as temperatures will be a little less hot and rain chances will begin to increase. By the end of the week and over the weekend, cooler weather and a better chance for thunderstorms can be expected.
It is a good thing our spring has been so wet over the eastern half of the state — drought conditions have pretty much ended for now. Western Colorado has not been as lucky and remains very dry. We are expecting dangerous fire conditions for western Colorado this week.
At the Denver International Airport, the total precipitation since Jan. 1 is about 10.5 inches — and that's a little over 4 inches above normal for the year to date.
The latest index shows drought-free conditions from Denver to Cheyenne and across northeast Colorado. Southeastern Colorado has also improved with nearly drought-free conditions around Pueblo. Western and central Colorado still need a lot of moisture to break free of the drought.
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