Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week In Review

Thank you to our Colorado Forecast Offices:
  • Boulder/Denver
  • Grand Junction
  • Pueblo
  • Goodland
The warning coordination officers from each of our Colorado Forecast Offices have provided daily blogs this week to help our Colorado community prepare for severe weather hazards. 

Visit our READYColorado site for a final week in review blog for Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week.

BLM planning prescribed burn south of Kremmling

Federal fire officials are planning to conduct a 125-acre prescribed burn Monday, April 21 if weather conditions remain favorable.

 

“We will only ignite the fire if weather and vegetation moisture are within the prescribed parameters,” said Fuels Specialist Keven Thompson. “We had planned to conduct this burn earlier this month, but did not when the wind speed exceeded the prescription for this fire.”

 

The Junction Butte prescribed fire area is east of U.S. Highway 9 and north of Grand County Road 33 on Bureau of Land Management public land.

 

Smoke will be visible from Kremmling, GCR 33 and U.S. Highways 40 and 9.  Duration of the project is expected to beone or two days.

 

Goals for this project are to improve waterfowl habitat, increase forage for elk and deer, and open irrigation ditches to allow water flow to wetland areas.  Removal of old, dense vegetation will open the ditches and overgrown wetland areas and promote regeneration of grasses.

 

Burn plans have been prepared and approved and ignition takes place when weather and ground conditions are within specifically determined parameters that allow for safe and efficient operations. All required permits have been issued by the Colorado State Air Quality.

 

For more information contact Kevin Thompson970-724-3033, BLM Kremmling Field Office.


Colorado Daily Status Report April 18


View or download the full Colorado Daily Status Report for April 18, 2014.

When Thunder Roars Go Indoors: Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week

Thunderstorms produce some of the most dangerous weather on earth including tornadoes, flash floods, large hail and destructive straight-line winds. However, the most dangerous aspect of thunderstorms in Colorado is usually lightning.

Since 1980, lightning has killed and injured more people in Colorado than any other thunderstorm hazard with an average of three fatalities and 13 injuries each year. These numbers are probably higher as studies indicate that many lightning casualties, especially injuries, are not reported. In 2013, there were no documented lightning fatalities in Colorado. However, 22 people were struck by lightning within the state and all survived.

In addition to producing human casualties lightning also ignites most forest and rangeland fires in the centennial state. Many of these wildfires occur when lightning is generated from thunderstorms which produce little or no rainfall. This type of lightning is commonly referred to as dry lightning.

The safest thing for you to do if you are outside and lightning or thunder begins to occur is to immediately get inside a substantial building such as a house, a store or a church. A hard-topped vehicle such as a car or truck also offer excellent protection from lightning. Once inside a substantial building or hard topped vehicle keep all windows and doors closed and do not touch any metal inside the vehicle. It is then recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes from the last rumble of thunder before returning outside.

A recent lightning safety study has shown that 95 percent of the people who were struck by lightning while outdoors had a nearby substantial building or vehicle nearby. Remember, there is no safe place outdoors when lightning is occurring. Do not seek shelter under picnic shelters, dugouts, porches, tree, carports or tents. These types of structures are not safe when lightning is occurring.

Once inside a substantial building, stay off corded telephones and away from electrical appliances since the electrical discharge can travel along the telephone lines and electrical wires to produce fatal results. Stay away from water such as showers, tubs and sinks. Even indoor swimming pools are not safe when lightning is occurring. It is also recommended that you unplug sensitive electronics such as computers when lightning is expected to occur nearby.

The best defense to protect yourself against a lightning strike is to plan ahead and avoid being caught where you might be vulnerable. Check the weather forecasts prior to venturing out especially if you are heading into the mountains. Plan your outdoor activities for early in the day before thunderstorms typically develop. Stay tuned to NOAA all hazards weather radio and check the national weather service forecasts at www.weather.gov.

It is very important that all sports leagues and other outdoor groups have a lightning response plan that is understood and consistently applied for the safety of the participants. Part of the plan would include a designated weather watcher at each outdoor event with the authority to postpone or cancel the event due to the threat of lightning.

Remember, if thunderstorms threaten seek shelter in a substantial building or in an enclosed metal roof vehicle.

For more information on lightning safety please check out the web site www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

For more information about lightning in Colorado please go to the Colorado lightning resource webpage at www.weather.gov/pub/ltg.php.