The National Weather Service in Tucson has issued a "red flag warning' - indicative of "critical fire weather conditions" - until 9 p.m. and for Friday from 10 a.m.to 7 p.m".
Highs will only make it into the low 40s with afternoon snow showers expected in the Denver metro area with blizzard conditions possible on the eastern Plains.
Our latest Colorado weather pattern is producing a triple threat of gusty winds, low humidity and warm temperatures. Any fires that develop could quickly burn out of control.
NAM model forecast relative humidity at 2 p.m. Three of the past four months have registered below-normal precipitation in Washington.
The strong winds will also keep temperatures well above average, reaching the upper 70s again on Thursday afternoon.
Friday afternoon will be cooler, but with another day of winds possibly gusting to 60 miles per hour, combined with dry air and fuels, it's again a day favorable for fire ignition. Such winds can fan the flames once a fire initiates.
Friday's winds will be from the west and will result in lower temps, staying in the 60s and even some 50s in the northwest.
For all of these reasons, which collectively prompted the red flag warning, the Weather Service and local emergency management officials are urging people to avoid outside burning and to properly dispose of cigarettes.