Denver weather: Heavy rain expected, raising flood risks across Colorado

The foggy, humid weather reducing visibility Friday morning in metro Denver will shift in the afternoons and evenings to stormier conditions, bringing waves of potentially intense rain and raising flood risks as saturated soil cannot easily absorb more water — a pattern expected to persist Saturday before a warming trend kicks in Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather service officials issued a flood watch, effective from noon through 10 p.m., covering metro Denver and most of Colorado’s Front Range along with the southeastern high plains. Rivers and streams were running high and fast as rain adds to flows from melting mountain snowpack.

The rain storms developing over the mountains Friday morning mean elevated flood risks in the canyons and foothills northwest of Denver where the Cameron Peak and East Troublesom fires ravaged vegetation, creating scars prone to erosion. Exceptionally heavy rain was expected in the Palmer Divide area between Denver and Colorado Springs where the strongest thunderstorms often hit.

Rain may fall at rates up to 3 inches in an hour Friday afternoon and evening, forecasters said. East of metro Denver on the high plains south of Limon and Kiowa, a couple of severe storms have the potential to drop large hail “up to golfball size,” forecasters said. That flood watch could convert to flood warnings of imminent intense impact where heavy rain likely would cause rising water levels and inundate farm fields, low-lying areas, and roads. Weather service officials advised residents to watch for weather bulletins and avoid walking or driving through flooded terrain.

The government meteorologists estimated the likelihood of rain in metro Denver and along the Interstate 25 corridor at 80% on Friday, decreasing to 50% on Saturday, before the relatively cool and unsettled conditions begin to shift toward drier and warmer weather associated with summer.

The high temperature in Denver will be 64 degrees on Friday, increasing to 70 degrees on Saturday and 84 degrees and Sunday — before reaching 88 degrees on Monday, forecasters said. At night, the temperatures through the weekend are expected to hover around 50 degrees.

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