Remnants of Tropical Storm Rosa brought soggy weather this week to Southwest Colorado, and more may be on the way, although the moisture will be coming from the northwest.
A flash-flood watch was issued until 9 a.m. Wednesday for the region, and meteorologists were particularly concerned about areas near the 416 Fire burn scar, said Norv Larson, a meteorologist.
Heavy downpours had not hit the region as of Tuesday evening, but the flood risk was expected to persist until Wednesday morning, he said.
The path of Tropical Storm Rosa and its heavy moisture was unclear for several days as it moved up from the southwest, but ultimately, it split over Utah and southern Colorado, he said.
“It’s been a pretty decent soaking rain for most of western Colorado,” he said.
An area 5 miles southwest of Hermosa received about 0.35 inches of rain as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Durango received 0.18 inches of rain and Silverton received 0.78 inches of rain, Larson said.
Tropical storms are expected to be replaced in coming days by storms from the northwest that could bring a chance for snow in the mountains, he said.
“The systems don’t even clear out before the next one shows up,” Larson said.
There could be periods of sunshine, but he doesn’t expect the area to dry out.
Grand Junction tied the record for driest September on record with only a trace of precipitation recorded for the month. Normal for the month is 1.19". However, a more active pattern is developing for the area for the week ahead. #WXCO #WXUT pic.twitter.com/bYnDSn1vA5— NWS Grand Junction (@NWSGJT) October 1, 2018
La Plata County officials and the National Weather Service were working together to track the potential flood risk, said Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County’s Office of Emergency Management.
He expected most residents near the burn scar to be notified of potential flooding through the county’s CodeRED alert system or the National Weather Service.
Private homes are more protected now from flood risk than they were earlier this summer because homeowners have cleared ravines and put in berms and other defensive elements around structures, he said.
Knowlton also expected residents to be vigilant and more educated because of flooding earlier this year.
While the storms are bringing welcome moisture to the area, it will not be enough to change drought conditions, Larson said.
“It’s going to take a solid winter and a lot more rain to mitigate this drought,” he said.
email@example.comThe Associated Press contributed to this report.