Why Are There So Many Flash Flood Warnings This Year In Colorado?
It may seem like there has been a flash flood warning every other hour for the past two weeks. With the Poudre Canyon flood and the mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, all of Colorado has been on high alert for the National Weather Service warnings.
So, why does it feel like there have been so many alerts this year compared to others? Well, because there has.
According to a chart from the National Weather Service covering flash flood warning counts over the years in Colorado, 2021 has the highest number of alerts over the last 24 years.
In 2021, in just seven months, 259 flash flood warning alerts have been sent out. The second-highest year of alerts was 2013 with 176. With the chart measuring throughout the entire year, 2021 is well ahead in marking a record number of alerts.
With the Cameron Peak Fire amassing over 200,000 acres of burn area in 2020, making it by far the largest wildfire in Colorado history, it's only fitting that that record is one of the main reasons for the flash flood warning record as well.
Between the burn scars from Cameron Peak and monsoon season in Colorado, flash floods are at the forefront of concerns. According to Western Water Assessment, there have been 531 flood-related deaths in Colorado since 1864. That is not including the three people who tragically lost their lives in the 2021 Poudre Canyon Flood in July.
Remember, your best chance against a flood is using preventative measures to be prepared in an instant. During a flash flood warning, stay informed by checking in with National Weather Service alerts, getting to higher ground when possible, evacuating when told, and avoiding floodwaters.
You can learn more about flood preparedness and safety here.