Be prepared for the weather and enjoy your Labor Day Weekend holiday. Weather changes quickly in the foothills, so watch the skies!
The next few days will be cloudy. However, it is still possible to get a sunburn on cloudy days. In fact 80% of UV radiation is able to break through on cloudy days, plenty of rays to burn the skin, especially in the foothills. Bring sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it often. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. Sunscreen can be water resistent for anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes, so apply often.
Temperatures will range in the mid to high 70s on Saturday and Sunday and reach 85 on Monday, so plan ahead for the heat. Take plenty of water along for your outdoor activities and stay hydrated.
Although it’s generally easy to gauge weather conditions at Horsetooth by looking to the west, if you’re concerned about current conditions, particularly as they relate to hiking, camping, and boating activities, call the Horsetooth Reservoir Hotline at 970-679-4554.
Weather conditions at Horsetooth Reservoir, and any other recreational area along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, are unpredictable and change quickly. Theses changes can be dangerous to boaters, swimmers, hikers, and campers. Watch for sudden cloud build-up, temperature drops, changes in wind direction, or the amount of wind you seem to be encountering during outdoor activities. These could be warning signs of dangerous weather approaching your area.
If you hear a distant rumble or crackling sound indicating the presence of lightning, you are already in danger. Lightning does not necessarily mean rain will follow, but it is a danger signal requiring action. If lightning is seen or heard near water areas, leave the water immediately and take shelter at least 100 feet from the shoreline, preferably in a car. Remember, trees and tents do not provide adequate shelter from lightning.
According to the NOAA, there are 25 million lightning flashes each year in the United States. Lightning kills more people each year than blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes. Flash floods are the only other natural disaster that competes with the deadly effects of lightning, only because floods can destroy entire towns within minutes. Lightning should never be ignored.
United States National Weather Service statistics show an averge of 55 people die from lightning strikes each year. According to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast office, Colorado is number 24 on the list of the most lightning strikes per state, but number 10 for casualty rates due to the large number of residents who hike, camp, swim and boat at recreational areas such as Horsetooth Reservoir.
Be aware and keep your family members safe over the Labor Day Weekend. The NOAA has these wise words of advice regarding lightning posted on their website: “When thunder roars, go indoors!”