Flood Threat Shifts to Colorado, New Mexico

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
September 13, 2012; 3:40 AM ET
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Signs warn of the closed road as the usually dry Salt River overflows to the point of flooding several roads, including 67th Ave., after heavy rainfall has hit the metro area in recent days, Monday, March 8, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

While Southern California, Nevada and western Arizona trend toward drier conditions Wednesday, the risk of flash flooding will increase in Colorado and New Mexico.

Cities at risk for disruptive downpours and urban flooding include Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Vail, Aspen, Durango, Montrose and Alamosa in Colorado and Sante Fe, Albuquerque and Las Vegas, N.M.

Flash flooding will also be a threat into parts of southeastern Utah and eastern Arizona.

A moist and unsettled air mass will bubble into dangerous, slow-moving thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours.

In some areas, rainfall will exceed one inch or more in a couple of hours. Places that receive rainfall of this magnitude will have rapid flooding of small streams and normally dry washes.

Along steep canyons, ravines and mountainsides, dangerous mudflows and rockslides are possible.

If you will be driving though mountain and back country roads, hiking wilderness trails, camping or sightseeing, be prepared for flooding.

Be sure to have a plan of action and to let someone know which trails or roads you will be taking.

Keep a keen eye to the sky. Rapidly building clouds and thunder may be your only hint of what may soon follow.

Flood waters can travel a long distance from the origin of the rainfall through dry wash channels and stream/creek/river beds.

Aside from the dangers of flash flooding, the rainfall is greatly needed over the region. Downpours will shift toward Texas and Oklahoma to end the week, where rain is in tremendous need.

The same storm system will bring the first snow of the season to the Colorado high country.

Check back often with AccuWeather.com for the latest on this and for all your weather needs.

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