A lack of drenching rainfall could continue through much of the summer over Colorado and neighboring areas, adding to wildfire woes.
While there has been some thunderstorm activity of late in the region, not enough rain will fall over a broad enough area to significantly impact tinder-dry conditions.
In many cases the storms have brought and will continue to bring little or no rainfall in the weeks ahead.
The air over the region is much too dry to allow the rain falling at cloud level in the storm to reach the ground.
What happens is that the evaporating rain cools the air, which then races to the ground in the form of strong gusts. In turn, the gusty winds generated nearby from the storms fan the flames of existing fires, while lightning strikes from the storms threaten to start new fires.
According to Paul Pastelok, head of AccuWeather.com's Long Range Experts, "It appears the zone of high pressure over the region now will last through much of July and could continue through much of August."
Pastelok pointed out that some moisture will continue and may increase over the Southwest in general in the coming weeks, but it will tend to "go around" rather than through most of Colorado.
Pastelok is referring to the phenomenon known to locals as the monsoon, which brings more humid air up from Mexico, and produces thunderstorm activity.
"It is possible a non-monsoon feature with a more liberal amount of showers and thunderstorms may swing from Texas to New Mexico next week, but only the southern part of Colorado would be grazed," Pastelok said.
Otherwise, the region will have to wait until the high pressure area breaks down or shifts position and shorter days with lower sun intensity assist with matters.
While temperatures will occasionally throttle back in coming weeks, the overall massive heat pump will remain in place over Colorado through the middle of summer.
Even in areas that manage to get a couple of rainfalls of 0.10 of an inch from one of the spotty thunderstorms the next week or so, long sun-filled days and evaporation rates of 0.25 to 0.50 of an inch per day will rapidly trump rainfall.
Nebraska National Guard crewmembers dump water from a Bambi bucket onto flames of the High Park fire, in Larimer County, Colo., on June 18, 2012.
The National Guard/Flickr
Manhattanhenge occurs four times a year: twice in the summer during the setting sun and twice in the winter during the rising sun.
The wet pattern in the southern Plains over the past several weeks has nearly eliminated drought conditions across the region.
Severe storms ripped across Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, leaving destruction and death in their wake as the extended Memorial Day weekend came to a close.
A tornado struck a drilling rig in Canadian, Texas, Wednesday night and caused several injuries.
California is in the grips of a four-year drought, and conditions are worsening in Washington and Oregon.
Mount Shindake erupted for the second time in the last nine months on Friday, according to the Global Volcanism Project at the Smithsonian Institution.
Yuma, AZ (1877)
Severe two-day sandstorm.
Area from Wallace to Kearney counties: a great hailstorm caused $6 million damage.
Ohio Valley (1982)
Severe thunderstorms: Tornado in Marion, IL killed 12, caused $100 million damage. Columbus, OH had a wind gust to 76 mph. Louisville, KY pelted by hail 2" in diameter.