Breaking News
More () »

Heat dome responsible for weekend heat records

A large area of high pressure is often called a ridge, but can also be called a heat dome.

DENVER — A very large area of high pressure is building in for the weekend. Record heat is likely in several states, including Colorado.

You’ll often hear this called a ridge of high pressure because it’s shaped like a mountain on the weather map.

It is also sometimes called a heat dome.

Inside that dome, the air is sinking which causes warming and drying due to air compression. Extreme heat builds and builds as the air becomes trapped in the dome.

Sometimes on a hot day, thunderstorms build up and remove some of the heat from the air. Convection is Mother Nature's way of transporting excess heat from the surface back up into the atmosphere, but that process doesn't work very well in a heat dome. 

With the dry air in place and the high pressure pressing down, those storms are not able to rise. It's usually clear and sunny under a heat dome.  

Record heat will be possible in Denver. 99 or 100 degrees on Saturday would top the record of 98, last set in 2021. And several computer models are showing the temperature tying the record of 102 degrees on Sunday.

Credit: KUSA

Several other Colorado heat records could also fall on Saturday. The records are quite a bit higher on Sunday, but more records could get broken or tied that day too.

Sometimes the added heat can help reinforce the heat dome, causing it to last several days. Fortunately in this case, a cold front is forecast to bust this one up by Monday.

Credit: KUSA

RELATED: Heat Advisory issued for Front Range for Saturday; weekend heat wave could spike temperatures to over 100 degrees

RELATED: Why heat advisories are so rare in Colorado

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Climate  

Before You Leave, Check This Out