DENVER — It's probably not a record Colorado wanted to set, but it's also probably not all that surprising either.
With a statewide total of 259 Flash Flood Warnings across the state through Tuesday, Colorado has a new short-term record of the most year-to-date Flash Flood Warnings, according to the National Weather Service.
Flash Flood Warning statistics date back to 1997, so the new year-to-date record is 24 years old, making it a relatively 'young' record compared to other climate statistics.
But, it completely shattered the previous record of 176 year-to-date Flash Flood Warnings, which was set back in 2013 (and also came on the heels of a big wildfire year in 2012, similar to this year).
The National Weather Service issues Flash Flood Warnings. As a reminder, a Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is already happening or about to, while a Flash Flood Watch means that conditions could lead to flooding.
This year has featured an exceptionally busy monsoon season, with regular rounds of showers and thunderstorms, particularly in the mountains. That seemingly non-stop moisture combined with multiple huge burn scars across the state is the primary driver behind many of the Flash Flood Warnings.
Perhaps more importantly, though, it's the combination of last year's record wildfire season combined with this year's busy spring and monsoon seasons that's led to such regular rounds of flash flooding across the state.
In particular, it's the Grizzly Creek, East Troublesome, Cameron Peak and Williams Fork wildfire burn scars that have prompted numerous rounds of flash flooding and, ultimately, Flash Flood Warnings.
Due to all of the rain we've seen so far this year and the typically lengthy recovery process for wildfire burn scars, it may be several years until burn scar-related flooding stops in those particular areas.