Cliff Mass Weather Blog: The Colorado Wildfire and Global Warming: Is there a Connection?

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Last Thursday, December 30th, powerful downslope winds resulted in a massive grass fire that rapidly moved into neighborhoods around Superior, Colorado–a town between Denver and Boulder.

Driven by winds exceeding 100 mph that rushed down the eastern slopes of the Colorado Front Range, a fire initiated by humans moved rapidly towards populated areas, with roughly 1000 homes lost, a number of businesses destroyed or damaged, and two people unaccounted for.

Large areas of dry grass surrounded the burning homes and businesses of Superior, CO and nearby Louisville.


Within hours of the event, several media outlets including the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, National Public Radio, NBC News, and Axios (to name only a few), were making broad claims that the fires were the result of global warming (or “climate change” in the modern vernacular) or that global warming played a major role.

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