Due to forecasts of snow, a strong cold front and a hard freeze, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook Wednesday for most of the state.
Snow is forecast for today across the Decker Fire area and Salida, but accumulation is expected to be small.
One to 2 inches of snow could fall over the fire area, Kathy Torgerson of the National Weather Service said.
In the higher elevations, some areas could see 3 inches.
Tonight, Torgerson said, temperatures in the Decker Fire area will be in the teens.
Salida will likely see snow showers today, and the chance of precipitation is 70 percent, the Weather Service predicts.
However, snow accumulation in Salida will be “more of a trace of snow,” Torgerson said.
New snow accumulation amounts of less than a half inch are possible today in Salida.
Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies, a high near 41, a low near 14 and winds of 15-20 mph in the afternoon.
A hard freeze is expected across all of southern Colorado tonight, which Torgerson said would carry some of the lowest temperatures of the season so far.
In high terrain temperatures could be in the single digits.
A 30 percent chance of snow showers will exist in late afternoon for Salida, lasting until 9 p.m.
Tonight in Poncha Springs the low will be near 9 degrees, Torgerson said.
One of the major dangers of the low temperatures is the effect they will have on vegetation.
Trees, Torgerson said, can be shocked by the sudden change from warm to cold weather and can be damaged.
In preparation for the coming hard freeze, today is a good day to prepare some of your plants for winter or cold weather conditions.
Colorado State University Extension in Garfield County released a checklist with several important points for winterizing a garden.
Some suggestions provided by the extension include removing annuals after they have bloomed and using plant wraps to protect younger perennials from hungry deer searching for food throughout the winter.
Sensitive plants should be protected from the wind and cold.
Plants still require watering throughout the winter, which may require hand-watering.
Another concern of low temperatures is irrigation systems or water pipes.
Make sure that irrigation systems have been “blown out” or drained to avoid freezing or thawing damage, the extension cautioned.
However, snow won’t be around long, according to the forecast.
Salida’s forecast for Friday calls for sunny skies, and throughout the weekend sunny skies are predicted with highs in the 60s and lows in the 20s.