Rifle in the crosshairs as heatwave blasts Garfield County | PostIndependent.com

Rifle in the crosshairs as heatwave blasts Garfield County

Twelve-year-old Lochlan Martens swims back to shore after floating a couple hundred feet down the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood on Monday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A heat wave is expected for Garfield County through the weekend, with temperatures reaching upwards of 100 degrees in the western region of the county.

“We have a large area of high pressure that’s dominating over all of the West,” said Michael Charnick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

“The result of that is there is very hot weather that has developed over the western United States.

Charnick said the drought conditions have aided in the heat being warmer than normal.

“Since the soil is so dry there’s not a lot of moisture to temper the heat,” Charnick said.

“If you’re outside doing any work or recreating, make sure you drink plenty of water and take plenty of breaks in the shade.”

That’s exactly what Lorie Meals is doing with her family while on vacation from Wisconsin.

Meals was at Two Rivers Park where she and friends were beating the heat by the Colorado River.

“We’re just at the river hanging out with our feet in the water here in the sun,” Meals said.

“There’s just something about keeping your feet in the water that seems to cool off the rest of the system. Sometimes there’s intermittent splashing. It’s fairly unpredictable.”

Eight-year-old Regan Smith cools off in the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood on Monday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Julie Martens and Jamie Smith, both of Glenwood Springs, were relaxing by the Roaring Fork River as their sons, Regan Smith and Lochlan Martens, played in the water.

Jamie Smith said the high temperatures seem to be becoming the norm these days.

Visitors from Wisconsin play in the Colorado River to keep cool at Two Rivers Park.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“When we grew up in this valley, I don’t remember it getting up to the 100s or being this extreme,” Smith said. “We just try to keep them in the water or in the shade,” Smith said of the youngsters.

Here’s the forecast for three towns in Garfield County, all of which will be experiencing high temperatures in the upper 90s to 100s for the first half of the week.


“Rifle is going to be hotter for sure,” Charnick said.

Tuesday’s high is expected to be 105, with highs in the 100s through Thursday.

Friday is expected to reach the upper 90s.

Glenwood Springs

Charnick said temperatures in Glenwood Springs will be in the upper 90s throughout the week.


Carbondale is expected to be a little cooler, Charnick said.

“But not by much,” he added.

Temperatures will reach the upper 90s Tuesday and Wednesday.

By the numbers…

Forecast highs:


Monday: 95

Tuesday: 97

Wednesday: 96


Monday: 95

Tuesday: 97

Wednesday: 96


Monday: 100

Tuesday: 105

Wednesday: 102

How to stay safe during a heat wave:

Outdoor Activities

• Those particularly vulnerable to heat such as children, infants, older adults (especially those who have preexisting diseases, take certain medications, living alone or with limited mobility), those with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.

• Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.

• Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.

Eating and Drinking

• Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

• Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Cooling Down

• Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.

• Take a cool bath or shower.

Check on Others

• Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat.

• Don’t leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cell phones and gps units, sitting in hot cars.

• Make sure rooms are well vented if you are using volatile chemicals.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-during

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.

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