DENVER -- The long stretch of abundant sunshine, above-average temperatures and bone-dry conditions will continue in the Denver metro area and along the Front Range on Thursday.
Highs will surge to the low 70s from Denver to Boulder to Fort Collins as high pressure continues to dominate the state in what has turned out to be an abnormally dry winter.
The record high for Thursday is 77, set in 1972 and 1989.
The Front Range will be bathed in sunshine mixed with wave clouds.
The fire danger again will be high for the northeastern Plains with gusty northwest winds and low relative humidity.
Sustained wins of 15-25 mph with gusts from 30-40 mph will kick up in the afternoon, with the strongest winds near the borders of Wyoming and Nebraska.
A red flag warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Front Range and northeastern Plains, including Denver, the National Weather Service said.
Winds will gust to 30-60 mph in the mountains, where sunshine mixed with wave clouds will spike temperatures into the 40s and 50s.
A cold front will drop temperatures on Friday across the Front Range and bring more clouds, but no moisture, which is badly needed.
Denver has received only 1.6 inches of snow in the past 52 days and only 19.3 inches all season. The normal total snowfall for mid-March is more than 40 inches.
Another cold front will roll through the mountains and the Front Range over the weekend, but again, no moisture. It will be partly to mostly sunny with a high of 60 in Denver.
There will be more cloud cover on Sunday with a third dry cold front with a high of 65 and winds kicking up again.