Storm Prediction Center Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook

Created: Wed Feb 22 19:51:03 UTC 2017 (20170222 2000Z Day 2 FireWX shapefile | 20170222 2000Z Day 2 FireWX KML)

Day 2 Fire Weather Forecast graphic
Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
Extreme 48,674 871,502 Lubbock, TX...Amarillo, TX...Roswell, NM...Clovis, NM...Plainview, TX...
Critical 184,948 2,601,978 El Paso, TX...Abilene, TX...Midland, TX...Odessa, TX...Las Cruces, NM...

Click for Day 2 FireWX Areal Outline Product (KWNSPFWFD2)

   ZCZC SPCFWDDY2 ALL
   FNUS22 KWNS 221946

   Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook  
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   0146 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

   Valid 231200Z - 241200Z

   ...EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR THE PLAINS OF EASTERN
   NEW MEXICO NORTHEAST INTO NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA AND FAR SOUTHWEST
   KANSAS...
   ...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST ARIZONA
   NORTHEAST INTO SOUTHEAST COLORADO AND SOUTHWEST KANSAS...INCLUDING
   MUCH OF WEST TEXAS AND PARTS OF WESTERN OKLAHOMA...

   Potential remains for a very active fire-weather day on Thursday. 

   Latest guidance continues to indicate a deepening surface low will
   move east out of southeast Colorado into southwest Kansas during the
   afternoon. As this occurs, a strengthening 850-millibar low will aid
   the rapid increase of westerly low-level flow across much of New
   Mexico, west Texas, far western Oklahoma, southeast Colorado, and
   southwest Kansas. This strong westerly low-level flow will help mix
   a dryline east into western/central Oklahoma. To the west of the
   dryline, the low-level thermal ridge should become established from
   the Big Bend area of Texas northward to very near the Oklahoma-Texas
   Panhandle border. Along and west of the low-level thermal ridge,
   afternoon relative humidity should fall below 15% across much of the
   critical area.

   Within the broader critical area, a belt of enhanced
   850-700-millibar flow will become established along the general
   corridor from eastern New Mexico north-northeast into far southeast
   Colorado and southwest Kansas. Within this broader zone, vertical
   mixing will allow this 850-700-millibar flow to mix down to the
   surface, supporting wind speeds potentially in excess of 35 miles
   per hour with gusts locally approaching 50-60 miles per hour.
   Therefore, after collaborating with the local National Weather
   Service Forecast Offices across the southern Plains, have opted to
   expand the extremely-critical area to the south toward Midland,
   Texas; northwest into southeast Colorado; and northeast into far
   northwest Oklahoma and southwest Kansas.

   In addition to the critical and extremely critical fire-weather
   areas to the west, another region of concern may develop across
   portions of eastern Oklahoma. Numerical guidance suggests a very
   strong southerly low-level jet may develop by late afternoon.
   Although minimum relative-humidity values may only fall between
   30-40%, the strength of the low-level flow may support strong, gusty
   surface winds. Since fuels in this area are very dry given the
   long-term drought have pulled the elevated fire-weather area east
   across Oklahoma to encompass this potential threat.

   ..Marsh.. 02/22/2017

   .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0156 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017/

   ...Synopsis...
   An extensive zone of broadly cyclonic and strong midlevel flow will
   overlie the Southwest and South-Central States, which will be
   reinforced by multiple shortwave impulses advancing through the
   flow. A surface cyclone is forecast to deepen on its track along a
   frontal zone from eastern CO to KS, before it advances to the middle
   Mississippi Valley. A dryline extending south of the cyclone will
   sharpen and move eastward over parts of the Great Plains. A cold
   front trailing to the west/southwest of the low will spread
   southeastward across parts of the Plains during the evening and
   overnight hours. Deep vertical mixing into the strong flow aloft
   west of the dryline and south of the front, along with ample
   downslope-flow-enhanced warming/drying, will greatly increase
   fire-weather potential across portions of the Southwest States to
   the central and southern Great Plains.

   ...Portions of the Southwest States to the central and southern
   Great Plains...
   Across the Extremely Critical area, west-southwesterly to westerly
   winds of 30-35 mph are forecast to combine with RH of 8-10 percent
   during the afternoon as temperatures rise into the upper 60s to the
   70s. These very strong downslope winds will support the very low RH
   given the dry antecedent upstream air mass over the southern Rockies
   (observed precipitable water around 0.25 inch), and especially given
   poor RH recovery Wednesday night. Critical conditions could develop
   by late morning on Thursday, before extremely critical conditions
   develop during the afternoon. The presence of very dry fuels further
   supports the Extremely Critical designation.

   Across the surrounding Critical area, southwesterly to westerly
   winds of 20-30 mph are forecast to combine with RH of 10-15 percent
   (except 15-20 percent across far eastern parts of the Critical
   area).

   Within the surrounding Elevated area, elevated to borderline-
   critical fire-weather conditions are expected. However, critical
   fire-weather conditions are not expected to occur on any more than a
   brief/spotty basis.

   Across portions of the central/southern Plains, a wind shift to
   northwesterly is forecast to occur in association with the passage
   of the cold front during the evening and overnight hours, which
   could re-direct any ongoing fires.

   Uncertainty regarding the eventual positions of the aforementioned
   dryline and front attendant to the surface cyclone extend to the
   northern and eastern bounds of, especially, the Critical area. The
   progressive wave pattern aloft should tend to be associated with an
   overall eastward advance of the dryline, though adjustments to areal
   delineations of fire-weather highlights may be necessary in
   subsequent outlooks.

   ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product...

      

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