Storm Prediction Center Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook

Created: Thu Feb 18 16:48:03 UTC 2016 (20160218 1700Z Day 1 FireWX shapefile | 20160218 1700Z Day 1 FireWX KML)

Day 1 Fire Weather Forecast graphic
Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
Extreme 76,671 754,571 Amarillo, TX...Hutchinson, KS...Garden City, KS...Dodge City, KS...Liberal, KS...
Critical 279,530 12,984,673 Oklahoma City, OK...Albuquerque, NM...Kansas City, MO...Tulsa, OK...Wichita, KS...

Click for Day 1 FireWX Areal Outline Product

   ZCZC SPCFWDDY1 ALL
   FNUS21 KWNS 181643

   DAY 1 FIRE WEATHER OUTLOOK  
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1043 AM CST THU FEB 18 2016

   VALID 181700Z - 191200Z

   ...EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN
   AND CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS...
   ...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR LOCATIONS SURROUNDING THE EXTREME
   AREA...EXTENDING FROM THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES EASTWARD TO NORTHWESTERN
   AR AND WESTERN MO...

   MORNING OBSERVATIONS SUGGEST A SIGNIFICANT FIRE-WX EVENT IS
   UNFOLDING ACROSS A LARGE AREA OF THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS
   TODAY. 12Z RAOBS DEPICTED STRONG SWLY FLOW /UPWARDS OF 50 KTS AROUND
   850-700 MB/ AND A DRY AIR MASS /E.G. PW VALUES AROUND 0.2-0.25
   INCHES/ ESTABLISHED ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL
   PLAINS. AS DIURNAL MIXING DEEPENS FURTHER AND DOWNSLOPING SWLY FLOW
   STRENGTHENS ACROSS THE REGION...RH VALUES LESS THAN 10-15 PERCENT
   AND SUSTAINED WINDS OVER 25-30 MPH ARE EXPECTED FROM PORTIONS OF
   EASTERN NM NORTHEASTWARD TO CENTRAL KS. AS SUCH...LITTLE CHANGES ARE
   MADE TO THE ONGOING EXTREME AREA...AS THE POTENTIAL FOR RAPID FIRE
   SPREAD WILL BE QUITE HIGH TODAY.

   ELSEWHERE...WHILE MODEST LOW-LEVEL MOIST ADVECTION IS ONGOING ACROSS
   PORTIONS OF NORTH TX INTO SOUTHERN OK...CRITICAL/ELEVATED FIRE-WX
   CONDITIONS ARE STILL ANTICIPATED. ALTHOUGH RH VALUES WILL LIKELY NOT
   REACH STRICT CRITERIA ACROSS THIS AREA...AN ABUNDANCE OF DRY FUELS
   WILL COMBINE WITH ENHANCED SLY FLOW TO INCREASE THE FIRE-WX THREAT
   SUFFICIENTLY. THIS REASONING IS SUPPORTED BY THE RAPID FIRE SPREAD
   NOTED ACROSS THE REGION OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS...DESPITE MARGINAL
   METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS.

   ACROSS MUCH OF KS BACK INTO THE OK PANHANDLE/NRN TX PANHANDLE...THE
   THREAT FOR RAPID FIRE-SPREAD MAY CONTINUE WELL INTO THE OVERNIGHT
   HOURS...AS STRONG LOW-LEVEL FLOW IS MAINTAINED AND RH RECOVERY IS
   POOR /VALUES GENERALLY REMAINING BELOW 30 PERCENT/.

   ..PICCA/NAUSLAR.. 02/18/2016

   .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0319 AM CST THU FEB 18 2016/

   ...SYNOPSIS...
   --- WIDESPREAD CRITICAL TO EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE-WEATHER
   CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL AND
   SOUTH-CENTRAL UNITED STATES TODAY ---

   EARLY THIS MORNING...MOISTURE-CHANNEL IMAGERY DEPICTS A DEEP CYCLONE
   NEARING THE WRN CONUS COAST...WITH ATTENDANT STRONG MID-LEVEL FLOW
   OVERSPREADING MUCH OF THE WRN CONUS. THE CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO
   DEVOLVE INTO AN OPEN-WAVE PERTURBATION AS IT TRACKS INLAND/EWD
   THROUGH THE PERIOD. AN ACCOMPANYING MID-LEVEL WIND-SPEED MAXIMUM
   WILL EXTEND E OF THE CNTRL/SRN ROCKIES...SUPPORTING LARGE-SCALE AND
   STRONG DOWNSLOPE FLOW ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE GREAT PLAINS. AS A
   RESULT...STRONG LEE SFC TROUGHING WILL MATERIALIZE ACROSS THE HIGH
   PLAINS...YIELDING A TIGHT PRESSURE GRADIENT OVER MUCH OF THE GREAT
   PLAINS. A CORE OF 700-MB WLY WINDS OF 50-60 MPH IS FORECAST TO
   EXTEND E OF THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS AND VICINITY...WITH
   DOWNSTREAM VERTICAL MIXING EXPECTED TO EXTEND TO NEAR OR ABOVE THIS
   PRESSURE LEVEL EWD INTO PORTIONS OF CNTRL KS AND NWRN OK.

   THE OVERALL LARGE-SCALE PATTERN WILL FOSTER WIDESPREAD DOWNSLOPE
   TRAJECTORIES ACROSS THE PLAINS...WITH RELATED WARMING/DRYING ACROSS
   THE HIGHLIGHTED FIRE-WEATHER AREAS. MUCH-ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES
   ARE EXPECTED...WITH NEAR-RECORD/RECORD-EXCEEDING READINGS
   ANTICIPATED IN SOME LOCATIONS. GPS DATA ACROSS THE SRN/CNTRL ROCKIES
   AND VICINITY INDICATE PW AOB ONE-QUARTER INCH...CHARACTERISTIC OF
   VERY DRY CONDITIONS THAT WILL SPREAD DOWNSTREAM. THIS FORECAST
   CONTINUES TO RELY HEAVILY ON OBSERVATIONAL DATA/ANALYSIS...ALONG
   WITH RAP MODEL OUTPUT THAT IMPLIES SFC WARMING/MIXING AT THE HIGH
   END OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE. THIS ACKNOWLEDGES AN UNDERFORECAST
   BIAS WITH RESPECT TO SFC TEMPERATURES/VERTICAL MIXING AMONGST AN
   ABUNDANCE OF OTHER NUMERICAL MODEL GUIDANCE /DETERMINISTIC AND
   ENSEMBLE/ WITH THE STRONG INFLUENCE OF LARGER-SCALE DOWNSLOPE FLOW.
   RECENT COMPARISONS OF OBSERVED TO MODEL SFC TEMPERATURES/RH AT PEAK
   HEATING REVEAL THE EFFECTS OF THESE BIASES.

   ...PORTIONS OF THE SW DESERTS EWD ACROSS MUCH OF THE CNTRL/SRN GREAT
   PLAINS TO PARTS OF MO AND AR...
   ...EXTREMELY CRITICAL AREA...
   SUSTAINED SWLY TO WLY SFC WINDS OF 30-35 MPH WITH GUSTS REACHING
   45-55 MPH -- LOCALLY STRONGER -- ARE FORECAST TO COINCIDE WITH RH
   VALUES FROM 4 TO 10 PERCENT ACROSS MUCH OF THE EXTREMELY CRITICAL
   AREA /EXCEPT FROM 8 TO 13 PERCENT ACROSS PARTS OF CNTRL/S-CNTRL KS
   AND NWRN OK OUTSIDE OF THE OK PANHANDLE/. THIS WILL OCCUR AS SFC
   TEMPERATURES RISE INTO THE 80S. THESE TEMPERATURES WILL SUPPORT DEEP
   VERTICAL MIXING INTO THE CORE OF STRONGEST MID-LEVEL WINDS...WITH
   THE TOP OF MIXED LAYERS EXTENDING TO NEAR OR PERHAPS ABOVE THE
   700-MB LEVEL IN MANY INSTANCES. GIVEN THE ABUNDANCE OF VERY DRY FINE
   FUELS ACROSS THE REGION OWING TO A DEARTH OF RECENT PRECIPITATION...
   THE POTENTIAL FOR DANGEROUSLY RAPID FIRE SPREAD WILL EXIST. THE
   LATEST RAP GUIDANCE IMPLIES THESE CONDITIONS EXTENDING FARTHER N
   ACROSS PARTS OF SERN CO...AND FARTHER N/NE ACROSS PARTS OF CNTRL KS
   THAN PREVIOUSLY OUTLINED...WARRANTING EXPANSION OF THE EXTREMELY
   CRITICAL AREA IN THESE AREAS.

   ...SURROUNDING CRITICAL AREA -- HIGH PLAINS AND WEST...
   SUSTAINED SWLY TO WLY SFC WINDS AROUND 20-30 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS
   WILL COMBINE WITH RH AROUND 5-15 PERCENT TO SUPPORT THE CRITICAL
   DESIGNATION. THIS WILL OCCUR AS TEMPERATURES RISE INTO THE 70S AND
   80S SUPPORTING DEEP VERTICAL MIXING INTO ENHANCED FLOW ALOFT...
   PERIPHERAL TO THE CORE OF THE STRONGEST MID-LEVEL WINDS. THE LATEST
   NUMERICAL MODEL GUIDANCE OFFERS GREATER CONFIDENCE THAT THESE
   CONDITIONS WILL OVERLIE AREAS OF DRY FUELS FARTHER W TOWARD THE CO
   FRONT RANGE AND W ACROSS PARTS OF CNTRL/SRN NM...WARRANTING
   EXPANSION OF THE CRITICAL AREA IN THESE LOCATIONS. FOR PORTIONS OF
   CNTRL NM...THE CRITICAL FIRE-WEATHER RISK WILL BE CONFINED TO
   ELEVATIONS PRIMARILY AOB 7000 FT...AS AREAS OF LESS-FAVORABLE FUELS
   FOR FIRE SPREAD EXIST AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

   ...SURROUNDING CRITICAL AREA -- ELSEWHERE /I.E. PORTIONS OF
   CNTRL/ERN KS SWD THROUGH CNTRL/ERN OK INTO WRN N TX AND EWD TO WRN
   MO AND NW AR/...
   SLY TO SSWLY SFC WINDS OF 25-35 MPH WITH GUSTS REACHING TO AROUND
   40-50 MPH WILL DEVELOP IN RESPONSE TO A TIGHT LOW-LEVEL PRESSURE
   GRADIENT E OF THE LEE TROUGH. AS TEMPERATURES RISE INTO THE 70S AND
   80S...RH VALUES ARE FORECAST TO FALL INTO THE 20S AND LOWER/MIDDLE
   30S. RELATING CURRENT SFC OBSERVATIONS/PW IMAGERY TO FORECAST
   TRAJECTORIES WOULD SUGGEST THAT A PLUME OF ONLY MODEST RETURN
   MOISTURE WILL EXTEND NWD ACROSS MUCH OF THIS AREA. THIS WILL LIKELY
   PREVENT RH VALUES FROM FALLING TO EXACT CRITICAL THRESHOLDS...AS
   MOISTURE ADVECTION OFFSETS DRYING RELATED TO VERTICAL MIXING.
   HOWEVER...THE INFLUX OF MOISTURE THIS AFTERNOON SHOULD BE
   LIMITED...OWING TO AN OVERALL LOW SUPPLY OF SOURCE-REGION MOISTURE
   PER SURFACE OBSERVATIONS AND 00Z OBSERVED SOUNDINGS. GIVEN THE
   ABUNDANCE OF VERY DRY FINE FUELS...THE AFOREMENTIONED STRENGTH OF
   THE WINDS/GUSTS...THE DEGREE OF DIURNAL WARMING...AND THE
   EXPECTATION FOR APPRECIABLE RH REDUCTION ALL WARRANT EWD EXTENSION
   OF THE CRITICAL AREA INTO WRN MO AND NWRN AR. 

   ...SURROUNDING ELEVATED AREA...
   ELEVATED TO BORDERLINE-CRITICAL FIRE-WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL BE
   LIKELY. HOWEVER...CONFIDENCE IN SUSTAINED OVERLAP OF CRITICALLY LOW
   RH AND STRONG WIND IS TOO LIMITED FOR CRITICAL DESIGNATION.

   ...PLEASE SEE WWW.SPC.NOAA.GOV/FIRE FOR GRAPHIC PRODUCT...

      

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