Storm Prediction Center Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook
Created: Thu Feb 23 07:19:02 UTC 2017 ( | )
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ZCZC SPCFWDDY1 ALL FNUS21 KWNS 230715 Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0115 AM CST Thu Feb 23 2017 Valid 231200Z - 241200Z ...EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN/CENTRAL/EASTERN NM...WEST TX...EXTREME WESTERN OK...SOUTHWEST KS...EXTREME SOUTHEAST CO... ...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR LOCATIONS SURROUNDING THE EXTREMELY CRITICAL AREA ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST AZ...NM...WESTERN TX...OK...SOUTHERN/WESTERN KS...SOUTHEAST CO... ...Synopsis... In the mid levels, a zone of broadly cyclonic and strong flow will emerge over the central and southern High Plains, with the leading edge of the stronger flow advancing toward the middle Mississippi Valley through the period. As this occurs, a deep surface low is forecast to track along a frontal zone from eastern CO to KS, before it eventually advances to the middle Mississippi Valley. A dryline extending south of the low 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 Great 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 and gusts of 40-50 mph are forecast to combine with RH of 8-10 percent during the afternoon. This will occur as temperatures rise into the middle 60s to the 70s, except to around 80F in eastern parts of the TX Panhandle/South Plains into western OK. These very strong downslope winds will support the very low RH, especially given poor RH recovery during the preceding overnight hours. Critical conditions could develop by late this morning, before extremely critical conditions develop during the afternoon. The presence of very dry fuels further supports the Extremely Critical designation. For many locations across the surrounding Critical area, southwesterly to westerly winds of 20-30 mph are forecast to combine with RH of 10-15 percent. One exception will be across portions of central and eastern OK, where southerly to south-southwesterly winds of 20-25 mph are forecast to combine with RH from the middle teens to the upper 20s -- highest readings across eastern OK. These strong surface winds are expected to occur in association with diurnally enhanced vertical mixing into a low-level jet focused across eastern OK around peak heating. Observational data suggest that moisture return will be limited, and vertical mixing will encourage RH reductions to the aforementioned values. While RH readings may not reach Critical thresholds in some areas, they are expected to become sufficiently low in the presence of abundant dry fine fuels and strong winds for Critical designation. 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. Also, a few thunderstorms may affect parts of east-central CO and northern KS to the north of the surface front during the late afternoon into the evening hours, after elevated/critical fire-weather conditions occur. However, these storms would more likely be accompanied by relatively higher RH and cooler temperatures in the low levels. ..Cohen.. 02/23/2017 ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product...
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