Storm Prediction Center Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook

Created: Sun Mar 18 15:33:02 UTC 2018 (20180318 1700Z Day 1 FireWX shapefile | 20180318 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 30,572 947,802 Lubbock, TX...Midland, TX...Odessa, TX...Clovis, NM...Hobbs, NM...
Critical 119,895 963,847 Amarillo, TX...Pueblo, CO...San Angelo, TX...Roswell, NM...Carlsbad, NM...

Click for Day 1 FireWX Areal Outline Product

   FNUS21 KWNS 181532

   Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook  
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   1032 AM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

   Valid 181700Z - 191200Z


   Minor adjustments have been made to the critical and elevated areas
   mainly across eastern portions of the OK/TX Panhandles. Current
   cloudiness should mostly move out of the region by around 17-18z,
   allowing for stronger heating and mixing of the boundary layer.
   However, guidance suggests thunderstorms will develop near the
   dryline from southwest KS into parts of the OK/TX Panhandle by
   22-23z (see Day 1 Convective Outlook for severe weather details).
   The critical area has been adjusted to be in line with the expected
   position of the dryline by mid-to-late this afternoon. An elevated
   area remains east of the dryline owing to strong winds and favorable
   fuel conditions, despite RH values not expected to fall below
   roughly 20-30 percent across the eastern OK/TX panhandles into far
   western OK. 

   Further west across eastern NM and western TX, a large area of
   critical to extremely critical fire weather conditions are expected
   to develop in the next few hours. Deep boundary layer mixing will
   allow for very strong surface winds as an intense midlevel jet
   streak of 80-90 kt overspreads the region. RH values should fall
   into the upper single digits to 10 percent across the extremely
   critical area, with values 10-15 percent elsewhere in the critical. 

   For more details, see previous discussion below.

   ..Leitman.. 03/18/2018

   .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0155 AM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018/

   A shortwave trough will move eastward from the Southwest to the
   southern High Plains through this evening, with a belt of very
   strong (70-100+ kt) mid-level flow overspreading eastern NM into
   west TX and the TX/OK Panhandles by late this afternoon. Large-scale
   lift preceding this shortwave trough will promote the deepening of a
   surface low over southeastern CO today. A Pacific cold front
   associated with the shortwave trough will sweep eastward across the
   southern High Plains through the day, likely reaching into
   southeastern KS and far western OK into western north TX by late
   this evening. Preceding this front, a dryline should extend
   southward from the surface low across the southern High Plains, and
   an eventual merging of the front/dryline should occur across the
   eastern TX/OK Panhandles by late this afternoon.

   ...Portions of the Southern/Central High Plains...
   As the surface pressure gradient strengthens and enhanced mid-level
   winds reach the surface with mixing of the boundary layer,
   strong/gusty southwesterly to westerly winds of 20-40 mph will
   develop today across parts of the southern/central High Plains.
   Higher gusts to 50-60 mph may also occur. RH values will likely fall
   into the 7-15% range across much of this region due to downslope
   warming/drying processes even though temperatures will be reduced
   behind the cold front passage. Critical conditions appear most
   likely from eastern NM into west TX, much of the TX/OK Panhandles,
   far southeastern CO, and extreme southwestern KS. Elevated
   conditions should occur across a broader portion of the
   southern/central High Plains, with low-level moisture return across
   much of OK and central TX generally limiting the eastward extent of
   substantial fire-weather concerns.

   High-end critical to extremely critical conditions should be
   realized across parts of far eastern NM into the TX Panhandle and
   west TX for a few hours this afternoon beneath the core of the
   mid-level jet. Here, sustained winds of 30-40 mph now appear likely,
   with RH values around 7-10% through peak diurnal heating. Confidence
   in these meteorological conditions has increased enough to introduce
   an extremely critical area across this region where the strongest
   winds are expected this afternoon. Very dry fuels and ongoing
   drought across this region will allow for extreme rates of fire
   spread given the forecast strength of the winds.

   Short-term guidance is now in better agreement regarding how far
   east elevated/critical conditions will develop across southwestern
   KS and the eastern TX/OK Panhandles along a composite dryline/cold
   front early this evening. Have therefore made minor changes to the
   elevated and critical delineations across these areas. Elevated to
   critical conditions may continue through the evening and early
   overnight hours across the southern High Plains as winds remain
   strong/gusty behind the cold front passage.

   ...Please see for graphic product...


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