Fire Weather Outlook Discussion
Issued by NWS
FNUS28 KWNS 192040
Day 3-8 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0239 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017
Valid 211200Z - 271200Z
An amplified pattern will remain in place across the continental
U.S. as a series of mid-level troughs traverse the western U.S. The
first of these troughs will likely evolve into a closed low over the
western Gulf of Mexico at the beginning of the forecast period and
weaken with time. A longer wave trough will develop from the West
Coast into the Four Corners area beginning around the D4/Wed time
frame and eject out over the Plains around D5/Thu and D6/Fri.
Although specifics become less certain beyond that time, a continued
pattern of western troughs developing along the West Coast and
moving into interior regions of the western U.S. will likely result
in periods of unsettled weather in the West, Plains, and Great
Lakes/Ohio Valley areas along with multiple period of elevated to
critical fire weather conditions in portions of the Great Plains
through the end of the forecast period.
...D3/Tue - Portions of the central Great Plains...
This region will reside along the south side of a strong, zonally
oriented mid-level jet, A north-south oriented surface trough,
combined with insolation and vertical mixing of higher-momentum air
aloft, will foster areas of elevated fire weather conditions. The
areas of greatest threat have been highlighted with 40 percent areal
delineations. It is noteworthy that some of these areas have
received minimal precipitation over the last month and any existing
fuels will likely be receptive to fire spread.
...D4/Wed through D5/Thu - Southern Rockies and Southern Great
Models are consistent in indicating broad areas of elevated to
critical fire weather conditions as a surface low organizes in the
Colorado High Plains and rapidly intensifies in central and eastern
Kansas. Downslope flow will intensity accordingly - initially in
portions of central/southern Colorado on D4/Wed and then in earnest
from portions of southeastern Arizona into southwestern Kansas on
D5/Thu. Dry antecedent conditions and fuels will likely favor a
higher-end fire weather event D5/Thu afternoon given the strength of
the wind fields and drying of the low-level airmass. Questions
remain regarding the eastern/northeastern extent of drying and
attendant critical atmospheric conditions, although at least
elevated fire weather conditions appear possible as far east as the
I-35 corridor in Oklahoma and far southern Kansas.
...D6/Fri - Portions of central New Mexico eastward into
The surface pressure gradient across the region will slacken some as
an intense surface cyclone migrates east-northeastward toward the
Great Lakes region. Attendant surface wind fields will decrease
areawide, although areas of 10-15 mph surface flow may develop
amidst a persistently dry airmass, critical afternoon RH values, and
dry fuels. The most likely area for enhanced surface winds are in
east-central New Mexico and a 40 percent areal delineation has been
made to address this potential threat. Other elevated areas may
also exist in southwest and southern Texas, particularly along the
Rio Grande Valley.
...D7/Sat through D8/Sun - Portions of the Southern Rockies and
Southern Great Plains...
Models continue to indicate a belt of zonally-oriented mid-level
flow in northern portions of the region late in the forecast period,
along with varied degrees of lee cyclogenesis along the Front Range.
The overall pattern appears to favor areas of elevated to critical
fire weather conditions in the region as downslope flow increases
amidst a persistently dry airmass. Specific details regarding this
threat are particularly difficult to pin down with any accuracy at
this range, although enough model consistency exists to delineate
broad areas of low (40%) probabilities for this potential fire
...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product...