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FNUS28 KWNS 232146

Day 3-8 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0345 PM CST Fri Feb 23 2018

Valid 251200Z - 031200Z

Mean troughing in the West - reinforced by several shortwaves
migrating through the region - will persist throughout the extended
forecast period.  The troughing will enhance mid-level flow in
portions of the southern and central High Plains while maintaining
surface troughing in that general vicinity.  A dry airmass west of
that surface trough, in conjunction with occasional windy conditions
and ongoing drought, will contribute to elevated to critical
conditions from D3/Sun through at least D6/Wed evening.

...D3/Sun through D7/Thu - Portions of the southern and central High
Areas of elevated to critical fire weather conditions are expected
each afternoon throughout the period as windy, dry, and warm
conditions develop behind the north-south oriented surface trough.
This surface trough will oscillate along a general axis from western
Oklahoma southward into west-central Texas, with positioning
dependent on occasional surface cyclogenesis across the central
Plains.  Given the overall favorable regime for fire weather
concerns, broad areas of 40% probabilities have been maintained.
Additionally, 70%/critical areas have been introduced primarily in
portions of eastern New Mexico and the western Texas
Panhandle/eastern New Mexico from D3/Sun through D5/Tue.  In these
areas, stronger winds and low RH values (perhaps into single digits)
are likely, and dry fuels persist in response to ongoing drought.
On D4/Mon, the 70%/critical area includes these areas but also
extends northward into southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas,
and the Oklahoma Panhandle as low-level drying spreads northward
into these areas during peak heating on that day.

Fuels remain a primary limiting factor for a higher fire weather
threat farther south into west Texas, southern New Mexico, and
southeastern Arizona.  Portions of this region have received copious
amounts of rain and fuels are not particularly receptive to fire
spread.  Some curing will likely occur in the coming days given the
aforementioned weather pattern, and a few areas may need upgrading
to 70% and/or critical designations in later outlooks - especially
in far west Texas and areas near the Pecos River Valley.

Models do suggest a continued fire weather threat on D7/Thu,
although confidence in this scenario is quite low given spread in
the eventual position of the surface trough.  Probabilities may be
needed in later forecast updates.

..Cook.. 02/23/2018

...Please see for graphic product...

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