Fire Weather Outlook Discussion
Issued by NWS
FNUS28 KWNS 262047
Day 3-8 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0346 PM CDT Sun Mar 26 2017
Valid 281200Z - 031200Z
Periodic elevated to critical fire weather conditions are likely in
the southwest, southern Rockies, and adjacent High Plains over the
next few days in response to enhanced mid-level flow from a couple
of strong storm systems affecting the region. The first, initially
located over the Four Corners region on D3/Tue, will move slowly
eastward toward the Plains through D5/Thu while resulting in Plains
low-level cyclogenesis and spreading enhanced mid-level flow over
these areas. This system will finally exit the region late D5/Thu
as another, more powerful system moves into the Southwest around the
D6/Fri-D7/Sat period, resulting in additional heightened fire
...D3/Tue through D4/Wed - Portions of the Southwest, Southern
Rockies, and adjacent High Plains...
A complicated surface pattern will develop D3/Thu afternoon in the
lee of the Southern Rockies as surface cyclogenesis occurs in
response to an advancing mid-level wave. Models generally spread
strong southwesterly downslope flow into areas of eastern New Mexico
and, to a lesser extent, west and southwest Texas during the
afternoon, which will heighten the fire weather risk in these areas.
Despite the synoptically evident fire weather pattern, models are
less clear on how far the warm/dry continental airmass will mix into
west Texas and northeastern New Mexico. 40% and 70% delineated
areas remain in place for this forecast where the highest
probabilities of elevated/critical fire weather will exist based on
the latest guidance and these regions will likely change in later
outlooks once models are more consistent with handling of the
surface pattern and associated airmasses.
Farther west, a favorable surface pressure gradient, vertical mixing
processes, and areas of insolation will promote the development of
elevated to critical fire weather conditions as far west as the
Lower Colorado River Valley. Attendant 40% and 70% probabilities
have been expanded in these areas to address this potential threat.
A cold front will make progress into southwest Texas behind a
surface low over the Texas Panhandle into western Oklahoma. Cooler
air will begin to filter into portions of the region behind this
front, resulting in generally higher RH values in most areas except
for southwest Texas and along the international border into southern
New Mexico. Despite some continued uncertainty, it appears that
elevated to critical fire weather conditions remain likely in these
areas, and attendant delineations have been made to address the
...D5/Thu - Portions of the Southern Rockies...
Mid-level flow will slacken some across the region as shortwave
ridging aloft develops between two substantial storm systems.
Nevertheless, models suggest enough flow and vertical mixing will
develop for pockets of ~20 mph westerly surface flow amidst a
critically dry low-level airmass. A 40%/elevated fire weather
delineation has been maintained in these areas.
...D6/Fri - Portions of the Southwest, Southern Rockies, and
adjacent Southern Plains...
Mid-level flow will again increase in the region in response to
another strong mid-level wave that will cut-off while moving into
the region. A favorable surface pressure gradient will exist for
several areas of critical RH and wind fields to develop during peak
heating hours. Some higher-end critical potential exists in
southern New Mexico and southwest Texas, although a lot of this will
depend on the eventual evolution of the mid-level low and associated
low- and mid-level wind fields.
...D7/Sat - Southeastern New Mexico and Southwest Texas...
Enough model consensus remains at this time frame for 40%
probabilities to be introduced in this region as a persistent dry
sector remains across the region just south of a surface low over
northwest Texas/western Oklahoma.
...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product...