Fire Weather Outlook Discussion
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FNUS21 KWNS 231541

Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
1041 AM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017

Valid 231700Z - 241200Z


Ongoing forecast is generally on track with a few changes.  A
northward expansion of the critical area was made into portions of
north-central Colorado and far southeastern Wyoming, where latest
high-resolution guidance depicts critical fire weather conditions
for a few hours during the afternoon.  East of there (into portions
of southwestern Nebraska), critical fire weather conditions are
possible although concerns about potential low-level moistening cast
some doubt on the extent of fire weather threat there.  Shifting
winds associated with a frontal passage late in the afternoon may
also complicate any potential fire suppression efforts in these

Farther south, the extremely critical area was extended southward to
include more of the Big Bend region of Texas.  Here, 30-35 mph winds
(with higher gusts) will combine with single-digit RH values and dry
fuels to create a potentially dangerous fire weather scenario during
the afternoon and early evening.

Elsewhere, the remaining forecast is on track with very dangerous
fire weather conditions expected this afternoon in portions of the
High Plains and some dry thunderstorm potential from the
Texas/Oklahoma Panhandles northward to southwest Kansas.  See the
previous discussion below for more information.

..Cook.. 03/23/2017

.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0253 AM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017/

A strong upper trough is expected to move from the Southwest into
the Plains region by Friday morning. As this trough moves eastward,
an associated surface low will deepen across portions of the central
High Plains. A substantial fire weather risk is expected to evolve
as very windy and dry conditions develop behind a dryline across
portions of West Texas into the High Plains.

...West Texas into the Southern/Central High Plains...
An extremely critical fire weather threat is expected this afternoon
from the Trans-Pecos region of TX northward through eastern NM into
southeast CO, as very strong sustained winds increase to 30-40 MPH
behind the dryline as RH values fall into the 6-10% range. The
corridor of extremely critical conditions will be constrained to the
east by the dryline, and to the west by a trailing cold front.
Surrounding the extremely critical area, the critical area will also
be largely constrained by the features mentioned above, with some
extension of critical conditions expected northward into the
Colorado Front Range. Critical conditions will likely develop by
midday and may persist into early evening before the advancing cold
front allows for some RH recovery tonight.

Some uncertainty remains regarding the eastward movement of the
dryline during the day, so some adjustment to the critical/extreme
delineations will be possible in the Day 1 update based on trends in
observations and short-term guidance.

...East of the dryline into the southern/central High Plains...
Moisture quality ahead of the dryline is still expected to be rather
poor, given low PW values noted in 00Z soundings along the TX Gulf
Coast. Strong heating/mixing ahead of the dryline will allow RH
values to drop to 25-35%, which combined with strong winds of 25-35
MPH will result in elevated fire weather conditions where dry fuels
are available.

Additionally, initial convective development in the vicinity of the
dryline late this afternoon will likely produce little wetting
rainfall, given fast storm motions and relatively dry subcloud
layers. The chance for wetting rainfall will increase by evening,
but isolated, mostly dry thunderstorms will be possible in the
21Z-00Z time frame.

...Please see for graphic product...

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