Fire Weather Outlook Discussion
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FNUS21 KWNS 200649

Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0148 AM CDT Fri Apr 20 2018

Valid 201200Z - 211200Z


An upper low will move slowly eastward across the Four Corners
region and vicinity through this evening. A strong 70-85+ kt
mid-level jet associated with the upper low will overspread the
southern High Plains and southern NM/AZ through peak heating this
afternoon. At the surface, an area of low pressure should also
develop slowly eastward across CO today, with a composite
front/dryline extending southward from this low across the southern
High Plains. As this front/dryline develops eastward across NM and
far west TX this afternoon, elevated to critical conditions are
expected in its wake.

...Portions of the Southwest and Southern High Plains...
A very dry low-level airmass well sampled by the 00Z soundings from
Tucson, AZ and Albuquerque, NM will spread eastward behind a cold
front/dryline across parts of southern/central/eastern NM and far
west TX later this morning and afternoon. Even though surface
temperatures will remain somewhat cooler across most of this region,
a deeply mixed boundary layer coupled with the dry low-level airmass
already mentioned will support critically lowered RH values of
5-15%. Mixing of enhanced mid-level winds to the surface along with
a strong surface pressure gradient will result in sustained westerly
winds of 20-30 mph, with higher gusts likely, especially in higher
terrain such as the Guadalupe Mountains. These meteorological
conditions coupled with dry to very dry fuels warrant the
continuation of the critical area for parts of NM into far west TX.

High-end critical conditions appear probable just behind the
front/dryline passage, and sustained winds may briefly reach 30-35
mph in combination with RH values below 10%. However, these
conditions are currently expected to occur on an isolated basis for
only an hour or two. Therefore, an extremely critical risk area has
not been introduced. The eastern extent of the elevated and critical
delineations has been adjusted slightly to account for the most
likely position of the front/dryline late this afternoon. Also,
isolated to scattered thunderstorms are forecast to initiate along
the front/dryline today, but they are not expected to greatly
overlap elevated/critical conditions as they develop
east-northeastward into a relatively more moist low-level
environment. Therefore, an isolated dry thunderstorm area does not
appear warranted across any part of the southern High Plains at this

..Gleason.. 04/20/2018

...Please see for graphic product...

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