Fire Weather Outlook Discussion
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FNUS22 KWNS 171843

Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0143 PM CDT Sat Mar 17 2018

Valid 181200Z - 191200Z


The previous forecast is generally on track. Some adjustments to the
critical and elevated areas have been made based on latest model
guidance. Mainly, the western edge of the elevated and critical have
been expanded to the west and north with some minor adjustments on
the eastern edge. Some uncertainty on the eastern extent of fire
weather potential continues due to differences in forecast position
of surface low and dryline.

Regardless, a corridor of higher-end critical fire weather
conditions are expected from east-central NM into the TX Panhandle
and TX South Plains vicinity. Models have generally been
over-forecasting dewpoints/RH conditions, but did not feel confident
enough to undercut guidance enough to issue an extremely critical
area for this region. This is due to aforementioned differences in
surface features and the affect this has on projected westward
extent of better moisture return ahead of the surface low. That
being said, ERC values across much of the region are approaching the
90th percentile and a large area of severe to exceptional drought is
ongoing. These fuel conditions combined with expected meteorological
conditions will support extreme fire behavior given ignition.
Overnight, westerly winds will remain strong and RH recovery will be
poor (20-30 percent), posing challenges for any ongoing fires.

..Leitman.. 03/17/2018

.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0158 AM CDT Sat Mar 17 2018/

A shortwave trough will move eastward from the Southwest to the
southern High Plains through Sunday evening, with a belt of enhanced
(70-90+ kt) mid-level flow overspreading eastern NM into west TX and
the TX/OK Panhandles by Sunday afternoon. Large-scale lift preceding
this shortwave trough will promote the deepening of a surface low
over southeastern CO Sunday afternoon. A Pacific cold front
associated with the shortwave trough will sweep eastward across the
southern High Plains on Day 2/Sunday, likely reaching into
southeastern KS and far western OK into western north TX around
Sunday evening.

...Portions of the Southern/Central High Plains...
As the surface pressure gradient strengthens and enhanced mid-level
winds reach the surface with mixing of the boundary layer,
strong/gusty southwesterly to westerly winds of 20-35 mph will
develop on Day 2/Sunday across parts of the southern/central High
Plains. RH values should fall into the 10-15% range across much of
this region due to downslope warming/drying processes even though
temperatures will be reduced behind the cold front passage. Critical
conditions appear most likely from eastern NM into west TX, much of
the TX/OK Panhandles, far southeastern CO, and extreme southwestern
KS. Elevated conditions should occur across a broader portion of the
southern/central High Plains, with low-level moisture return across
much of OK and central TX generally limiting the eastward extent of
substantial fire-weather concerns.

Some uncertainty remains concerning how far east elevated/critical
conditions will develop on Day 2/Sunday across southwestern KS and
the eastern TX/OK Panhandles. This uncertainty stems mainly from
differing forecast positions of the cold front by late Sunday
afternoon/early evening. Have not made substantial changes to the
elevated and critical delineations across these areas for now, but
adjustments will likely be needed as models hopefully come into
better agreement on the cold front location in later forecast

...Please see for graphic product...

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