The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area where they expect critical fire conditions to occur on Friday. Major cities included in this area are Amarillo, TX; Salina, KS; Hutchinson, KS ; Garden City, KS; and Dodge City, KS. They are all within a region expanding across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico has been in a long-term (greater than 6 months) moderate to severe drought. This will provide plenty of dry vegetation that can provide fuel for any small fires that could be potentially sparked. This is just one component that will set the stage for the threat.
Also, temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low-60s combined with dew points in the 20s will create low relative humidity values. The resulting dry air will be in the presence of winds gusting up to 40 mph creating opportunities for any small fires that may initiate to easily expand.
According to the Climate Prediction Center, dry conditions are expected to continue into the six to ten day time frame. Periods of extended upper-level ridging will limit the potential for any precipitation to provide relief. For that reason , the on-going drought is expected to continue and gradually increase in severity. Fire weather threats will likely be common if conditions like the ones on Friday are occur.
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