Fire Weather Forecast: Dry Conditions, Warm Temperatures Threaten Central US with Critical Fire Weather Conditions [NWS]

Fire weather is known for providing conducive conditions in favor of wildfire growth and spread in the United States. In its latest weather forecast, the National Weather Service (NWS) stated dry conditions and warm temperatures are threatening the Central US with critical fire weather conditions. This means there is a high chance of wildfire occurrence or intensification in the coming days, specifically from the southern to the central High Plains.

The fire weather forecast on Monday, March 11, comes as the wildfires continue to rage in different parts of Texas, including the state’s largest wildfire in history called the “Smokehouse Creek Fire.” While firefighters made progress on the record-breaking wildfire, the threat posed by renewed fire weather conditions could either hamper fire extinguishing efforts or even create new fires across the region.

Fire Weather Forecast

Fire Weather Forecast: Dry Conditions, Warm Temperatures Threaten Central US with Critical Fire Weather Conditions [NWS]
(Photo : Photo by Malachi Brooks on Unsplash)

The NWS’ Weather Prediction Center (WPC), at 4:00 a.m. EDT (local time) on Monday, stated in its fire weather forecast that “fire danger” will increase across the central and southern parts of the High Plains region due to very dry conditions, high temperatures, and gusty winds. Under the forecast, the return of dry weather combined humidity and winds will promote an increased risk of wildfires, the WPC explains.

The weather service reported that the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) noted large areas of the central and southern High Plains as a “critical fire danger area.” This fire weather hotspot location includes the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles which have experienced raging wildfires several weeks ago. The fire threat is also likely to intensify as warmer weather could replace cold temperatures from the ending 2023-2024 North American winter season.

Also Read: Severe Storms in Central US, Critical Fire Weather Conditions Forecasted in Southwest US

Critical Fire Weather Conditions

According to the SPC, critical fire weather conditions are in store in areas from eastern Wyoming to the far southwest of South Dakota, as well as the northwest Nebraska panhandle. In addition, fire weather also threatens the far northeast of New Mexico and much of Kansas, in addition to the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles mentioned earlier. The wildfire threat poses life-threatening risks and disruptive impacts.

In its fire weather outlook on Monday, the SPC estimates that approximately 2.2 million people can be affected in large population centers in Lincoln, Nebraska; Amarillo, Texas; Casper, Wyoming; Grand Island, Nebraska; and Garden City, Kansas. The critical fire weather affects a total area of 103,388 square miles. In addition, the prediction center estimates that around 72,000 people could be affected in Carisbad, New Mexico, and Pecos, Texas.

In recent years, wildfires have ravaged different parts of the US, including California, Texas, and Nebraska. Even the state of Hawaii outside the continental US also recorded its deadliest wildfire outbreak in recorded history. In 2023, a series of wildland fires broke out in Maui, Hawaii, killing more than 100 people. The catastrophe will be known as the 2023 Maui wildfires, which started in the early August of 2023.

Related Article: Winter Storm Weakens Over Western US, Wildfire Threat from Critical Fire Weather Continue Across High Plains [NWS]

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