Extreme Fire Danger in the Southern Plains as hot and dry conditions prevail. The late season snow is once again moving out of the Northeast before the next batch of winter weather heads to wards the Great Lakes.
The current Surface Analysis
Today’s National Forecast
Cold high pressure will build into the eastern third of the nation this morning as low pressure pulls away from the Northeast into the Atlantic Ocean. A few snow showers may linger across Cape Cod this morning, but those will quickly come to an end. Otherwise, the eastern U.S. will remain dry and cold today, with afternoon high temperatures expected to be 10 to 20 degrees below average.
A low pressure system will move from the Rockies into the central and northern plains today. The system will bring rain and snow to the northern plains and Upper Midwest today, with rain and thunderstorms farther south across the central and southern plains. Additionally, a strong pressure gradient associated with the surface low will bring the potential for high winds from portions of the northern Rockies to the northern plains today and tonight — with wind gusts in excess of 60 mph possible. The low pressure system will move into the Upper Midwest tonight/early Wednesday morning, spreading snow across the northern Great Lakes.
On Wednesday, rain and thunderstorms will spread from the Ohio and Tennessee valleys into the Southeast. Rain will develop for much of the East Coast Wednesday night, with snow possible for northern Maine. Scattered rain and snow showers will persist across the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest into Thursday as another low pressure system follows quickly in the wake of the first.
Conditions will remain dry and warm across the southwestern U.S. through Wednesday. A frontal boundary will move into the region but will lack sufficient moisture to produce precipitation. Afternoon high temperatures will generally be 10 to 20 degrees above average through Wednesday.
Current Model Analysis
A cold high pressure system builds into the Great Lakes region and keeps temperatures below normal for most of the Northeast and Ohio Valley. The most recent storm in the Northeast will begin to pull away after leaving many areas with 5 or more inches of snow. A few places south of the Boston area have now received more than a foot of snow since Saturday night between the 2 storms.
Dry conditions will continue to prevail across the south as temperatures prepare to climb into the 80s and 90s. This will lead to very dry and hazardous conditions for wildfires, an update on which can be found in our Severe Weather section today. The exception to the dry conditions will be near and along the Southern Appalachians where a cold front continues to move Southeast and will cause a few showers and thunderstorms.
Across the West, a moisture starved low pressure system may bring a few showers across the Southwest but a low pressure system north of Montana will continue to drive rain and snow showers and thunderstorms across the Northern Rockies with some weak instability showers over sections of the Pacific Northwest.
By Tuesday afternoon, the East coast should be generally dry as high pressure fully takes over and any moisture along the cold front is squeezed out by the mountains. The south will remains dry and hot during the afternoon while the aforementioned fire conditions prevail. As the low pressure system over Canada moves east over North Dakota and continues to drive some snow and rain throughout Montana and the Dakotas into Minnesota.
By early Wednesday, High pressure is in complete control of the East Coast but a powerful Alberta Clipper dives south through Wisconsin bring snow to the Northern Great Lakes with heavy rain through most of Wisconsin and Illinois out towards Oklahoma along the cold front. High pressure will continue to dominate the Texas area and the Pacific coast.
Current Severe Weather Outlook
***Critical Fire Weather Update***
— HIGH CONFIDENCE IN EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE-WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS AND VICINITY…INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL FOR DANGEROUS FIRE SPREAD —
The most dangerous fire weather conditions today are anticipiated near an arc from Canadian Texas to Gage Oklahoma to Woodward Oklahoma and between Medicine Lodge and Pratt Kansas.
||Area (sq. mi.)
||Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
||Amarillo, TX…Hutchinson, KS…Pampa, TX…Dumas, TX…Borger, TX…
||Oklahoma City, OK…Albuquerque, NM…Wichita, KS…Lubbock, TX…Pueblo, CO…
Southwesterly to Westerly surface winds of 30-40 MPH with gusts to around 50 MPH are forecast to combine with humidity levels of 4 to 13% , with the lowest readings across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, as temperatures warm through the 80s to around 90. Very dry fuels across the region combined with the aforementioned meteorological conditions will have the potential to support substantial fire spread in the extremely critical area. Winds will abruptly change towards the North during the late afternoon into the evening hours as a cold front spreads southward, which could have an impact on any ongoing fires. Dry thunderstorms are a risk across this region but the current risk for storms is low.
||Kansas City, MO…Wichita, KS…Kansas City, KS…Topeka, KS…Lawrence, KS…
***Severe Weather Analysis***
Isolated severe wind and some marginally severe hail may occur over parts of parts of the Lower Missouri Valley to the Central High Plains during the late afternoon and evening
A shortwave trough over the Northern Rockies will shift east into the Dakotas this afternoon with some trailing vorticity over the Colorado Rockies. A pair of surface lows should be centered over North Dakota and Oklahoma by this afternoon and a cold front should extend from the Northern Plains into the Central High Plains. This cold front will merge with the Dryline near Northeastern or Central Kansas and accelerate southward during the evening into the Southern Plains.
This week’s Flood Risk
Yesterday’s Storm Reports