Alan Crone Weather Blog: Increasing Wind Speeds and Fire Danger

Monday, March 21st 2016, 4:09 am

Good morning.  

The fire danger will be increasing again, not only today, but possibly for the next few days, as strong south to southwest winds develop in advance of our next storm system that will arrive Wednesday afternoon and evening.  

A few storms may be possible with this system with the higher chances residing along the far eastern OK and western Arkansas state line region.   We’ll need to keep at least a slight mention in the forecast for the Tulsa metro but the higher chances will remain eastward.  

Temperatures are cold this morning with part of northeastern OK experiencing freezing temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s.   A freeze warning will remain for the next few hours.   Highs this afternoon are expected to move into the mid-60s along with sunshine and gusty southwest winds.

A strong upper level system will move into the middle of the nation early this week. A strong surface area of low pressure will develop across southeastern Colorado Tuesday and advance eastward across southern or central Kansas Wednesday afternoon. As this process occurs, strong southwest winds today in the 20 to 30 mph range will increase the fire danger this afternoon as temperatures move into the mid to upper 60s.

Low level moisture will initially remain void of the area with relative humidity values near 25 to 30% this afternoon.   Despite the recent green-up, range-land grasses are rather dormant.   The expected environmental conditions will support a rapid fire growth process today and even more likely, tomorrow with winds from 20 to 40 mph Tuesday afternoon.  

A fire weather watch will be issued for a large portion of the area today and may be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning later this afternoon.   

A dry line is expected to develop Wednesday morning to our west and move rapidly eastward during the day.   Late Wednesday afternoon the dry line will pass the Tulsa metro and end the chance for storms while locations eastward will remain with a chance of a few storms, some of which may be strong to severe.  

Despite the slight chance of Wednesday storms, as the dry line passes the metro, the fire danger will quickly increase along and west of the Tulsa metro for a short period Wednesday afternoon while locations east and southeast of the Tulsa area will remain with a slight chance of severe storms.  A cold front will eventually catch-up with the dry line and move southeastward across the state late Wednesday night.   Storms will become more likely across far east-central or southeastern Oklahoma into western Arkansas by 9pm to midnight.  

Pre-dawn Thursday the entire system will be out of the region.   Gusty northwest winds and cooler air will remain Thursday with lows in the 40s and highs in the mid-50s. Friday morning will start in the mid to upper 30s with highs moving back into the lower to mid 60s along with mostly sunny conditions.

Saturday another system will drop across the southern U.S. with increasing rain chances Saturday night into Easter Sunday.   At this point, most data support a surface low remaining south of the state but this could easily change in the data.  

As it stands now, we’ll start with south winds Saturday morning and bring north winds back across the area sometime Saturday evening.  Morning lows in the mid-40s and highs in the mid-60s will be likely.   Showers and storms will attempt to develop Saturday with a chance into early Sunday morning.  The severe weather threat, using a consensus of most model data synoptic set-up, would remain to our south for Saturday evening into early Easter Sunday.  

Again, we’re still a week away. Things can and do change. Check back often.

Thanks for reading the Monday morning weather discussion and blog.

Have a super great day!

Alan Crone