Fire Danger Tuesday


Monday, March 14th 2016, 8:53 pm
By: News On 6


The rains started a week ago and today is the first dry day across the state since then.  Notice the 7 day rainfall map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which indicates a real soaking for some locations although those that needed it the most received the least.  Unfortunately, the more NW counties are pretty much high and dry while the more E to SE counties are pretty well water-logged

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For the most part, this week will be much more stable with lots of sunshine over the next few days helping to at least start the drying process for the eastern counties.  By late Friday or into the day Saturday, there will be another chance of rain or showers, but between now and then it looks like a dry forecast.  Also, temperatures will remain well above normal until later in the week when much cooler air will be moving back over the state. Notice, for example, how warm we were today adding to what is so far a very warm March with temperatures averaging nearly 9 degrees above normal.

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However, looking at the forecast page, you can see we will have some much cooler air moving back our way by Friday and into the weekend and current indications suggest at least the potential for some frost by Sunday morning.  Between now and then, very mild weather will be the general rule for at least several more days.  A cool front will arrive early Tuesday morning, but this system will be moisture starved so no precipitation and lots of sunshine.  Also, the air behind it is not particularly cool, at least not initially as daytime highs will still be well into the 70s despite a gusty NW wind.  Fair overnight skies and a SW wind will keep us very mild tonight with morning lows generally in the lower 50s.

The main issue will be an enhanced fire hazard due to those gusty winds, very dry air in place with relative humidity levels near 20% during the heat of the day, and the fact that much of the vegetation is just starting to green up.  Here are the counties with the greatest hazard for fire danger on Tuesday.

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Wednesday and Thursday will be somewhat cooler, particularly at night and the winds will be much lighter lowering the fire danger threat.  Much cooler air will arrive on Friday with below normal temperatures then expected right on through the rest of the weekend.  Cloudy skies and a NE wind will hold our daytime highs into the 50s for Friday and Saturday and there will also be at least a chance of a few light showers during that time frame.  The longer range guidance has not been very consistent with the moisture associated with this system, so for now will call for just some light showers.

Also, the longer range guidance has not been very consistent regarding how quickly we will clear out and therefore how much we may cool off by Sunday morning.  Preliminary indications suggest the possibility of a frosty start and perhaps even a light freeze for the cooler valleys.  Keep in mind that Mar 29 is our normal last freeze date so that would certainly not be unusual.  Having said that, his has certainly been an unusually warm year so far, but some of the longer range climate drivers suggest at least the potential for some more cool air to come our way as we head on into April.

There are lots of uncertainties in that regard though as the 8-14 day outlook continues to keep us in a warmer than normal signal.  So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

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Dick Faurot