Elevated Fire Danger


Wednesday, August 31st 2011, 5:41 am
By: News On 6


The fire danger will be elevated this afternoon.  High temperatures will be near 100 to 105 along with south winds and relatively low humidity by this afternoon.  We're tracking a front for Sunday that will bring cooler air to the region early next week.

A few brief showers are possible this morning in a few locations before the heat builds into the area by midday.  Most of this activity has been confined to extreme southern OK and a few showers may develop across extreme Northwestern OK this morning.

Afternoon temperatures are expected in the 99 to 105 range both today and tomorrow.  Temps may also be near or slightly above 100 Friday.  We're expecting a front to arrive Saturday evening late into Sunday morning bringing a noticeably cooler air mass to the region early next week.  Some shower and storm chances will remain as the front approaches, but the possible tropical development in the Gulf may have impacts on the storm chances. 

 The EURO and GFS are in excellent agreement regarding the timing of the front.  Late Saturday evening into early Sunday morning the system will be moving over the state.  The models do have some big differences on the possible tropical development in the gulf and this could have major implications on the amount of moisture moving into the southern plains.

 The NAM data has consistently developed the system by Thursday evening into Friday in the southern Gulf of Mexico and brings the system to the southern Texas coastal region by Friday evening and Saturday morning.

 The GFS does not develop the system until Friday and brings it near the southern Louisiana coastline by Sunday.  The NAM position and timing would effectively not allow quality low level gulf moisture to stream into the state ahead of our Sunday morning cold front.  This would limit the storm chances or coverage with the system.

 The GFS position and timing of the system would still allow a good trajectory of moisture into the region before the boundary arrives Sunday morning.  

The confidence on the cool down is very high but the confidence on the amount and coverage of storms along and behind the boundary will remain low.  The storm chances for this update cycle will remain near 30% but could go up as the tropical development becomes a little more solid. 

Both the NAM-GFS and EURO support a vigorous system developing rapidly once formation begins.  If the models are correct a very strong tropical system may be in the Gulf by this weekend with some threats to either the Southeast Texas Gulf region or the Louisiana region. 

 The EURO and GFS are also suggesting the cool down may last for most of next week with morning lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s.  If this trend is correct, we may be seeing the very last grasp of our long stretch of excessively hot conditions.  It's still hard to get too ramped up because the models have not been good this summer in the 5 to 7 day range, but the pattern does appear to be undergoing a major pattern change soon.