Warmer, windier, worser......

Saturday, November 6th 2010, 8:06 pm
By: News On 6

Warmer, windier, worser…..I know, I know….. that is not very good grammar but that was the best I could do for an awful attempt at alliteration. Ok, I will stop now and concentrate on the weather. The warmer and windier part should be pretty self explanatory, but what I mean by worser is that combination will also make the threat of grass fires even more dangerous. Wildfires have already been a problem over the last few days and the kind of conditions we are expecting over the next few days only make a bad situation worse.

For example, notice the map from the OK Mesonet on the right which shows the relative humidity late this afternoon. It is obvious the air is quite dry and conditions on Sunday afternoon will also see relative humidity values dropping into the 20% range. One big difference is that the winds will be even stronger than today. Look for S to SW winds up to 20-30 mph or more and afternoon temperatures to reach the lower 70s for most locations. The only clouds in the sky are likely to be smoke plumes from any fires that do get started, and lets hope that is not the case.

At least our nights will not be as cold with the southerly winds keeping us above freezing tonight and only in the 40s to near 50 for Sunday night. Those southerly winds will subside somewhat during the overnight hours, but will still be blowing at 10-12 mph tonight and 10-20 mph for Sunday night.

Strong southerly winds and warmer overnight lows along with daytime temperatures remaining in the 70s are expected for early next week. The only thing that will change will be a gradual increase in humidity levels which will mitigate the fire danger somewhat. However, with dew point temperatures at this time still in the 40s over the northern Gulf of Mexico, the moisture return will be slow to take place.

In fact, the availability of quality moisture is a big question mark for the next potential rainmaker scheduled for later in the week. By Wednesday, there may be enough moisture for a slight chance of a shower or thunder as a storm system will be moving through the Rockies. As this system moves on eastward, we expect to have a better chance of showers or storms for Thursday and Friday. However, there is still considerable uncertainty regarding that time frame as the longer range guidance is out of phase.

This leads to a low confidence forecast for later this week, and about the best that can be said at this point is that we will at least have a chance for showers or storms. The next couple of model runs over the next few days will get those differences sorted out. So, in the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot