All Weather News

Dangerous Fire Conditions for the Southwest

17 Apr 2018, 5:16 am

For the past few days, many locations across the south and southwest have been concerned with fire safety. As of Tuesday morning, the current burning acreage count was at 380,000.

Yet again today we are talking about dangerous fire weather across the south and southwest. The fire weather outlook is even at Extreme for much of New Mexico, western Texas, and portions of Colorado and Kansas. This means the conditions are favorable for fires to start and quickly spread.

What conditions do we look for when it comes to determining fire weather? The three main factors that can elevate fire weather are moisture, wind, and temperatures.

The moisture across the south is very limited. Relative humidity levels are less than 10%. Also factor in the fact that much of the region is dealing with severe, extreme or even exceptional drought conditions. The soil is extremely dry and there are plenty of dry fuels in place for fires to use.

Winds across the west have been very impressive lately. A low pressure system to the north is ramping up the winds out of the south and creating winds gusts up to 60 or 70 mph. The winds out of the south are also increasing the temperatures for the region.

Since all the fire weather factors are in place, the National Weather Service has issues a wide swath of Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches.

Since we need to be extremely cautious with our outdoor activities today, here are some tips to prevent wildfires.


For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Kate Mantych.