All Weather News

Dry and Windy Forecast Fuels Fire Weather Concerns in the Southwest

23 Apr 2020, 6:00 am

Fire weather conditions are expected to reach critical levels in parts of the Southwest into Friday. This means the rapid spread and growth of fires is expected if one is ignited. The greatest risk for rapid fire growth today (Wednesday) is expected in far Western Texas and Southern New Mexico, where winds are forecast to reach 15-25 mph from the west/west-northwest in combination with relative humidity values between 5-20 percent.

Critical Fire Weather conditions exist when several criteria are met for at least 3 hours: winds are sustained at 20 mph or greater, relative humidity is below the regional criteria for dry conditions, temperatures are above 50 or 60 degrees (depending on season), and fuels are dry.

The risk for critical fire conditions covers much of Southern New Mexico on Thursday, including parts of Western Texas and Southeastern Arizona. West-northwest winds are expected to reach 15-30 mph in the afternoon in the highlighted area as relative humidity values drop between 8-20 percent.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has highlighted the increased threat for fires south of the I-40 corridor and is asking people to avoid outdoor burning.

Thankfully, many of the areas highlighted under the critical fire risk are not experiencing serious drought conditions, though some small areas are abnormally dry or are experiencing a moderate drought.

Follow all local burn ordinances and take extra precautions to prevent the ignition of a fire if you live in or will be traveling through these areas.

About the author

Rob grew up in South Florida, where daily afternoon storms and hurricanes piqued his interest in meteorology early on. That interest was fostered by his teachers and his father, who one time brought him onto the roof of their home to watch a funnel cloud move through the Everglades several miles away. ... Load MoreYears of filmmaking and tv production in high school gradually pushed him toward broadcast meteorology at Florida State University, where he joined and eventually led the student run daily weather show. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology, he began his career at KESQ in Palm Springs, California before heading to KFSN in Fresno and WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. He has covered a diverse array of extreme weather events, including haboobs and flash flooding in the desert, extreme snow in the Sierra, hurricanes, and Appalachian ice storms. He also enjoys telling stories and reporting about weather issues. Connect with Rob on Twitter