All Weather News

Fires Tear Through The Plains, Winds Knock Out Power For Thousands

17 Dec 2021, 2:30 pm

Blowing gust, damaging winds, and extreme fire danger impacted the Central Plains on Wednesday as an intense storm system moved across the region. The low pressure system created areas of blowing dust with hurricane force gusts, which unfortunately also spread multiple fires rapidly. The intense winds also knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers from the Plains through the Great Lakes.


Several fires flared up in Western Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas Wednesday afternoon. One fire burning near Russell and Ellis county burned through the town of Paradise, where our field correspondents were surveying damage.

Unfortunately, county representatives report that the fire destroyed multiple structures and led to a massive loss of livestock. That fire was just one of several that started and quickly grew Wednesday into Thursday.

Fire danger remains a concern Friday for far eastern Colorado and western Kansas. Gusty winds, warm temperatures and low relative humidity levels will lead to favorable conditions for fires to start and spread.


Wind was intense across thousands of miles from this storm system. It kicked up large plumes of dust in the Plains as the low moved east of the Rockies.


Here are some of the top wind gusts by state for the entire event. Note, some of these wind reports have also be contributed due to severe thunderstorms, including the one out of Lincoln, Nebraska.


Unfortunately as drought conditions continue to increase across the central and Southern Plains, the precipitation outlook through the end of the month looks to favor a drier than average forecast.

You can keep track of the top weather headlines 24/7 on our WeatherNation app. Details on this story along with the rest of the central regional forecast, always plays at :30 past the hour.

About the author
Kara has always been passionate about weather and knew from an early age that she wanted to become a meteorologist. Living in different regions of the country and experiencing weather events ranging from ice storms to tornadoes drove her to pursue a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout college, storm chasing became a regular event for Kara, where she saw fir... Load Morest-hand the power of the atmosphere. Kara graduated cum laude from OU and decided to further her meteorology education with a Master's degree from Mississippi State University. The deadly April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak struck while Kara was studying at MSU; her first “Dixie Alley” tornado event and an up close glimpse into the destruction of the storms she so closely studied. Her broadcast career began in Elvis’ birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, where she earned her Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. Kara's career has included coverage of all types of severe weather including tornado events, flooding and tropical systems across multiple southern states. Recently she helped cover the 2020 Easter Sunday deadly tornado outbreak in southeast Mississippi. In her free time, you can find Kara outdoors exploring new areas with her mini poodle,Truffles. Kara is also an avid runner and frequently races in 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. Say hi to Kara on Twitter and Facebook!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *