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    • SPC Day 3-8 Fire Weather Outlook Day 3-8 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0222 PM CST Thu Feb 29 2024 Valid 021200Z - 081200Z Fire weather concerns will peak this weekend in parts of the southern High Plains with adjacent portions of the central/southern Plains also seeing some degree of fire weather risk. The primary feature of interest will be a broad, low-amplitude trough in the West that will eventually lift northward by next week. Model variability is relatively high even beginning next Monday. However, fire weather concerns do appear to be less during next week and are not likely to increase until the next trough nears the Plains, which may not occur until late next week. ...Portions of Central/Southern Plains... Fire weather concerns are expected to be greatest this weekend in parts of the southern High Plains. Recent snowfall has occurred in parts of eastern New Mexico into West Texas. While short term fuel dryness will be reduced, dry and windy conditions will occur beginning Friday and increase on Saturday and Sunday. Critical meteorological conditions appear likely on Saturday, but until certainty in fuel dryness after snow melt can be assessed probabilities will not be increased. Northern portions of the Texas Panhandle look to have observed much less precipitation making Critical conditions more likely in that area. Sunday will see similar conditions to Saturday. Fuels should have dried sufficiently from Saturday conditions to allow for greater Critical fire weather potential. Critical conditions on Sunday could extend into the Permian Basin, but confidence farther south away from the stronger 850/500 mb winds is lower. Model guidance already significantly diverges by Monday. The ECMWF shows a very flat trough lifting north while the GFS develops a secondary shortwave that pivots into the Southwest. The GFS solution would bring an additional day of critical fire weather for the southern High Plains. However, the GFS solution appears to be an outlier given its own high run-to-run variability and in comparison to the much more consistent signals in the ECMWF. ..Wendt.. 02/29/2024 ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product... Read more View the full article
    • SPC 2000Z Day 1 Outlook Day 1 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0144 PM CST Thu Feb 29 2024 Valid 292000Z - 011200Z ...NO SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AREAS FORECAST... ...SUMMARY... Severe thunderstorms are not expected today. ...20Z Update... ...Central/East TX/Arklatex into the Lower MS Valley... Isolated thunderstorms have recently developed over central TX and the general expectation is for gradually increasing thunderstorm coverage as the shortwave trough continues eastward this evening and overnight. Stable conditions will persist at the surface, but there is expected to be enough elevated buoyancy for a few stronger updrafts, particularly from central East TX into central and southern LA. Some small hail could occur within these stronger updrafts, but overall coverage is forecast to remain low. ..Mosier.. 02/29/2024 .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 1015 AM CST Thu Feb 29 2024/ ...Northwest States... Scattered thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and tonight in vicinity of the Pacific Northwest coast, and along a cold front moving across ID. Activity is expected to be low-topped and weak. ...ArkLaTex Region... A southern-stream shortwave trough over NM will continue tracking eastward, enhancing low-level warm advection across areas from TX/OK eastward into the lower MS valley. Forecast soundings suggest weak but sufficient CAPE for isolated thunderstorms across the region through tonight. Some small hail is possible over east TX and southern LA late tonight, but no severe storms are currently anticipated. Read more View the full article
    • SPC Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 1215 PM CST Thu Feb 29 2024 Valid 011200Z - 021200Z Widespread Elevated conditions within parts of east-central New Mexico into the adjacent Texas Panhandle/South Plains is less likely than previously forecast. Local reports of 2-4 inches of snow suggest that fuel dryness will be mitigated at least in the short term. Dry, downslope winds are still expected and could lead to locally Elevated conditions along the fringes of the snowfall. Another area of locally Elevated conditions may develop near a weak surface low in the WY/SD/NE border region. RH falling to critical levels is quite uncertain and some recent snow melt has occurred as well. Confidence in fire risk is too low for highlights. ..Wendt.. 02/29/2024 .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0205 AM CST Thu Feb 29 2024/ ...Synopsis... A weak upper low over the southern Plains will continue eastward Friday with strong flow aloft trailing behind it over the southern Rockies/High Plains. At the same time a second Pacific trough will begin to move onshore with strong southwest flow. In the wake of the upper low, surface winds across the West should begin to slowly increase in response to the stronger flow aloft. Periods of dry and breezy conditions are possible Friday across eastern NM and the TX Panhandle. ...Eastern NM and the TX Panhandle... As the upper low over the southern Plains departs, flow aloft will gradually turn westerly ahead of the advancing Pacific system. Winds aloft are forecast to gradually strengthen through the day, with 40-50 kt of flow over the southern Rockies likely by the afternoon. Aided by a deepening lee trough, 15-20 mph of westerly downslope flow is expected over parts of eastern NM into the western TX Panhandle. Despite some recent light precipitation, this area has remained largely devoid of meaningful rain/snow in the past several weeks. Warm temperatures and downslope drying should continue to support a very dry air mass with minimum RH values of 15-20% and poor overnight recoveries. Rapid fuel drying has occurred in the last few days with unusually warm temperatures and a recent uptick in fire activity. Widespread elevated to locally critical fire-weather conditions appear possible Friday afternoon cross parts of eastern NM and West TX. Localized fire-weather concerns may also increase farther north across parts of eastern CO, though confidence in sustained dry and windy conditions here is lower. ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product... Read more View the full article
    • SPC 1730Z Day 2 Outlook Day 2 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 1123 AM CST Thu Feb 29 2024 Valid 011200Z - 021200Z ...NO SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AREAS FORECAST... ...SUMMARY... Severe thunderstorms are not expected on Friday. ...Synopsis... A low-amplitude southern-stream shortwave trough is forecast to progress from the Mid/Lower MS Valley eastward/northeastward across the OH and TN Valleys on Friday. A relatively cool and dry continental air mass will be in place across the eastern CONUS ahead of this wave, with little low-level air mass modification anticipated throughout the day. Even so, moderate mid-level moisture will accompany the shortwave, contributing to enough elevated buoyancy to support thunderstorms. Thunderstorms will likely be ongoing over the Lower MS Valley early Friday morning, and are expected to gradually progress eastward in tandem with the shortwave throughout the day. Late afternoon development is also expected ahead of the shortwave in the eastern GA and SC vicinity, supported by persistent warm-air advection. There is low chance that the warm sector may move inland over portion of the SC coast. Poor lapse rates will limit buoyancy, but strong kinematics could support a strong storm or two. Overall probability of severe is currently expected to remain lower than thresholds needed to delineate any areas. Farther west, upper troughing is expected to continue deepening across the western CONUS, with strong westerlies/southwesterlies persisting from West Coast through the Great Basin and northern Rockies. This westerly/southwesterly flow will help maintain mid-level moisture across the region while temperature continue to cool aloft. Early Friday, overall thermodynamic conditions appear most favorable for isolated thunderstorms along the Pacific Northwest coast. Conditions are expected to become gradually more supportive further south into northern CA as temperatures continue to cool and large-scale ascent attendant to an approaching embedded shortwave increases. ..Mosier.. 02/29/2024 Read more View the full article
    • SPC Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 1040 AM CST Thu Feb 29 2024 Valid 291700Z - 011200Z ...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER AREA FOR NORTH-CENTRAL KANSAS INTO SOUTHEAST NEBRASKA... No changes to the ongoing forecast. RH values in parts of northern Kansas into southern Nebraska and southwest Iowa have already fallen into the 20s with winds of 20-25 mph (with gusts into the low 30s mph). With continued heating, Elevated to Critical fire weather will occur for a few hours through the afternoon. ..Wendt.. 02/29/2024 .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0202 AM CST Thu Feb 29 2024/ ...Synopsis... In the wake of a departing upper trough over the eastern US, a weak trough over the southern Plains should lift north into the central US. At the surface, high pressure over the eastern US will drive strong southerly return flow across parts of OK KS and NE this afternoon. Warm and dry surface conditions will also be present supporting potential for critical fire-weather conditions. ...Central Plains... With the approach of the weak upper low, surface pressure gradients are forecast to quickly tighten over the southern and central Plains. Surface winds will quickly increase to 20-25 mph with gusts as high as 30-35 mph through the day. Aided by clear skies and strong heating, afternoon RH values within the dry southerly flow should fall as low as 15-20%. While area fuel loading is not particularly dense, numerous days of preceding dry and windy conditions have resulted in critical dryness of short-hour fuels. Large vapor pressure deficits combined with the strong winds and clear skies should support additional drying through the day. Thus, widespread elevated and critical fire-weather conditions appear likely across parts of north-central/northeast KS into southeastern NE. ...Gulf Coast... Dry surface conditions are also possible across parts of the Southeast and central Gulf Coast in the wake of the departing cold front. While winds are not overly strong, lower humidity should overlap with areas of limited rainfall in recent weeks. Localized fire-weather concerns are possible before rain chances increase late tonight into Friday. ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product... Read more View the full article
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