HomeUncategorizedIngredients Coming Together For Fire Weather: Southwest

Ingredients Coming Together For Fire Weather: Southwest

Across the Southwest, especially in New Mexico and extending toward the TX panhandle, an environment that will favor fire weather concerns.

Behind a departing shortwave trough, a belt of westerly winds will follow. Since the pressure gradient with high pressure shifts in the background, causing the wind to move eastward through the NM, we can see below at 925mb that the wind cross-section is unidirectional (from the boundary layer up to 500mb). Due to the fact that we have even straight wind shear, this allows deep mixing to occur with lots of sunshine (the sun causes convection currents thereby mixing the lower atmosphere); The lower atmosphere is mixed evenly increasing the temperature while lowering the dew point.

During the day, it’s no coincidence that we see relative humidity values ​​actually dropping steadily today to below 20%. With high pressure and submerged air, mixed and light winds at the surface – we are reaching the climax of a situation favorable for high fire weather.

Courtesy of Tropical delicaciesthe average sound of the point and click area shows a very good mixed atmosphere where verbatim this sounds up to 450mb, although using 850mb as the “surface” since this is taken at high altitudes more than 4,000 feet. Furthermore, when the wind descends to higher altitude terrain, we see a downward slope occurring, causing the air mass to heat up even more as it descends to the ground and dries it.

On the surface, we see sustained 10 – 20 mph winds over a wide area and steady westerly winds blowing through New Mexico into TX, as the low surface seen on CO pulls further east. north.

Final, National Interagency Fire Center Observations show the area to be at a minimum, “high” level of flammability under weather conditions. This also revealed that the fuel in the area was quite dry, which is another key ingredient in raising fire weather.

After putting it all together, we can see through using ECMWF’s fire weather index that a general zone with a >80% fire probability increases in the afternoon through the northern floor of NM and into the western edge of the TX panhandle. Therefore, it is important to completely minimize any human-caused sparks, and to be on the lookout for wildfires that could occur at any time and spread to the area.

About the author

Armando Salvador

Hello! My name is Armando Salvadore and I am a Mississippi State graduate with a Bachelor of Professional Meteorology and an Activity Meteorologist working in the Private Sector. Stay tuned if you like technical, exotic, and general weather tweets! Also big on long-range forecasting as well! Twitter: @KaptMands


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