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The Dry Side Of The System

The second half of the week will have a major impact for much of the country east of the Rockies, and for a variety of reasons.

The first, as discussed in Monday’s blog, is a severe weather threat that covers a sizable area on Friday. Check back tomorrow for detailed updates on what to expect when the high-res models launch.

The second is a major snow threat to the Northern Plains and Great Lakes in the frigid section of the same system leading to a threat of severe weather further south.

And finally, many days of severe fire weather risk for the southern High Plains. That is the threat that today’s blog will focus on.


A severe drought has formed in the Southern/Central Delta regions since early 2022.

While drought has hit parts of this region in one form or another before, it really started to hit around last year or so. Like the latest drought monitoring In the analysis, extreme and extreme drought groups still originate as far as southern Texas to southern Nebraska.

As we can see from the map showing year-to-date rainfall anomalies (as a percentage of normal), the aforementioned area has continued to record below-average rainfall since the beginning of the year. 2023. Fuels (grasses, vegetation, etc.) dry and burn easily under the right conditions.


Unfortunately, those conditions are forecast to materialize in the next three days.

As our next system works and deepens, the pressure wind gradient will increase. widespread gusts of wind Speeds of more than 50 mph will be possible both in front and behind the cold side.


As winds blow down into the Rocky Mountains (especially on Friday), they will be warm and dry, resulting in very low relative humidity for the area.

For followers, we currently have:

  • Dry fuel/previous drought conditions
  • Wind has wind
  • Strong winds lead to very dry air

Any fire that starts while these conditions are in place will likely spread quickly and potentially spiral out of control.

Take action:

  • Use extreme caution for the next few days in this area. Avoid any outdoor activities that could cause a fire (grilling, bonfires, etc.).
  • Do not burn trash or yard debris during this time.
  • Have a “spare bag” in your car if a fire develops near your home. As mentioned, fire can spread quickly under these conditions. You may not have much time to gather supplies if there is an evacuation order.

About the author

Meghan Gulledge

Meghan Gulledge

Meteorologist – ’22 Mississippi State Writer for and Focus on weather communication. BoyMom x1, CatMom ​​x5. Twitter: @MegGulledgeWX


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