With weather conditions perfect for wildfires, the National Weather Service today issued a new round of red flag warnings for many parts of the country. Red flag warnings are now in effect for all of New Jersey and eastern parts of Pennsylvania, western Texas, most of New Mexico, southern Colorado and western Kansas.
The combination of low fuel moisture, low relative humidity, and gusty winds can contribute to increased fire spread in red flag warning areas. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring now or will soon occur due to a combination of high winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels. Any fire that develops can quickly spiral out of control and become difficult to contain. Due to this threat, people in red flag warning areas are encouraged to follow the fire safety advice of local authorities; this may mean no outdoor campfires, barbecues or even smoking.
For more information on wildfire danger, burning restrictions, and wildfire prevention and education, the National Weather Service encourages residents to visit their forestry or conservation websites. environment.
According to the National Weather Service, fire weather will become more expansive from west to east during the afternoon as this subsidence spreads across the plains. Confidence in extremely critical conditions remains highest in southeastern Colorado, where favorable overlapping downslope winds and a mid-level jet will support 50-60 mph wind gusts and single-digit relative humidity. Periods of extremely critical fire weather conditions are possible in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles and western Oklahoma this afternoon as winds blow between 30 and 40
mph. Gusty winds behind a front crossing the region can also impact ongoing fires.
The National Weather Service also extended the high-risk zone to parts of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont where the potential for several hours of high winds and low relative humidity this afternoon has increased.
Soundings observed last night from northeast to southeast Canada show a very dry air mass at low level. A strong low aloft off the northeast coast will couple with a high in Canada to promote gusty northwesterly winds offshore. Fine fuels are quite dry in this region; with relative humidity falling below 20% in some places, winds of 15-20 mph will cause high fire weather issues in parts of the northeast and north mid-Atlantic.