[caption id="attachment_4062" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Sunday Evening Dewpoints/Winds"]width=”550″ height=”375″ />[/caption]
Today will be remembered for many years for the extreme fire conditions and for one particular fire that is occurring east of Austin. We’ll keep posting updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages regarding current fire conditions, but I wanted to provide a brief update on the potential for extreme fire conditions again tomorrow. The above graphic shows the current dewpoints along with wind barbs at 8 PM CDT. Dewpoints are actually still fairly high with dewpoints hovering around 60 degrees. Now when you combine that with temperatures around 95 degrees and 25 knot winds that does result in humidity values around 25 percent, which is still quite low and favorable for critical fire weather growth. The winds allowed for fires to rapidly spread today with dry fuels in place, but honestly, we have big problems on Monday.
[caption id="attachment_4061" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Temperatures at 7 PM Monday"]width=”550″ height=”412″ />[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4060" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Expected dewpoints at 7 PM Monday"]width=”550″ height=”412″ />[/caption]
These two graphics come from the North American Model and show expected conditions at 7 PM tomorrow (Monday). I want to bring some good news, which is high temperatures will only be in the lower 80’s across most of Texas, with higher values further south. This is our first taste of fall and is a welcome break from the triple digit heat. Now the bad news… The cold front which is bringing in this will also bring in desert dry air. While dewpoints were in the upper 50’s to around 60 degress, dewpoints tomorrow will be closer to 25 to 35 degrees. I just did some calculations, and if we were to have a temperate of 84 degrees with a dewpoint of 24, the humidity would be down to 10 percent. If the dewpoint was at 34 degrees, the humidity will only increase to 16%. That is very dry and would support critical fire weather growth even if we had nearly calm wnids, but we won’t.
[caption id="attachment_4063" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="850 MB winds at 1 PM Monday"]width=”550″ height=”412″ />[/caption]
This is a graphical depiction of the NAM at 1 PM tomorrow at 850 MB (about 5000 feet above the surface). Winds should be out of the northeast at 25-35 knots. Now this is a few thousand feet above the surface, but conditions should allow most of this wind to mix down to the surface. We’re expecting roughly the same amount of wind we saw today in Texas. Sustained winds of 20 to 25 MPH with gusts up to 35 MPH. Combine that with humidity values much lower then today, and tomorrow could very well be up there with some of our significant wildfire events over the past few years. Wildfire spread will be amazingly fast and I fully expect we will be dealing with as many if not more issues tomorrow. Need I say more? Tomorrow is going to be bad.