An active and potentially dangerous wildfire day is possible across Northwest Texas, the Big Country, and western North Texas. A cool front will push south across Oklahoma and into Texas today. Temperatures north of the front will only drop a few degrees but very dry air will filter in along with strong north winds. South of the front south winds along with compressional warming will help propel temperatures into the mid and upper 90s. Some locations will reach 100 degrees today – resulting in near record breaking heat.
Red Flag Warnings are in effect from late this morning through the afternoon hours. Near record high temperatures combined with gusty north winds and extremely low humidity values will result in extreme fire behavior. Any outdoor fire will have the potential to quickly spread and require considerable resources from local fire agencies to contain. Record rains this spring allowed for ample overgrowth to develop. With little rain over the past few months that fuel is now a tinderbox waiting for a spark. The environment this afternoon is the kind where wildfires can consume a large amount of ground in a short period of time. Call your local fire department immediately if you witness smoke or fire. Any outdoor use of flame/fire is strongly discouraged and burn bans are in effect for several locations.
Humidity values will plummet below 25 percent this afternoon across the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, Permian Basin, Northwest Texas, Texoma, Big Country, and western North Texas. Even south of the front humidity values will be in the 30 to 50 percent range with near record-high temperatures. Combined with 35 to 45 MPH north winds in the Red Flag Warning area the stage is set for a potentially volatile wildfire day.
Near record high temperatures are forecast today across North Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, Southeast Texas, and East Texas where mid to upper 90s are forecast. Some locations in the Hill Country, Central Texas, and South-Central Texas may top 100 degrees this afternoon. Temperatures in the Texas Panhandle will be seasonal with 70s but with extremely low moisture values.
If there is a benefit to the dry weather is is that it allows temperatures to quickly cool after sunset. Temperatures will fall into the 40s tonight across the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, and Northwest Texas. 50s to right around 60 degrees can be expected across the Permian Basin, Big Country, Concho Valley, North Texas, and Northeast Texas. Where higher moisture values reside temperatures will be warmer with upper 60s to 70s tonight across South-Central Texas, Southeast Texas, Deep South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley.