South Plains extreme wildfire danger
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - High winds will develop across the KCBD viewing area today. The already high grassland fire danger across the South Plains, as well as West Texas and eastern New Mexico, will increase to critical. In addition, there will be widespread blowing dust and areas of low visibility in dust.
Winds will ramp up through the morning, becoming sustained at 25 to 35 mph for much of the afternoon and evening. For a time, mid- to late afternoon, winds may range from 30 to 40 mph. Gusts greater than 50 mph are likely, with gusts greater than 60 mph possible in the northwestern KCBD viewing area. This includes the area in and near Muleshoe, Littlefield, Tulia, Dimmitt, and Friona.
The combination of drought, wind, dry air, and warm temperatures, contribute to the ignition of fire, the extremely rapid spread of fire, and make containment of fires nearly impossible.
Lubbock area warnings, advisories, and watches, include:
Fire Weather Warning (aka Red Flag Warning) 11 AM to 10 PM CDT today.
Wind Advisory 11 AM to 9 PM CDT today.
High Wind Warning northwestern viewing area 11 AM to 9 PM CDT today.
Fire Weather Watch Wednesday morning through evening.
Refrain from outdoor burning and other activities that may involve sparks or open flames. Be watchful for potential spark points, such as tow chains which might drag on pavement. Don’t drive vehicles over dry grass - the hot exhaust system may ignite the grass.
This afternoon will be mostly sunny. You may not, however, be able to see it. Widespread blowing dust is likely to obscure the sky. People with respiratory issues and allergies should try to remain inside. If that is not possible, consider wearing a mask.
Highs this afternoon will range from the low and mid-80s in the northwestern KCBD viewing area to the low 90s in the east.
Blowing dust will be widespread, and you may encounter rapidly changing visibility. The wind will create another travel hazard. It will make control of high-profile vehicles and light-weight vehicles difficult - especially on north-south oriented roads. Such as 214, 385, I27-US87, 207, US70, 208, and US83.
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