Storm Track 3 Forecast: Warmer winds of change bring elevated fire risk

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Warmer winds and high fire danger will be the weather story for the day. To start the day, watch out for some patchy fog that could be around Central and Eastern Kansas.

Stronger southerly flow will keep most of us from dipping below freezing early this morning. Temperatures will then surge into the 60s and 70s with a few 80s possible farther south.

It will be a little cooler to the northwest in the 60s but highs will still be well above average. This is due to an approaching cold front that will begin to move into the area today.

As the front approaches, winds will increase. The strongest winds will be to the south and southwest. Gusts should not have much trouble reaching 40 to 50 mph and possibly even stronger than that at times.

Due to stronger winds, warm temperatures, and very dry conditions the threat of grassland fires will be high today. The greatest risk of fires will be along the Oklahoma Panhandle and in Southwest Kansas. Keep in mind, it would be wise to monitor the rest of the area closely too.

After a Red Flag Warning is allowed to expire at 6pm, the front will be draped across the area and could spark a shower. The best chance will be to the north and east but chances also do not look promising as moisture quickly gets carried east of the area.

The overnight will be dry and chilly with lows in the 30s and 40s.

Waking up Christmas morning, there will not be as much wind and we will start the day with a nice sunrise. You will notice a drop in high temperatures as we only warm to the 50s. This is still above average for this time of year. There will be some milder fluctuations in our temperatures over the next few days but a more significant dip in the jet stream by the middle of next week will eventually bring more of a seasonable chill back to the area.

Even though winds will be lighter Christmas Day there will still be a breeze. Gusty conditions return by Sunday and will raise fire concerns again, especially to the southwest.

As another disturbance blows in Sunday it could spark a shower, mainly between Central and Eastern Kansas. This chance also does not look too promising.

As we have more wind shifts there will continue to be a lack of moisture. After Sunday’s chance, there could be a few raindrops around Tuesday but Western Kansas will likely miss out.

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