The threat for grass fires is high right now. Warm, windy and dry conditions will plague our region until a cold front provides limited relief this Wednesday. Red Flag Warnings are in effect today and will be extended this week.
Wind gusting between 35 and 45 MPH will be common.
The relationship between the high pressure system to the east and low to the west are causing these strong wind gusts. The strong wind alone does not cause fire danger, but enhances it in contribution to the dry air and warm temperatures. This will continue until we are behind the front on Thursday.
Temperatures are on a warm up. We will have more 70s Tuesday with a few 80s sprinkled in Wednesday. Clouds will overspread the area later today and through the overnight. This batch should clear east early Tuesday revealing a small window of sunshine before clouds are set to return by Tuesday evening.
There is a chance for some drizzle with this low overcast heading into Tuesday night.
The cold front on the approach will help to produce showers and storms near and south of it late Wednesday. Model guidance is setting the stage for a later initiation time Wednesday evening and into part of Wednesday night.
The focus will be central into eastern Kansas where the Storm Prediction Center has already outlined a Marginal Risk. These storms look like they will be elevated, giving us a greater shot for hail. There is some damaging wind potential as the storms line up as the cold front advances.
This front is going to sit close to the Kansas/Oklahoma state line. Additional rain will develop south of this boundary late Thursday and track to the north Friday.
Friday is the day when widespread rain is likely which will linger into Saturday and possibly early Sunday.
As colder air comes into play to the northwest, rain will switch over to snow. I see accumulating snowfall possible for our northwest counties this weekend. It is still too early to talk amounts. At the same time, there is a risk for severe storms outlined from Dodge City, along US 400, through Wichita to the Kansas/Missouri state line and points south. I think the better potential for severe storms will be down in Oklahoma and Texas. We will need to monitor our far southern counties closely because the slightest twitch in the boundary could bring a stronger storm or two this far north.
This system wraps up on Sunday with any rain/snow departing to the east. We will have another system next Tuesday/Wednesday that looks similar with storms battling the snow on the Plains. Stay tuned as active weather will greet us over the next 7 to 10 days. Any moisture is welcomed to dampen our wildfire season.
–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman