The combination of dry air and gusty winds will enhance the risk for fires across a large part of the West and northern Plains today.
Coming off a record fire season, this is the last thing that exhausted firefighters want to hear.
Parts of more than a dozen states will experience near-optimal conditions for fire ignition and growth; that is, relative humidity levels less than 20 percent and wind gusts over 20 mph.
Recent and long-term dry weather has already set the groundwork, with plenty of dried vegetation and leaves present for any fires to feed off of.
A cold front plowing south from Canada into the northern Rockies and High Plains is perhaps most at fault for the risk today. The front will enhance winds both ahead of it out of the southwest, and behind it from the northwest.
Eventually, moisture will follow the frontal passage into parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, but it will be delayed for up to a day. This cold air and enhanced moisture combination will result in the season's first snow across much of the nation's northern tier.
That moisture will never make it to California, where the fire risk will also stay high, thanks to days of near-record heat.
The Grapevine, as well as the forests and mountains around Los Angeles, will be at an especially high risk for wildfires.
The same can be said for the Cascades, valleys and basins of Washington, the so-called "smokestack" of Idaho, the Wasatch mountains in Utah, as well as a significant portion of central and eastern Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas and even as far east as northern Minnesota.
This map, courtesy the USDA Forest Service, shows current large fire incidents across the northwestern U.S. as of Oct. 1.
Though fire safety is something that should never go out of season, extra caution should be practiced today.
If you are camping, take extra precautions to prevent the spread of any campfires (better yet, don't start any). Never abandon a campsite until any fires are totally and completely extinguished.
Motorists should never toss cigarette butts out of their vehicles, especially in conditions such as this.
Even something as benign as target shooting can spark fires.
Cold air returns to Chicago this week and a mix of rain and snow will lead to a messy commute Monday evening.
Milder air pouring into the Midwest will quickly be replaced by snow, plunging temperatures and travel hazards to kick off Thanksgiving week.
James Grimaldi of West Seneca, New York, used his drone to capture impressive aerial views of his snow-covered neighborhood.
East Coast travelers are being put on alert that the potential exists for a winter storm to unfold on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year.
A wide variety of weather, ranging from springlike conditions, to wintry precipitation and cold air will affect travel across the nation for the week of Thanksgiving.
The warmth surging into Harrisburg will not last long this Thanksgiving week with a storm threatening to significantly disrupt holiday travel on the horizon.
Late-Season Warmth: Buffalo, NY 68 degrees Norfolk, VA 70 degrees Providence, RI 80 degrees District of Columbia 75 degrees Raleigh, NC 77 degrees Greensboro, NC 74 degrees
Hurricane IWA (pronounced EEVA) packing winds of 86 mph with gusts of 105 mph hit the western Hawaiian Islands - first direct hit on the islands since 1959 - major damage on the island of Kauai. Total damage for all of the Hawaiian Islands: $150 million.
Thanksgiving Day Snowstorm (began on the evening of the 22nd). Snowfall amounts included: Location Amount Roanoke, VA 3.0 inches Washington, DC 4.0 inches Baltimore, MD 4.0 inches Philadelphia, PA 4.6 inches Central Park, NYC 4.7 inches Islip, NY 7.0 inches Chatham, MA 12.0 inches