Gusty winds, low humidity and dry conditions will combine to create a high wildfire threat across the southern Plains and parts of the Southwest this week.
The fire danger is especially high in the southern Plains, where extreme heat and low humidity over the past couple of days are creating increasingly dry fuels.
A wildfire in Guthrie, Oklahoma, last Sunday killed one person, and according to Oklahoma Forestry Services, the Governor of Oklahoma has declared a burn ban in 36 counties across the state.
Eighty-eight counties across Texas have instituted outdoor burn bans, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Afternoon temperatures in the southern Plains through the middle of this week will likely smash more records.
Areas in Kansas saw record highs Tuesday including Medicine Lodge, which hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering the 1986 record of 95 F. Dodge City and Garden City also set records Tuesday, reaching 96 F.
Low humidity and wind gusts of 30-40 mph will help contribute to the high fire danger.
While it will not be as hot across Arizona and New Mexico, a few thunderstorms are expected to move through the Four Corners region on Wednesday. These thunderstorms will contain cloud-to-ground lightning and very little rain.
A single lightning strike can ignite a fire, and gusty winds and dry conditions can help flames spread quickly.
The southern Plains and portions of the Southwest are in the grip of worsening drought conditions, as some areas have received less than 25 percent of their normal rainfall since early March of this year. Much of southern Arizona has received less than 5 percent of their normal rainfall over the last 60 days.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected across portions of the southern Plains on Wednesday and Thursday. While the rain will be beneficial, it will not be enough to end the drought.
Some of the storms can be severe and contain damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.
Cooler air will settle over the southern Plains on Friday in the wake of these storms.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Kevin Fourie
The combination of excessive heat and dry thunderstorms in many areas will add to the wildfire threat in the western part of United States and Canada through much of July.
Americans will be hoping for clear skies this Saturday, July 4, as they look to enjoy dazzling fireworks displays, in addition to other popular Fourth of July activities.
A pair of disturbances tracking eastward from the Plains will bring bouts of showers and thunderstorms to the East through the rest of the week.
Tuesday, June 30, will be the longest day of the year by exactly 1 second.
The heat wave that started across Spain and Portugal, will spread across much of Europe this week with some of the hottest conditions of the year.
The last major eruption of Mount Hakone occurred around 2,900 years ago, according to the Global Volcanism Project at the Smithsonian Institution.
Vernon Hill, UT (1994)
Wind gust to 84 mph.
Boston, MA (1999)
No measurable rain the entire month of June (normal is 3.09").
Tropical Rains caused flooding. The cloud bursts were generated by the combination of Tropical Cyclone 04B, which made landfall in the eastern state of Orissa the morning of the 29th. In Raipur, 16 inches poured down from evening of the 28th to the morning of the 30th. In Bombay, 10 inches of rain fell in just 9 hours on the 30th; total rainfall from the 28th to the 30th was just over 20 inches.