KSStorm.Info Briefing: March 4 & 5, 2022

The combination of high temps, strong winds, dry air, and dry grasses will produce an explosive fire situation across central and southwest Kansas on Saturday.
Prescribed Burn Of Marsh Grasses Showing Heavy Plant Growth With Flames And Smoke

There are multiple forecast concerns as we head into the weekend: 1 & 2) Timing out the dryline passage Saturday, with fire danger concerns, 3) Friday overnight shower & storm chances, 4) Second round of precip Sunday afternoon into Monday morning.

Expect the fire weather watch that was issued Friday morning to be upgraded to a fire weather warning for Saturday. Also, would expect a wind advisory to be issued, too. Friday morning model runs show the dryline moving through the US 281 corridor around 10 am, the K-14 corridor around 11 am, I-135 corridor around Noon, the US 77 corridor by 1 pm, and into eastern Kansas during the early afternoon hours. Once the dryline passes, the dewpoint will drop from the mid to upper 50s to the teens within three hours.

Complicating things will be a shift in winds from west to northwest during the early evening Saturday as a cold front passes. Behind the front, winds will still gust to 35 mph through most of the evening, before settling down into a more manageable 8-14 mph range after midnight. This means that any fires that start will have the potential to shift directions rapidly once the front passes.

All of that said, the combination of high temps in the mid 70s, dry air, winds gusting 40-45 mph, and abundantly dry grasses will come together to produce a potentially explosive fire situation from mid-morning thru the evening Saturday. ALL outdoor burning should be avoided.

While we sure could use the moisture, it appears the best chance for that will be in Nebraska points north and east overnight tonight into Saturday. That said, there is some potential for a few rain showers & areas of drizzle to develop overnight, though this wasn’t explicitly shown in modeling this morning. Any rain showers that do develop should be out of the area by 9 or 10 am Saturday.

We’ll see clouds increase during the day Sunday as another wave of energy moves into the area. There remains a high degree of uncertainty in how the forecast plays out for the rest of the weekend, especially when it comes to precip placement and a possible transition to snow. Right now, the Euro is the western outlier, bringing a widespread rain-to-snow scenario for central and eastern Kansas. Other models have the best moisture off to the east. I hope to get this better nailed down as we move into Saturday, but right now, chances for some much-needed moisture look decent for the end of the weekend.

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