Storms and wildfires possible Tuesday

January 28th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by under Weather

An upper level storm system is expected to move through Texas Tuesday into Wednesday. There will be a chance for strong thunderstorms along and ahead of the front mainly along and northeast of highway 71 Tuesday afternoon and evening. Hail and gusty winds are the primary thunderstorm threats. Strong gusty winds and very dry air behind the front will promote the spread of fires late Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for all counties along and west of a line from Taylor to Luling to Karnes City.   (NWS)
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Here is a message from National Weather Service Warning Coordination meteorologist Paul Yura:

…Fire concerns increase Tuesday afternoon through mid day Wednesday….

A Pacific cold front will push through South Central Texas on Tuesday afternoon bringing much drier air and gusty west and northwest winds.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for most of South Central Texas as the low humidities and gusty winds will increase the chances of fast spreading fires.  I have attached a graphic that shows the threat areas of both fire conditions and storms.

Gusty south winds will begin Tuesday morning across all of the area.  Winds will then begin to shift to the west and northwest behind a cold front by early afternoon out over the Rio Grande Plains and the far western Hill Country.  The front will push east during the afternoon and areas along the I-35 corridor will see the westerly winds by late afternoon.  The dry air behind the front will make for very low humidities….less than 20 percent… with winds gusting to near 25 mph.  The combination of the dry air and gusty winds will keep a high fire hazard through the late Tue afternoon, evening and into the overnight hours early Wednesday.  The Red Flag Warning is scheduled to come down Wednesday Afternoon and dry air and gusty winds will continue the first part of Wednesday.

There will not be a lot of rainfall with this system.  Strong to severe storms are forecast well to the northeast across NE Texas and into the Lower MS Valley.  A few of our South Central Texas counties such as Williamson, Lee, and Fayette Counties will have a very small chance for a strong to severe thunderstorm.  Chances are very low.  Overall the Fire threat is much higher than any threat of severe weather at this time.

For more information on the forecasts, watches, and warnings…please check out our website at…..
www.weather.gov/austin

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