Strong winds and low humidity helped fuel several grass fires across north Texas this afternoon. Winds gusts reached 30-mph with dewpoints in the 20’s. A low pressure system over Illinois made for 45-mph wind gusts over the midwest but as it moves east of us the winds will diminish some. This low pressure system also pushed a mild cold front through north Texas this evening, winds will stay gusty out of the northwest until late tonight:
By morning high pressure building in from the west will make for light winds out of the northwest. They’ll turn southwest by Sunday afternoon:
This is grass fire season; winter is our driest season and the grass dormant (and brown). Anytime the wind starts picking up we run the risk of fires. Please be careful with outdoor fires and cigarettes! The fire risk is higher these days because we’ve been dry. Since October most of the months have posted a rainfall deficit. Right now we’ve only had one-third of an inch of rain for the month with very little in the forecast:
It has certainly been dry but lately its been rather mild. This mild weather continues into the start of the work week (including the Martin Luther King Holiday! Great parade weather!)
The cold air has remained up in the Great Lakes and New England over the last ten days. We get a glancing blow of it by Thursday as some Arctic cold air gets deep into the East coast to the mid-Atlantic states.
By the end of the week the ridge in the upper atmosphere over the western Pacific starts to rise up toward Alaska. This is going to open the door for the Siberian express by the end of the week. By next weekend the VERY cold air returns to the Great Lakes over to New England. The brutal cold air will swallow the eastern half of the U.S. for the last week of January, including north Texas for awhile.
Right now the coldest air in since Jan. 8th arrives Thursday and Friday. There is even a very slight chance for some much-needed rain with this system: