Friday, January 21, 2022, Fire Situation ReportFri, 21 Jan 2022 08:14:13 CST
Statewide Discussion: Cold temperatures have taken hold for a period although dry conditions continue to dominate. Drought continues to intensify as well reflected in the intensification in the current Oklahoma Drought Monitor that has Exceptional Drought emerging in the Cimarron and Texas Counties. Daytime high temperatures will warm each day into the weekend coupled with afternoon relative humidity values dipping below 30% in most locations. Initial attack activity is expected to continue with dry and available fuels, although the absence of critical fire weather will continue to hamper large fire potential.
Today: Frigid overnight/morning temperatures will gradually warm above freezing with temperatures this afternoon in the mid-30s across much of the state with 40s in both the Panhandle and southern counties. With dew point temperatures in single digits across the bulk of the state, afternoon relative humidity values 22-28% (31-35% in the Oklahoma Panhandle). Fine-dead fuel moisture values will register 6-7% across most of the state supporting continued initial attack activity although wind speeds will limit rates of spread from becoming overly concerning. In western Oklahoma, rangeland fuels will support head fire rates of spread 90-131 ft/min with flame lengths 9-11 ft. In central and eastern Oklahoma regions, grass-dominated fuels will exhibit ROS 65-118 ft/min and FL 10-14 ft while timber-litter will produce ROS 10-20 ft/min with FL 3-4.5 ft.
Weekend: Afternoon temperatures will warm up a bit, 40 to 50 degrees on Saturday then 51 to 61 degrees on Sunday. Outside of low precipitation chances Friday night in the western Panhandle, dry conditions continue. Afternoon relative humidity values will support receptive fuels although light winds will limit rates of spread in range and grass-dominated fuels to generally less than 100 ft/min.
Near Term: Cold temperatures have muted fire danger to some extent although background fuel dryness continues to build. Outside of some low precipitation chances Monday into Tuesday dry conditions are expected to continue. Sneaking a look at the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks the cold temperatures transitions back to above normal and some signal for moisture comes into play. Given the seasonal expectation, that moisture potential holds little hope for reversing the dry trend and building fire danger concern. While no two dormant fire seasons are the same, looking at past years’ conditions analogous to our current observations does hold concern. But in the near-term, no critical fire weather pops out holding fire occurrence in the initial attack range with potential for the occasional large fire.
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