Fire weather outlook, August 10 through 15

Today meteorologist Chip Redmond sent us another fire weather outlook, for August 10 through 15.


Upper level ridging across the western US has returned, resulting in warming temperatures and much less thunderstorm activity. Most fire activity has been limited to portions of OR/WA where breezy westerly winds have became prevalent along the Columbia Gorge and western slopes of the Cascades. Though these localized conditions are expected to wane, widespread critical fire weather conditions are expected to develop across the region late weekend and continue through much of next week.

A slow moving upper level low will develop on the west coast of CA/OR by Sunday evening. As it progress towards the coast, upper level moisture will begin pushing northward across much of the western US. This increase in moisture aloft and subsequent instability, will contribute to the development of afternoon thunderstorms. Surface moisture will remain minimal however, providing the ideal ingredients for dry thunderstorms. With very dry, drought-stricken surface fuels, widespread fire starts are possible. Though no widespread winds are forecasted, gusty winds can be expected around any thunderstorm activity.

The nearly stationary upper-level low will make this a prolonged event, with thunderstorm activity through the entire period. Storms will become prevalent in OR/CA on Sunday, and expanding north into WA on Monday/Tuesday, and eastward into ID/MT on Tuesday and Wednesday. By mid-week, enough upper level moisture may advect northward into CA/OR/ID/WA for some wet thunderstorms, however, dry thunderstorms will still be possible across much of the region. As the low shifts eastward by late-week, a break in the activity is expected across portions of OR/CA. However, warm and dry weather is expected to continue.

Weather Highlights:

OR/northern CA/southern ID: Critical fire weather through Wednesday. Daily dry thunderstorms with hot and dry surface conditions expected. Isolated wet thunderstorms by Tues/Wed.

WA: Critical fire weather Monday through Wednesday. Very hot across central portions of the state and with critically low RH Sun through Tues. Dry thunderstorms likely Mon and Tues with a few wet thunderstorms Wed.

Northern ID/western MT: Critical fire weather Monday through Wednesday. Hot and dry Mon and Tues with scattered dry thunderstorms. Increased chances of wet thunderstorms with slightly cooler temperatures Wed.


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