Critical fire weather for parts of the Southwest and Southern High Plains this weekend

Red Flag Warnings issued for parts of seven states

Red Flag Warnings May 7, 2022 fire
Red Flag Warnings May 7, 2022. NWS.

Strong winds and dry vegetation predicted for the next several days are raising the wildfire danger to the elevated and critical levels across much of the southwest. Areas affected by Red Flag Warnings include parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas. (Southern Utah was somehow not included in the Red Flag Warnings.)

From the National Weather Service at 12:59 a.m. MDT May 7, 2022:

“The first in a series of active fire weather days is expected to unfold across the Southwest into the southern High Plains today. A broad upper trough will gradually amplify across the western CONUS, and surface low development will occur over the central High Plains this afternoon. Gradient flow and downward momentum transport support widespread 20+ mph sustained westerly surface winds, from the Nevada/Arizona border into the southern High Plains. 5-15 percent RH will coincide with this strong wind field for several hours during the afternoon, warranting the introduction of fire weather highlights. Critical highlights are in place where the aforementioned surface winds/RH will overlap with critically dry fuels (i.e. forecast ERCs [Energy Release Component] approaching or exceeding the 90th percentile)”

Critical Fire Weather May 7, 2022
Critical Fire Weather May 7, 2022. NWS.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Critical fire weather for parts of the Southwest and Southern High Plains this weekend”

  1. Why is New Mexico having a Whopper fire Now, in 2022 ?

    Windy Spring weather is not a new thing for the Santa Fe area. Neither is low humidity.

    21/47 miles per hour predicted in Santa Fe New Mexico, for 2 PM Sunday.

    Seems like their windy weather has lasted more than a week.

    Data for May 8, 1998 –
    Maximum Sustained Wind Speed
    28.88 MPH

    Maximum Wind Gust
    41.43 MPH


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