Fire Weather Threat Rises as Drought Conditions Worsen

July 16th, 2020
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 11:58 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 2:33 PM CDT
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The newest drought monitor was released at 6:30 AM MDT this morning, and more of Wyoming is now seeing drought conditions. Cheyenne is now officially under a level 1 “abnormally dry” drought condition while Casper continues to hold its status under a level 3 “severe” drought condition. Rain chances are not exactly climbing as we finish off the weak either. High pressure has developed over the Great Plains, and that will keep our weather rather dry and hot for the rest of the week. The one thing that could offer a bit of relief from the heat would be some breezes that develop on Friday, mainly for the central part of the state.

These breezy conditions however are leading to an escalation in the risk for fire weather. A fire weather watch has already been issued by the National Weather Service and is in effect for Laramie, Casper, Douglas, and Riverton until 8 PM MDT Friday. For some locations the breezy conditions are expected to continue into the weekend, which could extend the duration of the fire weather risk. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s for much of Wyoming Friday and Saturday, resulting in a quick rebound from the cold front that passed through on Monday evening.

In terms of rain chances, the next best chance is going to be Sunday when another cold front passes through the state. Until then, a lot of sunshine is expected with the possibility of a few spotty pop up storms in the afternoon/evening hours of today through Saturday, mainly for the southeastern portion of the state. Another high pressure system that has developed over Montana will likely inhibit storm activity for the central and northeastern part of the state. Severe weather is not expected with any of these pop up storms. This next cold front does not look to be as strong as the last one, resulting in smaller temperatures drops back into the lower to mid 80s for Monday of next week. The relief also looks to be very short lived once again, with temperatures expected to reach the 90s again by Tuesday for some locations.

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