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Wildfire Threat is High to Finish the Week

September 25th, 2020
The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for Southern Wyoming and Sheridan County until at least 7:00 PM Friday. More warnings are expected Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for Southern Wyoming and Sheridan County until at least 7:00 PM Friday. More warnings are expected Saturday.(KGWN)
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 12:06 PM CDT
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Another week has come and gone in the Cowboy State, and again the weekend will bring us some more changes. The first change is going to be the amount of strong winds Wyoming sees. During the summer months there typically isn’t too much wind in Wyoming, however now that fall has officially started the jet stream is beginning to creep back southward. This is bringing back the consistent breezy days that we see in Wyoming. The other change that is coming is temperatures: things will be a lot more seasonable for the back half of the weekend and the start of next week with high temperatures in the 50s and low 60s expected for much of the state.

The wind is most certainly a problem heading into the weekend, especially in southeast Wyoming. The Mullen Fire in the Savage Run Wilderness in southeast Carbon County has grown by 6000 acres over the last two days, and the strongest winds have not even hit the region yet. Those are expected today and even more so tomorrow. For this afternoon, the Medicine Bow National Forest will likely see sustained wind speeds at 20-25 mph with gusts between 30 and 40 mph coming from the west-southwest. This will push the Mullen Fire further into southwest Albany county and closer to Rob Roy Reservoir.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Critical Risk (level 2) for South-Central Wyoming Friday due to expected strong wind speeds as well as the continuously growing Mullen Fire.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Critical Risk (level 2) for South-Central Wyoming Friday due to expected strong wind speeds as well as the continuously growing Mullen Fire.(KGWN)

For tomorrow those wind speeds go up to over 30 mph with gusts of 50+ mph coming from the west. This will also continue to push the fire into Albany County and closer to Rob Roy as well. The battle ahead for firefighters will be very tough, however there are a couple of positives. Temperatures will be on the decline over the weekend, which will limit the fire’s spread. On top of that, rain chances are also increasing, especially come Sunday. Come Sunday winds will shift to out of the north, and conditions will be calmer in the Medicine Bow region as well.

Strong winds from the west in the southern half of the state will make battling the Mullen fire very difficult for firefighters Saturday afternoon.
Strong winds from the west in the southern half of the state will make battling the Mullen fire very difficult for firefighters Saturday afternoon.(KGWN)

When it comes to the rain chances this weekend, for Saturday it’s mainly going to be the western half of the state that sees it. While a couple of isolated small showers will be possible in Eastern Wyoming, most of us won’t see any rain. Saturday will likely be the toughest day for firefighters in fighting the Mullen Fire. Sunday is when the chances escalate a bit more for Eastern Wyoming. For Cheyenne, the chances for rain unfortunately do not look great. However and isolated shower cannot be ruled out, and with weather models only just now hinting at rain chances this weekend, they could still go up for the Capital City. Casper on the other hand has a much higher chance of seeing rain Sunday afternoon. Any rain the state sees will be in the form of light showers, as things are cooling off too much for widespread thunderstorm activity. After this weekend rain chances drop to about zero again as sunny skies take back over Wyoming.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

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