Unseasonable Heat & Extreme Wildfire Danger Threaten West Texas


SAN ANGELO, Texas — With unseasonably warm and dry conditions prevailing, West Texas faces heightened wildfire risk and scorching temperatures, meteorologists warned Sunday.

The National Weather Service highlighted near-critical fire weather conditions particularly in the western Big Country and northwestern Concho Valley for the afternoon. Dry conditions are set to persist through the weekend, amplifying the fire hazard.

The region is experiencing unusual warmth, with temperatures expected to soar into the lower to mid-80s, hitting hardest across the Big Country and Concho Valley. Gusty winds from the west-southwest, especially pronounced in the mentioned areas, further exacerbate the fire threat.

"Increasing low-level moisture is resulting in patchy low cloud development early this morning across portions of the northwest Hill Country and Heartland," the Weather Service noted. While this could offer temporary relief, the clouds are expected to dissipate, leaving behind warm and breezy conditions.

The danger doesn't abate in the long term. Forecasters predict that the southern Plains will remain in a southwest flow aloft at the start of the workweek, maintaining the warm pattern. Despite some moisture in the air, especially in the northwest Hill Country, chances for rain remain slim. Any precipitation would be a welcome reprieve for the parched landscape.

The dryline is expected to shift further eastward by Tuesday, eliminating any hope for rain, albeit bringing winds from the north, albeit at gentle speeds. However, by late Wednesday, southerly return flow could set in again, potentially heralding more unstable weather.

The combination of gulf moisture interacting with a trough and another frontal passage by Friday could bring increased chances of rain and thunderstorms, providing a glimmer of hope for relief from the relentless heat and wildfire danger.

Nevertheless, residents are urged to remain vigilant, as the scorching conditions persist, and authorities advise taking precautions to mitigate the risk of wildfires amid the unseasonable heatwave.

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