• Dennis McCaslin

NWS releases hazardous weather statement for Oklahoma counties

Significant fire weather conditions will develop across northeast Oklahoma this afternoon as gusty south winds increase at 30 to 40 mph.

Warmer temperatures, combined with afternoon relative humidities from 25 to 35 percent, will lead to rapid fire spread conditions. Areas to the northwest of Interstate 44 will feature the greatest concern, largely due to the continued drought conditions and delayed green up, although an elevated fire weather threat is expected anywhere north of Interstate 40.

THURSDAY...Thunderstorm...Very High Fire Weather and High Wind Potential. FRIDAY...Severe Thunderstorm...Very High Fire Weather and High Wind Potential. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY...High Wind Potential. MONDAY AND TUESDAY...No Hazards.

Similar fire weather conditions will continue Thursday, although minimum relative humidities will be slightly higher in the 40 to 55 percent range. On Friday, a strong storm system will move into the Plains region, leading to an increase in the severe thunderstorm potential, as well as continued elevated fire weather conditions.

Thunderstorm chances will increase beginning Thursday night and increase during the day Friday as a cold front and dryline approach from the west. Strong to severe thunderstorms should develop by early to mid afternoon Friday well ahead of the surface boundaries.

Additional development is expected on the dryline by late afternoon and into the evening hours. Storms along the dryline will have the potential to become supercells with the threat for baseball size hail, damaging winds, including the possibility for a few tornadoes.

The severe weather threat will shift east of the region shortly after midnight. Behind the dry line, elevated fire weather conditions will develop Friday afternoon as dry and gusty southwest winds develop over portions of northeast Oklahoma.

Areas along and west of Highway 75 will be most likely to see elevated conditions. Continued windy and much cooler conditions will move in for the weekend behind the cold frontal passage Friday night and into Saturday.