Winds make for extreme fire weather conditions in North Texas

02/20/2014 8:29 AM

02/20/2014 8:30 AM

This will not be a good day for any outside burning or tossing cigarette butts out in a field.

Forecasters have issued a red flag warning on Thursday for most of North Texas as strong winds and low humidity will combine to create extreme fire weather conditions. The warning is from noon until 6 p.m. on Thursday.

A dry cold front arrives Thursday bringing with it northwest winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.

“We’ve already had a gust of 41 mph at the airport,” said meteorologist Jennifer Dunn at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, referring to DFW Airport. “That came about 3 a.m., and we’ll probably reach our high temperature this morning.”

The cold front will lower temperatures a tad, but nothing like North Texans have experienced in the past few weeks. The high Thursday should be in the upper 60s, but temperatures will start dropping once the cold front comes through.

Under the red flag warning, area fire departments will be on full alert as any wildfires could spread rapidly.

Along with the red flag warning, North Texans will be under a wind advisory on Thursday because of the strong northwest winds. That advisory is from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Forecasters are warning boaters to use extra caution on area lakes and residents may need to secure trash cans, lawn furniture and other lightweight outdoor objects that could be blown around in the gusty winds.

High fire weather conditions will continue into Friday. The winds shift to the south and could be at 10 to 15 mph with daytime temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s.

“The winds will not be as strong but the humidity could be even lower,” Dunn said.

North Texans will get to enjoy another weekend with spring-like conditions, but there’s no rain in the forecast. The next chance of rain isn’t until Tuesday night and Wednesday - 20 percent.

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