Drought Could Increase Fire Threats

Drought Could Increase Fire Threats

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9 

MIDLAND - We may be enjoying the warmer temperatures however it's also raising concerns. The combination of dry conditions and the high winds may increase the threat of fires in our area.

The dry vegetation and the warmer temperatures continue to dominate West Texas and the chances of relief are very low. The National Weather Service says dry conditions could put our area at a high risk for fires.

"With the warmer, normal temperatures and below normal precipitation, that process will continue, we won't see much of a green up of grasses and bushes and such across the area," National Weather Service Meteorologist, Alec Lyster, said.

That's because storm systems have been passing to the far north of the Basin.

"When these storm systems pass by at this type of latitude, that contributes to stronger winds. As our temperatures warm up, it makes it even more so with the dry air and the drying fuels and fire weather concerns," Lyster said.

Red graphics shown on computer models at the National Weather Service show the dry air all over West Texas right now. Not only can those types of conditions dry up plants creating fuel for potential fires but they can also cause our water resources to dry up. On Saturday, Midland International Airport reported a record high of 91 degrees, a possible indication of what's to come.

"That would just increase the evaporation rate from the lake and reservoirs around here without any precipitation to add to them," Lyster said.

Red flag advisories and high wind warnings may be common in the next couple of months.