Spring wildfire outlook after recent snowfall

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Clear

Amarillo

67°F Clear Feels like 67°
Wind
22 mph SSE
Humidity
51%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low around 50F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
50°F Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low around 50F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
20 mph S
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Clear

Dumas

72°F Clear Feels like 72°
Wind
20 mph SSE
Humidity
34%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 46F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
46°F Partly cloudy. Gusty winds diminishing after midnight. Low 46F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
21 mph S
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Clear

Hereford

70°F Clear Feels like 70°
Wind
21 mph SSW
Humidity
49%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mainly clear. Low 48F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
48°F Mainly clear. Low 48F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
17 mph S
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Few Clouds

Dalhart

75°F Few Clouds Feels like 75°
Wind
29 mph SSE
Humidity
28%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low around 45F. Winds S at 25 to 35 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
45°F Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low around 45F. Winds S at 25 to 35 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
26 mph S
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Clear

Perryton

65°F Clear Feels like 65°
Wind
26 mph S
Humidity
49%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Windy this evening. Low near 50F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
50°F Partly cloudy. Windy this evening. Low near 50F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
21 mph S
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous
Clear

Pampa

65°F Clear Feels like 65°
Wind
25 mph S
Humidity
54%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Windy. Low 52F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
52°F Partly cloudy. Windy. Low 52F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible.
Wind
24 mph S
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Gibbous

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Tuesday’s snowfall may keep the wildfire threat away for a few days but not for long.

The City of Amarillo saw one to three inches of snowfall and up to half a foot in some areas near Canyon but Chief Meteorologist John Harris said the area is still quite dry.

“Unfortunately, that will not help us out that long into the future,” Harris said. “It only takes one or two days of dry down-sloping westerly winds to compress that moisture evaporated, if you will, and here we go again with that wildfire threat.”

Michael Gittinger, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service said we can expect a normal wildfire year.

“There’s nothing to suggest that we’re going to have a really bad season, but normal wildfire seasons have bad days,” Gittinger said. “That’s the key so we could have some bad days in there because it only takes a short period of time to dry out grasses and have their weather systems work themselves to be a bad day but the overall pattern does not suggest a bad season.”

Gittinger said we saw a drier year in 2018, rainfall totals were normal overall in 2019, and this year we can expect the same.

“I don’t know if there’s any real trend to see there. It’s kind of normal ups and downs of life in the panhandle and the weather,” Gittinger added.

Harris said February and March are the worst months of the year for wildfires across the Panhandle—and most wildfires are manmade.

“Then if you have a spark from like maybe a power line being blown over, or somebody’s throwing a cigarette out of their car, all of a sudden you have a wildfire,” Harris continued. “So, we still are kind of where we have been. But it’s nice to have the moisture around and it does help out for a while but we need a lot more.”

The NWS urges everyone to pay attention to fire weather warnings.

Harris said the wildfire threat will be at its worst until mid-spring. Until then, we will hope for more precipitation to keep fire fuel values low.

Gittinger said everyone should be especially careful about wildfire prevention on windy days.


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