Friday, March 25, 2016

Forecaster Evie: Lightning Danger But Badly Needed Rain on the Way

When Forecaster Evie's pigtails extend, it is a sign of rain and thunderstorms. That would be a godsend to exhausted firefighters and residents of hard-hit Barber County, Kansas, and the surrounding area.

Here is the latest headline from The Wichita Eagle; their story is here.
Unfortunately, winds are picking up right now from a southerly direction as this noon satellite image with the weather stations plotted indicates. ML=the weather station at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in the center of hard-hit Barber County.

The NWS SPC forecasts critical wildfire danger over the region until around sunset.

Now, for Evie's forecast (with some help from the NWS WPC):
She is forecasting about a quarter of an inch of rain over the fire area the next two days. That would help the firefighters greatly. The rain is forecast to begin after midnight tonight.

However, there is a serious danger. The forecast models are showing a threat of lightning with the rain (blue = lightning threat).
The Gyp Hills (where the fire is burning) is both rugged and remote. Fire crews will need to monitor the lightning threat and evacuate before the lightning arrives!

We'll update the situation and have another briefing this afternoon.

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