Central United States Under Threat of Thunderstorms, Fires and
July 11, 2005 — Residents of the High Plains and central
United States can look for a wide variety of weather conditions
ranging from thunderstorms to wildland fires to flash flooding today
and Tuesday, according to NOAA National Weather Service forecasts.
As the remnants of Hurricane Dennis bring heavy rain to eastern
Missouri, eastern Kentucky, southern Indiana and southern Illinois,
a low-pressure system stretching from Canada to Mexico is expected
to bring rain storms and some severe weather to areas of the eastern
Rocky Mountains and western South Dakota that were the center of
wildfire activities over the weekend. Three fires continue to burn
in Colorado and one in South Dakota.
"In the relatively short distance from the eastern Rockies
to the Ohio River valley, we're going to see a wide range over weather
over the next couple of days," said NOAA Weather Service acting
deputy regional director Mike Looney in Kansas City. "It appears
rainstorms should be of some help with the Mason Fire that was started
by a lightning strike last week southwest of Pueblo, Colo. That
fire kept growing over the weekend and has exceeded 8,000 acres
burned in some rugged terrain that has hampered fire fighting efforts."
The Mason Fire caused the weekend evacuation of the town of Beulah.
The Pueblo County Sheriff called for evacuation of about 1,200 area
residents Sunday and a Type 1 fire incident management team was
requested to battle the blaze.
Rain and higher humidity should also help with the Ricco Fire in
the Black Hills National Forest, according to Looney. He noted that
the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., showed no critical
fire weather conditions today or Tuesday in its daily fire weather
Rainstorms are expected to bring some relief to the Pike San Isabel
National Forest and Grasslands where the Mason Fire has been burning
southwest of Pueblo since July 6. A lightning strike started the
fire the evening of July 6 and it was reported July 7.
Much heavier rains are forecast for eastern Missouri, southern
Illinois, southern Indiana, eastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee
as the remnants of Dennis bring the danger of flash flooding. National
Weather Service forecasters are calling for heavy rain in those
areas through Tuesday with showers and thunderstorms expected to
continue into Friday.
“What's left of Dennis is still carrying a lot of moisture,”
Looney said. "We're expecting flooding and flash flooding problems
from northern Louisiana to central Illinois and Indiana. Included
in that is an area of possible severe storms that could also bring
high winds and hail."
Pat Slattery, NOAA’s National Weather Service Central Region,
816-891-7734, ext. 621
Related Web sites:
NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center - Fire Weather Outlook