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Heavy Snow in the Northern Rockies; Severe Weather Across the Plains; Critical Fire Weather in the Southwest

Heavy wet snow and gusty winds are expected in the higher elevations of Idaho, western Montana, and Wyoming Thursday. Meanwhile, another round of severe storms are expected to develop across the central and southern Plains. Damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail are the primary threats. Further west, dry conditions and gusty winds will lead to critical fire weather concerns in the Southwest Read More >

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Last Map Update: Thu, May 23, 2024 at 11:46:35 am PDT

May is wildfire awareness month. We work together with firefighters and land management agencies by alerting them when and where we identify conditions that will promote the rapid spread of wildfire. We do this by issuing red flag warnings. Conditions that prompt red flag warnings include gusty winds and low humidity, and abundant lightning that can be difficult to get all of the new fires under control. During red flag warnings, you can keep yourself safe by paying attention to local officials like Emergency Managers or local Sheriff Offices, familiarizing yourself with your fire plan, checking your go bag, and using extreme caution with potential ignition sources. Remember, one less spark means one less wildfire.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month! Since our fires in 2020, the NWS has been exploring how we can better communicate extreme conditions that can lead to quickly spreading life-threatening fires. In conjunction with other offices covering the state of California, we began testing the usage of particularly dangerous situation or PDS Red Flag Warnings. This mimics the wording of Particularly Dangerous Tornado Watches/Warnings which have been around for a long time. This year, we will begin issuing PDS red flag warnings for Oregon and California as necessary. PDS red flag warnings are expected to be rare, which is why we haven't actually issued any yet. If we do issue it, please take heed. Have multiple ways of receiving information, and listen to emergency managers for important notices. Review your fire plan and gather your kit. Do not do anything that can release a spark or cause a fire. As a reminder, we will still issue non-PDS red flag warnings when we identify conditions that will promote the rapid spread of fire.

 

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