Red Flag Warning: Thunderstorms, lightning create fire weather conditions

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service has issued a “Red Flag Warning” for much of Washington, Iron and Kane counties for dry thunderstorms and gusty outflow winds. This is a critical fire conditions alert and is in effect from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Dots denote areas subject to the Red Flag advisory at 8:20 p.m., Southern Utah, July 22, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News
Dots denote areas subject to the Red Flag advisory at 8:20 p.m., Southern Utah, July 22, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News

Affected area

Fire weather zones 488, Manti National Forest, 489, San Rafael Swell, 493, Central Utah Mountains, and 496, Color Country mountains (see map insert).

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms will develop Wednesday afternoon. Storms will initially develop over the higher terrain and will move over adjacent valleys. Most thunderstorms will be dry, though some storms may be accompanied by wetting rain. Regardless, lightning will result in new fire starts.

Outflow winds

Outflow winds will be gusty and erratic in the vicinity of thunderstorms and may cause unpredictable fire behavior.

Impacts 

Dry thunderstorms in an area with dry fuels will create hazardous fire weather conditions and likely result in new fire starts Wednesday.

Precautionary/ preparedness actions

A “Red Flag Warning” means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.

A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

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