US weather: Soaring temperatures bring risk of wildfires to parts of America

US weather: Soaring temperatures bring risk of wildfires to parts of America

WATCH HERE: UK regional weather outlook February 28, 2024

Met Office
Nathan Rao

By Nathan Rao

Published: 28/02/2024

- 10:51

‘Red Flag’ fire warnings have popped up all over the south

Record heat pushing temperatures to 95F in parts of America this week have sparked warnings for deadly wildfires.

Hundreds of daily records will be set over the coming days, experts say, as a hot plume sweeps in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Dry winds and low humidity will turn the worst-hit regions into tinder boxes, prompting a raft of ‘Red Flag’ fire warnings.

It ends an unusually mild winter which, although not devoid of cold and snow, has seen temperatures widely hover above average.

Temperatures soar from the south

US weather: Temperatures soar from the south


Extreme heat will continue to bake the US beyond this week with ‘ridiculous temperatures’ expected into the start of March, experts warn.

Jim Dale, US weather correspondent and senior meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “We are talking ridiculous heat across the United States with temperatures over the coming days almost undoubtedly going to shatter records.

“This is a plume coming right up from the Gulf of Mexico, and it will push temperatures to 90F in parts, and we must remember that we are still in winter.

“And it is not going to be just this week, this extraordinary heat is likely to hold out into next week and the start of March.”

\u200bUS temperature highs amid wildfire warnings

US temperature highs amid wildfire warnings

The Weather Channel

Southern regions will endure the highest temperatures with Texas and Arizona likely to soar beyond the high-80Fs.

A cooler interlude will give some respite ahead of the weekend before another ‘thrust’ from Mexico sends the mercury soaring.

Mr Dale said: “These are extremely worrying temperatures, especially as it could be a warning of things to come during the summer months.

“This is absolute baking heat, and although it is not going to be everywhere, is going to be a cause for concern in those regions that are going to be hit.”

In the firing line for the worst of the heat will be the southern and eastern states with Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Iowa all well above average for the time of year.

The northwest will remain cooler and wetter with flooding an ongoing risk in California.

US faces potential record high temperatures

US faces potential record high temperatures

The Weather Channel

The National Weather Service (NOAA) has ‘Red Flag’ wildfire warnings in force across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The warnings are issued when ‘critical fire weather conditions’ are either ongoing or expected–including high temperatures, wind and low humidity.

Records for February heat have already toppled with Omaha, Nebraska hitting 80F on Monday, De Moines, Iowa, 78F, Rochester, Minnesota, 69F and Minneapolis, 65F.

Texarkana, Arkansas, hit 90F for the first time in February, while Abilene, Texas, drew its monthly record with 94F.

Red-flag fire warnings in place

Red-flag fire warnings in place


High temperatures are in part the result of a strong El Nino warming of the eastern Pacific, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.

He said: “The strong El Niño that has been in place, and warmer winters are typical across the northern tier of states during a strong El Niño.

“Well over 100 daily records are in jeopardy from Texas to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley on Tuesday.

“Some of these cities could even see their hottest February temperatures on record.”

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