Lots of wind in your forecast this Labor Day. Much like Sunday, we'll find northerly winds blowing through at 15-25mph sustained with gusts upwards of 30-40mph at times -- especially once the sun really takes over into this afternoon.
Like Sunday as well, this is going to lead to EXTREMELY high fire danger as well. It just takes a quick trip to the homepage of KBTX.com and you'll see story after story about wildfires that erupted on Sunday here in the Brazos Valley and across the state. In fact, the biggest fire continues to burn this morning around Bastrop, Texas with around 17,000 acres burned and over 5,000 people having to evacuate their homes. In Leon County, 3,000 to 4,000 have already burned with firecrews still battling 1,500 acres as of 10:30 Monday morning. Details on efforts to contain that blaze can be found here.
Needless to say, extreme caution is needed again today with a RED FLAG WARNING running through sunset tonight, when winds are expected to relax a bit. Granted it is Labor Day -- a day typically for firing up the grill -- today might not exactly be conducive to that because of the gusty winds. What ever you do today, use every bit of caution as any tiny spark could lead to a large wildfire.
What is causing all of this wind?
The remnants of what was Tropical Storm Lee is slowly churning through Mississippi this morning, finally picked up and moved off of Louisiana's shore by a cold front. High pressure is building over the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to our west -- which leaves the Brazos Valley and Texas wedged right in the middle. It is the close proximity and rapid drop in pressure -- between the high to our west and the low that was Lee to our east -- that is causing Mother Nature to fill that void in the atmosphere with a lot of wind to compensate for quick the change. Good news is we should start to see the winds become come down to breezy by Tuesday and then falling off to between 5-10mph for the rest of the week, easing these fire concerns.
Cooler, drier air filters in.
The good side to this forecast is the cooler temperatures that are dumping down into the area to start off September. For the next couple of mornings, expect to walk outside to upper 50s to low 60s with daytime highs only rebounding to the upper 80s and low 90s.
Drier air, unfortunately, means much needed rain chances will stay out of the forecast this next week (and likely beyond this 7 day stretch). If it wasn't for all the fire concerns and this horrible drought we are stuck with -- this would be a fantastic forecast coming off the heels of the hottest summer on record for the Brazos Valley.