Critical fire weather returned to the western US on Monday as the central part of the country faces scorching heat.
Increased chances of forest fires are expected in western states throughout the week.
A combination of high temperatures, low humidity, dry lightning, and gusting winds will bring an elevated risk of critical fire weather in the Inter-Mountain West, Southwest, and Southern Rocky Mountains.
FIREWORKS SPARK UTAH WILDFIRE WHICH WAS GIVEN TO ITS RESIDENTS, OFFICERS SAY
We are entering the early stages of the Southwest monsoon season.
During these early stages, dry storms often occur. These storms produce lightning but little or no precipitation, creating the perfect conditions for forest fires.
As the season progresses, more moisture moves in the area and forest fires become much less frequent.
The heat is on across the plains
Extreme heat is arriving Monday through the northern plains.
Heat warnings have been issued for parts of northern Nebraska, the Dakotas, and western Minnesota.
Daytime highs will hit 90 and heat rates will be close to 105.
TAMPA RECEIVES 99 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, TYPING THE HEAT RECORD OF ALL TIME
Vulnerable populations will want to avoid spending too much time in the heat during the afternoon hours.
The dust layer of the Sahara persists
The Sahara dust layer will continue to persist over the southeast this week.
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The thick layer of Saharan dust that we have been observing for the past 10 days continues to flow through the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and into the southeastern U.S.
While most of this dust travels above the surface, creating colorful sunsets and misty skies, some ground-level dust can aggravate people with sensitive respiratory systems.
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Dust in the atmosphere prevents the development of hurricanes and as such we do not forecast any activity in the Atlantic for at least the next week.