Critical fire weather conditions forecast for Monday

CHAPPELL - A surge of warm, dry air - accompanied by gusty west winds - will cause critical fire weather conditions Monday.

The National Weather Service in North Platte issued a red flag warning for wind and low relative humidity for Deuel, Garden, Arthur, Keith, Perkins and Chase Counties. Counties across central Nebraska are also included. The warning runs from 11 a.m. MDT through 8 p.m. MDT Monday. 

Wind speeds will be sustained out of the west at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph. Relative humidity will be as low as 15 percent.

According to the NWS, a fast moving cold front will move through the region Monday afternoon (northwest) and early evening (southwest) causing a sudden wind shift to north or northwest. The highest wind gusts will be along and behind the front.

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.