Expect for fire conditions to persist this week as temperatures rise, humidity low.

By Kansas Agland

With little rainfall in the past few weeks, western Kansas remains in a severe to extreme drought. Meanwhile, much of Kansas, including the southwest quarter, is in red flag warning today, which means conditions are ripe for grass fires.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, another week of below-normal precipitation affected the region, causing dryness and drought to generally persist and locally worsen through the Great Plains, including Kansas.

Between 0.25 and 1.0 inch of precipitation was measured from central Oklahoma northeastward into south Missouri, and in the central High Plains near the Rockies; otherwise, a few tenths of an inch fell, at best. Severe drought expanded in central Nebraska, and D1 expanded considerably eastward from central Oklahoma to southeast Kansas, according to the drought monitor.

Over the past 60 days, precipitation totaled 3 to 6 inches less than normal across central and east Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, north and west Arkansas, and south Missouri. Both 60- and 90-day amounts are only half of normal at best across the south-central Plains approaching the Red River Valley and Texas.

Meanwhile, Temperatures are expected to approach 70 degrees today with dew points falling into the teens, creating critical fire conditions. Additionally, expect for some strong winds again today, as an intensifying trough of low pressure across eastern Colorado will allow for winds to increase to 15 to 25 mph with gusts over 30 mph at times, according to the National Weather Service.