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NOAA satellite image of California wildfires taken May 5, 2004, at 5:27 p.m. EDT.May 10, 2004 — Very strong and gusty winds, low humidity and warm temperatures along with a high fire danger over much of the southwest United States will produce critical fire weather conditions Monday into Tuesday, according to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of California wildfires taken May 5, 2004, at 5:27 p.m. EDT. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

"A strong upper-level storm system digging into the western United States will dramatically increase the south, southwesterly flow over much of the region from the Lower Colorado River Valley northward across Arizona, eastern Nevada and most of Utah," said Phillip Bothwell, senior development meteorologist at the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. Sustained winds of 35 to 45 miles an hour with higher gusts and lowest humidity in the single digits to the low teens are expected Monday into Monday night ahead of the digging upper-level trough and approaching
cold front Monday.

Northwestern New Mexico, western Colorado and eastern Utah will also see low humidity, but the winds are not expected to be quite as strong across those areas, Bothwell said. Strong south to southeasterly winds in southeastern Montana are likely Monday, but moderate humidity values are expected there.

Bothwell predicts that on Tuesday, as the cold front moves southeastward across the region, the strong and gusty southwesterly flow and low humidity will continue across Arizona and parts of western New Mexico, as well as in parts of eastern Utah and western Colorado.

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Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Fire Weather Information Center

NOAA National Weather Service Western Region

NOAA National Fire Weather Page

NOAA Western Red Flag Warnings

NOAA Fire Graphics and Satellite Images

NOAA Provides Critical Support to Wildfire Management

High-tech Meteorology Helps NOAA Forecast Fire Weather

NOAA Fire Weather Services

Media Contact:
Keli Tarp, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, (405) 366-0451 or Marilu Trainor, NOAA National Weather Service Western Region, (801) 524-5692 ext. 226