Weather and Critical Events

Wildfire risk ongoing, Pacific storm forms (forecast video)

Wildfire threat out west: The risk for fires remains elevated from the Great Basin to the Desert Southwest due to windy, very arid weather. Dry thunderstorms will add to the risk of wildfire development in the eastern half of Oregon and the western half of New Mexico. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Red Flag Warnings across the region, including the Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix metro areas where smoke could reduce driver visibility. The Woodbury Fire just east of Phoenix, for example, has spread across more than 123,000 acres since it was discovered on June 8.

Stormy day in the High Plains: The focus for numerous severe thunderstorms today and tonight is from Montana to North Dakota. These storms will be capable of producing very large hail, intense wind gusts, torrential rainfall and perhaps isolated tornadoes from Missoula and Butte to Great Falls, Glasgow, Glendive and Minot. Drivers will run into delays on portions of the I-15, I-90 and I-94 corridors, and roadblocks are possible due to localized flash flooding. Several severe storms could also pop up from southern Minnesota to far northern Illinois, including Minneapolis, Green Bay, La Crosse and Milwaukee.

Tropical update: Yesterday, Tropical Storm Alvin became the first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season. As of this morning, Alvin’s sustained winds maxed out at 60 mph. The storm is several hundred miles west of Central America and is forecast to move westward, farther out in the Pacific. Alvin isn’t a threat to anybody on land, but crews on cargo ships will have to steer clear.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.