Dangerous fire weather from California to Kansas, summer storms Midwest and East

ABC NewsBy DANIEL MANZO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Dangerous fire conditions in the West have contributed to the spread of a number of flare ups over the weekend.

In Utah, The Knolls fire near Saratoga Springs has burned 2,000 acres and is 0% contained.

Wind gusts at that fire reached as high as 57 mph on Sunday afternoon. The fire has caused at least 13,000 evacuations. This came after the Traverse fire south of Salt Lake City quickly erupted over the weekend.

In Nevada, The Mahogany Fire at Mount Charleston outside of Las Vegas has burned 5,000 acres and is 0% contained.

The Poeville fire outside of Reno has burned 3,500 acres and is 30% contained.

Unfortunately, elevated to critical fire danger will persist another day for a large part of the West from California to Kansas.

The reason for the fire danger is mainly due to a strong cold front moving through the area knocking temperatures down at least 20 degrees in some spots.

Although the relative humidity is very low for the region, the real concern is the erratic wind on the ridges that at times Monday could gust as high as 60 mph, especially in northern Arizona.

The only good news here is that much of the region has cooled down from last week. Las Vegas is only expected to reach a high of 88 Monday and it typically averages a high of 102 degrees at the end of June.

The fire danger will shrink to mainly just Arizona and New Mexico on Tuesday and then, finally, conditions will be significantly less conducive for fire spread by Wednesday.

Meanwhile for much of the eastern half of the nation, the weather story continues to be summer storms.

On Sunday, parts of Massachusetts saw 3 to 5 inches of heavy rain which even prompted a flash flood emergency in Norwood, Massachusetts.

On Monday morning, storms are firing in parts of the upper Midwest where 3 to 5 inches of rain has been reported in parts of eastern Minnesota.

Flash Flood Watches have also been posted there as well as parts of the Heartland from Missouri to Kentucky.

More summer storms, at times with gusty winds, and very heavy rainfall will develop again later Monday afternoon in parts of New England and the Tennessee valley.

Elsewhere, air quality is improving in much of the U.S. as the Saharan dust settles and blows north and east out of the country.

The main areas Monday morning likely to see any impact from the dust will be parts of Florida and perhaps a couple of spots in the Midwest.

There are no active air quality alerts due to Saharan dust Monday morning.

Another round of dust is expected to arrive later this week, however, this round is looking less impressive overall and is likely to remain confined to the Gulf Coast.

Any slow moving storm will continue to bring the risk of flash flooding over the next 24 to 36 hours.

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