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Enhanced Fire Danger Tuesday, Cooler Wednesday.

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Although we had a good soaking rain over the course of the weekend, an enhanced fire danger will be a concern for our Tuesday. Those weekend rains were the most moisture we have received in months but dormant vegetation, gusty winds, warm temperatures and low humidity values will dry things out quickly tomorrow, particularly the fine fuels such as the weeds and grasses.

The southerly winds have been slow to return on this side of the state which kept us on the cool side despite plenty of sunshine today. Normally, the winds would subside during the overnight hours, but that is not expected to be the case this time around. Southerly winds increasing to 10-20 mph during the night tonight will also keep temperatures much milder. In fact, most locations should remain in the 40s with possibly a few upper 30s to start the day Tuesday.

As the day wears on, our next frontal boundary will be pushing across the state with gusty southerly winds ahead of it and gusty W to NW winds behind it. Wind speeds are expected to be near 30 mph or more at times leading to the fire danger concerns. Also, since the winds will be gradually veering around from S to SW to W to NW, there will be no moisture convergence along the boundary and all the moisture will be swept well off to the east of us anyway. Thus, this will be a dry system. In fact, minimum relative humidity levels will likely be down around 20% or so for a time during the afternoon. Afternoon temperatures should be reaching the lower 70s at the same time.

Fortunately, Wednesday will have lighter winds and it will also be cooler with daytime highs around 60 or so along with lots of sunshine. A return to brisk southerly winds will warm us back into the lower 70s for the official arrival of Spring on Thursday. Another frontal boundary will be arriving late Friday but this system should have a little more moisture to work with. Have put in a chance of showers/storms for late Friday through the overnight hours. But, as you can see from the 7 day QPF map on the right, this does not appear to be a big rainmaker for the state.

The weekend will have brisk northerly winds and temperatures a bit below normal, but not of the extreme we experienced this past Sunday. As is often the case, we will have a bit of a roller coaster ride with respect to temperatures as we go on into Spring, but at least the general trend is upward.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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