Fire Danger Returns.

Monday, April 4th 2011, 6:48 pm
By: News On 6

A quick check of the map on the right shows that some lucky folks received enough rainfall last night to do them some good, but most of us barely had enough to even settle the dust. Unfortunately, our prospects for a good, soaking, drought breaker remain bleak with only scattered showers or storms later this week and over the weekend and not the widespread rainfall that is needed.

Also, yesterdays strong southerly winds have been replaced by strong northerly winds today and Tuesday will be back to gusty southerly winds once again. The only real break in the winds will be tonight as the pressure gradient finally weakens and our winds will settle down rather quickly after sunset. With the clear overnight skies, that also means temperatures will quickly fall off and should be near the freezing mark by early Tuesday morning. In fact, a freeze warning is in effect for the colder valley locations and possibly some patchy frost. Ordinarily, there would be a widespread, heavy frost but the very dry air that will be in place by morning will likely prevent that from happening.

After the cold, early morning start, look for a rapid rebound during the day Tuesday. As mentioned, our winds will be returning to a S to SW direction and will be back up around the 20-25 mph mark by afternoon. That will result in temperatures quickly rising and should reach the upper 60s and lower 70s. Humidity levels will be dropping into the low 20% range during the heat of the day and this combination means another very high fire danger.

Gusty southerly winds can then be expected for the rest of the week keeping an enhanced fire danger in place each day. The southerly winds will bring more moisture back over the state resulting in higher humidity levels, but the strength of the winds will still be a problem. It will also be much warmer until the next cool front arrives and that does not appear to happen until Sunday. There will be a weak boundary coming into the state on Wed but it is expected to stall out before making it this far. The stronger system on Sunday may also present a threat of storms, perhaps even some severe storms before the day is over. A few isolated storms may also occur later in the week, but the better chances look to be on Saturday or Sunday.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot