Warm and Windy.

Tuesday, March 15th 2011, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6

As you can see from the map on the right, much of the state is under county declared burn bans and will be for quite some time. In fact, additional counties will likely be added as we do not see any widespread, significant rainfall coming our way anytime soon. Not only that, but the increasing southerly winds we will have over the next few will only make matters worse. Fortunately, the humidity levels will be higher than what we experienced last Friday which will mitigate the danger level somewhat.

For example, dew point temperatures last Friday were in the 20s whereas dew point temperatures are expected to be in the 40s and 50s for the next few days. That is an absolute measure of how much moisture is in the air which also means the relative humidity will be much higher than was the case last week. Even so, southerly winds will become quite strong and gusty for Wed and particularly on Thursday when gusts may exceed 30 mph. That kind of wind and the still dormant vegetation will combine to create an elevated fire danger risk once again.

This also means temperatures will be warming up with highs well into the 70s and possibly near 80 by Thu and Fri. A weak frontal boundary will try to push through our part of the state during the day Friday and that should provide a little break in the winds going into Saturday. Although this may drop temperatures some, we will still be well above normal for this time of year right on through the weekend and into the following week.

The front itself looks to be a dry system due to a lack of support aloft. Somewhat better support is expected on Saturday when there will be at least a chance of showers and storms. Strong southerly winds and an elevated fire danger will then return going into next week. There are indications of a stronger system that may provide a better chance of rain by the middle of next week, but that is certainly subject to change.

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

Dick Faurot