Sunday, April 08, 2012

Forecast for Monday, April 9, 2012

Windy conditions, combined with low relative humidity values, dry/ low fine fuels, and the dried out floor of our woodland and forests will result in another day of critical fire weather conditions. The strong wind gusts will support the rapid spread and explosive growth of any uncontrolled fire. West winds will cause any uncontrolled fire and associated smoke to move east of the point of origin. Again, we aren’t expecting numerous fires. But it only takes one fire to scorch hundreds of acres and threaten lives and property.

Wind gusts could be rather strong for a time during late Monday Morning into Monday Afternoon. Frequent wind gusts of 25 to 35 MPH are expected. There will be times where wind gusts could pass 40 MPH. This is certainly enough to fan any flames. There could also be a few isolated trees or branches that could come down during the peak gustiness. This would have the potential to knock down some power lines. If this were to occur, this could be another element which may increase the chance for an uncontrolled fire to develop.

One fly in the ointment would be a round of potential rain showers in the afternoon and early evening hours. This could cause atmospheric moisture to increase and thus the relative humidity values would increase. However, these showers look very isolated at the moment and it appears that the moisture increase would be limited. We would also be meeting the criteria for a “red flag” up until any measurable precipitation would occur.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be a few spokes of showers that pass through from time to time. It will also be cooler. On Wednesday, there could be a few thunderstorms with the possibility of small hail. Depending on how widespread the shower activity is, there could be some lingering fire weather concerns. However, relative humidity values will be higher. If we do not receive appreciable rains, the end of the week would pose additional fire weather issues. Weekend warmth is in doubt at the moment and will be dependent on potential weekend rain.