We once again are seeing a good setup for brush fires for our Wednesday, as a combination of warm temperatures, dry topsoil, low humidity, and gusty winds impacts the area.
An area of high pressure over Alabama will shift its way to the east as we head through the afternoon. With that being said, we’ll begin to pick up more of a southwesterly breeze instead of the westerly breeze that we saw on Tuesday.
In addition, we have a weak disturbance over western and central Ohio this morning that will slide down to the south and east over our region as we head to this afternoon. Though no rainfall is expected today as a result of the disturbance, a few high clouds and gusty winds will be possible. Wind gusts in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 mph will be possible.
We also continue to see low humidity values. The good news is that those values will increase slightly compared to yesterday, since our winds will be pulling more from the southwest than west (southwest breeze ushers in a more moist air flow from the Gulf of Mexico), but afternoon humidity values will likely still bottom out in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 percent, which is low enough to cause problems.
The brush fire risk has continued as a result of a very dry month of March, in which many of us saw less than 50 percent of the rainfall we typically see across the region during the month. Our next chance of rain returns late Thursday into Friday, and with a good quarter to half inch of rain expected, that should temporarily provide some relief from the brush fire risk for the weekend.
Keep in mind that during the spring fire season, there are several burning regulations in place across the region:
- In West Virginia, from March 1st to May 31st, burning is only permitted from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. More information is available here.
- In Ohio, from March 1st to May 31st, burning is only permitted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. More information is available here.
- In Kentucky, from February 15th to April 30th, burning is only permitted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. More information is available here.