The warm temperatures’s we’ve enjoyed over the last several days are about to come crashing back down to near-average for this time of year, and we’ve got yet another day of enhanced fire danger.
…before it all comes crashing back down.
Unfortunately conditions this past weekend led to the ignition and spread of several large brush and wildfires across Virginia, including 250 acres in Craig County, closing a portion of the Appalachian Trail; 1300 acres in Louisa County; 2100 acres in Rockingham County; fires in New Kent and Prince William Counties, shutting down portions of I-64 and I-95, respectively; a small fire claimed a house in Roanoke County; and another fire burned ten acres in Montgomery County. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg, either.
And guess what? We get to do it all over again today. From the National Weather Service in Wakefield:
South to southwest winds will become gusty today. Gusts will reach 25 to 35 mph. The wind…combined with relative humidity levels between 30 to 40 percent along with dry fuels will allow any fire to quickly spread.
Virginia residents are reminded that open burning is prohibited before 4 PM each day through April 30th.
Residents are urged to exercise caution when handling any potential ignition source…including machinery…cigarettes…and matches. Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. Any dry grasses and tree litter that ignite will have the potential to spread quickly.
Monday is going to be another warm, dry day, with highs approaching the day’s record of 75 degrees. Low pressure located to the north of the region will keep clouds around for at least part of the day, as a warm front passes through this morning. Strong, gusty winds and relatively dry air with low relative humidity values will, as I mentioned, reinforce the fire threat for yet another day. Temperatures will drop down to near 40 overnight. Don’t be surprised to see some light precipitation beginning Monday evening. While it should all start as rain, there’s the chance for some conversion to either sleet or freezing rain (and maybe a snowflake or two) overnight into Tuesday morning. Don’t expect a lot of accumulation, however.
That chance for precipitation will continue into the morning hours, as a trailing cold front associated with the area of low pressure off to the north will swing through on Tuesday, sharply cutting high temperatures. Highs will only reach the upper 40s – quite the shock after the balmy 70s of the day before! Strong winds will persist until after the frontal passage in the late afternoon; mostly cloudy conditions will also persist. High pressure behind the cold front will start clearing out some of the clouds overnight, allowing for clear skies to make a return by midweek.
The region of high pressure located across the Ohio Valley will keep temperatures at a seasonable level for the middle of the week. Temperatures stay near seasonable levels (highs around 50), and in our next chance for some precipitation is looking like Friday. I’ll have another update on Wednesday