Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fire Danger This Week.......

Dry conditions in Texas over the past few weeks have lead to a high fire danger across our state. Nearly 80% of Texas Counties are under outdoor burning bans and we can expect to see that number increase. Low relative humidity and strong gusty winds later this week will increase the threat for grass fires across the state. As of, today much of East Texas is 5 inches or more behind on yearly rainfall and we are only 2 months into the new year.

The relative humidity at times this week will dip below 20% across East Texas and with strong gusty winds, outdoor burning is not recommended, even in counties which are not under outdoor burning bans. So is there any relief in sight? Unfortunately it appears this dry pattern will continue for a while. We will see a strong ridge of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere across the southern plains producing sinking air across our region for much of the week.

By the weekend there are some signs this ridge will begin to break down and allow a trough of low pressure to move into the southern plains giving us a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. That’s the good news. The bad news is we will not see a strong surge of Gulf moisture ahead of this trough which would allow widespread showers and storms giving most of the area some beneficial rains.

As we head towards the middle part of next week there is the potential of a large storm system forming which could produce heavy rain and severe weather for parts of East Texas followed by some much cooler weather by the end of next week. We could do without the severe weather but the possibility of heavy rain would be great news for East Texas. So until we receive the heavy rain we need, please refrain from outdoor burning.

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