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Fire Weather Risk in The Northeast?

Don’t let the expanding high pressure fool you across the Northeast; indeed it will provide excellent weather conditions with above average temperatures and sunshine however the atmospheric conditions will become almost ideal in terms of fire hazard (i.e. bushfires). ).


There are several key components to look for when dealing with increasing fire hazards – Dryness, Humidity, Wind and Temperature.

  • Drought: Several days without rain lead to prolonged dry weather.
  • Humidity: Relatively low humidity (low dew point with <30% RH as a rule of thumb and not exceeding 65-70% at night)
  • Winds: Winds maintained at a minimum of 10 mph with gusts of up to 20 mph, and clearly became more favorable with higher gusts.
  • Temperature: Generally wanted above average.

Below, we start with the wind. We see sustained winds mostly at 6-8+ mph, with a wider area above 10 mph with gusts easily passing 15-20 mph for a few days through Friday.

With lots of high pressure, and again we haven’t seen rain in this general area since last Thursday, so we also have a dry side to this. We’ll also schedule a few days here when the RH is fairly low, where most states across the Northeast are below 40% during the day, with values ​​not exceeding 70% at night, mostly in the mid-Atlantic states.

Furthermore, this time of year (April-May) is for the region in general the most favorable in terms of climate, and it is no coincidence that it coincides with the fact that trees are also not fully leafed. Meaning? Evaporation increases and the sun’s solar radiation dries the vegetation much faster because there is no shade.

So, when we combine favorable atmospheric components (high pressure in and in time; warm temperature; low relative humidity; and wind), we also get a favorable setup. beneficial for bush and forest fires. The unfortunate aspect of all of this in relation to fire is that almost 85% of humans are the catalysts for fires, so any outdoor activity (e.g. camping, cigarette butts, using equipment, barbecue, etc) can easily become the “spark” (no pun intended) for a random fire to appear. At least for the next two or three days, be cautious in this area as in this time frame we will see the most optimal window on the fire weather index. Using this indicator, any value above 50 is indicative of favorable atmospheric conditions, which, as shown above, verify this reliably.

About the author

Armando Salvador

Hello! My name is Armando Salvadore and I am a Mississippi State graduate with a Bachelor of Professional Meteorology and an Activity Meteorologist working in the Private Sector. Stay tuned if you like technical, exotic, and general weather tweets! Also big on long-range forecasting as well! Twitter: @KaptMands


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