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Old 05-29-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Fire Weather Warning - and frost

Hard to believe, after such a record-wet winter and all those flood fears we had, but the spring's second fire weather threat is here.

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather (Red Flag) Warning for today. This is due to a combination of conditions favorable for the unpredictable spread of fire. We've had less than a half-inch of rain this month and the wind is blowing pretty good. Additionally, the humidity is extremely low. It doesn't take very much effort to get a fire started in this weather.

This dry weather is also causing some very cold nights. A very little-known fact is that water vapor (i.e. humidity, clouds, etc.) is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than the well-publicized CO2, and without much water vapor around, it's hard to keep daytime heat near the earth once the sun goes down. Therefore don't let today's 70-degree temps fool you - away from the water you might have frost by tomorrow morning.

If you like amazing views and/or stargazing, this is also fantastic weather for that, too. Just remember if you think you see clouds it's probably smoke.

This threat is expected to last until tomorrow night when the next weather system moves in and gives us a crappy weekend but much-needed rain.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:24 PM   #2
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Default Good info

Thanks CLA.

The red flag warning going into the weekend makes me a bit nervous with all the weekenders doing campfires without calling for permits (which would likely be denied). We're on Cow Island and the Tuftonboro fire boat isn't very fast. Amazing to see it parked right next to the Fish and Game boat.....a nice new Donzi with a 250 HP outboard on it, while the fire boat is an old waterlogged clunker, sitting low in the water, and sporting a mere 125 HP old outboard. I guess it's more important to catch those people with an extra trout in their boat than to respond quickly to island emergencies.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info - your posts are always so informative!

Alton's Fire Dept. has a "NO PERMITS" sign up now... It's dryer than a popcorn fart around here and we're looking forward to that rain this weekend....

Maybe if everyone will wash their cars tomorrow and hang out their laundry to dry, the rain will come faster!
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:49 AM   #4
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Default relief on the way

Never mind the campfires - yesterday's weather contributed to the massive condo fire in Peabody MA (on 128 @ Rt. 1.) Firefighters said it spread rapidly because of the very dry weather with strong shifting winds, among other reasons.

There is relief on the way. Looks like maybe a quarter to half an inch. I'm going to go with the lower end of the range just because that's the pattern we're stuck in. The last few rain chances did a lot more mid-air evaporating than anyone thought they would. We'll see. The models do show a lot of moisture with this, the same system that is making headlines with all the severe weather in the west.

We might get a piece of that tomorrow. If we can get enough heat in here (there will be a southerly flow to make that possible) then we could get some interesting thunderstorms. Otherwise the main threat would stay in the SW part of the state, southern VT, and down towards NY.

As I mentioned on my website weather comment this morning, be sure to do some mosquito prevention before and after the rain hits. They don't need much water to breed in, just puddles. Mosquitoes sometimes have a population explosion after a dry spell because their eggs don't hatch when dry, but can remain viable for a long time (more than one season, I heard somewhere.) Since they usually stay within a few hundred feet of where they hatch, that means you can make a big difference by getting rid of standing water.
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