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February 11, 2009

Fire weather watch: Crush those smokes!

Sun Photo/Jed Kirschbaum 2005

When this cold front blows through tonight it will bring strong winds. And as the air rolls across the mountains and down the east slopes tomorrow, it will warm up and dry out. That's the recipe for wildfires, so the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Central Maryland, in effect all day Thursday.

Here's how they put it in this afternoon's discussion:

"POSTED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR DC...MD EXCLUDING
ALLEGANY AND HARFORD COUNTIES...AND MUCH OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, WV PANHANDLE
...  ONCE THE COLD FRONT MOVES THRU THE REGION
TONIGHT...STRONG NW FLOW DOWNSLOPING WINDS FROM THE MTS WILL BRING
DRY AIR INTO THE REGION. WITH VERY STRONG WINDS 20 MPH OR GREATER
AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES APPROACHING 30 PERCENT DURING THE DAY FRIDAY...FIRE
POTENTIAL WILL BE HIGH DESPITE RELATIVELY MODEST FUEL MOISTURE
VALUES. FUTURE SHIFTS WILL DECIDE ON UPGRADING TO RED FLAG
WARNINGS TOMORROW IF CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO WARRANT."

Western counties are already under a High Wind Warning:
"A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED
OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS
OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE."
Here in Baltimore, we're under a Wind Advisory:
"WIND GUSTS AROUND 45 MPH WILL BE
COMMON...WITH SOME GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH POSSIBLE.

"A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH ARE
EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY
FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION."
The weather tonight will get rocky. Here's the radar loop, showing the front moving into the Appalachians. Here's the Northeast radar loop, which will show the front in a few hours. Better tie down the small children.
Posted by Frank Roylance at 5:32 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Forecasts
        

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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