Cold front will boost winds, raise fire danger
Dry, gusty winds ahead of a cold front will bring a heightened fire risk Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for Maryland from Allegany County to the Chesapeake Bay, noting an "enhanced threat for the spread of wildfires."
Temperatures have already reached the 80s here at The Sun, and are near 80 at noon at BWI-Marshall Airport. The westerly winds are being dried out as they descend the eastern slope of the Appalachians, so humidities are also very low this afternoon - 40 percent here at Calvert and Centre streets.
Combined with low moisture in the woods and fields, and wind gusts forecast to reach 20 to 25 mph this afternoon, any wildfires that get started will take off running.
The cold front will move through the region from the northwest later tonight, accompanied by a 50 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Northwest winds behind the front will drop temperatures overnight, and hold daytime highs in the upper 50s and low 60s through the weekend.
The good news is that sunshine and puffy white clouds will be the rule for the weekend, and partly to mostly sunny skies will prevail well into next week, if the forecast from Sterling holds up. Daytime temperatures will hold in the 60s, with overnight lows in the 40s, all about right for this time of year in Baltimore.
(SUN PHOTO by John Makely, 1998)