Severe Drought Compounds Risk of Wildfire
The National Weather Service office in Paducah warns of the potential of dangerous fire conditions heading into the July 4th holiday.
The extremely dry drought conditions are not expected to improve in the next few weeks. Most of our four-state region was upgraded last week to severe drought status, the second most intense of five levels on the National Drought Monitor. As of June 22nd, Barkley Field's measured rainfall was 11.59 inches, less than half of normal, and 12.6 inches short of Paducah's average of more than 24 inches of rain by this time of year.
NWS meteorologists warn that as we approach the 4th of July holiday, the concern for wildfires will likely increase. While it is still too soon to say if appreciable rain will occur before the 4th of July, it is unlikely any one given event would do much to provide relief. Thankfully, winds are not forecast to be all that strong over the next week or so. The exception may be today, behind a front forecast to move south across the region. North / northeast winds could reach 10 to 20 mph at times.
Burn bans are in effect for a number of counties and communities across the four state area. In areas not yet under burn bans, the abnormally dry conditions will make it very dangerous to do outdoor burning of any kind. This includes campfires, grilling, burning yard litter, and shooting off fireworks. Even something seemingly as minute as throwing a cigarette out an automobile window is dangerous.
Click on the link below to read more details at the the Paducah NWS Facebook page.
On the Net: Paducah Weather Service Facebook entry