Windy, dry conditions raise fire risk - WNEM TV 5

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Windy, dry conditions raise fire risk

Posted: Updated:
Fire Weather Risk as of 6/27/2016 @ 2:45 pm. Fire Weather Risk as of 6/27/2016 @ 2:45 pm.
Today's Almanac Today's Almanac
Winds on 6/27/2016 @ 3:30 pm. Winds on 6/27/2016 @ 3:30 pm.
Relative Humidity on 6/27/2016 @ 3:30 pm. Relative Humidity on 6/27/2016 @ 3:30 pm.
Michigan Drought Monitor on 6/27/2016. Michigan Drought Monitor on 6/27/2016.

While the precipitation totals for the year are not too far off from average, only down 0.6 inches in Saginaw, our June continues to run dry, currently 0.82 inches below where we should be for the month.

Conditions are worse in Flint, where the current weather pattern has us 2.01 inches below average for the month of June. In fact the U.S. Drought Monitor now lists portions of the WNEM viewing area as "abnormally dry."

With these conditions in place, and no substantial rain in the forecast, vegetation around the region is starting to become dry. Combine this with winds forecast this afternoon to be gusting near 30 mph, sunny skies, temps near 90, and falling humidity levels, then we have the perfect weather conditions in place for an enhanced fire risk.

MesoWest, a service of the University of Utah, was listing fire risks around Michigan as anywhere between low, for more northern portions of the state, to Very High and Extreme across central portions of Michigan. 

The reason these conditions will raise the fire risk is primarily due to their drying affects on vegetation and underbrush. Sunshine and higher temps will promote the drying of these materials, and lower humidity levels mean the air is primed to pull moisture from plants and water bodies through evaporation.

The main effect from the strong winds is added after any fires may have started. Strong winds help to transport fire from one location to another, and potentially spread it over a large area. In other words, the stronger the winds the faster and more rapidly a fire can spread out of control.

It is recommended during times of enhanced fire risk that you avoid outdoor burning and keep an eye out for any fires that may develop. Burn bans may also go into effect when the risk for fire is increased. As of now the only burn bans reported to TV5 were for Montrose Township, the city of Montrose, the city of Burton, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Township and Saginaw Township. These bans are in effect as of Monday afternoon and will remain in effect until further notice. 

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