A Rare Fire Weather Watch For Area
It’s happened once before this year, back in January, the combination of dry conditions, low humidity and dry “fuels” available creates excellent conditions for grass and wild fires and with the wind tomorrow increasing to 10-20 MPH with maybe some higher gusts it is concerning to think about the potential for more numerous grass fires that would have the ability of spreading. Already, even today, with lighter winds there have been more than a few grass fires out there. Many appear to be along the sides of roads, which odds are were started by people flicking their cigarette butts out of the windows. So my feeling is that our fire crews are going to be busy for the next couple of days. The most troubling time period would be between Noon and 7PM.
The winds are forecasted to be up as well on Thursday, so this may be extended.
Obviously what we need is rainfall and while there may be some showers in the region on Friday, especially towards the IA border, the better more widespread chances may occur later in the weekend, starting Saturday night into Sunday. The GFS would suggest the potential for 1/4-1″+ rainfall in the area by the end of the weekend.
The EURO is showing about same thing for potential with 1/2″-1.25″ widespread through the area. certainly some welcome rainfall is possible, but should you have some outdoor plans on Sunday you may want to start thinking about a “plan B”.
Also of note is the storm you see in the Florida Straits. That would be connected to the development of what would be Isaac that is right now just a tropical depression out in the Atlantic. It developed yesterday and the models have been rather persistent in taking this to near FL then into the SE part of the country, or off the coast early next week.
Here is a look at the satellite images of the storm. You can clearly see it circulating out there and a reconnaissance airplane is investigating the storm as I type this blog.
Here is the forecast track and remember this track will likely change by hundreds of miles over the next few days, especially for the later parts of the forecast.
You’re also going to start to hear the media relating this to the Republican Convention in Tampa, which is coming up scheduled for August 27th-30th. Again far(!) too early for this speculation. How this storm interacts with some of the Caribbean islands, especially Hispaniola is a major question. The majority of the latest GFS ensemble forecasts showing a variety of different tracks for a potential Issac.
How this would be handled of course is fascinating to me. Suppose you have the “threat” of something hitting FL (regardless of where) in the days leading up to the convention? Flights get cancelled, people get evacuated (depending on the strength of the storm) what would then happen to the convention itself? Even if the Tampa area was not in the area of a direct hit, the potential of severe weather (including tornadoes) would possibly exist. These are the things that fascinate me from a logistical standpoint
The latest EURO tracks this thing more towards the Yucatan Peninsula as opposed to FL so that there would never be a threat to FL at all. Again these forecasts are going to change a lot over the next 3-5 days and at this point I wouldn’t even be concerned about a specific landfall forecast, whether it be for the US or somewhere else. We’ll deal with that potential in a few more days.