Dry, Breezy Weather Leads to High Fire Danger

NOW: Dry, Breezy Weather Leads to High Fire Danger


According to the latest data from the DNR, the entire viewing area is under a high fire danger. Currently, three wildfires are in progress.

Recent weather conditions have been windy and dry! And that's bringing Smokey the Bear out to alert us to help prevent wildfires.

We're three weeks into March and have only had measureable precipitation on two days. On the 5th we picked up 3.4" of snow followed by another .6" the following day. That gives us a grand total of four inches of snow on the month. The average for the month is seven inches. Here's a look at the last five years of snow in March.

 And you may be thinking, "It's Spring" but we still average 3.6" of snow through the next month or so.
 To date we've got 36.7" of snow. That gives us a deficit just over a half foot. This drier than normal winter, plus recent lack of wet weather of any kind has accelerated dangerous fire conditions early this season.

But the weather has made for some nice skyskapes, like this one taken along the shore of Lake Michigan this morning. 

 Notice the brown hue to the water. The persistent northeast wind is really stirring things up with poor water clarity, at least from this perspective.
 Take a look at the peak gusts today. This is the second part of the fire danger story. Peak gusts in Milwaukee were as high as 38 mph Monday, and 36 mph Tuesday. With this persistent dry weather and now windy weather, that can provide as a "ladder" helping the fire climb to other brush, dry vegetation and potentially structures. The DNR urges people to check with local municipalities for burn restrictions.

The good news is that the wind eases starting tonight. It should stay rather light over the next couple days. Plus, there's a small chance for some wet weather on Saturday. Right now is looks to impact just southwest parts of the viewing area.

I'm meteorologist Rebecca Schuld 

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