Extreme Heat, Red Flag Warnings and Flash Floods in the West
With extreme heat overwhelming the Western U.S. the last few weeks, it is about time we see a cool down and some much needed moisture! But why can’t we shake these red flag warnings? Typically we are accustomed to be on a high fire alert when weather conditions are hot, dry and breezy. Conditions like these were present throughout the month of June when numerous wild fires sparked. Dry, hot, windy weather not only sparks fires but helps them spread very rapidly and makes containment difficult. With the weather changing, here is why we are still worried about fires.
The Red Flag Warnings issued Friday are actually due to the chance for afternoon thunderstorm activity. Storms are likely to build over the Pacific Northwest with ample lightning expected ahead of the heaviest rain. The lightning is the kicker. Lightning strikes have been known to ignite wildfires amongst dry vegetation and will have the potential to start fires. If vegetation is set ablaze, thunderstorm winds will help to spread the flames rapidly. Now we can note that Friday’s Red Flag Warnings have been issued in close proximity to Flash Flood Watches, indicating that there is also rain in the forecast.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Tracey Anthony