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How drought, high winds, and low humidity drive fire weather

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Mid-Missouri has continued to be plagued by an increasing number of fires fueled by a variety of ingredients letting them spread more rapidly.

One of the main factors leading to this uptick lately is tied to the long standing drought conditions we have seen over the past two years. The latest drought update from last Thursday at nine am depicts most of Mid-Missouri seeing dry to moderate drought conditions.

These conditions look to carry over into Tuesday at seven pm for much of the southern half of the region as winds look to gust up to 40 mph with decreased levels of humidity.

A dry environment throughout much of the day adds another fuel source for spreading fires. During the noon hour, the relative humidity reached into the lower 20th percentile range meaning very dry air pairing with dry vegetation on the ground.

Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone Fire and Protection District mentions that dead vegetation during this time of the year means that even moisture we look to see mid-week of totals up to 1/2" will most likely not be enough to rid Mid-Missouri of the current threats we are seeing. The Boone County Fire and Protection District responded to a call earlier today in Sturgeon, Missouri where a grass fire crawled across the median area on highway 63.

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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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