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Fire alerts active as Missouri enters most widespread drought since Christmas 2017

UPDATES

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE:

As of early Friday morning, Red Flag Warnings have been put in place just about areawide. The only county outside of today's Red Flag Warnings is Macon, where burning may still be dangerous, but incoming clouds may be enough to keep relative humidity out of critical territory.

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FIRE ALERTS:

Fire alerts are in place across mid-Missouri for Thursday and Friday. (Alert images below are outdated, refer to updates above.)

Winds will gust up to 30+ mph in some places Thursday afternoon, and likely in the 20-30 mph range again Friday afternoon.

This wind will be dry, with relative humidity below 25% at times on both days.

This is in line with criteria for Critical Fire Weather, meaning outdoor burning will be dangerous and fires will be hard to control.

This does come after two days of soaking rain early this week, which may have mitigated some impacts but not all. (Alert map below is outdated, see updates section above for latest on Friday's alerts.)

While an absence of red flag warnings can be co-located with the axis of best rainfall, it should be noted that burning may still be dangerous in these counties.

DROUGHT

This comes on the same day that our latest drought monitor was released. Drought become slightly more intense just about areawide in mid-Missouri. The latest release shows 100% of the state at least in some stage of drought. While the change from last week is relatively insignificant, Missouri hasn't seen 100% drought coverage since Christmas 2017.

Check out this graph that shows the last two drought monitor maps with 100% coverage statewide.

You can do more digging on this subject here.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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John Ross

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