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THE SCIENCE BEHIND: Red Flag Warnings

Red flag warnings expired across mid-Missouri this evening at 6:00 pm, but the dry and very windy conditions help fuel fire dangers across the region this afternoon.

You may be wondering, especially with how wet this winter was, how we could possibly be dry enough to see brush fire dangers.

Even when we consider elevated precipitation the past few months, our atmosphere/air is actually much drier in the winter, which can keep tall grass and brush dry too.

Today's conditions helped accelerate this brush to dry out as well.

Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service in mild, windy and dry conditions. The numbers we typically look for in mid-Missouri are temperatures greater than 50º, humidity values that are around 20% and lower, and winds that are higher than 25 mph.

Conditions this afternoon we primed for fast brush fire growth.

It doesn't take much to cause fire to spread quickly in dry brush in these conditions. Meteorologists suggest avoiding outdoor burning during an R.F.W., but there are other precautions you can take.

Properly disposing of cigarettes is a very easy but often overlooked way you can prevent fires from spreading on days like these. Even something as simple as avoiding having your vehicle's exhaust close to tall, dried grass is a step you can take to avoid causing a brush fire.

-Luke

Weather

Luke Victor

Luke Victor gives forecasts on ABC 17 News broadcasts and reports on weather stories on air and online, giving viewers and readers a deeper look at what causes different types of weather.

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