The National Weather Service increased its wildfire red flag watch to a warning which means weather forecasters are more certain the conditions are right for brush and wildfires in our area; conditions that would cause any such fires to explode at a rapid rate. The warning is in effect from around midday Saturday through Sunday morning.
There hasn’t been measurable rain in Seattle since July 22 according to Komo Weather Producer, Scott Sistek. That combined with the past month’s hot temperatures have really dried out our area, even if June and early July were cooler and wetter. Scott explains, “A Red Flag Warning means that conditions are already conducive for fires to easily begin and if a brush fire or wildfire were to be started — be it caused by humans or lightning, that a combination of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.”
A low pressure system will be passing and spinning just off the Washington Coast starting tomorrow which could produce thunderstorms and lightning. That combined with really dry trees, grass and brush have added to the fire worry.
If thunderstorms occur, they should roll in from the south and bring with them very humid air. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 80’s so it could be a muggy, uncomfortable day. It could also make for an interesting Railroad Days afternoon and evening.
Remember, there is also a burn ban in effect for all of King County, so remind your neighbors. It’s probably not the time to light the outdoor fire pit and roast marshmallows or light a bonfire, as local teens like to do during the nighttime hours. Although, King County does say fire pits of certain sizes, placement and then monitored 100% of the time are okay. We have lots of woods around this valley and would hate to see them burning.
Of course, all of this could change, but it’s still something to be aware of.