The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of central Minnesota from noon until 8 p.m. Friday.
A Red Flag Warning means the area is experiencing ideal conditions for a wildfire: wind and low humidity on top of the ongoing drought. According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, 46 percent of Minnesota is experiencing moderate to severe drought.
Because of these conditions, people should avoid lighting a fire as any spark could easily cause a wildfire. And check any recent burning remains to ensure the fire is out.
The intense heat wave, starting Thursday June 3 and finally breaking June 11, broke heat records all over for Minnesota for early June. In the Twin Cities, the heat wave was the most consecutive low temperatures at or above 70 degrees so early in the season, according to the Minnesota Department of Resources.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for June 18 through June 24 calls for a continuation of this hot, dry weather across the Midwest, potentially worsening drought issues in the affected states.
The heat originated from southerly flow that developed between an area of low pressure over the Rockies, and a large area of high pressure in the southeastern United States, according to the Minnesota Department of Resources.
Friday’s warning includes more than 30 Minnesota counties, including Ramsey, Anoka and Washington counties in the east metro.
For more information on wildfire dangers can be found online at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources web site.
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Author: Molly Korzenowski