Borderline high fire danger for Cobb County and much of the rest of north and central Georgia

forest wildfirePhotos by Nicholas Peters, Engine Captain, E-641 at the #CrowMountain wildfire licensed CC BY 3.0

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook that warns of borderline high danger of fire in Cobb County and much of the rest of north Georgia due to low relative humidity and dry fuel conditions.

What is in the statement?

The statement gives the following details:

…BORDERLINE HIGH FIRE DANGER CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE

EVENING FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA DUE TO LOW

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RELATIVE HUMIDITIES…

Relative Humidities of 15-25 percent are expected for 4 or more

hours this afternoon into the evening. Winds will be light and

generally northeasterly around 5 to 10 MPH.

With limited rainfall yesterday and rapidly drying conditions

this afternoon quickly lowering finer fuel moisture, high fire

danger conditions will be possible from approximately 11 AM

through 8 PM this evening.

Why does low relative humidity increase the danger of fire?

The National Park Service published the following explanation of why low relative humidity increases the danger of fires:

Relative humidity is important because dead forest fuels and the air are always exchanging moisture. Low humidity takes moisture from the fuels, and fuels in turn, take moisture from the air when the humidity is high. Light fuels, such as grass and pine needles, gain and lose moisture quickly with changes in relative humidity. When the RH drops, fire behavior increases because these fine fuels become drier. Heavy fuels, on the other hand, respond to humidity changes more slowly. To see significant changes in heavy fuel moisture, there must be significant moisture, usually from more than a single storm.

What counties are affected?

The following counties are included in the hazardous weather outlook:

Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Chattooga, Gordon, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Floyd, Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall, Banks, Jackson, Madison, Polk, Paulding, Cobb, North, Fulton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Haralson, Carroll, Douglas, South, Fulton, DeKalb, Rockdale, Walton, Newton, Morgan, Greene, Taliaferro, Heard, Coweta, Fayette, Clayton, Spalding, Henry, Butts, Jasper, Putnam, Hancock, Warren, Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Monroe, Jones, Baldwin, Washington, Glascock, Jefferson, Harris, Talbot, Taylor, Crawford, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Johnson, Emanuel, Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Marion, Schley, Macon, Peach, Houston, Bleckley, Laurens, Treutlen


What precautions should be taken?

The National Weather Service recommends extreme caution if you do outdoor burning during high fire danger conditions, and that you check your local fire ordinances.

>> To read a summary of Cobb County’s fire ordinances follow this link

About the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NWS describes its role as follows:

The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. These services include Forecasts and Observations, Warnings, Impact-based Decision Support Services, and Education in an effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation. The ultimate goal is to have a society that is prepared for and responds to weather, water and climate events.

Read all the Cobb County Courier climate and weather coverage by following this link.

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