High fire danger in Cobb County this afternoon with low humidity and gusty winds

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The National Weather Service issued a high fire danger alert for Cobb County and other counties in the region for this afternoon, Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023 due to a combination of low humidity and gusty winds. Those conditions are expected to become critical on Wednesday and Thursday as freezing weather approaches.

The statement gives the following details:

High Fire Danger conditions this afternoon for portions of

northwest Georgia due to low relative humidity and gusty winds.

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A Freeze Warning is now in effect for most of North Georgia

tonight into Wednesday morning as the first widespread freezing

temperatures of the season are expected.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Wednesday through Monday…

A Freeze Watch is in effect for all of north and central Georgia

for Wednesday night into Thursday morning due to widespread

freezing temperatures. Near freezing temperatures likely again

Thursday night.

Critical fire weather conditions are likely Wednesday and Thursday

afternoons.

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:

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

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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