77°Scattered Clouds

Windy Weather Could Cause Fire Hazard

by ARLnow.com — February 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm 1,039 26 Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch and a High Wind Watch for tomorrow. Today’s warm weather will give way to colder, windy weather tomorrow. Gusts could reach as high as 60 miles per hour, forecasters say.

HIGH WIND WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A HIGH WIND WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.

* TIMING…HIGH WINDS WILL BEGIN THIS EVENING…WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS BETWEEN 5 AM AND 7 PM.

* WINDS…GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE RIDGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH…OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR STRONGER MAY OCCUR. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Together with low humidity, the high winds will produce weather favorable for the rapid spread of brush fires.

FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.

* HUMIDITY…BETWEEN 15 AND 25 PERCENT.

* WINDS…NORTHWEST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH.

* FUEL MOISTURE…LESS THAN 8 PERCENT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

Temperature are expected to plummet from a high of 75 today to a low of 31 tomorrow.

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  • shirley

    i don’t understand how that makes it a fire risk. it isn’t that dry here.

  • CW

    Fanned by high winds, vast brush fires whipped across the arid steppes of Arlington county, endangering livestock and threatening to close high-end pizza restaurants and beer bars. County officials because digging fire lanes friday and plans were underway to use helicopters to drop loads of fro-yo in an attempt to spare new luxury condo buildings from the flames.

    • CW

      *began

      Dammit…when can we have real forums with post editing? Like circa 1998? Pretty please?

      • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

        It’s easier said than done, but we’re working on it.

        • CW

          I know, you’ve mentioned it before.

          I’m just going to keep harping on it as a means of diverting attention/blame from my inability to properly proofread my posts :).

          • borf

            If things don’t improve here, you should ask for your money back.

          • CW

            I’ll threaten to take my business over to Patch!!! ;)

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Believe it or not, there actually are brush fires in Arlington County. They’re usually small because the fire department gets to them quickly.

      • CW

        Am I allowed to make a reference to Steve needing to be more careful with his cigarette butts or will that get me in trouble?

        • OrsonWells

          you said butt. i’m telling.

        • Overgrown Bush

          That is exactly what causes them. I don’t know how many times I’ve been driving behind someone who has thrown one out the window and it has actually hit my car. Inconsiderate b**tards.

    • OrsonWells

      reminds me of War of the Worlds.

    • jan

      Well done, CW

      • CW

        UPDATE: The national guard has been mobilized, and troops are comandeering the wares of local businesses. A cupcake wall is being built down the middle of glebe road to stop the fires advancing from the west.

  • othersideoftheriver

    Of course, the ACFD couldn’t respond to the brush fire in Lyon Park because residents insisted on parking on both sides of a narrow street, arguing that fires are only an occasional event that happen to other people, probably those in South Arlington.

    • foxfire

      Don’t worry the County has lots of plans to narrow the South-side streets too endangering the lives of “the other people.”

  • jjbug

    In all the fun from above comments, I still have to enter the conversation to suggest that if you wake tonight and notice your power is off, JUMP UP and pull every cord connected to all your computers, refrigerators, microwaves, – well just everything. Even if you have surge protectors on your house lines, the surge protector on your neighborhood electric wiring may be shot by the winds and without its protection, the above listed home-enjoyed services may be fried when the current is re-started. My friends have had over 2 weeks of staying home to welcome a host of servicemen and appliance deliveries to get back to normal. They, luckily had insurance on this eventuality!

    Fire is a separate worry! Just wake up when the wind threatens and protect your house when the outages occur.
    Jjbug

  • John Andre

    Too darned much of this wind crap so far this winter. And, it’s not even March!

    Last Monday evening my power went out no less than six times while I was trying to watch TV. And this was the Dominion service area, not PEPCO!

    • borf

      What, did you think Dominion’s lines were immune from wind?

  • borf

    I think its funny how people belittled the risk of brush fires on this post, and then we had dozens throughout the area this weekend. Who’s laughing now?

    • Westover

      Arlington got very lucky.

    • CW

      Source/citation?

      Google news search on “Arlington brush fire” returns one hit, regarding one in the woods in prince william county.

      Speaking for my own comments, they weren’t intended so much to be a “belittl[ing] of the risk” as a humorous juxtaposition of the stereotypical images of brush fires (flames blazing across wide uninhabited expanses) and of Arlington (extremely dense development with no brush to be seen).

      You want to see a brush fire? You should have lived in central florida in 1998…

      • borf

        I didn’t say Arlington, I said “throughout the area.” Did you miss that? There were hundreds of fires, including many in the DC area. It was front-page news. I-95 was shut down for a while due to a fire. Read a newspaper instead of relying on the Internet, you’ll be better off. ;)

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/20/AR2011022002799.html

        But I wasn’t really talking about your comments anyway.

        • CW

          Sorry, I’ll have to start having the newspaper delivered to my desk at work. I’m sure my boss won’t mind when I have it spread out covering my computer monitor.

          Maybe you can start writing comments in the margins of your newspaper instead of replying to these threads then? :) JK.

          Either way, again, I was focusing more on the humor of brush fires in arlington, not so much “the area”, which of course includes much more land that is fair game for brush fires. Anyhow, cheers.

          • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

            There were, in fact, brush fires in Arlington on Saturday. They were just small and quickly extinguished.

          • borf

            You’re wasting time reading the news at work? I read my paper (literally, paper) in the morning with breakfast. Try it.

            I know, though, all in fun. Cheers to you too.

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