Heat extremes and explosive fire danger possible Thursday & Friday

News, Weather

August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While the upcoming Labor Day weekend usually means the unofficial end of summer, Iowa’s in for more extreme heat today and tomorrow’s forecast is even steamier. Kenny Podrazik, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says much of the state will be in the 90s today, with triple-digits highs possible tomorrow. Podrazik says there’s a lack of moisture in the air which contributes to a rapid rise in temperatures. Today’s winds will be from the south/southwest, so temps will be shooting up quickly. Parts of six counties in northwest Iowa are under a Red Flag Warning as there is a critical risk of fire due to weather conditions.

Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon says the County is likely to be included in some sort of enhanced Fire Danger statement Thursday. Kennon reminds residents the County is still under a ban on open burning until further notice. Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says Red Flag warnings may issued for the area Thursday and Friday, and for that reason, will be moving the Shelby County Fire Danger Signs into the “Extreme” category beginning at 7-p.m. Wednesday, and lasting through at least Friday evening, and for all practical purposes, the County will be in a “burn ban” beginning at 7-p.m. Wednesday. Seivert asks area fire departments to be prepared for the “Very serious situation.”

The Weather Services’ Podrazik says the predicted high for Des Moines today is 97-degrees, which is 15-degrees hotter than normal. Tomorrow may be even hotter, he says, with stronger winds up to 40 miles an hour and temps may top 100-degrees.With Hurricane Isaac churning in the Gulf of Mexico, Podrazik says Iowa should at least see more clouds with the possibility of rain Friday and into Saturday.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson-KJAN)