Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert said today (Thursday), rainfall amounting to at least 1.8-inches across parts of the County has lessened the danger of Extreme fire behavior, at least for the short term. Seivert says area fire stations and others with Fire Danger signs can move them from “Extreme,” back into the “High” category, through this weekend. Another update is expected on Monday.
A new report from an environmental watchdog group the says the long drought Iowa’s endured this summer is a clear sign of where the state and region are heading under climate change. Doug Inkley, senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation, says the heat waves we’ve experienced for months are just the first piece of the puzzle. “We now have a record low amount of ice in the Arctic and we have a record amount of icemelt in Greenland,” Inkley says. “You put all three of these together and global warming is extremely apparent.”
Inkley says some scenarios we’re seeing this summer, including large fish kills reported across Iowa, also lend insight into what wildlife face in the months to come. “We have thousands of fish dying because the water is simply too warm for them,” Inkley says. “Wildlife throughout this coming winter will be stressed because the productivity of the natural foods they eat is way down because of the drought and they could easily starve to death.”
Inkley says the same conditions are contributing to devastating wildfires, crop damage and an influx of destructive pests and the diseases some carry, like West Nile virus. The group’s report says the past 12 months are the hottest ever recorded in the U-S. In terms of financial impact, the report notes the cost of battling wildfires, now about three-billion dollars a year, has tripled since the 1990s.
Rainfall over the Atlantic area for the past 24-hours (7-a.m. Wednesday through 7-a.m. Thursday) amounted to 1.12-inches. That’s still three-inches less than average for September, with a little more than two-weeks remaining in the month. Total precipitation so far this year in Atlantic (Jan. 1st through August 31st), was 17.36-inches, which was 4.8-inches below the normal average. Excluding the 24-hour period which ends at 7-a.m. today, there have been only three other times this year that we’ve received rain exceeding one-inch: August 25th (1.86″); June 23rd (1.18″); and April 14th (2.35″).
Other rainfall amounts reported this morning include: 2.25″ in Oakland; 1.85″ in Harlan; 1.8″ in Audubon; 1.72″ in Irwin; 1.5″ at “The Valley” (Highway 71/I-80 in Cass County); 1.45″ in Carroll; 1.44″ near Avoca; 78″ in Exira; 77″ in Massena. Other rainfall across southwest Iowa ranged from .9″ in Shenandoah to 1.2″ near Emerson.
The Freese-Notis (podcast) forecast for the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson, including rainfall.
EARLY THIS MORNING…PERIODS OF SHOWERS. COOLER. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF SHOWERS 90 PERCENT.
TODAY…PARTLY SUNNY IN THE MORNING THEN CLEARING. COOLER. HIGH IN THE MID 60S. NORTH WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 40S. LIGHT WIND.
FRIDAY...SUNNY. HIGH IN THE MID 70S. NORTH WIND NEAR 5 MPH SHIFTING TO THE EAST AROUND 5 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
FRIDAY NIGHT…CLEAR. LOW IN THE UPPER 40S. SOUTH WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
SATURDAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 70S. SOUTH WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 50S.
SUNDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH AROUND 80.
SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. COOLER. LOW IN THE UPPER 50S. HIGH IN THE UPPER 60S.
The (podcast) Freese-Notis forecast by Meteorologist Wayne Ellis, as reported by KJAN News Director Ric Hanson, and weather data for Atlantic….
TODAY…PARTLY SUNNY. NOT AS WARM. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH MID MORNING. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. SCATTERED SHOWERS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGH AROUND 80. SOUTH WIND 5 TO 10 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTHEAST WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 20 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 50 PERCENT.
TONIGHT…SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH MIDNIGHT… THEN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. COOLER. LOW IN THE LOWER 50S. NORTHEAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 25 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 90 PERCENT.
THURSDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING…THEN MOSTLY SUNNY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON. COOLER. HIGH IN THE UPPER 60S. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF SHOWERS 50 PERCENT.
THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 40S. NORTH WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
FRIDAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE LOWER 70S. NORTHEAST WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE UPPER 40S. HIGH IN THE MID 70S.
Iowa farmers and livestock producers who had hoped to see some relief from the dry weather with a few spin-off rain showers from Hurricane Isaac were left disappointed. None of the rain from the big storm reached our region. U-S-D-A meteorologist Brad Rippey says it appears the long-running drought is going to run a bit longer. Rippey says, “Twenty U.S. states in all in that real core drought area across the Plains and upper Midwest continue to get worse even while we saw some improvement along the southeastern edge of the drought area.”
Hurricane Isaac did bring needed rains to areas of some states, including, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Still, Rippey says about two-thirds of the nation is being impacted by the worst drought in decades and the condition of key farmland is steadily deteriorating. Rippey says, “We continue to see every single Plains and Midwestern state with at least 40% of their pastures and range lands rated very poor to poor.” Some forecasters predict the drought will end in October while others say this weather pattern could remain well into spring.
Here’s the (podcast) forecast for the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic….
A RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE KJAN LISTENING AREA FROM 11- AM TODAY (TUESDAY) TO 9- PM CDT THIS EVENING FOR EXTREME FIRE CONDITIONS.
SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH…WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED, ALONG WITH RELATIVE HUMIDITY AS LOW AS 18 TO 22 PERCENT. FIELD CROPS ARE NEARLY CURED AND HAVE BECOME HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE. IN COMBINATION WITH THE FORECAST CONDITIONS ..THIS WOULD LEAD TO RAPID FIRE GROWTH. IN ADDITION, THE DRYING OF GRASSES IS WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE DUE TO THE HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS THIS SUMMER. IF A FIRE STARTS THIS (TUESDAY) AFTERNOON…RAPID FIRE GROWTH WOULD BE POSSIBLE AND IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN.
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.