Fire Weather


In the map above, you can clearly see the currently the state of Pennsylvania is standing out like a sore thumb. Why is that? Its because currently as you read this the state of Pa is under what is know as a red flag warning, which means there is an extreme risk of rapidly spreading wildfires.  So if this is about just the possibility of forest fires, why is the Nation Weather Service in charge of issuing these Red Flag Warnings?

Actually the Nation Weather service has a lot of say when red flag warnings are issues, because they are truly a fire weather warning.  Fire weather is a combination of many factors the increase the potential for wild fire growth.  Typical it consists of a low relative humidity “The amount of moisture in the are” and also the speed of the wind for that day.  When there is a low relative humidity, more of the moisture contain within the fuel for a wild fire evaporates causing it to be more combustable.  The higher the wind speeds, the quicker the wild fire can spread.  So with dry fuel and high wind, the potential exists for a large forest fire.  This is one side of meteorology Im very interested in and would like to pursue.


This map show the current percentage of moisture in the fuel for a fire,  as you can see the State College area is between 5-8% so the fuels are extremely dry.

All images from National Weather Service State College



3 thoughts on “Fire Weather

  1. Eric Hill

    I didn’t ever think PA would ever be threatened by a wild fire. I can’t even remember if I have ever heard of one in PA. I am glad to find out that this information is being looked into though.

  2. fvl5058

    Thanks for the explanation! I kept getting warnings on my phone for the weather and they were saying it was a high risk of wildfires. I had no die why there was this warning but now i understand. Ill be sure to stay away from the wilderness as much as possible

  3. Yekaterina Khapilina

    Wow, this is some great information to be aware of. I know that fire needs air to stay lit and expand, State College has been very windy this month, but I didn’t know humidity played a big part, it makes sense, though. This is very interesting, thanks for the post.

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