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High fire danger this afternoon, more cold tonight

Posted by David Epstein  March 27, 2012 01:49 PM

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Clear skies, dry air and windy conditions will mean ideal conditions for fire this afternoon. Humidity levels are desert dry and with all the dry vegetation a fire can spread rapidly. Temperatures will be in the 40s but winds will be brisk making it feel much colder.

red flag warning.jpg

This afternoon a red flag warning remains in place for much of New England. (see above) This means fire danger is exceedingly high. Rainfall continues to be sparse. We have only had 1.11 inches of rain in March and we should have seen 3.61 inches by this time of the month. March is normally a wet month and gives us a nice springboard for rain as we head into the warmer months.

The lack of snow this winter and now rain this month is already becoming a problem. I would suggest if you planted any evergreens last summer or fall you water them in the next few days. Plants are needed water to grow right now and all this dry weather is not good for the new growth. Larger trees and established plants that have been in the ground for years will be fine, at least for now.

Dry weather continues
I don't see any significant, and barely any insignificant, rain for the next week. Even the long range forecasts keep us dry for much of the next 10-14 days and perhaps beyond. The good news, from this lack of rain, is that for the first time in 4 years, much of the country is not going to experience spring flooding. This lack of flooding will save millions of dollars and spare many folks across the upper Midwest and south the heartache of loosing property and even lives to flooding. (see forecast below)


Will drought develop?
The latest drought forecast (see below) does not forecast drought to develop across the New England area. This doesn't mean drought won't occur, it just means that in the long term, late April and May rainfall is expected to return to normal. Let's hope that it does, or it's going to be a long dry summer with lots of water bans across the area.


More gardening tips
The garden centers do have some cold weather flowers and vegetables for sale and it's OK to plant them now. If you want to get a jump start on the vegetable garden you can plant the following seeds in pots or the ground now. Carrots, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, radish, peas, and fava beans. You can also probably put out seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. If you see the temperature dropping under 27°F, use a sheet to cover the plants. Check out the video below to learn more.

Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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