More than a month of dry and windy weather that caused the National Weather Service to issue fire advisories recently should moderate beginning today, meteorologists say.
Mike Proud, a meteorologist at the weather service's West Columbia, S.C. office, said Friday that the Augusta area was about 3 inches below normal rainfall for the period between March 1 and Friday.
"The last half of March was dry and that's where a lot of the fire danger is starting to come from," he said.
Prolonged dry conditions and high winds prompted Fire Weather Watches for the area Saturday, and Georgia Forestry Commission officials declined to issue burn permits for the day, Forestry Ranger 1 Brett Jensen said.
"The longer it stays dry the worse it will get," he said.
Georgia Forestry officials have battled sporadic brush fires in Richmond and Columbia counties in the past few weeks, he said.
Jensen said property owners with an annual permit should consult forecasts. He does not recommend burning during days with winds greater than 12 miles per hour and humidity less than 25 percent.
Forecasts call for at least a chance of rain today with the frigid lows felt in the Evans area Saturday and Sunday nights ending and temperatures and humidity returning to normal.
Proud said long-range climate models call for a likelihood of normal temperatures and precipitation through June.
Regardless of weather conditions, the window to burn yard debris will soon close. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division burn ban, which restricts residential and commercial burning, begins May 1.
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