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Science and the Environment

Outdoor Burning Discouraged as the Ozarks Experience Windy, Warm Conditions

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Garry Knight
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Flickr

It's another warm day in the Ozarks.  In fact, we could break another record high.  Wednesday's high of 77 degrees broke the record of 76 degrees set in 1941.  The record high for today is 78 degrees set in 1963, and temperatures today are expected to reach 78 or 79 degrees.

Strong winds are expected from late morning through mid afternoon.  Meteorologist Mike Griffin with the National Weather Service Office in Springfield said the Springfield area could see wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.  A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. in much of the Ozarks.

"Basically, a wind advisory means we're going to see several hours of strong, gusty winds, over 30 miles per hour sustained, gusts up to 45 maybe even 50 miles per hour, and that just basically gives a heads up to people, 'hey, if you've got any loose objects in the yard like lawn furniture, trash cans, anything like that, things will get blown around this afternoon,'" he said.

A red flag warning is in effect today, too.  Griffin said the combination of strong, gusty winds and a dry air mass will result in a high fire risk.

"So any type of outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.  Be careful of any type of source of ignition like sparks or anything like that because anything that gets caught in the grass, the grass is dry and the leaves on the ground, could rapidly spread," said Griffin.

And he said a cigarette butt thrown out a car window could result in a grass fire.  Drivers on east-west highways need to be careful as there will be strong crosswinds.

Conditions will change drastically tomorrow.  Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid to upper 40's during the day tomorrow with highs in the 40's on Saturday and lows in the 20's Saturday night.