Fire Warning Also In Effect
After a wonderful holiday weekend weather wise, the start of the work week was greeted around the Garden State with gusty winds. Winds began to pick up this morning at about 9:00 AM in the Raritan Center section of Edison. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts in upwards to 45 miles per hour have been expected during the day today.
I happened to go out for a walk around the building here at work during the 10:30 to 11:00 AM time frame. I got to meet the blustery conditions head on. When I got to one side of the building, there was a real blast of wind. The wind has had a ferocity I haven’t seen in all my time working at this place, and it is in an open area. Dust from a nearby construction site has been kicked up all morning.
Looking at the latest data from the Greg’s Weather Center wx station in South Plainfield, there has been an average gust of 6 miles per hour with the highest being 13 miles per hour. The 10 minute average has been about 2 miles per hour with peak amounts of 4 miles per hour. The latest update from GWC has the wind sustained at 2 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 10 miles per hour. Keep in mind though that the effect of the wind is somewhat lessened at the station due to the fact that it is close to the ground, and not fully exposed to the effects of the wind.
Taking a view around the region, Newark Airport has winds in upwards of 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Somerville has had sustained winds of 14 miles per hour with gusts up to 31 miles per hour. Caldwell Airport has winds sustained at 23 miles per hour with gusts up to 33 miles per hour. Further south at Lakehurst, winds have been sustained at 28 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Further west in Pennsylvania, Reading, Allentown, and Philadelphia have had winds sustained between 20 and 22 miles per hour with gusts between 37 and 39 miles per hour.
Adding to this has been low humidity. Currently at GWC, the humidity is at 25 percent with the dew point of 27.6 degrees. Translation: we have very dry air in place. When you throw that together with the windy conditions and the dry grass and vegetation, you have the ingredients for a quickly spreading brush fire to occur. The high winds and low humidity have been a common theme so far this spring. There was only about a half inch of rain in March, and not much in April. Couple that with the lack of snow during the winter months, and you have a developing drought.
In response, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory until 6:00 PM and a Red Flag Warning until 8:00 PM on Monday night. So, please take heed of these warnings, and do not leave burning cigarette butts on the ground. Please dispose of them properly.