Dry, windy weather boosts fire risk in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Weather conditions are elevating the risk for grass fires across Iowa.

The National Weather Service says we'll see dry conditions combine with strong winds across the state Thursday.

"We really boost those winds up, and the relative humidity gets down into the 20 to 30 percent range as a low during the afternoon" says Weather Service Meteorologist Brad Small.

He says a lack of rain through February combined very little snow cover means there's a lot of dead, dry vegetation in Iowa.

The National Weather Service says a Fire Weather Watch will be in effect for Iowa south of Interstate 80, while a Red Flag Warning will be in effect for five counties in the southwest corner of the state. There's a Wind Advisory for the northern half of Iowa.

For perspective, Small says just a year ago there was lots of snow still on the ground, and temperatures were at least 50 degrees colder. He says high temperatures struggled to get into double digits.

Image courtesy National Weather Service

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