Most people don't think of spring as being a high-risk time of the year for brush fires, but April and May sometimes bring the perfect conditions.
The early spring offers plenty of fuel for brush fires: dormant grass, fallen leaves and dry brush.
The weather during the middle of the week may have been chilly, but very low humidity and strong sunshine warms and dries out the fuel.
Locally gusty winds, even those caused by passing vehicles at highway speed can quickly turn a smoldering area into a major brush fire and cause that fire to spread rapidly. (Photos.com image and thumbnail)
There is an elevated risk of brush fires from Virginia to southern New England as most of this area is free of snow cover, green-up is slow in some areas and the brush has become dry.
Be very careful using outdoor power equipment in these conditions.
Do not toss burning cigarettes out of your car.
Avoid parking vehicles on dry, grassy areas as the hot exhaust can ignite the brush underneath.
A storm system will bring higher humidity and even some rain to part of the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England Thursday night into Friday, which will lower the risk.
However, over the weekend, rising temperatures and some sunshine will raise the risk especially in areas, where there is no snow on the ground and the rainfall managed to stay away recently.
As July draws to a close, a rare storm system swinging up from the Deep South will bring downpours that will break the back of the heat wave in much of the northeastern United States.
A renewed risk of severe weather will threaten portions of the north-central United States into midweek.
Heavy downpours will raise the concern for flash flooding along the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley through midweek.
A stifling heat wave will remain entrenched across the Northeast much of this week, despite a brief reprieve in humidity for some.
Dangerous heat will surge northward and send temperatures rising across the northwestern United States this week.
Severe thunderstorms rumbled through the Northeast on Monday, lashing the region with damaging winds while also unleashing heavy downpours that triggered flash flooding.
Pittsburgh, PA (1872)
Cloudburst of 30 minutes followed by a flash flood. Over 133 people drowned on the north side of Butcher Run and Wood's Run.
New Jersey (1892)
Spectacular "double" waterspouts off Barneget Light at heights of 500-600 feet.
Toshomingo, OK (1943)
121 degrees -- record high for state.