The combination of dry air and gusty winds will enhance the risk for fires across a large part of the West and northern Plains today.
Coming off a record fire season, this is the last thing that exhausted firefighters want to hear.
Parts of more than a dozen states will experience near-optimal conditions for fire ignition and growth; that is, relative humidity levels less than 20 percent and wind gusts over 20 mph.
Recent and long-term dry weather has already set the groundwork, with plenty of dried vegetation and leaves present for any fires to feed off of.
A cold front plowing south from Canada into the northern Rockies and High Plains is perhaps most at fault for the risk today. The front will enhance winds both ahead of it out of the southwest, and behind it from the northwest.
Eventually, moisture will follow the frontal passage into parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, but it will be delayed for up to a day. This cold air and enhanced moisture combination will result in the season's first snow across much of the nation's northern tier.
That moisture will never make it to California, where the fire risk will also stay high, thanks to days of near-record heat.
The Grapevine, as well as the forests and mountains around Los Angeles, will be at an especially high risk for wildfires.
The same can be said for the Cascades, valleys and basins of Washington, the so-called "smokestack" of Idaho, the Wasatch mountains in Utah, as well as a significant portion of central and eastern Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas and even as far east as northern Minnesota.
This map, courtesy the USDA Forest Service, shows current large fire incidents across the northwestern U.S. as of Oct. 1.
Though fire safety is something that should never go out of season, extra caution should be practiced today.
If you are camping, take extra precautions to prevent the spread of any campfires (better yet, don't start any). Never abandon a campsite until any fires are totally and completely extinguished.
Motorists should never toss cigarette butts out of their vehicles, especially in conditions such as this.
Even something as benign as target shooting can spark fires.
The temblor occurred at 9:07 a.m. local time (9:07 p.m. EDT Thursday). The quake had a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported.
Thundery showers late on Friday and on Friday night will pose a threat of localized torrential rain, high winds and hail.
After intense heat eased some for Thursday, it will once again bake Spain and France to close out this week and expand into Germany and Poland this weekend.
The same front that brought gusty thunderstorms and tornado reports across Missouri Wednesday will once again spark severe weather from the Plains to the Tennessee Valley into Thursday night and beyond.
While parts of India received torrential rainfall during June, impact from El Nino will reassert itself over the upper part of the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.
Winds and the Gulf Stream current are the likely catalysts behind strange jellyfishlike creatures, Man O' War, popping up on East Coast beaches over the past several weeks.
Baltimore, MD (airport) (1966)
102 degrees, tied all time record high.
Berks County, PA (1973)
Third flood in 12 days. Southwestern Berks Co. hardest hit with rains well over 4" within 3 hours. Route 222 washed out near Adamstown "worse than Agnes." Flooding along Wyomissing Creek. One actual measurement was over 6".
Philadelphia, PA (1978)
A total of 3.66 inches of rain.