While drenching thunderstorms soak parts of the East, dry weather out West continues to promote favorable conditions for wildfires.
As of Thursday morning, there were 35 large uncontained fires raging in the U.S. with the bulk of the blazes found in the Northwest. Specifically, Idaho and Washington have been adversely affected by the fires.
A lack of rainfall over the past month (only trace amounts in Spokane, Wash., and Pendleton, Ore.) has led to dry vegetation. The dry ground, combined with dry lightning strikes ignited numerous fires throughout the region.
While most of these fires are large, the Mustang Complex fire in Idaho is one of the greatest in size, having burned nearly 340,000 acres of land. The blaze is still only 25% contained.
A stagnant weather pattern has caused more problems than just fire damage. Light winds, little rainfall and excessive smoke has allowed for air quality to become unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Until air quality improves, residents of smoky areas should take caution when exercising outdoors. Those people with asthma or other breathing problems should be especially careful.
While light winds can cause stagnant air, they aid in firefighting efforts. Looking at the next week or two, winds should remain rather light as high pressure remains stretched across the region.
In addition, dry lighting strikes are not expected over the coming days, further assisting firefighters. On the other hand, humidity levels are still quite low, enabling fires to spread at a quick pace due to the dry conditions.
Unfortunately for those seeking relief, the weather pattern is forecast to remain similar for the next week or two. There are some signs that a pattern change may take shape next week, which could lead to cooler and wetter conditions.
While the majority of the wildfires are confined to the Northwest, a significant fire also burns east of San Diego, Calif. The Shockey fire, as it is called, is over 50% contained, but has already destroyed nearly 20 homes and threatened many others.
This Southern California fire, while improving, is still smoldering. Similar to the Northwest, dry weather is expected to continue.
Temperatures should continue to be at or above normal across much of the region as well with the exception being a cool coast.
The same system that spawned deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma will reach the Northeast on Thursday.
With one day remaining before Memorial Day weekend, the Sandy-battered Jersey coastline is hustling to finish last-minute preparations.
The Memorial Day weekend will begin cool, windy and rainy in New England and part of the mid-Atlantic.
Thunderstorms will slow cleanup efforts in Moore, Okla., into the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Join us as we discuss the severe storm threat in the Northeast Thursday and the wet weather lingering into the Memorial Day weekend.
GOES-East failed again late Tuesday. It is one of the main satellites meteorologists use for the eastern part of the United States and the tropical Atlantic.
More rain in an already wet month. Monthly totals topped 11 inches at New York City, 9 inches at Bridgeport, CT and 8 inches at Baltimore (all three records for May).
Over $150,000 damage in Monroe and Pike counties from a thunderstorm downburst (originally thought to be tornadoes).
New Hampshire (1814)
Merrimac, Litchfield, Londonderry and North Chester, NH; Tornado and hailstones with 11-inch circumference weighing 1/2 pound.