Strong winds Saturday – Elevated fire risk for some

Weather

Strong winds will once again develop Saturday, possibly gusting at times to 45 mph during the afternoon. High pressure sliding south Thursday night and Friday morning will shift winds Friday afternoon back around to the West and Southwest. Winds will be gusty Friday, between 25-30 mph through much of the afternoon.

Cloud cover will increase Saturday morning as a strengthening low pressure system pulls a warm front through the Stateline and into Wisconsin. A quick shower or two could be possible, with a few snowflakes mixed in to the north. Much of Saturday afternoon will be dry, but cloudy, as strong southwest winds push temperatures into the low to mid 60s. We could see highs Saturday rise a bit further if cloud cover thins out during the afternoon.

The strengthening low to our northwest and passing high pressure system to our southeast will cause the winds to increase from the southwest, creating a ‘squeeze play’, at times gusting to 45 mph. Wind gusts could become higher if we do not see as much cloud cover during the afternoon. The increase in wind Saturday will also elevated the fire risk, especially for those locations a bit further to the south. Wednesday afternoon there were quite a few grass and field fires in central Illinois due to the strong winds, low relative humidity values and warm temperatures. A similar scenario could play out for Saturday as relative humidity values drop to near 30%, or below.

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