A Red Flag Warning is in effect Tuesday, March 27. This is the second Red Flag Warning this year, with the previous one issued Friday the 23rd of March. This means that the fire threat remains high with dry humidity levels and strong, breezy winds. For you, this means burning outside is discouraged today, as any fire that starts or is sparked somehow can easily spread given the forecast conditions. It also points to the fact that it has been pretty dry out there this year!
On the year so far (2012) the Burlington International Airport is running just about two inches behind on the year. This is stemming off the 2011 year of the flood. Burlington broke the all-time wettest year on record last year. However things are much drier this year.
This month is continuing the dry streak of weather we have had. Precipitation in March so far is about 50% of the 'normal' levels.
This isn't a huge concern as of yet. It just means that we could be seeing more of these Red Flag Warnings in the future.
This is the drought monitor for our area, issued weekly. This image is a bit dated, but it's something to keep an eye on. It shows the areas that are abnormally dry, shaded in yellow here. This is just the first stage of 'droughts' as the colors can be much darker, showing much drier conditions can exist. The trend over the last few weeks has been increasingly drying conditions across Vermont, as well as much of New England.
This is the 6-10 day precipitation outlook and 8-14 day precipitation outlook. This is issued by the National Weather Service and the Climate Prediction Center and I find it to be fairly accurate. It depicts a good chance to be dry in New England through the next two weeks. It doesn't mean we WILL be dry, but odds are precipitation will be light. As we go into the future, especially before vegetation greens up and conditions remain fairly dry, burn bans should be recognized with even more respect. These fire warnings and watches are more likely this spring.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier