Red flag warning issued during unusually warm February

4 months 6 days 4 hours ago February 16, 2017 Feb 16, 2017 Thursday, February 16 2017 Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:10:00 PM CST in News
By: Khaki Martin, KOMU 8 News
loading

COLUMBIA - The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for central Missouri, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. 

According to the notice, "A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly." 

Pat Guinan, a climatologist with the University of Missouri Extension, said all the environmental variables are primed for any type of outdoor fire to spread rapidly and out of control.

"Those variables are being low humidity, anything around 20 percent or so, and strong gusty winds. We're expecting that today anywhere from 20 to 30 miles per hour, and well above normal temperatures," Guinan said.

During red flag warnings, the fire district discourages any type of open burning whatsoever.

"Be very diligent about discarding cigarettes, diligent about anything that could cause a spark or could case a fire," Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp said. 

Blomenkamp said no one should have controlled burns during red flag warnings.

"If you do a prescribed burn and you do a controlled burn and it gets out of control, you’re liable for other people's property that it may damage,"  he said.

Blomenkamp said a red flag warning is typical for this time of year in central Missouri.

"This is our natural cover fire season, unlike the western part of the United States when theirs starts in June, July and August." he said. "Ours is now because all of the grasses are either dead or dormant, so there’s no uptake of moisture into the plant." 

Carrie Hargrove, the director of urban farming for the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, said it is quite unusual to have such warm weather in February. 

"It just seems like its been a really dry winter, which can have implications for the growing season. So we’ll just see if we have a wet spring I guess," she said. 

According to Guinan, the unseasonably mild weather conditions in January and February creates cause for concern, especially for plants that might be coming out of dormancy.

"Right now most of the state is either abnormally dry or witnessing drought conditions, so it's imperative we do get some moisture over the next few weeks and as we roll into spring, when the planting season arrives pretty quickly," he said. "For this weather to occur in February, that’s very concerning because there could be a vulnerability issue when it comes to freezing weather, and it is highly likely highly to experience subfreezing conditions well into March."

As the warm weather continues into the weekend with predicted highs of 70, Blomenkamp said people should continue to be on alert for spreading fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an initial 911 call Saturday morning reporting an airplane flying... More >>
42 minutes ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:43:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An early Friday morning shooting has left one man with non-life-threatening injuries. Columbia Police officers responded to... More >>
1 hour ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 10:26:00 AM CDT in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - When the justices take the bench Monday for their final week before a summer hiatus, they are... More >>
4 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:18:00 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE – Residents gathered on Saturday for the 28th Annual Boonville Heritage Days. About 100 members of the community... More >>
7 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:38:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police are warning residents about a phone scam. The Columbia Police Department said it has received multiple... More >>
8 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:52:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD officers gave the "all clear" late Friday night after authorities said they did not find an explosive... More >>
9 hours ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County sheriff denied accusations of the jail being in poor condition following posts on social... More >>
16 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri non-profit organization is raising money for veterans in its own unique way, bull riding. ... More >>
16 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:34:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport and Sen. Caleb Rowden, R- Columbia met with dozens of Mid-Missouri parents and children to... More >>
17 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:12:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - After residents said they did not want a roundabout, the Columbia Public Works Department has come up with... More >>
17 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:05:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - More than 200 requests have come in so far in just the twenty-four hours after MU leadership announced... More >>
19 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pollen is not the only allergen that arrives with the warm summer weather. A specific type of tick... More >>
19 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis County sheriff's deputy faces up to a decade in federal prison now... More >>
20 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - One person was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task... More >>
20 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia city council is considering new regulations on payday loan companies and money lending businesses. The... More >>
20 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 3:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College will be giving high school students a chance to earn college credits. The two dual credit... More >>
21 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrated the graduation of 27 troopers in Jefferson City on Friday morning. ... More >>
21 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A man was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force... More >>
22 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
1pm 75°
2pm 76°
3pm 77°
4pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
America's Cup
1:30p
Dew Tour
3:00p
Track & Field
12:00p
Paid Program
12:30p
Paid Program
1:00p
Made in Hollywood

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Nitro Circus
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld