**MACON COUNTY WEATHER BRIEFING FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2016**
*note* This is the new format of the weather briefing until the wildfires have been brought under control.
Dry northwest winds will persist across the region today as cooler air spills into the area. Dry high pressure will steadily build east into the region through Tuesday. Another fast moving cold front will cross the area Wednesday night bringing us less than a tenth of an inch of rain and dry conditions returning through late week.
ROCK MOUNTAIN FIRE
|Leaf blowers being deployed on the Rock Mountain Fire|
The fire has reached the Appalachian Trail and appears to be holding. The fire is behaving as expected and is not jumping the lines when it meets them.
The fire size is 11,287 acres with about 30% containment. with 482 personnel working the incident.
Command 7 - 167.425 Mhz
Tac 4 - 168.450 Mhz
Air to Ground - 170.000
NANTAHALA DISTRICT FIRES
Our wildfires are mostly contained and quiet. Crews are beginning to demobilize and head back home or to other assignments. A new command group will be transitioning in to the Nantahala District before Thanksgiving.
Nantahala ICP - 171.475 Mhz (Command 11/12/13/15)
Command 7 - 164.8375 Mhz
Command 8 - 170.4125
Tac 6 - 168.250 Mhz (Southeast Tellico Fire and Muskrat Fire)
Tac 1 - 168.050 (Nightshift)
A/G Primary - 166.675 Mhz (Primary Air to Ground)
BURN BAN AND INCREASED FIRE DANGER
We are still under a burn ban and the winds will be blowing again today. Please put off burning your brush piles and debris until we get a substantial rain. There are none in the forecast for the next ten days.
THREE DAY OUTLOOK
Sunny with highs near the upper 40s, but will feel like it is in the upper 30s to lower 40s due to the wind. Winds will be out of the northwest 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph.
Clear with lows near 20. Winds will be out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph, calming after midnight.
Sunny with highs near the mid 50s. winds out of the northwest.
Mostly clear with lows in the mid to upper 20s. Winds out of the northwest calming before midnight.
Sunny with highs near 60. Winds out of the northwest switching around to come from the south and southeast in the morning. This could push the smoke plume from the Rock Branch Fire our way.
Partly cloudy with lows near freezing and light winds out of the south.
The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement on the increased wildfire danger today due to dry air, drought conditions and high winds. Winds are expected to be in the 10 to 15 mph range today, with gusts as high as 25 mph. They've also issued an Air Quality Alert for a Code Orange Day for bad air quality. I think most of us will have good air conditions unless you live near one of the wildfires in the region.
***Special Weather Statement***
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
1220 AM EST SUN NOV 20 2016
...INCREASED FIRE DANGER THROUGH THIS EVENING...
A VERY DRY AIRMASS WILL CONTINUE TO FILTER INTO THE REGION TODAY BEHIND A DEPARTING COLD FRONT. BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS WILL LINGER ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS TODAY AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES WILL LIKELY DIP TO NEAR CRITICAL VALUES. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KEEP FIRE DANGER AT INCREASED LEVELS THROUGH THIS EVENING. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL COMBINE WITH EXTREMELY DRY FUELS CAUSED BY THE PROLONGED DROUGHT TO PRODUCE FAVORABLE CONDITIONS FOR THE RAPID SPREAD AND GROWTH OF WILDFIRES. ANY BURNING IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED.
Pollen levels are expected to remain low today and low tomorrow, with ragweed the main source of pollen. Since the last hard frost, sources of pollen in our area have dwindled. However, smoke from area fires have been worse than the pollen ever gets.
The local air quality will probably be good for most people, with the possible exception of those living near the Rock Branch Fire. Some drift smoke from that wildfire may get pushed into the Otto area. The rest of the county should remain relatively free from smoke today.
Here is the official forecast for Air Quality:
The National Weather Service has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Macon County today. Here is the text:
1223 AM EST SUN NOV 20 2016
...AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT...
THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IN RALEIGH NC HAS ISSUED A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY FOR FINE PARTICULATES... IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT.
NUMEROUS WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO BURN ACROSS WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA PRODUCING SMOKE PLUMES WHICH ARE CREATING UNHEALTHY BREATHING CONDITIONS.
AN AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY MEANS THAT FINE PARTICULATE CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY APPROACH OR EXCEED UNHEALTHY STANDARDS.
For a display of the most recent air quality conditions throughout the remainder of this afternoon, please visit the US EPA's AIRNOW.gov web site.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION... PLEASE VISIT THE NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION OF AIR QUALITY WEB SITE AT WWW.NCAIR.ORG/AIRAWARE/FORECAST/.
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time posted 6:00 am on Nov 20, 2016
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