The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 45.0°F | Overcast
Article Tools

Red Flagged and Chapped Lips

No, this is not about a dry-lipped freshman in danger of failing a class. Instead, it is in reference to yesterday’s dangerous fire weather conditions. Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service (the so-called “real” meteorologists) when a majority of the following conditions occur: dry air, strong winds, and approximately 10 or more days without precipitation. We certainly had that yesterday. The first two can be attributed to yesterday’s strong vertical mixing. This “homogenizing” process “dragged” the air from 1 mile above towards the surface. Since the air above is almost always windier and drier, this caused the desert-like dryness (with relative humidity readings near 10 percent) and wind gusts of 35 mph.

Of course, 11 straight days without any rain contributes to the dry soil moisture, which in turn could help fires spread. This is the longest stretch without even a trace of precipitation for over 7 months (since mid-September). We will likely extend the streak to lucky 13, with dry days today and tomorrow. The storm to our west is slowly tracking northward and weakening as it does so. So Friday looks like the warmest and sunniest day this weekend. With a weather pattern change due next week, be sure to enjoy the seasonable warmth while it lasts.

Today: Sunny. Highs in the mid 60s°F (18°C). Winds 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 40s°F (6°C). Winds 5 to 10 mph.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Cooler. Highs in the mid 50s°F (12°C).

Tomorrow Night: Rain likely after midnight. Low around 40°F (5°C).

Sunday: Cloudy with rain showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 50s°F (11°C).