The Climate Prediction Center has posted the latest Drought Monitor and our viewing area has some locations in the Severe Drought category. Not much of a surprise as the region has been moisture starved for several weeks in a row with Danville setting a record for least amount of measurable precipitation in the month of November.

With that in mind there are major concerns with respect to wildfire danger, especially considering the fact that in Surry County the Grindstone Fire has consumed over 1000 acres of pilot mountain. As of noon Thursday, the fire is now 80% contained but gusty winds in the region are inhibiting the suppression of the fire as crews work round the clock to keep it contained.

Pilot Mountain Fire. Monday, Nov. 29. (Chris Weaver/WGHP)

Be mindful of anything that may cause a fire as the conditions are ripe for rapid spread of any wildfire. Gusty winds at times, dry fuel on the ground and dry air are the big three when it comes to fire weather danger.

As for the forecast, not much change in the pattern as the region will be contending with the dry air and milder temperatures through the weekend. The highs are about 10 – 15 degrees above normal most locations, and that will continue through at least Saturday.

Sunday shows us an increase in cloud cover and cooler conditions, Monday looks to provide the region with a little rain, but not enough to clear our dry scenario.

The next chance for some widespread rain is not until early Wednesday so please be careful with all ignitable objects.

There is one warning issued by the NWS for High Wind, and that is for Highland County as the Ridgelines may see gusts near 60 mph at times along with sustained winds near 25 – 35 mph.

Stay Safe,
John Carroll
Chief Meteorologist