Dry conditions raise fire threat across North Texas

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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North Texas is so dry that grass fires can easily ignite, and temperatures climbing past 100 won’t help, weather watchers said Wednesday.

The day’s high of 102 was reached shortly before 4 p.m. at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the area’s official recording station.

However, Naval Air Station Fort Worth recorded 106, which, as of 8 p.m., was the highest temperature reported in Texas on Wednesday, said Jason Dunn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Other readings from across the state may be reported overnight, he said.

The record for the day is 107, set in 1917.

In a statement released earlier Wednesday, forecasters said that “area grasses and other fine fuels have become very dry” after two weeks without rain and that humidity levels are “expected to fall below 30 percent west of Interstate 35W. A few pop-up thunderstorms could trigger fires with lightning strikes, weather service meteorologist Vic Corbelli said.

Triple-digit temperatures are expected through Friday, but the highs may drop back to the 90s this weekend.

Even though the Climate Prediction Center’s six- to 10-day outlook showed parts of Texas with above-normal chances of rain this month, Corbelli said precipitation is more likely in parts of East and West Texas, leaving North Texas hot and dry.

Staff writers Bill Hanna and Bill Miller contributed to this report.

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