A series of weak, moisture starved systems will impact the Capital Region and vicinity Thursday & Friday morning’s. Little if any rainfall is expected from these systems. So far, not even a third of an inch of rain has fallen at the Albany International Airport during the month of May. Monthly, and yearly precipitation totals are below normal, with yearly precipitation running over 5 inches below normal.
The cold front forecast to pass through the area early Friday will cause west and northwest winds to pick up briskly after it passes through. Wind speeds are forecast to increase to 15 to 25 MPH with some higher gusts possible across portions of the region. A very dry airmass is also forecast to be in place (part of the reason why the frontal passage is expected to be mainly a ‘dry’ frontal passage) with temperatures forecast to be rising into the 60’s and dewpoints in the 30’s, making for relative humidity readings of 25 to 45 percent during the daytime hours.
Humidity values will recover poorly overnight Friday as the dry airmass causes temperatures to drop into the mid 30’s to mid 40’s region wide, with dewpoints in the mid 20’s to low 30’s, making for humidity readings between 40 to 60 percent.
Nearly identical daytime temperatures and dewpoint values are forecast for Saturday, though temperatures will likely be a couple degrees higher. This will cause humidity levels to decrease to between 20 and 40 percent during the daytime hours. Gusty west and northwest winds will kick up once again during the day, with sustained winds of 15 to 25 MPH with higher gusts possible.
Given the dry antecedent conditions, and the dry air forecast to be in place Friday and Saturday, those with outdoor activities involving the use of fire are encouraged to use caution. Remember to properly extinguish all campfires and not leave them unattended. In such dry and windy conditions, even the smallest spark or smoldering flame can cause a serious fire situation. Fire containment will be difficult during this time as the winds may aid in spreading of any existing fires. Fire officials and firefighters are urged to to keep this in mind during the coming few days. Always refer to the National Weather Service for the latest official statements concerning fire weather potential, and issuance of Red Flag (Fire Weather) Warnings.
A warmer, and more humid airmass will begin to filter into the region for Sunday, causing dewpoints to rise into the 50’s, and aiding in better overnight humidity recovery. Winds will also abate somewhat, lessening fire weather potential for the second half of the holiday weekend. In addition, some scattered showers and thunderstorms may occur late in the day on Memorial Day itself, with a more humid airmas in place by that point in time.
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