Wildfires rage as humidity plunges throughout Florida peninsula

Florida wildfires

Wildfires were burning on Friday from the Everglades north into the panhandle, according to the Florida Forest Service. (Credit: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

It’s been a busy wildfire season in Florida this spring and it seems to be peaking as we roll into the second week of April.

Thousands of acres were ablaze in Broward County and a fire just north of Disney World encompassed 475 acres, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Most of Southwest Florida and parts of Central Florida were under a Red Flag Warning through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The culprit is ultra-low humidity that followed last week’s cold front. Relative humidity levels plunged into the 30-percent range in Fort Myers and they were as low as 24 percent Saturday afternoon in Winter Haven.

The U.S. Drought Monitor expanded D-2 Severe Drought conditions in West-Central Florida last week, although Abnormally Dry conditions and a small area of Severe Drought were removed from North Florida and the panhandle.

Through the first eight days of the month, West Palm Beach has reported zero rainfall while Miami has received a trace and Fort Lauderdale and Naples reported 0.01 of an inch.

7 day forecast

Warm — but very dry — weather is in the forecast this week for West-Central Florida and much of the peninsula. The East Coast may see a few spotty showers as winds stream in off the Atlantic, the National Weather Service said. (Image credit: NWS-Tampa)

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THEME PARK PLANET: How’s the weather on super-Earth planet GJ 1132b today? Could be fair, partly cloudy or stormy — no one knows for sure — but you can bet there’s weather of some kind since scientists discovered last week that it has an atmosphere.

It “marks the first time that an atmosphere has been detected around an Earth-like planet other than Earth itself,” said John Southworth of Keele University in the UK.

“The planet is significantly hotter and a bit larger than Earth, so one possibility is that it is a ‘water world’ with an atmosphere of hot steam,” he said.

Kind of like Florida but without the theme parks, in other words. But it’s 39 light years away which would rule out weekend trips.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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