Smokey conditions are expected to prevail in our area at least through tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.
With many active fires throughout the state, drivers are urged to use extreme caution as smokey conditions continue. According to the Florida Forest Service, there are over 90 active wildfires in the state, 16 of which are in excess of 100 acres. One of the wildfires affecting visibility in our area is the 35,000 acre wildfire near the Columbia and Baker county line in North Florida. According to the Florida Forest Service map, another nearby wildfire is near the Lafayette and Dixie county line.
The National Weather Service predicts an east wind of six to eight miles per hour today and tonight. As a result, the NWS expects smoke from northern Columbia County to drift primarily to the west today and tonight.
“Winds from the east or northeast will sock you in,” Florida Forest Service Public Information Officer Kurt Wisner said of the smoke drifting into Suwannee County.
The NWS expects smokey conditions to continue through Saturday night with daytime highs in the 80’s and nighttime lows in the 50s. According to the NWS, rain is not likely through Tuesday. Forecaster are calling for a 20 percent chance of showers Tuesday night and a 40 percent chance of precipitation on Wednesday and Wednesday night, with rain chances tapering off to a 20 percent chance on Thursday.
According to the NWS, the main concerns with the lingering smokey conditions are localized low visibility and the potential for health problems for those with respiratory illnesses.
The Florida Forest Service urges motorists to drive slowly, use low beam headlights and prepare for sudden stops.