Tuesday, Hurricane Earl developed over the Caribbean. While it poses no threat to central Florida, we have been tracking something else here …fires.
“The vegetation is very dry,” noted Cliff Frazier of the Florida Forest Service, stating they’ve battled roughly twice the normal amount of brush fires in central Florida during the month of July. The Florida Forest Service is also conducting prescribed burns to minimize the threat for more.
So why are we tracking fires in hurricane season? The answer is simple, dry weather…very dry weather. Some central Florida neighborhoods received little-to-no rainfall for the month of July, a month that normally averages more than seven inches of rain in Orlando. It’s typically one of the wettest months of the year, right in the middle of what should be the rainy season.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is also increasing in central Florida, showing some of the highest levels in Brevard County. This drought index measures the dryness of soil and dead vegetation to establish a threat for wildfire.
Without the rain to cool things off, temperatures were scorching as well. Orlando, Melbourne and Daytona Beach all broke records for the hottest July ever.
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