The National Weather Service in Albany has issued a red flag warning for several area counties this afternoon because of a greatly increased chance of brush fires.
Meteorologist Evan Heller said the warning will be lifted at 6 p.m., as the sun goes down in and winds are expected to die down.
"When the temperature cools off and the humidity rises, the likelihood of fire lessens," he said.
The 13 upstate counties named in the warning include Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties.
Heller said a combination of warm temperatures, low relative humidity and gusty winds create "explosive" potential for fire growth.
"It's rare in this area to have a warning continue overnight," he said. "The relative humidity value generally increases as the sun goes down."
Winds have gusted to 30 mph in some areas, with temperatures in lower 70s.
Heller said it was possible a red flag warning would be issued again Friday, but not likely.
"The risk is not expected to be as high because winds will be down," he said. "We will start to see rain late Saturday, beginning with scattered showers [and] leading to a steady rain on Monday. The rain will be hitting a dry air mass in many levels, and it will be hard for it to get to the ground."
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