KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The latest drought monitor came out Thursday morning and conditions have barely changed across East Tennessee and Southeast Kentucky. These are the conditions in which two wildfires are burning in Roane and Campbell counties.
Severe drought continues across part of the Southern Valley with moderate drought into the Valley. This week’s drought monitor includes the rainfall we saw last Tuesday as well as this past Sunday. However, since amounts were fairly minimal and dry conditions have persisted for weeks, drought conditions have not changed much.
Remember, the latest drought monitor gets released at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) each Thursday morning and the data cutoff is Tuesday at 8 a.m. (EDT).
Drought plays a big role in the potential for wildfires. Drought means a lack of rainfall and tends to mean dry ground/low soil moisture are in place, two factors that increase the potential for wildfires.
Low relative humidities, warm temperatures and breezy winds also all contribute to wildfire development. Looking ahead to this weekend, warm temperatures are anticipated (with near record highs) and winds are expected to increase Saturday out of the South.
As a result, the National Weather Service has already mentioned that gusty winds over Southeast Kentucky may lead to an enhanced fire danger risk Saturday.