11 PM UPDATE: Brush Fire Hits Wyoming County; Rain on the Way

WOAY-TV (Oak Hill, WV): Following round one of high winds and an elevated fire risk early this week, a second dose of gusts and increased brush fire risk returns late this week.


11 PM: One brush fire was reported in our 10-county region. A fire burned 32.489 acres in Wyoming County. It was discovered today at 3:27 p.m. and under control by 9 p.m. Peak gusts in our region today ranged from 25-35 mph.

Braden Petry’s latest forecast shows a warming trend with rain likely early next week:

6 AM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill provides an update on the high wind potential for our radio partner, Lake Country 3WS:


11 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s latest forecast update with Wind Advisories expanded for Friday:

9:15 PM: Wind Advisories expanded across the Greenbrier Valley. Chief Meteorologist has more on the gusty wind potential and a detailed weather outlook through the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8 in this elaborate Facebook Live:

5 PM: Wind Advisories have been hoisted for western Pocahontas County for Friday and the brush fire risk remains elevated through Saturday. Chad has more info here.


11:30 PM: The brush fire risk will become elevated once again Thursday afternoon with sunshine, low humidity and winds gusting to 25 mph. On Friday, wind advisories will likely be hoisted for the western Greenbrier Valley and western Pocahontas County. Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill has the latest update:

5:30 PM: With the Spruce Mountain fire extinguished, Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill spoke with the West Virginia Forestry division to see if the spring brush fire season is off to a running or sputtering start. Chad also outlines the next brush fire risk late this week. Click here for the story.

11 AM: The West Virginia Division of Forestry tells WOAY the Spruce Mountain fire in western Raleigh County will be completely cleared up today after burning a total of 50 acres. No other additional brush fires are burning across the West Virginia Division of Forestry region, which includes Fayette, Raleigh, Summers, Wyoming, McDowell, Greenbrier, Monroe and Mercer County.

FORECAST UPDATE: Clouds will thin and humidity will drop to 55-percent today but the brush fire risk remains low. The fire risk will be moderate on Thursday with humidity dropping to 30-40 percent, low to moderate 10-hour fuel moisture and wind gusts reaching 25 mph in the afternoon. Friday: Wind gusts will reach 30-40 mph with an occasional deck of stratocumulus clouds that will keep the humidity elevated to around 50-percent. Still, the top soil will have dried out, there remains a moderate fire danger.


7 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill has the latest on the Spruce Mountain Fire and your 7-Day Forecast on Newswatch at 6. Click here for the latest information.

6:20 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill provides a forecast update for our radio partner, WTNJ:

9 AM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill reports during a Facebook Live from the Spruce Mountain brush fire:

7:30 AM: Raleigh County Emergency Services confirm that crews from several fire departments have been battling a brush fire on Clear Fork Road near Spruce Mountain since just after Midnight.


11 PM: Chad’s latest forecast:

10 PM: Wind gusts are between 25-30 mph. Peak gusts are expected to hit 45 mph between Midnight and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Our Weather App also has the latest information and forecasts. Get it on Google Play here or download it in the App store here. You can see our latest StormWatch 4 forecast under the News tab in the App.


9:45 PM: Satellite has detected two hot spots in our region; one between Summersville and Mount Nebo and another near Mullens. Hot spots are areas where brush fires could potentially flare up first.

5:30 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill has a full 7-Day forecast update:

4:30 PM: Red Flag Warnings were posted WEST of our region in eastern Ohio. Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill provides an update on the winds and fire potential during the Newswatch Facebook Live briefing:

3:30 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill provides an update on the high wind/wildfire risk for our other radio partner, WTNJ:

2:30 PM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill provides an update on the winds and fire assessment:

1:00 PM: Brianna Mowery’s midday forecast update:

12:00 PM: Fayette County has the most people in the dark with 264 power outages.

9:30 AM: Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill briefs the public in a live weather interview with one of WOAY’s radio partner, Lake Country 3WS, 95.7 FM:


8 AM Update: The National Weather Service issues a Wind Advisory for Route 19 for later today into midday Tuesday. Gusts reaching 50 mph will trigger at least scattered power outages.


9 PM: Braden Petry’s forecast update highlights the brush fire risk and warm weather this week:

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s Facebook Live today, highlighting the full moon tonight and brush fire potential ahead for the new work week:


The region is not in a drought or significant rainfall deficit. However, a combination of surface soil moisture, evaporation rate and low amounts of groundwater near the surface over the last few weeks will combine with the local weather pattern to bring the elevated brush fire risk this week.

Courtesy: Applied Climate Science Lab at University of California Merced

MONDAY: A Southeast wind will already be gusty prior to daybreak with sustained wind at 20 mph. The sustained or constant wind will increase to 20-30 mph with gusts to 35 mph during the afternoon. Relative humidity will drop to 15-25-percent between 1-5 p.m., and 10-hour fuel moisture will drop to 10-percent. Low fuel moisture is a strong indication that brush is very dry and can easily catch fire.

All of these factors align to a significant threat for brush fires. The weather service could initiate Red Flag Warnings at the last minute on Monday. Remember the burning ban in effect between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. through the end of May.

10-Hour Fuel Moisture on Monday will be less than 10-percent; a very strong signal that brush will be very dry and susceptible to catch fire.

TUESDAY: Gusty winds will continue into the pre-dawn with sustained winds at 20 mph and gusts to 30 mph. Gusts will increase to 45 mph between 1-6 p.m. Any brush fire that develops Monday can rapidly spread into Tuesday. Humidity will only drop to 45-percent and likely hover there through late afternoon. Rain is expected to develop between 5-7 p.m., but end by 9 p.m., but less than 0.25″ is expected. The wildfire risk will remain HIGH through Tuesday evening and briefly drop to low to moderate by daybreak Wednesday as humidity jumps to 75-percent.

WEDNESDAY: Following a cloudy start with humidity up to 75-percent, a northwest wind will dry out the air and humidity will drop to 40-percent and the wind will increase to 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. The wildfire risk will increase to MODERATE.

The StormWatch 4 Weather Team will continue to keep you abreast of any wildfires that develop and the changeable weather throughout the week.

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