WeatherFire Watch


Much needed rain lowers fire danger

Posted at 3:38 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 15:38:25-04

Many brush fires are still burning across southwest Florida, but mother nature is providing her own relief. The fire danger index has been lowered today to moderate for all of southwest Florida. Compare that to just a few days ago when many counties were under a very high fire danger.

Fire danger has been lowered due to higher humidity, lighter wind, and increased moisture in the area. Isolated showers and storms are dropping much needed rain in our inland communities with coastal showers on the way.

The drought index still remains at severe for central Lee county and all of Collier county. Northern Lee and southern Charlotte county as well as inland southwest Florida are under moderate drought and northern Charlotte and Desoto counties are abnormally dry. Even though the drought in Charlotte county is far less than southern Lee and Collier counties, a large brush fire still started and spread on Sunday.

Rainfall in 2020 is still well below average. Page Field in Fort Myers is nearly 6 inches below average for this date and the Naples airport is over 4.5 inches below average.

It looks like this is going to change over the next several days as a cold front makes its way into central Florida. A disturbance ahead of the front is moving through the northern Gulf of Mexico and will keep our rain chances high for the next couple of days. The system dissipates and conditions become a bit drier, however more moisture will move into the area Friday and into the weekend further helping our fire and drought conditions.