Flood Advisory and fire danger upcoming in the same week

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WEST MICHIGAN — A Flood Advisory is still in effect for the Grand River near Ionia until Tuesday night. Heavy spring runoff — including runoff from a significant amount of rain and melted snow from last weekend — continues to make its way through the local watersheds.

Since the start of Meteorological Spring on March 1st, rainfall has been well above average. At the Grand Rapids airport, 7.02″ of rain has been recorded since that date. This is 3.07″ above average. Rainfall amounts across other major reporting stations in West Michigan have ranged from one to four inches above average so far this spring.

However, it doesn’t take much to dry out wooded areas at this time of year. The trees still don’t have leaves on them, and plants on the forest floor have yet to start sprouting. This means that twigs, fallen leaves from last year, and other fuels can become extremely dry very quickly. And since we haven’t had significant rainfall for almost a week, fire danger is becoming a concern.

Although the National Weather Service has yet to issue any fire weather headlines, such as a Red Flag Warning, they have mentioned in their hazardous weather outlooks that fire danger will be on the rise until we get significant rainfall (which could happen late Wednesday or Thursday). This means people should be careful with cigarette butts and outdoor burns over the next few days.

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