HOLT, Fla., Jan. 29, 2018–The Florida panhandle is under a fire weather watch Tuesday afternoon.
A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur.
The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued the watch due to a long period of low humidity and a high energy release component, a measurement of materials that could fuel a fire.
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are included in the watch area.
A 15-to-18 mph north wind is expected Tuesday afternoon with higher gusts of about 23 mph, along with a 24-to-27 percent relative humidity.
According to the weather service, continued low humidity, combined with high winds could prompt a red flag warning tomorrow afternoon.
A red flag warning is usually issued when a combination of three primary criteria will be exceeded all at the same time: relative humidity less than or equal to 25 percent, sustained winds reaching 20 mph or more and “10 hour fuels” (branches, twigs, etc.) having a moisture content of 8 percent or less.
Any fires fires that develop during this time period will likely spread rapidly, according to the NWS. Outdoor burning is not recommended.
National Weather Service Mobile release