Yarnell wind forecast could change quickly

July 02, 2013

Weather experts working with fire crews in Yarnell say current forecast shows wind gusts are at about 15 to 20 miles per hour. But they say wind direction and speed could change quickly. It can go as high as 80 miles per hour.

Ken Waters is with the National Weather Service. He says the local terrain, enclosed areas, and fire can cause variation in wind speed.

"The fire itself under certain circumstances can actually modify the very local weather," Waters said. "And we’ve seen examples of this with the effect of fire whirls, basically like little tornadoes they’re generated by the heat of the storm."

Waters said the monsoon weather is also contributing to the changes in temperature and wind gust.

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