Warm and breezy, Saturday brings fire-spread risk

The National Weather Service issued a special weather The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement Saturday morning, March 22, 2014 because of the potential for rapid fire spread. Westerly winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph combined with dry air make for conditions favorable to brush fires, according to the weather service in Upton. Photo Credit: Weather Underground

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The National Weather Service's special weather statement is in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday, which warns for potential rapid fire spread.

Westerly winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph combined with dry air make for conditions favorable to brush fires, according to the weather service in Upton.

Weather officials say residents should keep vehicles out of grassy areas and properly dispose smoking materials such as cigarettes.

"We don't predict the fires are going to start, but we are saying that if one did start it could spread very quickly," said meteorologist Lauren Nash.

Saturday's dry, 60-degree weather will give way to a cold front that could bring a strong ocean storm during the beginning of the week.

"Of course, what follows a warm front is a cold front," Nash said.

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Temperatures will plummet into the lower 30s Saturday night, which is near normal for this time of year. But on Sunday evening, there's a possibility of record-breaking temperatures in the teens, Nash said.

The average high temperatures for this time of year are 49 to 50 degrees; average lows are 33 to 34 degrees.

Meteorologist Joey Picca said a rain-snow mix is forecast to start halfway through Tuesday. Picca said there is a 60 to 70 percent chance the mix will change to snow overnight and that there is the potential for several inches of snow. He said the eastern portion of Long Island could get the most precipitation, but that temperatures are expected to be warmer there.

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Unfortunately, springlike weather won't return to the region until Friday, Nash said.

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