Temperatures surged into the middle 80s Tuesday some 20 degrees above normal, and just a few degrees shy of the record high for May 1 established in 1951. The very warm temperatures with southwest winds gusting to 30 mph and 20-30% relative humidity values combined with the very dry vegetation to trigger scattered brush fires that kept many fire departments busy.
Moisture will increase over our area during the next 24-36 hours, and as a cold front approaches from the west the air overhead will become increasingly more unstable. Thunderstorm chances will rise later Wednesday afternoon with widespread strong to severe storms Wednesday night into Thursday. Locally heavy rains up to an inch or more will be possible.