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W.Va. counties discourage outdoor burning due to dry conditions

By Greg Jordan Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Princeton, W.Va. — Dry conditions with little rain in the forecast prompted officials in southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia to ban outdoor burning or encourage people living in places where burning is still permitted to refrain from doing so.

This sign is near the Princeton Fire Department shows conditions. Photo by Greg Jordan/Bluefield Daily Telegraph

September and October are typically dry times of the year, but the length of this year’s dry spell is unusual, according to meteorologist Dave Wert with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va.

“It contrasts all the more because we’ve come off of a year and a half of unusually wet conditions,” Wert said. “When you turn off the spigot, it’s a lot more noticeable.”

Moisture is being lost daily to evaporation, resulting in a moisture deficit every day there’s no rain, Wert stated. In the last two months, there has been a deficit of 2 to 4 inches of rain across the region. What precipitation has fallen over the area has been “spotty,” he added. One place might see rain, only to have no rain only a few miles away. …

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