Update, posted 12:45 p.m. March 26:
With sustained winds from the northwest of 20 to 30 mph, gusts up to 40 mph, and the relative humidity at about 20 percent, a Red Flag Warning was declared at 12:31 p.m. today (Monday, March 26) for most of New Jersey by the National Weather Service. The warning will remain in effect until 9 p.m.
"Because of the meteorological conditions, the potential exists for rapid spread if uncontrolled fires develop. The fire danger will be elevated due to the strong wind gusts, recent lack of precipitation, low relative humidities, and dry fuels,” the weather service advised.
“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.”
As of 12:45 p.m., a fire that was first reported around 10 a.m. is still burning out of control in the marshland near Raritan Center in Edison Township, Middlesex County. Numerous firefighters from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Edison and other municipalities are on the scene battling the blaze.
Original story, posted 10 a.m. March 26:
The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for tomorrow morning (Tuesday, March 27) for much of New Jersey, including Mercer and Middlesex counties.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid- to upper-20s during the early hours of Tuesday in many areas. “Even locations along the coastal strips of New Jersey and Delaware, and in the highly urbanized metro areas, may see temperatures drop to around 30 degrees,” the weather service advised.
“Due to an unusually warm winter and early spring, the growing season has begun around the region. Any vegetation susceptible to freezing temperatures over a period of three or more hours would be at risk,” the weather service cautioned. “A freeze warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.”
The weather service also advised that “gusty winds will increase the risk of wildfires” across much of New Jersey today (Monday, March 26).
“Gusty Northwest winds up to around 40 mph, combined with low relative humidities and drying fine fuels will increase the risk for the spread of wildfires through this evening. The greatest risk is across the northwestern portions of New Jersey, where less rain has fallen and conditions will become drier sooner.”
Conditions on Tuesday are expected to be similar, again elevating the fire danger level in the area.