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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Red flags, earthquakes and fireballs

It wasn't quite THIS impressive, but something lit up the sky to the south last night...

First earthquakes, then fireballs. Meteorologist Robb Ellis of WECT in Wilmington reports that folks to the south of the Sandhills started calling the station at about 7:30 p.m. reporting a huge fireball in the sky.

According to Ellis, "Many people described the meteorite as a fireball and lasted only a few seconds. Residents from Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover Counties reported seeing the object to the north and east, traveling north with a glowing fiery tail."

If any of y'all saw it, I'd love to hear more about it. Odds are it was a meteorite, but a pretty good-sized one.

Which begs the question:
 If there's a Fed Flag Warning, who tells nature not to light up any fireballs? I ask because the entire Sandhills region is under just such a warning.

Eastern NC has been placed in a critical fire hazard by the SPC.

For those new to the area, a Red Flag Warning is the most serious burn advisory posted by the National Weather Service. It means that the combination of warm air, dry conditions and low humidity make any outdoor burning extremely hazardous. This afternoon, our RH level should drop below 25 percent, temps may climb above 85 and winds from the southwest will gust up to 30 mph -- a recipe for wildfire.

We still have a chance at light rain this evening as a frontal boundary pushes through, but hopes for heavier rainfall seem to be drifting to our north. There's little chance of severe weather as well, although an isolated storm may pop with high wind and small hail over the northern Sandhills.

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