WILLMAR -- A red flag warning has been issued for southern and parts of central Minnesota -- including Olivia and Redwood Falls -- for low humidity and strong winds this afternoon. The National Weather Service Twin Cities office in Chanhassen says dangerous fire weather conditions are expected this afternoon as strong southwest winds combine with low humidity values and dry conditions.
The red flag warning is in effect from noon to 7 p.m. today, generally south of a line from Olivia to Hutchinson to the Twin Cities. Area counties include Renville and Redwood. Willmar is not in the warning.
Cloud cover will hold down temperatures and elevate relative humidity somewhat, the Weather Service says. However, southwest winds of at least 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph are still expected, especially south from Redwood Falls to Faribault. Relative humidity should generally be in the 25 to 30 percent range.
A cold front is expected to push into western Minnesota early this afternoon, reaching eastern Minnesota early this evening. Winds will become west to northwest with gusts around 25 mph in the wake of the front.