Thursday morning is starting off much cooler across the Ozarks, with temperatures dipping into the 40s. This is about 20 degrees cooler than it has been for the past two mornings.

Today will be sunny and cool, but the big story will be the winds. Winds will gust out of the west up to 35 miles per hour this afternoon. With the dry air we have in place, the dry ground cover (from going months with very little rain), coupled with the strong winds, we have the recipe for fire weather. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning that goes until 8 p.m. today for all of our counties. It’s important to remember to not burn trash or yard waste, and don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground. The National Weather Service has now upgraded to a Red Flag Warning from noon Friday until 8 pm.

The only other issue of note in our extended forecast is the upcoming hard freeze. It is looking likely that on Tuesday and Wednesday we will see overnight lows drop below freezing across the Ozarks. This will be the end of the growing season. It looks like we will be about 1 week early for the average first freeze in Springfield.