IOWA — Fire Weather Warnings are in place for much of western and central Iowa today as winds will gust up to 65 mph for parts of the state this afternoon.

A Fire Weather Warning is also referred to as Red Flag Warning and is meant to warn people that the weather is very dry and windy which means any fire that starts can get out of control very quickly.

Today’s Fire Weather Warning is from noon until 9:00 p.m. All outdoor burning should be avoided until the wind dies down and warnings expire.

A strong low pressure system to the north and northeast has allowed for Iowa’s wind to increase from the west. It will be strongest this afternoon with wind gusts rising to 65 mph along and north of I-80. This low will push further away from Iowa late this evening which will allow for wind speeds to let up. By 10:00 p.m. winds will still be out of the west, but under 15 mph.

High wind warning vs wind advisory

A high wind warning has been issued for counties along and north of I-80 which is where west winds may gust as high as 65 mph. This will not only make it extremely difficult for drivers but can cause some tree damage in places. High-profile vehicles should avoid traveling north and south in open areas.

A wind advisory remains in effect for central Iowa counties that are south of I-80. The wind will be slightly weaker in this area. West winds will be sustained between 25-35 mph, but gusts are expected to reach 55 mph at times.

Winds are expected to let up after 9:00 p.m. and will remain weaker for Friday and the holiday weekend.