Richmond's heat sets a record for a second day; fire danger increases and counties ban burning

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People enjoyed time on the James River on Wednesday, when the high hit 98 degrees.

Richmond set a heat record for the second consecutive day on Thursday. Richmond International Airport hit 97 degrees, surpassing the date’s previous record of 94, set in 1919.

On Wednesday, the airport’s 98-degree reading also set a record, coming in 7 degrees higher than the previous record, set in 1986.

The forecast calls for cooler, more seasonable weather Friday and this weekend, with continued dryness.

The National Weather Service’s Wakefield office has issued a warning of increased fire danger on Friday for an area including Richmond that stretches from the Northern Neck to the North Carolina line.

“Residents are urged to exercise caution handling any potential ignition source,” including machinery and cigarettes, according to a statement from the weather service.

The statement says a dry cold front with wind gusts up to 25 mph will affect the area Friday morning and afternoon.

On Thursday, citing drought conditions that have created an “extraordinary” fire hazard throughout Chesterfield County, the fire marshal declared that all permitted open burning is prohibited countywide indefinitely.

That means it is “unlawful for any person to burn leaves, trash, debris, tree and garden trimmings and land clearing debris,” according to the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department.

“This declaration shall remain in effect until the conditions change and the prohibition has been terminated,” a news release said. “Although recreational fires are not prohibited, the Fire Marshal strongly discourages any use of open flame during this ban.”

Henrico and Hanover counties also announced burn bans Thursday.

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John Boyer

John Boyer, the RTD's staff meteorologist

John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016 after covering severe weather on television in Tulsa, Okla.

As a native of the Roanoke area, the region’s heavy snowstorms started his fascination with Virginia’s changing weather.

Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and earned their Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal in 2012.

Look for his stories in the RTD and on, along with videos and forecast updates for major weather events in our area.

Email him your story ideas and weather tips.

Thursday Weatherline

Richmond area gets 1 to 2 inches of rain

Richmond International Airport saw 1.3 inches of rain on Wednesday, the wettest day there since July 7. The rainfall also broke the record for Oct. 16. More rain fell in nine hours than in the previous 54 days (dating to Aug. 23). Metro-area totals ranged from 1 to 2 inches.

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