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When will rain alleviate the brush fire threat in eastern US?

Rain is in the forecast for the last week of April and first week of May across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, but it may not be enough to relieve an elevated threat for brush fires.

"Some rain is forecast for the last week of April in the mid-Atlantic region, but amounts may not be significant," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

Cities such as Staunton, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Allentown and Williamsport, Pennsylvania are among a plethora of cities in the region that are 2 to 5 inches below normal rainfall since March 1.

Initially, there will be a round of rain and some thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday. An additional round of rain will then follow Thursday and Friday, but the rainfall will not make a significant impact to the shortage.

The rain will arrive as pair of storms track from the Midwest into the mid-Atlantic over the next week.

Storms that track from the Midwest typically lack substantial rain since they often cannot tap into robust moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. However, this may change for the first week of May as the storms may be able tap into this moisture.

"Rainfall during the first full week of May can be more impressive, but may still remain under one inch," Pastelok said.

The recent warm and dry weather has quickly dried out area vegetation.

"Fire season has already been quite active across the northeastern U.S. and the mid-Atlantic this year," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

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Firefighters are battling a blaze in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, that began April 16. The wildfire is responsible for burning more than 8,000 acres in the park.

Those hiking, fishing or just enjoying the outdoors this spring should take precautions to avoid starting a forest fire.

"Avoid parking any vehicles in tall grass where hot exhaust could contact dry fuels and put out cigarette butts or any ignition source fully," Duffey said.

Although the upcoming rainfall will provide temporary relief, it will lack a lasting impact. Securing enough rainfall to get the region back to normal is unlikely through early May and the threat may last through this spring.

"An elevated wildfire threat will last through the late spring and early summer for the region," Pastelok said.