Wildfire potential, May through July

On May 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for May through August, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their forecast is correct, the Northwest and Rocky Mountain areas will avoid unusually high wildfire activity while Hawaii and some locations in the Southwest, California, Nevada and southern Idaho could be busy in June, July, and August.

UPDATE May 2, 2016. NIFC took the unusual step of producing a video version of the outlook. It was released today.

Here are the highlights of the written report issued May 1. Following that are maps for June through August.

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“Conditions in the mid-Atlantic and Appalachian region were dry enough through April to see increased fire activity at the end of the month. Greenup and increases in precipitation will decrease much potential through May.

“Heavy fine fuel loadings are expected across the Southwest and Great Basin, and lower elevation areas of southern and central California. This will likely increase fire activity in these areas throughout fire season especially when associated with dry and windy periods.  Fire activity will begin in May and June across the Southwest and transition northward as usual throughout the June and July.

“Warm April conditions depleted some of the mountain snowpack. Remaining snowpack should continue to melt off but remain long enough for a normal to slightly delayed onset of higher elevation fire activity. Nearly all higher elevation timbered areas are expected to see normal fire activity throughout the Outlook period.

“Poor seasonal snowpack and early snowmelt in South Central Alaska will likely to lead to above normal conditions in May, especially in the populated corridors.

“Significant moisture across the Central U.S. is expected to produce below normal significant fire potential, especially coupled with green-up occurring throughout this area.

“Most other areas of the U.S. are expected to see normal significant fire potential throughout the summer fire season. It is important to note that normal fire activity still represents a number of significant fires occurring and acres burned.”

Outlook-June

Outlook_July-Aug

Wildfire potential for April through July

On April 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for April through July, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their predictions are correct, elevated wildfire potential will be migrating toward the southwest during the four-month period, while it is expected to remain above normal in Hawaii through July.

Here are the highlights from their outlook. Click on the images to see larger versions.

April
wildfire potential April 2016

  • Above normal significant fire potential continues across the southern Plains to the Upper Midwest; the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina; the Hawaiian Islands; and will develop in south central Alaska.
  • Below normal significant fire potential will remain across the central Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential is normal across the remainder of the U.S., though the potential for pre-greenup fire activity increases through early spring.

May
wildfire potential May 2016

  • Above normal significant fire potential will return to normal across the southern Plains through the Upper Midwest.
  • Above normal potential will develop in the fine fuel areas of the southern Southwest. Above normal fire potential will continue across the Hawaiian Islands and south central Alaska.
  • Below normal significant fire potential will continue across the central Gulf Coast, central Georgia, upstate South Carolina, and eastern Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential will remain normal across the remainder of the U.S.

June and July
wildfire potential June-July 2016

  • Above normal significant fire potential will continue across the southern Southwest and expand into Texas and southern Nevada. Above normal potential will also develop in northwestern Nevada and northeastern California as well as the fine fuel areas of southern California. An area of above normal potential will develop in Florida.
  • Significant fire potential will remain normal across the remainder of the U.S.

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A bonus: the drought monitor, temperature/precipitation outlooks, and the southern California outlook.

Continue reading “Wildfire potential for April through July”

Wildfire potential March through June, 2016

On March 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for March through June, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their predictions are correct, some areas in the eastern U.S., especially the midwest, will experience above normal activity off and on through June.

Here are the highlights from their outlook. Click on the images to see larger versions.

March

march wildfire outlook

  • Above normal significant fire potential from the southern Plains to the Great Lakes due to dry conditions, especially during windy periods.
  • Above normal fire potential will continue across the Hawaiian Islands associated with long term drought.
  • Below normal significant fire potential will persist across most of the Gulf and East Coasts and most of Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential is normal across the remainder of the U.S., which indicates little significant fire potential.

April

April wildfire outlook

  • Above normal significant fire potential will expand across the northern Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes states with increasing dryness in these areas.
  • Above normal fire potential will continue across the Hawaiian Islands and develop over south central Alaska.
  • Below normal significant fire potential will decrease to just coastal areas of the central Gulf and Atlantic coasts and Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential will remain normal across the remainder of the U.S., though potential for pre-greenup fire activity increases through early spring.

May through June

may june wildfire outlook

  • Above normal significant fire potential will develop in the Southwest and continue across Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Fire potential remains below normal along the MidAtlantic coast and Puerto Rico, and drops to below normal in Louisiana and southeastern Texas.

Wildfire potential February through May

On February 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for February through May, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their forecasts are accurate it looks like mild fire potential until April and May when conditions could become more favorable to the spread of fires in the Midwest and south-central Alaska. Hawaii could become busy starting in February or March.

Here are the highlights from their outlook.

February

February wildfire potential

  • Below normal significant fire potential will persist across most of the Southeastern U.S., mid-Atlantic and Puerto Rico as El Nino storm systems continue to bring significant moisture to most of these areas.
  • Significant fire potential is normal across the remainder of the U.S., which indicates little significant fire potential.

March

March wildfire potential

  • Below normal significant fire potential will continue across most of the Southeastern U.S., mid-Atlantic and Puerto Rico as El Nino continues to bring significant moisture.
  • Above normal fire potential will also develop across the Hawaiian Islands thanks to long term drought.
  • Significant fire potential will remain normal across the remainder of the U.S., though potential for pre-greenup fire activity increases through early spring.

April and May

April May wildfire potential

  • Above normal significant fire potential will develop across the Great Lakes into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys where less precipitation has occurred.
  • An area of above normal fire potential is also likely to develop across south central Alaska because warm temperatures and rain have limited snowpack.
  • Above normal fire potential will continue across the Hawaiian Islands as drought persists. Below normal significant fire potential will continue across most of the Southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential continues normal across the remainder of the U.S.

In addition to NIFC’s outlook, here’s bonus #1: the Drought Monitor released January 28, 2016.

Drought Monitor 1-28-2016

Bonuses #2 and #3, 90-day temperature and precipitation outlooks:

 

90 day temperature outlook

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90 day precipitation outlook

Wildfire potential through March, 2016

On December 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for December, 2015 through March, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their forecasts are accurate, it looks like a continuation of pretty benign conditions across the United States this winter.

Here are the highlights from their outlook.

December
December wildfire 2015 Outlook

  • Significant fire potential is normal across the majority of the U.S.
  • Below normal significant wildland fire potential will persist across most of the Southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.

January
January 2016 wildfire Outlook

  • Significant fire potential is normal across the majority of the U.S.
  • Below normal significant wildland fire potential will persist across most of the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.

February-March
February-March 2016 wildfire Outlook

  • An area of above normal significant fire potential will develop across the central interior portion of the eastern U.S. Above normal potential will also affect the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Below normal significant wildland fire potential will persist across most of the Southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • Significant fire potential is normal across the majority of the U.S.

And as a bonus — the Drought Monitor:

Drought Monitor December 1, 2015

Drought Monitor Change

Bonus #2, Percent of Normal Precipitation:

Precip percent of normal California

Wildfire potential through February, 2016

The Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook through February, 2016. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If their forecasts are accurate, it looks like pretty benign conditions across the United States this winter except for southern California in November.

Here are the highlights from their outlook.

November

wildfire potential

  • Significant fire potential has reduced to normal fall conditions across most of the U.S.
  • Above normal significant fire potential will continue across southern California due to continued drought. All areas of above normal potential should return to normal by the end of November.
  • A Large portion of the southern U.S. will see below normal significant fire potential. Typical fire activity should be less than usual across a majority of the eastern U.S. for the fall.
  • Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands will see below normal conditions as well.
  • Elsewhere normal fall conditions will prevail.

December

wildfire potential

  • No areas of above normal significant fire potential will remain in the U.S.
  • Portions of the Southeastern U.S., Hawaiian Islands and Puerto Rico will continue to see below normal potential.
  • Normal conditions are expected elsewhere.

January-February, 2016

wildfire potential

  • Portions of the Southeastern U.S, and Puerto Rico will continue to see below normal potential.
  • Normal conditions are expected elsewhere.