Where do you get your weather information?

Wildland firefighters sometimes get obsessive about one-third of the Fire Behavior Triangle. When you arrive at a wildland fire, you can assess the topography and the fuel, and what you see will not change a great deal in the near future.Fire_Behavior_Triangle

But weather is dynamic and can change in the blink of an eye. Skilled wildland firefighters become skilled at predicting how the weather will affect their fire in the near term.

The size-up of a fire begins before you arrive at the scene. Part of size-up is monitoring the weather conditions and forecasts.

Where do you get your weather information on the Internet?

Dick suggested that we collect information from our loyal readers about great sources of weather data and forecasts. Let us know in a comment what your favorite sources are.

To make it easier for others to go to your recommended sites, and if you feel like making them an actual clickable link, use the format below for the link. Use it exactly as below, but replace Name Of Link with the informal (but short) name of the site or data. And replace WebAddress with, yes, the web address or URL, such as http://www.weathersite.com  Leave the quotation marks in place, just replace what’s between them.

<a href=”WebAddress”>Name Of Link</a>

But if you don’t feel like attempting to make the link, no problem, I’ll edit the comments to make them into clickable links.

And please include a short description of what is at the link.

I’ll start with a few of my favorite weather links.

OK, that’s just a start. What are YOUR favorite weather sites?

Site for medium and long-range weather outlooks

Dick just pointed out to us a nifty web site where you can very easily, by mousing-over links, see medium to long range weather outlooks. It is the www.cpc.noaa.gov site, and includes these weather forecast products:

  • Outlooks for temperature and precipitation, for 6-10 days, 8-14 days, one month, and three months.
  • “Hazards assessment” for temperature/wind, precipitation, and soil/wildfire.
  • Drought monitor and drought outlook

This is a very handy, fast, one-page source. 

Fire season outlook, July through October

The National Interagency Fire Center has issued a wildland fire outlook for July through October, 2009. If their prediction is accurate (and it was fairly close last month) July will be pretty quiet, fire-wise, except for northwestern California, northern Washington, and the Texas and Louisiana coastal areas.

For more information:


Fire Season Outlook, June-September

The National Interagency Fire Center has issued a wildland fire outlook for June through September, 2009. Only three areas are showing above normal fire potential: west-central California, north-central Washington, and  the east Minnesota/north Wisconsin area.



I am sure the people who put this outlook together are great at their jobs, but personally I think the most important factor that affects the intensity of a fire season is the weather DURING the fire season. If it is hot, dry, and windy, firefighters are going to be busy.

For more information:  http://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf