Fire Weather Forecaster Featured in Article

thunderhead cloud
South Dakota thunderhead. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

It’s not often that you see any news or articles about fire weather forecasters. We have come to depend on them and we probably take them for granted, so it is refreshing to see them receive a little publicity. Here is an excerpt from a ScrippsNews article about Richard Thompson, from Oxnard, California.

“But a lot of it also involves forecasting that relies as much on hunches and knowledge of local weather patterns as on science.

“The conditions can be pretty primitive out there,” said Thompson, who works out of the National Weather Service office in Oxnard, “but it can also be very rewarding work.”

Unlike the forecasts he produces behind a desk in Oxnard, Thompson’s field work generates almost instant feedback from firefighters. “If your forecasts are accurate or bad, they’ll let you know about them right away,” he said.

Gary Montgomery, a rangeland management specialist in Los Padres National Forest, uses forecasts by incident meteorologists to decide where to send firefighters and equipment during wildfires.”


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