Wildfire potential, February through May, 2011

monthly wildfire outlook February 2011

wildfire outlook March through May 2011

Since much of the central and northeast United States is dealing with extreme winter weather and blizzard warnings today, wildfire potential may not be uppermost on the minds of many of us. However portions of Texas, Florida, and Georgia have “above normal” wildfire potential for the next four months.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, who prepared this wildfire potential outlook, the primary factors influencing this analysis are:

• La Niña: The ongoing strong La Niña influence is expected to continue well into 2011. This tends to result in drier and eventually warmer than usual weather across the southern tier of states and into the southern & central Great Plains, contributing to increased fire potential.

• Drought: Persisting and developing drought across portions of the southern and central U.S. will promote above normal significant fire potential during the late winter, expanding westward and northward in early spring.

• Fuel Dryness: Dryness across the southern tier of the U.S. this winter will expand areas of above normal significant fire potential westward across southern New Mexico and southeast Arizona and northward into the Colorado Front Range and central plains.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.