Today the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their National Wildland Significant Fire Potential Outlook for June through September, 2011. If this turns out to be accurate, it looks like it will be a quiet or average summer season for the United States, with the exception of portions of Arizona, New Mexico, west Texas, central Alaska, and Florida.
The primary factors influencing these outlooks are:
- La Niña: La Niña continues to weaken with neutral conditions expected by July. However, soil moisture extremes resulting from La Niña will continue to affect temperature and precipitation patterns through the season. Temperatures will generally be below average with above average precipitation in areas where soil moisture is significantly above normal, until.
- Drought: Drought will continue across much of the southern third of the U.S. with some improvement expected along the Gulf Coast and in parts of Texas and the Southwest.
- Fuel Dryness: Fuel conditions across the southern tier of states are expected to continue to be dry through June, gradually improving across west Texas, the Gulf Coast and Florida as the month progresses. Across the northern tier heavy snow and precipitation this spring has delayed green up and curing, generally delaying the onset of fire season.
Below is the latest version of the Drought Monitor: