Wildfire potential will be above normal for southern and central plains in March

Expected to move west over the following 3 months

wildfire potential March 2022

The forecast for wildland fire potential issued March 1 by the National Interagency Fire Center predicts that in March the potential for wildfires will be higher than average in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the central and southern plains.

The data from NIFC shown here represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.


  • Excerpts from the NIFC narrative report for the next four months;
  • Additional NIFC monthly graphical outlooks;
  • NOAA’s three-month temperature and precipitation forecasts;
  • Drought Monitor;
  • Keetch-Byram Drought Index;
  • Soil moisture.

“Most of the West, Plains, and Texas remain in drought, with abnormally dry conditions now across Florida and continuing in portions of the Carolinas.

“Climate outlooks through spring indicate areas receiving below normal precipitation will likely expand generally south to north across the West, with below normal temperatures likely continuing across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. Much of the Great Lakes and Northeast are forecast to have above normal precipitation through spring, with near to above normal temperatures across the central and eastern US. Additionally, there are indications for an active severe weather pattern this spring from eastern portions of the Plains into the Southeast and Ohio Valley. Critically dry and windy periods will accompany the severe weather for much of the Plains, especially the southern and central High Plains.

“Above normal significant fire potential is forecast to expand across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas during March and April, with lingering above normal potential forecast to remain in Florida during May. Much of the central and southern Plains are expected to have above normal significant fire potential into April, while persisting on the High Plains and eastern slopes of the Front Range into June. Above normal potential is forecast in portions of south Texas and the Hill Country during March, with the westward retreat of above normal potential in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas following the expected green-up procession.

Most of the Southwest is forecast to have above normal significant fire potential in May and June, with potential increasing across southern and western Colorado and southern portions of the Great Basin. Central Oregon is likely to have above normal significant fire potential in May and June, with above normal potential forecast across much of coastal California by June. Alaska is forecast to have below normal potential in its panhandle through April, with below normal potential expected across large portions of the Interior in April and May.

wildfire potential April 2022

wildfire potential May 2022

wildfire potential June 2022

Temperature & precipitation outlook, 1 and 3 month
Temperature & precipitation outlook, 1 and 3 month. Feb. 28, 2022.

Drought Monitor, Feb. 22, 2022

Keetch-Byram Drought Index, March 1, 2022

Soil moisture anomaly, Feb. 28, 2022

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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.

2 thoughts on “Wildfire potential will be above normal for southern and central plains in March”

  1. I know VFDs were stretched thin here yesterday.
    From the KS Forest Service current fire situation:
    We are going into March the driest we have started the month in 5 years – last time this dry was 2017, a record fire year. It is the 4th driest we have been Nov-Feb on record, and fire danger indices are mostly in the 90th – 100th percentile. Friday and Saturday will see critical fire weather. See DETAILED OUTLOOK here, updated as warranted by conditions. KFS will have aircraft on standby in at least 3 locations in the state Friday and Saturday, and is evaluating whether a state engine or any task forces might be available to preposition to west-central Kansas.

    Fire Behavior Focus: Critically dry fuels statewide will need only a breath of breeze to burn aggressively. Any day of elevated wind will create dangerous and aggressive fire conditions, very resistant to control. Very experienced firefighters are consistently giving reports like “I’ve NEVER seen fire behave like that!” Fire breaks that usually stop fires are not effective this year due to current climactic conditions. Expect the worst.

  2. good luck to all who work in the wildland firefighting community! hope its a safe year for all of you ! love to you all from a mom of a hotshot whos been in it since 2000! momma schnick xox????


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