Wildland fire outlook, May-August

Today the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for May through August. Here is the narrative from the site:

  • Drought: Drought conditions continue to persist over northeast California and northwest Nevada, western Wyoming, western Montana and much of Idaho.
  • Snowpack: Snowpack in the Southwest has been well above average, while in western Wyoming through the northern Rockies the snowpack has been well below average.
  • Grassland Fuels: Abundant fine fuels across southern Arizona are expected to lead to a 4-6 week active grassland fire season. Fine fuels are not expected to be of concern in the Great Basin. There is an increased large fire risk over the California desert areas in June due to fine fuels decreasing to normal by July.
  • Fire Season Onset: In areas with above average snowpack, fire season onset will be delayed due to a later snowpack melt.
  • Southwest Monsoon: Early indications suggest monsoon onset will occur around the typical start date or later with associated precipitation amounts near normal for the season.

Click on the maps to see larger versions.

Wildfire outlook, May, 2010

Wildfire outlook, June-August, 2010

Fire potential outlook, April-July

The National Interagency Coordination Center has released their assessment of the wildland fire potential outlook for April through July. If it is correct, it could be a pretty quiet first part of the fire season for most of the West.


Wildfire potential April 2010

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Wildland fire potential May through July, 2010

(Note: the images above replaced one that was taken from the NICC site, where it said “issued the first business day of each month”, but it was for the first day of April,  2009, not 2010. Thanks to Ken for pointing out the error. NICC has since fixed the error.)

The National Parks Traveler has an article that assesses the wildfire potential for the National Parks for this summer.

Preliminary fire season outlook for Northern Rockies

They emphasize it is not the official outlook, but The Northern Rockies region has posted a “Preliminary Fire Season 2010 Outlook“. When you click on the link, it starts a narrated presentation.

Here are a couple of screen grabs.

Snow pack

Fire Season Outlook 2010
Three-month outlook for temperature on the left, and precipitation on the right. Created March 18. Click for a larger view.

Thanks Chuck

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.