Wildfire potential for September through December, 2010

The National Interagency Fire Center has released their outlook for wildfire potential for September through December, 2010.

According to their Predictive Services section, the primary factors influencing the outlook are:

• Tropical Moisture: Above normal rainfall due to an anticipated active storm pattern will likely lead to lower fire potential across the southeastern states in September.

• Drought: Areas of long-term dryness stretching from northeast Texas to the Mid-Atlantic States will lead to above normal fire potential during the fall fire season.

• Offshore Winds: Anticipated offshore winds in southern California combined with dry conditions will produce elevated fire potential into the fall.

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wildfire potential

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Wildfire potential for June-September

The National Interagency Fire Center has issued their outlook for wildfire potential for the summer, June through July.

The outlook for June 1 to June 30, 2010, below, has an “issued date” of May 3, 2010, and says “next issuance June 1, 2010”. But it is different from the previous map posted a month ago for the month of May with an issued date of May 3, 2010. So we’re going out on a limb here and will assume that the map below is actually for the month of June, was issued on June 1, and they just forgot to update the issued date.

These guys are driving me crazy. A couple of months ago they posted a seasonal outlook that was supposed to be current, but it was actually a year old. Of course I pasted one of the maps here, and didn’t realize the error until Ken kindly pointed it out.

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The map below is a little more straight forward. It is for July through September, and was issued on June 1, 2010.


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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.

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Wildfire outlook, May, 2010

Wildfire outlook, June-August, 2010