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.
The National Interagency Fire Center has issued a wildland fire outlook for July through October, 2009. If their prediction is accurate (and it was fairly close last month) July will be pretty quiet, fire-wise, except for northwestern California, northern Washington, and the Texas and Louisiana coastal areas.
The National Interagency Fire Center has issued a wildland fire outlook for June through September, 2009. Only three areas are showing above normal fire potential: west-central California, north-central Washington, and the east Minnesota/north Wisconsin area.
I am sure the people who put this outlook together are great at their jobs, but personally I think the most important factor that affects the intensity of a fire season is the weather DURING the fire season. If it is hot, dry, and windy, firefighters are going to be busy.
The National Interagency Fire center has released a “national wildland significant fire potential outlook” for May through August:
During May, above normal significant fire potential is expected across portions of the Southwest, Southern and Eastern Areas. For June through August, significant fire potential is forecast to increase or persist across parts of California, the Northwest, Southwest, and Southern, Areas.
Significant fire potential is expected to decrease in western Texas, eastern New Mexico, and the Great Lakes area. Below normal significant fire potential is expected across portions of the Western Great Basin and Alaska for the June through August period.