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Published April 24, 2013
Wildland Fire Outlook(May 2013)
Data Source(s): National Interagency Coordination Center, Southwest Coordination Center
The Southwest likely will experience above-normal significant fire risk in May as a result of expected continued dry conditions, low snowpacks, and the historical occurrence of windy conditions in this month (Figure 13). Significant wildfire potential is defined as the likelihood that a wildland fire will require additional fire-fighting resources from outside the area in which the fire originated. Normal significant wildland fire potential is expected for the remaining weeks of April. Despite low snowpack measurements and widespread warmer temperatures, indications suggest that periodic storms will keep significant fire potential at normal levels for the remainder of April.
Although drought conditions continue to be widespread, the fire season likely will not begin earlier than average, and southern regions will become active first, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. The primary wildland fire season likely will begin in earnest in late May and early June. The fire season is most vigorous in Arizona and New Mexico in June and July up until monsoon rains sufficiently moisten the landscape. At this point, however, it is difficult to forecast the timing of the monsoon’s onset; it historically begins around the first week of July for parts of southern Arizona and New Mexico.
The National Interagency Coordination Center at the National Interagency Fire Center produces seasonal wildland fire outlooks each month. The forecasts (Figure 13) consider observed climate conditions, climate and weather forecasts, vegetation health, and surface-fuels conditions in order to assess fire potential for fires greater than 100 acres. They are subjective assessments, that synthesize information provided by fire and climate experts throughout the United States.
National Wildland Fire Outlook web page:
Southwest Coordination Center web page:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer