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Published August 25, 2010
Wildland Fire Outlook(September–November 2010)
Data Source(s): National Interagency Coordination Center, Southwest Coordination Center
This will be the last Wildfire Outlook until April 2011.
Fire activity is past its prime in the Southwest. Nonetheless, fires occur during fall, and the National Interagency Fire Center calls for normal fire potential in the Southwest during the August–November period (Figure 13).
Periodic precipitation events associated with monsoon activity should help maintain moist conditions in southern parts of Arizona during the remainder of August. However, drier-than-average conditions may become prevalent in western and northern Arizona during the rest of August, which could result in localized bursts of above-normal fire potential in these regions. Also, the La Niña event that is gaining strength in the tropical Pacific Ocean may cause the monsoon to end early, reducing soil moisture and fuel moisture levels. The influence of the La Niña event is captured in the latest NOAA–Climate Prediction Center (CPC) seasonal outlooks (see Figures 10 and 11). They show increased chances for above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for the September–November period. While normal fire activity is expected, there is reason to believe that that short periods of above-normal fire potential could occur in Arizona and the northwestern portion of New Mexico during the fall months.
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
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
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