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Published June 20, 2011
Wildland Fire Outlook(July-September 2011)
Data Source(s): National Interagency Coordination Center, Southwest Coordination Center
Predictive Services at the Southwest Coordination Center expect above-normal significant fire potential to continue across most of the Southwest in July (Figure 12). Significant fire potential is the likelihood that a wildland fire event will require additional fire management resources from outside the region where the fire originated. Dry vegetation, low levels of relative humidity, above-average temperature forecasts, and intermittent periods of hot and dry winds are factors contributing to the above-normal outlook for the region. Significant fire potential in the eastern third of New Mexico should decrease to normal in July, while above-normal levels will expand to central and northern portions of Arizona and the northwest corner of New Mexico. By September, significant fire potential is expected to decrease from above normal to normal for most of the region.
Temperature forecasts issued by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) show increased chances for above-average temperatures in the Southwest for July-September, which can help prime the landscape for fires until the monsoon season begins in earnest. The start date for the monsoon is currently unclear, as is the strength of the monsoon once it begins. As a result, CPC precipitation forecasts for July-September show equal chances for above-, below-, or near-average precipitation. Dry lightning strikes will likely increase during the next few weeks leading up to the start of the monsoon, especially across New Mexico.
The National Interagency Coordination Center at the National Inter-agency Fire Center produces seasonal wildland fire outlooks each month. The forecasts (Figure 12) 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