The forecast for potential wildfires released October 1 by the National Interagency Fire Center projected that the potential for wildfires would shift to the south central United States over the next several months. Most of California has received more than the average amount of rain recently.
However, some mountainous areas of Southern California haven’t received much wet rain, so the forecast there is a higher-than-normal fire potential in October and November, and possibly in December. The first large-scale wet rain this fall is likely to be followed by two to three offshore wind events in Southern California.
The NIFC forecast monthly for the next four months, but in the shorter term, by the end of this week, temperatures in the western United States and Canada are expected to be 5-10°C above average for this date.
The NIFC fire probability text and maps shown here represent the cumulative projections of the ten geographic region predictive services units and the national predictive services unit. Additional graphics from other sources are included.
- Excerpts from the NIFC Narrative Report for the next four months;
- Additional monthly graphical prospects for NIFC;
- NOAA temperature and precipitation forecast;
- drought monitor;
- Keetch-Byram dehydration indicator;
- soil moisture.
“The drought continues across much of the West, with droughts widening and worsening in parts of the Northwest, Idaho, and Montana with warmer and drier than usual September. Most of California received much higher than normal rainfall for the month, and so did most northern regions. Eastern, which helped reduce drought in New England.Warmer and drier than normal conditions also occurred in much of the southern and northern plains to parts of the Southeast, Texas, and the Midwest.
Near-normal temperatures and near-precipitation will likely be higher than normal for parts of the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies through early winter. Precipitation is expected near normal for the rest of the west across the southern and central plains to the Gulf Coast and southeast, excluding any tropical cyclones that fall on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Near above-normal temperatures and near-average precipitation are expected to occur in the Midwest, across the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
“Significant above-normal potential is expected in much of Oklahoma, Texas, the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Middle Gulf Coast through December. Potential is likely to be above normal in much of the Mississippi Valley in October and western Ohio Valley through the Ozarks through November The southern region is expected to return to normal with the possibility of a major fire outbreak during January.
“The transverse and peninsular ranges from southern California to the coast, the areas exposed to the Santa Ana winds, will have significant above-normal potential from October to November, before returning to normal potential in December. The Hawaiian Islands will continue to have higher-than-normal potential, especially aspects of Lee, until November before returning to normal potential in December. All of the United States is expected to have a near-normal major fire potential during January.”