The National Interagency Fire Center, (NIFC), has released its latest Predictive Services product giving us an idea on what the seasonal outlook is for wildfire potential. Covering August through November, the report’s findings are somewhat expected until we get into October/November for the Southeastern U.S.
August is pretty much as expected with above normal potential for most of California, southern Idaho, Montana, western Wyoming and the Great Basin. As we move into September, those northern areas will transition back towards normal potential while southern California will remain high and central southern Texas will climb towards above normal.
However, October and November will see almost the entire southeast and much of the eastern seaboard all the way to New Jersey climb to above normal due to increased drought conditions. Southern California will remain high with
expected Santa Ana wind conditions. For the full report see here.
Much of this change will be driven by a waning El Nino as we transition towards La Nina conditions into next year. Gary Wood, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the National Cohesive Wildland Strategy says that drier conditions in fall are not unusual for the Southeast, but are increased as La Nina conditions develop.
For specific predictive information on the southeast, see here.
Most of central and southern Florida will be at normal potential during this time, however, some reports of central Florida having twice the number of brush fires this July and August may counter what the prediction is currently calling for.
(see article here).
So, while most areas of the nation will start to see fire potential decrease, the Southeast may be in for an interesting fall season.