The August, September, and October through November 2015 significant wildland fire potential forecasts included in this outlook represent the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.
– Long term drought will keep significant fire potential above normal in Southern California.
– Alaska will see continued periodic acreage growth from established fires which will lead to overall above normal significant fire potential.
– Elsewhere mostly normal activity should be expected; which includes frequent significant fires and plentiful initial attack for August.
– Central California and Alaska will see significant fire potential return to normal; however dry conditions are expected to persist in the Northwest, western Northern Rockies and far
– Elsewhere primarily normal activity should be prevalent. For September, this means a rapid decline in both numbers of fires and acres burned for most Areas.
October through November
– Far Southern California will remain above normal for October and November; while most of the rest of the U.S. will be normal in many areas indicating little or no fire activity.
– Below normal significant fire potential across most of the eastern U.S. for this period thanks to frequent moisture inputs represents a reduced fall and winter fire season for U.S. overall
Weather and Climate Outlooks
El Niño continued to strengthen in July. Positive sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies increase in the equatorial eastern Pacific. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), there is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño conditions will continue through winter 2015-2016 and around an 80 percent chance it will last through early spring 2016. A strengthening El Niño during the fall and winter will likely have the effect of more precipitation across the southern U.S. El Niño conditions typically bring warmer than normal conditions to the northern U.S. however. For August through November, warmer-than-normal conditions are expected in Alaska and most of the western U.S. There is also a high probability that warmer-than-normal temperatures will be observed along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in August, with a continuation of above normal for the Atlantic for the period September through November. Below normal temperatures are likely from the southwest U.S. through the central Rockies and Plains, into the Mississippi Valley. In August, above median precipitation is expected for the southwest quarter of the U.S., the central Rockies and central Plains These areas are expected to maintain above normal precipitation for the period September through November, with a larger areal extent to include the entire southern U.S. and portions of Alaska. The highest likelihood of above median precipitation is centered over Arizona. Below median precipitation for August will be favored in the Gulf Coastal region.
US Drought Portal – http://www.drought.gov/drought/