...Drought and Fire Weather...
written by NWS Shreveport, LA


DROUGHT AND WILDFIRES SEEM TO GO HAND IN HAND ACROSS TEXAS.  OVER THE 
YEARS...WILDFIRES HAVE CLAIMED MILLIONS OF ACRES ACROSS THE LONE STAR 
STATE. MAPS DEPICTING THE PRESENT DROUGHT AND SEASONAL FORECASTS CAN 
BE FOUND AT: 

http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/

A MAP AND A LISTING OF TEXAS COUNTIES THAT CURRENTLY HAVE A BURN BAN 
IN PLACE CAN BE ACCESSED AT:

http://content.news8austin.com/auscontent/ppv_banners/n8a_frame_create_burnban.htm    

NOT ALL WILDFIRES ARE THE SAME.  AS A MATTER OF FACT...THE WEATHER
LARGELY DICTATES FIRE BEHAVIOR...CONTROLLING HOW QUICKLY A FIRE
SPREADS...HOW HOT AND HOW LONG THE FLAMES GROW...AND WHETHER THE FIRE 
IS ABLE TO JUMP A ROAD OR OTHER BARRIER.  TEMPERATURE… HUMIDITY...AND 
WIND ARE THE CONTROLLING PARAMETERS THAT AFFECT FIRE BEHAVIOR.

IN SOME CASES NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECASTERS ARE TASKED WITH
FORECASTING WEATHER CONDITIONS NEAR AN ON GOING WILDFIRE.  THESE
FORECASTS HELP FIREFIGHTERS DEVELOP A STRATEGY TO FIGHT THE FIRE BOTH 
EFFICIENTLY AND SAFELY.  A SUDDEN WINDSHIFT CAN PUT FIRE FIGHTERS IN 
GREAT DANGER.  THIS TYPE OF FORECASTING HAS ITS OWN NAME...A FIRE 
WEATHER FORECAST...AND A LOCAL WILDFIRE FORECAST IS COMMONLY CALLED A 
SPOT FORECAST...DUE TO THE SMALL AREA OF INTEREST.

EACH WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE PRODCUES A DAILY FIRE WEATHER 
FORECAST. EACH OFFICE WEBSITE CAN BE ACCESSED FROM THE FOLLOWING WEB 
SITE AT:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/

ALSO...THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER MAKES NATIONAL FIRE WEATHER 
FORECASTS FOR A TODAY PERIOD AND A TOMORROW PERIOD. THIS INFORMATION 
CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR HOME PAGE AT:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/fire_wx/overview.html

FINALLY...MANY OF THE TEXAS NWS OFFICES HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR 
FIRE WEATHER PROGRAMS ON THEIR INTERNET HOME PAGES.

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.