Project Name - If your incident has a name, go ahead and put it in. Otherwise, use a combination of the nearest city or town and the distance from that location. For example, if the incident site is approximately 5 miles west of Apopka in Orange county. Then the fire name would be 5W Apopka.
Select whether the type of incident is a wildfire, prescribed burn or HAZMAT. If it is a prescribed burn, please enter the Ignition Time (using a 24 hour clock) and Date.
Requesting Agency - The requesting agency name and telephone number. Fax number and contact person are optional, but we consider those important if we have any questions or a breakdown in dissemination capabilities.
Reason for Spot Forecast - The requester of a spot forecast must provide the "REASON FOR THE SPOT FORECAST". The NWS cannot provide spot forecasts to private citizens or commercial entities not acting in a capacity as agent to a government agency.
Spot forecasts for WILDFIRES or HAZMAT will be provided to any federal, state, or local official who represents that the spot forecast is required to support an ongoing incident.
Spot forecasts for NON-WILDFIRE purposes will be provided for any of the following criteria:
a. Upon request of any federal official who represents that the spot forecast is required under the terms of the Interagency Agreement for Meteorological Services (NWS Instruction 10-406).
b. Upon request of any state, tribal, or local official who represents that the spot forecast is required to carry out their wildland fire management responsibilities in coordination with any federal land management agency participating in the Interagency Agreement for Meteorological Services (NWS Instruction 10-406).
c. Upon request of any public safety official who represents the spot forecast is essential to public safety, e.g. due to the proximity of population centers or critical infrastructure. A "public safety official" is an employee or contract agent of a government agency at any level (federal, state, local, tribal, etc.) charged with protecting the public from hazards including wildland fires of whatever origin and/or other hazards influenced by weather conditions such as hazardous material releases.
Location - Enter the Latitude and Longitude of the fire location. You can either specify:
Degrees in hundredths, in the following format example: latitude 28.24 longitude -80.58
Degrees/minutes/seconds as in this format example: latitude 27 48 34 longitude -80 34 05 (note the space between numbers.)
The NWS prefers to receive location information in latitude and longitude coordinates because it is easier to locate the incident location more precisely on our computer equipment. However, you may also use a legal description of Township, Range and Section (TRS) format.
If you enter the location in TRS format, follow this example: T39N R7E SEC8. The NWS Spot program will convert the TRS description to latitude/longitude when it is processing the request.
Proper location data will give us detailed information on the location of the fire and relation to bodies of water or population centers..etc..
Elevation - If the burn or fire is on flat ground, you can enter a value in only one of the boxes, preferably the one labeled Top.
Drainage references the river drainage basin the fire is in. This field is optional, but the information would be helpful if known.
Aspect - The direction the slope (if any) faces. Use direction references such as N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW. If the fire or burn is in flat terrain, you can type in "FLAT".
Enter the size or acreage of the spot burn if known, however it is not a required field.
Observation - Although not shown in red, a recent observation should be provided. For each observation, we need to know its relation to the site of the prescribed burn or wildfire, the elevation in feet, and the time. The wind information can be specified as N12 gust 25 mph or West at 10 mph. Please specify the height off the ground at which your wind measurement was taken, i.e. eye level or 20 foot winds. The forecast will be for 20 foot winds.
The temperature and wet bulb values in degrees F should be entered, and the RH (in percent) and the Dew point (F) if known. Finally, any remarks about clouds, weather or other important information would be helpful.
Primary Forecast Elements - You may request data for Today, Tonight and Tomorrow by checking the boxes under "Primary Forecast Elements" in the lower left corner of the Spot Forecast Request page illustrated in figure 2 above. The NWS asks that you request no more than you actually need at the time to perform your work that day.
Remarks - If a meteorological parameter is not listed and you would like a forecast of that information, enter the request in the Remarks section. You can also ask questions or state any concerns or problems.
Action - You have three options. When your request for a forecast is complete, click on the "Submit Request" button at the bottom of the page. Various checks are performed on the data you have entered. If an error is found, you will be taken to a page that describes the error. You would then click on "Go Back and Fix" which would take you back to the Spot Request Forecast page. Correct any errors, and then click on the Submit Request button once again.
The "Cancel Request" will end your request. The "Clear Form" button will erase all your entries, enabling you to start over.
The spot request will alarm at the NWS - Melbourne fire weather forecaster's work station, but to ensure we received the request, please call us to ensure that the request was received.
Once your request is submitted, the NWS Spot program will respond with a forecast page similar to the test page shown in figure 3 below:
WFOs cannot provide spot forecasts to private citizens or commercial entities who are not acting as an agent/contractor to a government agency.