Friday, June 15, 2012

2012 Wildfire Season

The 2012 wildfire season is already off to a bad start. And, there are indications it is about to get much worse. 

Caveat: I am not a wildfire weather forecaster, so I'm relying on some great resources for this post.

Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., wrote a highly informative post Thursday explaining how extremely high temperatures and low humidities will conspire to cause conditions extremely conducive to wildfires in the West. In this second post, he puts the 2012 season -- to date -- in perspective. Roger is both a meteorologist and the former state climatologist for Colorado and knows his stuff.

There is a National Weather Service resource for fire weather forecasts and it is here. They are calling for extreme conditions in the indicated areas early next week.

Beyond that, I agree with the NWS 6-10 forecast of much higher than normal -- perhaps record -- temperatures in the intermountain region.

Take a look at the AccuWeather Forecast for Las Vegas ten days from now. These are much higher than normal for June.

Here is the forecast for Salt Lake City for the same period. These are 15° above normal.

So, I recommend to readers in the region to PLEASE consider what measures they need to take to mitigate the effects of heat and fire. 

Roger makes a second point: That these temperatures may be assisted by world temperatures plateauing the last 15 years at a high level. So, if these fires turn into a major disaster, those saying climate change has a role may have a point.

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