Friday, April 01, 2016

About Fire Wx Outlooks from NWS Storm Prediction Center (1 of 3)

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has a few products, the one of interest to me today is their Fire Weather Outlooks  . The SPC issues fire weather outlooks for current day 1 Fire Weather Outlook (today), current day 2 Fire Weather Outlook (outlook for tomorrow) and 3 to 8 day outlooks. Each of these outlooks are available from the Fire Weather Outlooks page.

You don’t have to go far to find more information on what is in the SPC Fire Weather Outlooks, there is a link called “Product Info” on the main page. You might want to spend a little time reading the SPC’s description of their Fire Weather Outlooks, it is short and I found it easy to understand. I’ll highlight a couple of things that I am interested in.

The Fire Weather Outlooks issued by the SPC “consists of a categorical forecast that graphically depicts fire weather risk areas across the continental United States, along with a text narrative. Through various labels and colors on the graphic, the five types of Fire Weather Outlook risk areas are:
  • ELEVATED (orange) - Elevated risk from wind and relative humidity
  • CRITICAL (red) - Critical risk from wind and relative humidity
  • EXTREME (magenta) - Extremely Critical risk from wind and relative humidity
  • ISODRYT (brown) - Elevated risk from dry thunderstorms
  • SCTDRYT (red) - Critical risk from dry thunderstorms” (obtained on March 30, 2016 from
The product information document describes the criteria used for critical and extremely critical areas as well as a short description of their different outlooks. I’ll leave it to you read the document, a downloadable version may be found for pdf and ms-word. I am not including the ms-word link because it may download automatically to your computer, I will leave it to you download that file if you want it.

Upcoming on SPC Fire Weather Outlooks

Monday April 4, 2016: A video of Storm Prediction Center Mesoscale Assistant/Fire Weather Forecaster Ariel Cohen. Mr. Cohen describes the SPC fire weather forecast process for a meteorology class at the University of Oklahoma.

Wednesday April 6, 2016: A little more from the SPC on fire weather outlooks are and are not.

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