1. Red Flag Warnings

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Southern Area Predictive Services

Daily Fire/All Hazards Weather Summary and Outlook

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1. Red Flag Warnings: None.

2. Fire Weather Watches: None.

3. Weather Summary/Outlook:

A strong cold front will continue to move eastward, creating showers and thunderstorms as it does so. This morning, the front stretched from about Nashville to Mobile and the showers associated with it stretched from just west of Tampa northward to Atlanta, and as far north as Lexington, KY. Tornado watches were also in effect in Georgia and Florida.

Rainfall with the front today is likely to be an inch or more in many areas throughout the Appalachian Mountains and Gulf Coastal Areas. The front will affect Virginia, the Carolinas, and southern Florida on Wednesday, where it could produce an inch of rain for those areas as well. Overall, the rainfall totals from this event since Friday, October 10th have been extremely healthy. Three inches or more have fallen in an area bounded by Oklahoma City, Lufkin, Birmingham, Bristol, and Paducah. Within that, some six to twelve inch totals occurred between Tupelo and Nashville.
Once the front moves off the Atlantic Coast Wednesday afternoon or evening, the weather will generally be rain free and much quieter for the balance of the work week. Temperatures will gradually rebound back intot he 80s late in the week.
By Sunday or Monday of next week, a new area of low pressure will begin to develop in Texas. This system may entrain some tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and produce another significant rain event early next week.
Puerto Rico will continue to experience moderate unstable environment for the next few days with daily chance for showers. Humidity levels will remain elevated and there are no particular fire concerns on our Islands.
4. Tropical Atlantic Summary and Outlook:
47 days are left in the Atlantic Tropical Season (Nov 30th). Hurricane Gonzalo was located about 90 miles north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico this morning. He was packing winds to 110 mph, making him a strong CAT 2 Hurricane. (CAT 3 begins at 111 mph.) Gonzalo is moving northwest at 13 mph and raked across the US Virgin Islands Monday evening and Monday night and is now pulling away. Gonzalo is expected to gain strength as he moves through the waters of the western Atlantic, possibly reaching 130 mph on Wednesday. If so, he would be the strongest event of the Atlantic season so far. (CAT 4 begins at 131 mph.) Gonzalo does not pose a threat to the mainland United States in regard to landfall, but he will likely create some rough surf on our beaches. Those types of surf often come with the potential for rip currents as well.
INVEST 91L is about 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. This system is not expected to become a tropical depression due to strong upper level winds affecting it.
5. October Outlook:
Temperatures will continue to be warmer than average, especially along the 1-10 corridor and in Southern Texas. There will be periodic frontal passages that drop temperatures and result in a brief period of lower humidity. Rain activity is expected to pick up, however these rain events will leave behind some fragmented areas of below average precipitation. Any short term (five to seven days) dry pattern could be problematic when combined with curing fuels and dropping leaves. Seasonal leaf and debris burning could also contribute to an uptick in initial attack activity if these events occur within the dry window.
6. Extended Seasonal Weather Outlook and Fire Risk Assessment (Last Updated October 09, 2014):
The waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean officially remain in a neutral episode with respect to the ENSO signature with no change in the overall big picture. Warm sea surface temperature anomalies are still present in both the western and central areas of the tropical Pacific with some cooling of previous anomalies off the western coast of South America. A fluctuating, but biased to warmer ENSO seas surface temperatures anomalies; is expected to continue over the fall and winter months. These conditions would indicate an average to wetter than average overall broad trend for the South versus an abnormally dry condition.

Hemispheric scaled signals of the ocean and atmosphere suggest that weather systems affecting the United States in general and the Southeast specifically will continue to be high amplitude and very progressive in nature. Fire potential should trend at average to below average levels for the most part. There will still be a fairly high frequency, every six to eight days, of frontal passages and precipitation events.

2014 and beyond: There are a myriad of atmospheric and oceanic oscillations that occur on an inter-seasonal and multi-decadal scale that have been shown to influence the drought frequency across the United States. Some of the primary oscillations and their anomalies being watched occur in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The current cycles and intensities of these features continue to suggest that the Southern Area will remain in a higher drought frequency pattern for another ten or so year (the Pacific cycle being a primary factor) as well as evolving lower solar activity. An implication of the current and expected state is that the drier trending La Nina cycles will be more common, stronger, and longer lasting than the intermittent warm water El Nino ENSO counterpart.
Two significant and unknown factors that are not included in the majority of the climate models are oceanic temperature and solar activity cycles. The current and next solar cycles are both showing trends for significant reductions in solar activity which includes solar flares, Coronal Mass Ejections, and lower solar wind speeds. The influence of the sun can produce a higher amplitude wave pattern for the United States. In addition, should the sun enter another Dalton type minimum that was present in the early 1800s, the next 20 years would result in a pattern of persistently cooler temperatures which, at least in historical terms, produce a drier precipitation pattern and may accentuate the drought potential simply from tropical ocean temperature cycles.

7. Key Measures of Fire Danger/Fire Weather Conditions (Clink on Links):

Days Since Significant Rain

ERC Anomaly Charts

Southern Area ERC Percentile Map

Southern Area Web Page

Southern Area Table of Active 209 Fires


Southern Area Weekly

Southern Area Daily Map

Daily Anomaly

Florida (DOF Product)

Georgia (DOF Product)


North Carolina




SA 7 Day Significant Fire Potential Map SA 7 Day Grid

National Monthly-Seasonal Fire Potential Outlook

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