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2020 Fire Season Outlook

2020 Fire Season Outlook
April 03
09:53 2020

Flagstaff National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Tony Merriman, has released a summary of the 2020 fire season outlook:

Current drought status:  Precipitation this last Fall and Winter has allowed for some recent improvement in drought conditions across parts of Central and Northern AZ.  However, the area covered by drought is greater than what was seen last year at this time.

Fuel Conditions: Energy Release Component (ERC):  With the slightly above normal precipitation in March, ERCs are remaining below normal values for this time of year.  Fine fuel loading has generally been above normal (especially in the lower terrain) which could lead to a higher low-elevation fire threat.


Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks: 

April – Equal chances exist for above, near, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation across Arizona.  There could be a few episodes of high winds, unsettled weather, and possible high-elevation snowfall.

May through June – The extended outlook favors above-normal temperatures across Arizona, with odds tilted in favor of drier than normal conditions across the Four Corners.  Equal chances of above, near, and below-normal precipitation is forecast for the rest of Arizona.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook:  Current weather outlooks and ground conditions indicate a trend toward near-normal fire potential this season across most of N. Arizona.  Above normal fire threats at lower elevations (SE AZ) due to an abundance of fine fuels. At high elevations – normal fire threat due to near normal winter and April precipitation.

2020 Fire Season Outlook - overview

Summary: 2020 Fire Season Outlook


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