Wildfire potential outlook shows above normal potential through - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Wildfire potential outlook shows above normal potential through July

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The 2017-2018 Winter season was a very poor performer for snowfall across southern Colorado. During March we saw several grass fires break out including the Carson Midway fire which burned several structures as well as 3,300 acres of land. Based on the weather pattern we have seen this Winter and combining that with the seasonal forecast for the next few months, the National Interagency Coordination Center has issued their wild fire outlook for the next few months. This outlook will highlight the area of greatest potential for a wild fire across multiple regions, including southern Colorado

April Outlook:
Minimal snowfall from March has left most of the low elevations in southern Colorado with above average wild fire potential. Our La Nina pattern from the Winter is still in place and will likely lead to continued above average temperatures and below normal precipitation for southern Colorado. While the Front Range isn't in as bad of shape as the lower elevations, we're still seeing very low snowpacks. Historically, years with very low snowpack can be directly correlated to years with above average large fire activity.

May Outlook:
May is forecast to have roughly the same above normal fire potential that April has. Our La Nina pattern will continue to weaken through May but it may not be finished till the end of the month, meaning we're likely to favor a continued warm than average and drier than average pattern. Windier patterns will be likely through May and that will only exacerbate the situation as the month goes roll on.

June Outlook:
As mentioned earlier, historically low Winter/Spring snowpacks often lead to above average wild fire potential. This is extremely true for June, as we are often too warm for snow and too early to tap into monsoon seasonal moisture. The fire outlook for June actually brings far eastern Colorado back towards normal but keeps the I-25 corridor and all areas west into the upper elevations still above normal for fire potential.

July Outlook:
July is the interesting month for southern Colorado and one where the outlook could be a little flawed. July, especially mid July through August, is typically when we see monsoon season fire up. Monsoonal moisture tends to bring lots of moisture along and east of the Front Range. La Nina should have weakened and returned back to a neutral pattern meaning we have a good chance of seeing a normal monsoon season. Early July will likely reflect the above normal prediction, but it's very likely we'll see nearly all of southern Colorado return to normal after the second week or so.

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