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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

North Ops: Northern California Seasonal Outlook And Fuels & Fire Discussion

Northern California Seasonal Outlook And Fire & Fuels Discussion

SEASONAL OUTLOOK For Northern California
Issued April 1, 2016 Valid for MAY - JUL 2016
North Ops Weather, Fuels and Fire Potential Discussion MAY-JUL 2016

Weather and Climate Outlook: The strong El Niño event (Fig 1) that peaked at the beginning of 2016 continues to weaken. For the North Ops region the effects from a strong El Niño on weather patterns - above average precipitation - typically continue into the spring months but with a diminishing trend.
 Temperatures are expected to remain above normal for North Ops (Fig 2), which can lead to higher snow levels than usual during spring storms.
 Precipitation will likely be near to slightly above normal over much of the region at least through May, then closer to normal in June and July (Fig 3).
 Snow pack is slightly below average for April 1 (Fig 4) and it is expected to remain a bit below normal through the Outlook period. Occasional wet weather systems passing through the region
will produce snow at the higher elevations (above 7000 ft), and sometimes at mid elevations (5000-6000 ft) in May, but little to no snow pack is expected to exist below 6000 ft during the Outlook period.

Fire Potential: NORMAL Significant fire activity is expected in all areas through June. Lower elevations east of the Cascade-Sierra crest are expected to see fire potential INCREASE TO ABOVE NORMAL due to the curing of an above normal fine fuel crop. Normal fire activity will continue elsewhere in July.

Normal Significant Fire occurrence is defined as:
May: less than 1 large fire per PSA
June: 1 to 2.5 large fires per PSA
July: 1 to 3 large fires per PSA

May-June: Normal All Areas

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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