P1.13 A review of 2006 fire weather support – A record year

Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Wingwood (Atlantic Oakes Resort)
Larry Van Bussum, NOAA/NWS, Boise, ID; and R. Lamoni

A much larger than average winter snow pack across much of the Western United States during the winter of 2005-2006 was good for the water supply and long term western drought. However, it did little to decrease the demand for NOAA National Weather Service Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) and spot forecast services. Beginning in December 2005, IMETs were dispatched to the central United States for large fire support. The requests did not end for nine months.

A difficult fire pattern then settled into the Southwest and Western U.S., with relatively long dry periods followed by lightning outbreaks that made initial fire suppression attack difficult. Large fires resulted, and the demand for NOAA's fire expertise achieved a new high.

This presentation will review the highlights of a season that saw over 16,000 spot forecasts and 206 IMET dispatches. Both of these are record events, exceeding the previous numbers established during the critical and dangerous 2000 fire season. And despite record numbers of requests, NOAA's National Weather Service provided weather support for every IMET ordered and every spot forecast requested for wildfire.

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