Seventh Annual AMS Student Conference


Interannual Variability of Wildfires in the Missouri - Arkansas region

Melissa D. Chesser, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; and A. R. Lupo, D. Albert, and C. C. Buonanno

The interannual variability of wildfire occurrence in the Missouri Arkansas region in examined and then correlated to climatic variables that are important for fire-weather situations are examined here. In accomplishing this task, a fire occurrence and acreage burned data set is acquired from the USDA and the University of Missouri Tree Ring Laboratory and examined. Also, climatic variables such as temperature, rainfall, and dew point are also examined for interannual variability. While variability in the temperature and precipitation data is well established, there is no corresponding analysis of dew point data available for our region. We found that during El Nino and La Nina years, cool season dew points were higher than those during neutral years. During the summer season La Nina years were drier. It was also found here that most wildfires that burned 100 or more acres occurred during El Nino or neutral years, in spite of the fact that these years were moister and had higher dew points. This was due to the larger number of lightning related events. Most fires in this region are lightning induced. During La Nina years, the conditions were drier and there were fewer fire events, but these burned about 15% more acreage than fire events occurring during the other years.

Poster Session 1, Student Conference General Poster Session
Sunday, 20 January 2008, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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