Bell Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 8:23 am EDT on October 7, 2015

... Fire weather/fire prevention awareness week continues today with
a look at the Spring and fall fire weather seasons...

As mentioned earlier in the week... low relative humidities and high
wind speeds are two key ingredients which act to increase the degree
of fire danger. These two ingredients... combined with drier
vegetation... are most prevalent during the Spring and fall fire
weather seasons.

The Spring fire weather season occurs in the late winter and early
Spring. It begins on February 15th and last until April 30th. In
February and March... most of the vegetation is still dormant as
temperatures begin to warm. Lengthening daylight hours and warmer
temperatures increase the surface temperatures and in combination
with higher wind speeds... dry out the vegetation. With these
ingredients in place... elevated levels of fire danger typically
occur until the Forest foliate is at full growth and providing
shade. The cooling effect of the shade on Leaf litter and understory
and the high moisture content of growing vegetation brings and end
to the Spring fire season. Spring is when the majority of wildfires
occur. However... the largest wildfire in Kentucky since 2000
occurred in the fall of 2001 in Floyd County.

The fall fire weather season runs from October 1st through December
15th. Normally for Kentucky... the month of September and
October... are on average the two driest months of the year. This
makes September and October combined the driest two month period
during the year on average. During this time of year... temperatures
are also cooler on average. These cooler temperatures held reduce
the threat of stronger afternoon and evening showers and
thunderstorms... which are usually driven by warmer surface
temperatures. Also... the jet stream... where the better organized
weather systems with more widespread rainfall... if typically located
well north of Kentucky during September and October.

Typically... in the month of September... the vegetation becomes drier
out. By October... the combination of drier vegetation... falling
leaves that dry out and the end of the growing season sometimes
leads to an extended period of higher fire danger.

Climatological records for Jackson and London indicate that the
driest months on record generally occur in September and October.
The normal rainfall at Jackson for September is 3.46 inches... while
the normal rainfall for October is 3.19 inches. At London... the
normal rainfall for September is 3.37 inches and 3.02 inches for
October. Since 1981 at Jackson... eight septembers and nine octobers
have had rainfall of less than two inches. Since 1955 at London...
fifteen septembers and seventeen octobers have had rainfall of less
than two inches. In fact... at Jackson... the driest two month
September and October period on record occurred in 2005... when only
2.08 inches fell. The driest two month September and October period
at London occurred in 2008... when only 1.30 inches of rain fell. At
Jackson... the second driest September and October period was in 2008
when only 2.14 inches fell... while the third driest September and
October period occurred in 2001... when only 2.50 inches of rain
fell. London was wetter during September and October 2001...
receiving 3.72 inches of rain. Fall 2001 was one of the most active
fall fire weather seasons on record in eastern Kentucky.

Although we have discussed the seasonal impacts of weather on
wildfires... keep in mind that wildfires can occur at any time of the
year in Kentucky. Always strive to say educated about wildfire
prevention. But most importantly... be careful and act responsibly!


For additional fire weather information... please go to the following
website: www.Crh.NOAA.Gov/jkl/fire (all lower case).