DROUGHT WORSENS IN WEST, EASES IN EAST
NOAA Issues Outlook For Summer; Unveils New Fire Detector on NOAA Satellite
June 13, 2002 The hot, dry conditions,
which have fueled raging wildfires
in several western states, are expected to hang on through September,
according to the latest seasonal outlook from NOAA's
National Weather Service. Along the East Coast, forecasters
today also predicted drought
conditions to slowly improve as summer unfolds. (Click image
for larger view of NOAA's seasonal drought outlook through September
2002. Click here
for high resolution version. Please note this is a large file.
For 300 dpi TIFF file click
Speaking at a news conference at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Camp Springs, Md., John E. Jones, Jr., deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service, said, "The summer outlook does not bode well for the wildfire situation in the West, where conditions are ripe for more fire activity." (Click NOAA image for larger view of U.S. Drought Monitor as of June 11, 2002. Click here for high resolution version. Please note this is a large file. For 300 dip TIFF file click here.)
While forecasters project above-normal rainfall over much of Colorado and eastern Utah, Jones said the extra rain would do little to improve drought conditions in those areas, because the rainfall amounts will still not be enough erase the water deficit. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is the section of NOAA's National Weather Service that issues long-range climate and weather outlooks.
Outlook for the West
Recent record high temperatures helped stoke the flames of wildfires in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. "Prolonged drought, coupled with high temperatures, and strong winds, spell fire danger anywhere," Jones said.
Although late-season snowfall in parts of Montana has improved the drought status somewhat, serious drought problems persist. He added that NOAA forecasters are expecting below-normal rainfall throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, northern Nevada and northern California.
Rains Ease Drought In East
Jim Laver, director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said, "Despite the rain, drought conditions still exist in the East, especially in the Southeast where the real focus is now. The precipitation made a dent in the drought, especially across the Appalachians and Northeast, but as a whole, the East is not out of the woods yet," Laver said.
New Fire Detector From Space
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.
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