Fire climate analysis of the United States historical climatology network data
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): B. N. Meisner; F. M. Fujioka
Publication Year: 1994

Cataloging Information

  • computer programs
  • evolution
  • fire danger rating
  • fire intensity
  • forest management
  • histories
  • land management
  • precipitation
  • temperature
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34897
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9180
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The United States Historical Climatology Network (HCN) database was compiled by the National Climatic Data Center in response to a compelling interest in climate change. The database contains monthly temperature and precipitation data for approxiamtely 1200 stations in the contiguous United States. Most stations have at least 80 years of data, through 1987. This paper describes a fire climate analysis of the HCN database. The HCN mean maximum temperatures and precipitation totals were converted to monthly percentile indices for each station. The indices were then combined into a sequence of color coded maps of fire potential, using a spatial interpolation algorithm. A video time series of the monthly maps was created. The spatial time series enhances the comprehension of the data, and depicts the evolution and persistence of areas with significant fire danger. Monthly fire weather forecasts can also be placed in context with these historic data. From a practical standpoint, a serious drawback of the kind of fire climate data offered by the HCN database is its incompatibility with the analytical tools of the National Fire Danger Rating System. A case is made, nevertheless, for the usefulness of monthly weather data for fire climate analysis. Advantages and disadvantages of the spatial interpolation algorithm are also discussed. © by the Society of American Foresters. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Meisner, B. N., and F. M. Fujioka. 1994. Fire climate analysis of the United States historical climatology network data. Proceedings of the Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology, v. 11, p. 579-586.