Online tools for weather information
Document Type: Fact Sheet / Brief / Bulletin
Author(s): Jennifer M. Fill; Raelene M. Crandall
Publication Year: 2018

Cataloging Information

  • fire weather
  • KBDI - Keetch-Byram Drought Index
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 16, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 60431


Basic information on past, current and future weather conditions is critical for making decisions in prescribed fire and wildfire operations. It is not surprising that weather is one side of the fire behavior triangle. Weather patterns prior to a fire affect fuel moisture and availability. Small weather changes during a fire can drastically alter fire and smoke behavior. Post-fire precipitation and relative humidity can affect smoldering behavior, smoke dispersion, and the potential for flare-ups. Day-to-day variation in temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed can dramatically change the outcomes of a fire. Past conditions and future predictions for these simple elements, as well as for weather-based indices such as the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), help us interpret past events and plan future actions. In practice, therefore, it is useful to examine different types of weather information at different spatial resolutions. For example, regional KBDI conditions can help prioritize areas for burning, while the predicted local weather conditions are essential for planning prescribed burns within priority areas.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (430 KB; pdf)
Fill, Jennifer M.; Crandall, Raelene M. 2018. Online tools for weather information. SFE Fact Sheet 2018-7. Joint Fire Science Program, Southern Fire Exchange. 3 p.