Climatological and statistical characteristics of the Haines Index for North America
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Julie Ann Winkler; Brian E. Potter; D. F. Wilhelm; R. P. Shadbolt; K. Piromsopa; Xindi Bian
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • Canada
  • climatology
  • elevation
  • fire danger rating
  • fire management
  • fire weather data
  • forest management
  • Haines Index
  • humidity
  • Mexico
  • North America
  • season of fire
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 8744
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21545
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
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 Haines Index is an operational tool for evaluating the potential contribution of dry, unstable air to the development of large or erratic plume-dominated wildfires. The index has three variants related to surface elevation, and is calculated from temperature and humidity measurements at atmospheric pressure levels. To effectively use the Haines Index, fire forecasters and managers must be aware of the climatological and statistical characteristics of the index for their location. However, a detailed, long-term, and spatially extensive analysis of the index does not currently exist. To meet this need, a 40-year (1961-2000) climatology of the Haines Index was developed for North America. The climatology is based on gridded (2.5° latitude × 2.5° longitude) temperature and humidity fields from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis. The climatology illustrates the large spatial variability in the Haines Index both within and between regions using the different index variants. These spatial variations point to the limitations of the index and must be taken into account when using the Haines Index operationally.

Online Link(s):
Winkler, Julie A.; Potter, Brian E.; Wilhelm, Dwight F.; Shadbolt, Ryan P.; Piromsopa, Krerk; Bian, Xindi. 2007. Climatological and statistical characteristics of the Haines Index for North America. International Journal of Wildland Fire 16(2):139-152.