The Predictive Services 4-month weather outlook for the North Ops region calls for near to above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation. Drought conditions are expected to intensify the rest of the spring into the summer months due to the expected weather patterns.

Critically dry fuel alignments, between the dead and live fuels, should occur early this year and likely start in May across the low elevations, thus prompting an Above Normal issuance.

This flammable fuel alignment should increase during June over a broader area as curing intensifies up the slopes. Flammable fuel alignments should remain across the majority of the region and all elevations during July and August. The unusually dry fuels would be problematic during any Monsoon moisture/lightning events.

Confidence is high for an early start to the large fire season. Normal Significant Fire Potential is less than 1 large fire per PSA during May and between 1 to 3 large fires per PSA during June and July and as many as 2 to 5 large fires during August with the exception of less than 1 large fire in the Bay Area PSAs.

Weather pattern during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of April became cool and moist and provided above normal returns across a little above half of the area with the exceptions being across most of the Sacramento Valley, portions of the Greater Bay Area, NE CA and Far Eastside. Average temperatures were generally near to below normal with the cooler anomalies across northern tier.

The outlook for the North Ops region is for near to above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation from May through August. May and June will be the transition period when extended dryness and warmth takes hold.

The Jet is expected to move further north thus placing the drier side of it over portions of the region and High Pressure will become more prevalent.

Lightning will likely accompany some of the Pacific Trough passages during May and June and favor the north.

Critically dry wind events, whether they be westerly or northerly, should occur with normal frequency during May and June.

A robust Desert SW Monsoon is expected during the summer with moisture/lightning intrusions more likely for July versus August at this time.

La Niña induced teleconnections are likely to extend into the summer months with a weakening negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has been less active as of late but can be a wildcard going forward. Polar Vortex effects will basically be non-existent after the next 1 or 2 weeks.

May – August 2022 North Ops Highlights

  • Weather outlook for May to August is near to above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.
  • Growing season started early therefore earlier flammable fuel alignments likely.
  • Increasing flammability starting with lower elevations in May and then expanding up the slopes June and July creating an early start to the significant portion of fire season.
  • Significant Fire Potential starts with Above Normal during May from Sacramento Valley westward then expands to include the middle elevations during June and all elevations during July and August.