Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forest Fires Errupt On First Coast

Large portions of north Florida and southeast Georgia are experiencing Extreme Drought. No significant relief from drought conditions is expected for the upcoming week, although we will see about 1-2 inches of rain into this weekend over portions of the Suwanee Valley and southeast Georgia.

A lack of the typical tropical moisture usually seen during hurricane season has left Florida drier than normal. Wildfire activity during 2011 is suppose to be higher than normal due to the strong La Nina weather conditions currently in place. Similar conditions in the past have been associated with Florida's five most active wildfire years. Only 1.7 inches of rain has fallen during the past 2 months, placing the year 2010 in one of the top 5 driest years ever in Jacksonville.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is a continuous reference scale for estimating the dryness of the soil and duff layers. The index increases for each day without rain (the amount of increase depends on the daily high temperature) and decreases when it rains. The scale ranges from 0 (no moisture deficit) to 800 (desert-like conditions). The range of the index is determined by assuming that there is 8 inches of moisture in a saturated soil that is readily available to the vegetation

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