Skip to Main Content
The 2000 fire season: lightning-caused fires.Author(s): Miriam L. Rorig; Sue A. Ferguson
Source: Journal of Applied Meteorology. 41: 786-791
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (411 KB)
DescriptionA large number of lightning-caused fires burned across the western United States during the summer of 2000. In a previous study, the authors determined that a simple index of low-level moisture (85-kPa dewpoint depression) and instability (85–50-kPa temperature difference) from the Spokane, Washington, upper-air soundings was very useful for indicating the likelihood of ‘‘dry’’ lightning (occurring without significant concurrent rainfall) in the Pacific Northwest. This same method was applied to the summer-2000 fire season in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. The mean 85-kPa dewpoint depression at Spokane from 1 May through 20 September was 17.78C on days when lightning-caused fires occurred and was 12.38C on days with no lightning-caused fires. Likewise, the mean temperature difference between 85 and 50 kPa was 31.38C on lightning-fire days, as compared with 28.98C on non-lightning-fire days. The number of lightning-caused fires corresponded more closely to high instability and high dewpoint depression than to the total number of lightning strikes in the region.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRorig, Miriam L.; Ferguson, Sue A. 2002. The 2000 fire season: lightning-caused fires. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 41: 786-791
- Characteristics of lightning and wildland fire ignition in the Pacific Northwest.
- Predicting Douglas-fir's response to a warming climate
- Prescribed Fire Versus Air Quality in 2000 in the Pacific Northwest
XML: View XML