National Weather Service
Fire Weather Program
The National Weather Service in Taunton is responsible for fire weather forecasts for all
of New England. The daily fire weather forecast is a 28 zone forecast of weather
conditions for a 48 hour period and an extended forecast for days 3 through 5. This
forecast is issued each morning by 6 am during the fire weather season. Although the exact
dates vary from year to year based upon weather and vegetative conditions, the season
normally runs from April 1st to November 30th.
A National Fire Danger Rating (NFDR) forecast is also issued each afternoon by 3 pm.
This forecast is a site specific forecast of weather conditions over a 48 hour period.
This forecast is one input parameter used to calculate daily fire danger ratings across
the region. Fire managers also use these site specific forecasts in their daily
operations. Decisions on whether or not to issue burning permits is an example of one
When extreme fire behavior is expected, the NWS Taunton will issue a fire weather watch.
This watch highlights the potential for abnormal fire behavior within the next 72 hours.
When a watch is issued, fire managers then begin to increase staffing and manage resources
to deal with possible fire outbreaks. When extreme fire behavior is imminent or occurring,
a red flag warning is issued. The warning signals the onset of extreme fire behavior
caused by weather and an already dry fuel situation.
Meteorologists monitor several parameters such as fliel moisture and drought indices in
conjunction with the normal suite of weather parameters which can affect the behavior of
For additional information on the NWS Taunton Fire Weather Program, please contact Alan
Fire weather related internet addresses
As we expand into the age of information...many folks are gaining access into the
internet. The internet is host to a wide range of weather data from hundreds of sources.
Anything from current radar, satellite and forecasts and weather observations can be
Here are two internet addresses that may be of interest to you:
National Weather Service Taunton, MA homepage
This homepage includes the daily fire weather forecast
"Specialized forecasts" on the homepage. Also...there are many "links"
to other weather services offices.
NWS Boise, ID homepage
This is an excellent resource in obtaining fire weather forecasts for the western US
states, satellite imagery, and a suite of current and forecast maps of such indices as the
Palmer Drought, Keetch-Byram Drought and 10hr and 1000 hr fuel moisture. Also...a national
map of fire danger rating class from the Wildland Fire Assessment System link.