Spot weather or site specific forecasts may be obtained by Fire Control
Agencies upon request to the National Weather Service in Burlington,
Vermont. Spot forecasts for wildfires and other emergency situations
(i.e. affecting life or property) are available 24 hours a day/7 days
a week, and can be provided to any federal, state or local
* The Spot requests can be made via our online spot request program, phone, or fax. *
Spot forecasts for prescribed burns are also available at any time,
however only for federal agencies. Response
time may vary depending on higher priority duties of the forecaster
on duty. This is especially true during non routine work hours (i.e.
those hours other than Monday-Friday 800 am to 400 pm), and during weekends
when staffing is minimal.
site weather observations are necessary for issuance of a spot weather
forecast. Minimum requirements for a weather observation include
the dry bulb temperature,
the relative humidity, and
the surface wind speed and direction.
those elements are unavailable, and the forecaster feels that will
negatively impact the forecast, he/she may decline to fulfill a formal
spot forecast request.
wind measurements are assumed to be at eye level using a hand held
wind instrument. If wind measurements are taken from a tower, this
should be noted and relayed to the forecaster. Please use the Spot
Forecast Request Form as
guidance for information to supply to the fire weather forecaster.
very large fires (involving thousands of acres), observations should
be obtained, if possible from several points around the fire. This
will enable the forecaster to better gauge the effects of the fire
on local weather patterns.
prescribed burns, a weather observation from the site should be taken
and sent to the forecaster about two hours before ignition. Location
of the fire site must also be included with the spot forecast. Latitude
and longitude along with a nearby major feature (topographic, town,
etc.) is best.
fire weather user requesting the spot forecast should also provide the
following information: Location, Size of burn, Elevation, and
Fuel (vegetation) type (e.g. is it a stand of dense pines or perhaps
a grassy field?)
National Weather Service forecaster should ask what weather elements
are desired and most important to the burn. The forecaster should
also inquire about the time period for the spot forecast. The
first 12 hours of the burn time should have the most detail in it.
to provide a phone number or fax number in order for the spot forecast
information to reach the proper location.
weather conditions develop that were not forecasted and threaten the
success of the operations at the fire, the forecaster should be notified
immediately. Furthermore, any feedback concerning the accuracy of
the spot weather forecast (both positive and negative) will assist
the forecaster in subsequent forecasts for the same or similar location.