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Fire Weather

NWS Fire Weather Professional Development Series (PDS)

Statement Of Responsibility

This Professional Development Series (PDS) provides NWS personnel with an understanding of fire partners and the elements and products that support fire weather. The WFO Forecaster has the role of developing fire weather elements for NDFD and analyzing these elements along with terrain to determine sub gridscale influences of terrain. They need to recognize patterns and monitor weather conditions and fuels to detect potential for large fire growth or erratic behavior. They transfer this information to the fire weather user community through products and Decision Support Services. The content of these products is driven by a comprehension of partner needs. The fire community relies on this information to make strategic and tactical decisions for both Prescribed and Wildfire activity. WFO Fire Weather Program Leaders (FWPL) and Meteorologists in Charge (MIC) work with local agencies and incident management teams to ensure that these services are timely and effective through liaison, training and verification. They ensure office situational awareness is maintained on fuel conditions and fire activity. Support to users can be elevated through deployment of meteorologists who can work onsite which may include Deployment Ready Fire Weather Meteorologists at an Emergency Operations Center or like facility or Incident Meteorologists (IMET) who will work at an Incident Command Post. The onsite presence of an IMET comes with an expectation of elevated awareness of fire operations and an ability to rapidly assess terrain impacts on local weather conditions and fire behavior. IMET duty can be arduous and requires continued preparation and training to ensure that effective service can be provided during a spectrum of operational environments.

Providing effective Fire Weather Services revolves around seven interrelated abilities and skill sets:

1. Recognize partners who use NWS fire weather products and services
2. Interpret information about fuels and fire dangers and combine this with weather information to identify critical weather patterns.
3. Coordinate with other NWS and non NWS meteorologists and fire partners to decide whether to issue Fire Weather highlights and the details of those products.
4. Employ adaptive situational awareness to monitor meteorological and non-meteorological factors impacting the fire environment across a regional area.
5. Prepare and provide the unique products and services designed for fire weather.
6. Impact strategic and tactical decisions by communicating to fire partners through briefings, social media and chat technologies.
7. Identify and assess varying weather regimes in complex terrain and communicate sub grid scale environmental information to partners.

Additionally for WFO Fire Weather Program Leaders, IMETs and Deployment Ready Fire Weather Meteorologists need to have the following skill sets and abilities:

8. Liasion with partner agencies to ensure WFO services are meeting needs
9. Implement training that ensures WFO staff can meet agency needs
10. Understanding of Interagency financial agreements and be able to accurately complete necessary reimbursable forms.

Additionally for IMETs the following skill sets and abilities are required:

11. Maintain preparedness to rapidly deploy to and support incidents.
12. Utilize comprehension of incident operations to provide detailed weather support.

Utilize the navigation links to access detailed information related to the Professional Competency Units.