Wildfire Season Part 2?

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

The Bugaboo wildfire that burned an estimated 600-thousand acres in Georgia and Florida is remembered for the thick plumes of smoke that blanketed our area for weeks this past spring. Now, FSU scientists are concerned that a second wildfire season looms large.

Jim O'Brien, Director Emeritus of FSU's Center for Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction Studies says, "Normally when we have La Nina going it means we'll have a dry winter and therefore the fire season in Florida is January to June and, historically, it's been very bad."

La Nina causes cooler ocean waters off of Peru in the Pacific Ocean, but it causes a chain reaction of weather events worldwide, including the ongoing drought in the Southern United States.

Ashley May of May Nursery in Havana says even his grandparents do not remember a spell of weather this dry. Not surprisingly, it has some impact on his business. "So far we've been alright, but I don't know how long we can continue like this. We've been trying to put in more and more drip irrigation."

But the cost of switching from an overhead to drip irrigation system across his entire nursery is something he says may not be doable. More rainfall would be the ultimate cure to the growing problem.

It's not clear how long the La Nina will last, so the FSU scientists are not certain how much longer the abnormally parched weather conditions will continue.

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