North Pacific warming and intense northwestern U.S. wildfires
The tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies such as La Nina have been an important predictor for wildfires in the southeastern and southwestern U.S. This study seeks seasonal predictors for wildfires in the northwestern U.S., a region with the most intense wildfires among various continental U.S. regions. Singular value decomposition and regression techniques are applied to summer wildfire and current and antecedent SST conditions during a period of 23 years. It is found that warming in the North Pacific is a major feature in the SST spatial pattern related to intense Northwest wildfires. The warming appeared in all the major wildfire events during the past two decades. The relation is statistically significant. The North Pacific SST, therefore, has potential to be a predictor for seasonal Northwest wildfires. Citation: Liu, Y. (2006), North Pacific warming and intense northwestern U.S. wildfires.