NOUS41 KWBC 031155



Service Change Notice 13-34

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

756 AM EDT Fri May 3 2013


To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees


From:     Eli Jacks

          Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch


Subject:  Changes to the Fire Weather Zones in Washington

          State, Effective June 6 2013


Effective Thursday, June 6, 2013, at 500 AM Pacific Daylight Time

(PDT), 1200 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the NWS Weather

Forecast Office in Spokane, WA (WFO OTX), will change some

eastern Washington fire weather zone boundaries, names and

numbers. This change supports a more efficient forecast process

and provides NWS partners and users improved fire weather watch,

warning and forecast products.


Historically, fire weather forecast services for the Northern

Columbia Basin (WAZ673) and the Northeast Mountains (WAZ686) have

used two large fire weather zones, resulting in planning

forecasts that are broad and generic. NWS is dividing these two

large zones into three smaller zones more closely aligned with

fire agency dispatch boundaries and climatic regimes. Two of the

new zones (WAZ673, Northern Columbia Basin and WAZ686, Northeast

Mountains) will retain their current zone numbers and names while

changing their zone boundaries. The zone boundary changes have

been determined by WFO OTX not to significantly affect the fire

weather climatology of the existing zones.


Once NWS implements the change, the following Universal

Geographic Code (UGC), zone names, numbers and geographic

descriptions will be used in eastern Washington State.


Table 1:  WFO OTX Fire Weather Zones Affected by this Change:


Zone UGC          Zone name

------------      ------------

WAZ673            Northern Columbia Basin


This includes all of the land east of the Columbia River at the

Grant and Douglas County line to the Ferry County line, then

southeast through eastern Lincoln County to Whitman and Adams

County, then south along the Whitman County line to the southern

Adams County line.


WAZ686            Northeast Mountains


This includes all of the land from north of the Spokane River to

the Canadian border and east of the Kettle/Columbia River to the

Idaho state border.


WAZ674            Eastern Washington East Columbia Basin


This new zone includes all of the land area south of the Spokane

and Little Spokane Rivers south to the Snake River, east of

eastern Lincoln County and the Whitman County line to the Idaho



Table 2:  WFO OTX Fire Weather Products Affected by this Change:


Product Name         WMO Header          AWIPS ID

____________         __________          ________


Fire Weather         FNUS55 KOTX         FWFOTX

 Planning Forecast

Fire Weather Watch/  WWUS85 KOTX         RFWOTX

 Red Flag Warning

National Fire        FNUS85 KOTX         FWMOTX

 Danger Rating



An updated fire weather zone map shapefile containing the new

zones is online at:


More information on these new fire weather zones is online at:


For more information please contact:


John Livingston


NWS Spokane

Spokane, WA, 99224



National Service Change Notices are online at: