Story by Maddy Williams | Contributing Writer
October in Tennessee often consists of rainy days, but this year, fall is looking warmer and drier, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA predicts that a large area of the U.S. will experience a warmer and drier fall season.
The NOAA could not predict U.S. rainfall for this fall, but La Niña may cause drier conditions. Drought will be worse in the western United States than on the East Coast, however.
La Niña causes sea surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean near the equator to be cooler than normal, which impacts weather patterns across the globe.
According to the National Weather Service outlook, there’s an 80% chance that La Niña will continue through November.
Extreme dry conditions sometimes cause wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center predicted Oct. 1 that the south-central U.S., which includes parts of Tennessee, may potentially experience more wildfires.
The Great Smoky Mountains typically bear the worst of Tennessee wildfires, with one of the most recent extreme events occurring in 2016.
These fires started the day before Thanksgiving on the Chimney Tops Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Juveniles playing with matches during extremely high winds caused the fire, according to WYMT.
Another extreme event happened in March of this year. The Wears Valley community in the Smoky Mountains experienced a wildfire that spread to nearly 4,000 acres, according to Sevier County officials.
Dangerous winds and dry leaves caused this wildfire, damaging over 100 structures.
Predictions of a warm and dry October can lead to the event of a wildfire in the Tennessee area this fall.
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