Weather, Road, Fire and Air Conditions
Contributed by Baroness Khalja Khorkoi
Mother Nature has a way of throwing us curveballs that can derail even the most organized event. As Event Steward, you should be keeping a “weather” eye out on all kinds of potential hazards, most notable fires and floods, but also air quality.
The following are online resources to keep on top of weather-related activity that might affect your event.
See those gizmos above? Those come from the Weather Underground website and they are free to use. What about adding them to your event website? The top one is the Fast Forecast and the one in the box is the Weather Sticker. Weather Underground has several different styles to chose from. They also provide weather information for both the US and Canada (and the rest of the known world as well.)
|www.weather.com||The website of the Weather Channel. Enter the zip code of your event site and get current weather conditions, satellite images and extended forecasts.|
|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US)||Comprehensive US website featuring weather watches, warnings and forecasts. Very geeky.|
|Meteorological Service of Canada||This is the national Canadian weather service webpage. Has forecasts, weather warnings and the like.|
Fire bans can put a damper on a medieval-themed event, but as they say, ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. You should always check if there is a fire ban in your area and publicize it appropriately to your attendees.
|Northwest Interagency Coordination Center||Information on all wildfires in Oregon and Washington. This website also houses the NorthWest Fire Prevention Education site. From the website: “This site is an Oregon and Washington state and federal effort to create “one-stop-shopping” for current information on fire restrictions and closures and wildfire prevention tips. We encourage you to “check before you go” when planning your trip to the Great Outdoors of Oregon and Washington.”|
|Washington DNR – County Fire Danger||From the website: “This site provides a one-stop clearinghouse for current information about wildfire danger and outdoor burning restrictions throughout Washington. Always contact your local fire and air quality authorities before lighting any outdoor fire.”|
|Oregon Department of Forestry||Weather, Smoke Management and Fire Danger Information|
|Idaho Bureau of Land Management – Fire||Information on current fires & wildfire management projects|
For fire information in Canada, visit the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System website. From the website: “The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System creates daily fire weather and fire behavior maps year-round and hot spot maps throughout the forest fire season, generally between May and September.”
I don’t think air quality is much of a consideration to many Event Stewards, unless you are one of the many asthma and hay fever sufferers. However, if you get questions from your event attendees, you may find the following links useful.
In the US, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website has maps for air quality for the entire United States.
You can get air quality forecasts and observation for each of the Canadian Provinces at the Environment Canada Air Quality Services website.
Knowing what areas to avoid, can shorten travel time immensely. Here are some links to road traffic and conditions reports around the NorthWest.
The National Traffic and Road Closure Information page of the US Department of transportation has comprehensive road related links listed by state.
For road conditions in the State of Idaho, check the Idaho Transportation Department’s Road Report website.
British Columbia Ministry of Transportation Road Reports – For the latest information on reported road conditions and closures in British Columbia.