13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Monday, 13 May 2002
The Ventilation Index Climate Information System (VCIS)
Sue Ferguson, USDA - Forest Service; and S. J. McKay, D. E. Nagel, T. Piepho, M. Rorig, C. Anderson, and L. Kellogg
A unique database of surface wind, mixing height, and ventilation index has just been completed by the USDA-Forest Service to support smoke management planning and implementation. The data cover the entire United States with a grid resolution of about 5 kilometers. It was generated twice each day (0000 and 1200 UTC) for over 30 years (1961-1990). The surface winds were generated with a single-level, hydrostatic flow model using upper-air data from the NCEP Reanalysis package. The mixing heights were determined from radiosonde measurements using Holzworth's parcel method, interpolated with a weighted Cressman scheme, and adjusted for local, nighttime inversion potential. The inversion potential was derived from a unique set of algorithms that consider concavity, steepness, and flow accumulation of the terrain and calm, clear conditions at night from nearby surface observations. An Internet map server allows access to statistical summaries of all the data from any point on the landscape . Because this is the first nationally-consistent mapping of surface winds, mixing heights, and ventilation potential with such a robust time series and scales appropriate for land management, possible applications are numerous.

Supplementary URL: