Thursday, 15 November 2001: 8:40 AM
Developing Experimental Fire Weather Products with a Graphical Forecast Editor
The National Weather Service (NWS) is developing an Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS). The IFPS will facilitate creation of a variety of products from a digital forecast database. A major component of the NWS IFPS is the Forecast Systems Laboratory's Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE). The NWS Forecast Office in Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) is using the GFE to produce experimental air quality and fire weather forecast products. The GFE is used by forecasters to maintain a gridded forecast database of weather elements. Text and graphical products are then derived from the database. The NWS SLC air quality application calculates mixing depth and transport wind from model grids, which are then used to generate a simple ventilation index (Clearing Index), used for air quality regulation in Utah. The IFPS in SLC has been configured to generate a variety of fire weather products, including a graphical air quality web page, a "first-guess" Smoke Management Forecast and a simple text Clearing Index product.
A series of verification studies have been completed since the fall of 2000 comparing ventilation data derived by the GFE from the Eta model and actual data from upper air observations taken at SLC and Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT). The verification project evaluated how derived air quality elements were changed by increased GFE grid resolution and increased resolution of model grids used to initialize the GFE grids. In addition, maximum and minimum temperature forecasts derived from the IFPS grids have been verified. Results of the verification studies will be presented and discussed.