Fourth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology

Tuesday, 13 November 2001: 3:40 PM
Fine scale mesoscale modeling applied to wildfires in British Columbia
Roland B. Stull, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; and T. L. Clark and H. Modzelewski
A general fire-weather system to predict the atmospheric conditions on horizontal scales of 1 km and less has been developed by coupling the NCAR fire model with the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences forecast facilities at UBC. This work is part of a five year research project with Forest Renewal of British Columbia. In the summer of 2001 this Weather Fire Integrated System (WFIS) will be applied to regions in British Columbia with moderate to severe wild fires. In the first year the modeling will focus on post facto studies using both coupled and uncoupled fire-atmosphere dynamics. The first and most important emphasis at this initial stage of the project is to determine the accuracy of the modeling system on predicted winds and humidity which drive the wildfires. Of particular importance in this regard is the method of model intialization. The system is designed to use both local initialization using a single upwind sounding as well as large scale initialization. The local initialization may turn out to be more accurate when the large scale ensemble forecasts indicate weak confidence. Assessing the importance of the modification of the local winds by the sensible and latent heat fluxes of severe fires is another theme of this project and is part of the WFIS. Results will be presented giving an overview of the modeling work accomplished to date.

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