Tuesday, 13 November 2001: 3:20 PM
Forecasting Santa Barbara Sundowners: application to wildfire management
The south slopes of the Santa Ynez mountains experience mild to strong downslope winds 3-4 times per year. Known locally as Sundowners, these winds have occasionally reached severe levels. During strong to severe Sundowners, the main danger is not from the wind, but from fire advancing downslope towards the city of Santa Barbara and the surrounding communities. This paper investigates the mechanisms of Sundowner winds with the Pennsylvania State University/National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU/NCAR) MM5 during the severe Sundowner of June 27th, 1990, which pushed an arson-ignited fire that destroyed over 500 structures into the city. The presentation will also discuss the mesoscale forecasts activities in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center.