Eighth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology


WRF/Chem forecasting of smoke from Alaska wildfires

Martin Stuefer, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska , Fairbanks, AK; and G. A. Grell, S. R. Freitas, G. Newby, and A. Kulchitsky

We have been able to successfully predict the dispersion and atmospheric effects of smoke downwind from Alaska wildfires. The so-called UAFSmoke system includes detection of wild fire location and area using data from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center and thermal anomalies from the MODIS instrument. Fire emissions are derived from above ground biomass fuel load data in one-kilometer resolution. WRF/Chem Version 3.1 with online plume dynamics represents the core of the UAFSmoke system. Besides wildfire emissions and NOAA's Global Forecast System meteorology, WRF/Chem initial and boundary conditions are updated with anthropogenic and biogenic data from various sources. System runs are performed in near real time at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center's Sun Opteron cluster. Smoke and meteorological forecast products are shown at a dedicated webpage at http://smoke.arsc.edu. We present results and comparison of UAFSmoke forecasts with satellite derived imagery and ground based reference observations such as air quality measurements from recent Alaska fire seasons 2008 and 2009. The daily smoke forecasts support the public and operational needs of fire management experts and the National Weather Service.

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 8, Smoke and Fire Decision Support Tool Development
Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM, Ballroom B

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