11.8 An Improved Fire Weather Index for Florida

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 5:00 PM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Charles H. Paxton, NOAA/NWS, Ruskin, FL; and C. Makris and J. M. Collins

An improved index for the evaluation of fire danger and smoke dispersion, based on meteorological factors is introduced. The impetus for the development of the new index is to provide a more complete assessment of atmospheric variables than those typically incorporated into commonly-used fire weather indices. Florida has experienced numerous prescribed burns under low humidity and stability situations that have become wildfires. Florida has also experienced numerous incidents of smoke combined with fog under high humidity and stability situations that have led to major automobile accidents and loss of life. The Florida Fire Weather Index (FFWI) takes into account the lapse rate, moisture content, and wind velocity from the surface and within the boundary layer to provide a more comprehensive assessment of atmospheric variables linked to daytime and nighttime fire weather concerns.
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