Monday, 17 November 2003
Improving Prescribed Burn Planning with NWS Digital Forecast Database Tools
The “Prescribed Burn Planner”, jointly developed at NWS offices in Rapid City and Kansas City, is a powerful new interactive tool that exploits the high resolution digital forecasts now made by the NWS, and allows the Fire Weather customer to fully realize the power of detailed NWS forecasts. The National Weather Service has implemented the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS), which hosts the creation, storage, and dissemination of hourly weather forecasts in a 5km resolution Digital Forecast Database (DFD), extending out seven days. These DFDs provide much more forecast information than current NWS text products. Furthermore, customer initiated exploitation of the database can curtail the forecast to only the information pertinent to that specific customer, such as Fire Behaviorists planning prescribed burns. Current NWS textual Fire Weather Forecasts (FWF) are bounded by transmission times, and generalized zone-averaged forecasts that contain brief information for 12 hour blocks of time. By “data-mining” the DFDs of individual NWS Forecast offices, burn planners can search the 7-day forecast for the occurrence of the precise weather conditions written in their burn plan, at the grid point nearest the location of the proposed burn (which will never be more than 2 or 3 km away). They can go so far as to display the exact hours that each weather parameter will be met, and have forecast information in one easy to read graphic, available and current anytime of day or night.
Supplementary URL: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ifps/firewx.php?site=unr