Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 2:45 PM
Recent results from PB-Piedmont—a model to simulate smoke on the ground at night
PB-Piedmont, a time-dependent numerical model to simulate and predict smoke movement near the ground at night over terrain characteristic of the Piedmont of the Southeastern United States is undergoing beta testing. During the 2003 winter burn season, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service collaborated to develop a validation data set and improve the model’s user interface to better support prescribed burn operations. Observers drove roads surrounding prescribed burns during late night and early morning after a burn. Locations of smoke were recorded and later compared with smoke locations simulated by PB-Piedmont. Results show that successful simulations are critically dependent on the ability of PB-Piedmont to resolve local terrain. The model is able to accurately simulate smoke under complex weather conditions, including clouds, fog, and rapidly changing synoptic weather. PB-Piedmont appears able to provide a “heads-up” for land managers needing to know where smoke from their burns is moving at night and where smoke might impact roadways.