Thursday, 20 November 2003: 8:30 AM
A consortium for comprehensive mesoscale weather analysis and forecasting to monitor fire threat and support fire management operations
Karl Zeller, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO; and J. McGinley, N. Nikolov, P. Schultz, B. Shaw, S. Albers, and J. Snook
The Rocky Mountain Center (RMC) is a new entity, that provides 24/7 meteorological analysis and forecasting for the Interior West of USA. RMC is one of five regional mesoscale modeling centers sponsored by the US Forest Service under the Fire Consortia for Advanced Modeling of Meteorology and Smoke (FCAMMS) initiative. A strategic goal of RMC (and of FCAMMS as a whole) is the development of customized local weather modeling capabilities, which are supported by local users under consortium charters. The primary focus of RMC is to provide weather products tailored to the specific needs of fire application operations and management planning.
This paper briefly discusses: 1) the justification and need for localized weather modeling centers; 2) the approach and methods used by RMC; and 3) the current status of RMC consortium and products. Topics presented include: 1) application of NOAA’s rapid 3-D analysis cycle utilizing all available surface and upper air meteorological data; 2) frequency of the RMC forecast and nested model windows; 3) diabatic model initialization; 4) current information products to assist fire threat assessment and fire management operations. The paper concludes with a discussion of the RMC’s plans for the future and its commitment to continually develop, evaluate and incorporate fire-related technology transfer objectives.