Thursday, 20 November 2003: 8:45 AM
Real-Time Mesoscale Model Forecasts for Fire and Smoke Management: 2003
The Northwest Regional Modeling Consortium (NWRMC) has been supporting the real-time predictions of mesoscale weather since 1993. The consortium includes local, state, and federal agencies with interests in air quality, smoke management, fire weather, water resources, hazard weather, and transportation. While on-going improvements to model physics and numerics have increased predictive accuracy and resolution, value-added products continue to attract users. These include ensemble forecasts, graphical displays of critical fire and smoke weather parameters, calculation of fire and smoke indexes, and coupled MM5 - smoke dispersion models. Since 2001, we have completed an evaluation of MM5 during the 2000 wildfire season in Montana and Idaho, developed a new surface layer scheme that improves model results of diurnal patterns, added new derivations of a ventilation index, expanded the 4-km domain to include all of Idaho and western Montana, coupled MM5 with the BlueSky smoke modeling framework and RAINS Rapid Access INformation System, and tested replacing MM5 with the WRF mesoscale model. In addition to fire and smoke related products, consortium efforts have coupled MM5 with a hydro-meteorological model for real-time water resource runoff predictions, an air quality model for real-time ozone predictions, and a smoke dispersion model for real-time agricultural fire dispersion estimates. See www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/sf to access smoke and fire products from NWRMC.