To examine this hypothesis, the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) developed at Colorado State University is employed. The versatility of this model allows surface parameters to vary over the domain in order to replicate sharp boundaries in surface characteristics that are believed to be important in antecedent fire-induced mesoscale circulations.
Sensitivity tests are structured to the application of mesoscale circulations developing due to surface changes caused by fire. The surface parameters to be tested include surface albedo, degree of slope, vegetation type and coverage, and soil moisture. The variations in surface parameters follow the expected effects from large fires. Changes to the surface parameters over the burned region include decreases in vegetation coverage, soil moisture, and albedo. Initially, the model is run using flat terrain with a large burned area. Subsequent simulations model the effects of the burn area over sloped terrain. Preliminary results will be presented at the conference.