NOAA experiments with forecasts for wildfire smoke

Wildfire smoke forecast
Wildfire smoke forecast for 6 p.m. MDT August 4, 2016

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is experimenting with a system that produces forecasts for the distribution of smoke from wildfires.

The examples of their products created at 6 a.m. MDT August 4 for near-surface smoke are included here — predicting conditions for 6 p.m. MDT August 4 (above) and 6 p.m. August 5 (below). Click the images to see larger versions.

Developers are collecting feedback from users to improve the model before it is considered for transfer into operations.

The HRRR-Smoke air quality modeling system simulates the emissions and transport of smoke from wildfires detected by the VIIRS/JPSS satellite fire product in high spatial resolution (3km) over the CONUS domain. Currently the model is run every 6 hours (00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC) to produce smoke forecasts for next 36 hours. The forecast products of near-surface and vertically integrated smoke concentrations are visualized on a GSD web-site in real time: http://rapidrefresh.noaa.gov/HRRRsmoke/

Wildfire smoke forecast
Wildfire smoke forecast for 6 p.m. MDT August 5, 2016

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “NOAA experiments with forecasts for wildfire smoke”

  1. Would love to see something similar for predicting prescribed burn smoke! A pre-burn analysis based on localized predicted fire weather!

    1. The USFS’s BlueSky Playground can be used for RX burns, just create an account and go. http://playground.airfire.org/login.php?next=/index.php . The model uses many other common USFS fuels models to produce smoke dispersion and emissions calculations. The downside is that you can only forecast out a few days, but that’s the case with any model using meteorology.

  2. It comes as no surprise that wildfire smoke contains compounds that are unhealthy to breathe, but in a new report published by Boulder’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wildfire smoke also contains the same acid found in cigarette smoke — isocyanic acid.

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