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Project ID: 10-1-07-16

Year: 2010

Date Started: 05/01/2010

Date Completed: 04/23/2014

Title: Development and Evaluation of High Resolution Simulation Tools to Improve Fire Weather Forecasts

Project Proposal Abstract: Fire weather forecasts rely on numerical weather simulations where the grid size is 4 km x 4 km or larger. In areas of complex terrain, this model resolution will not capture the details of wind flows associated with complicated topography. Wind channeling in valleys, wind speed-up over mountains and ridges, and enhanced turbulence associated with rough terrain and tall forest canopies are poorly represented in current weather model applications. In this proposal, we describe a research program to collect detailed wind data for three very different types of terrain/landcover features and to use these data to evaluate and improve high resolution simulation tools for fire weather forecasts. The field sites will include a low vegetation steep canyon, a large isolated terrain obstacle, and a mature forested mountain/valley drainage. At each site, a dense array of surface wind sensors, complemented with vertical profiling instruments, will be used to map wind fields over an extended period. The data will be used to evaluate a range of high-resolution wind models that can be used to enhance current fire weather forecast systems. The high resolution models include: WindNinja, a mass consistency interpolation scheme; WindNinja, enhanced to use a computational fluid dynamics solver; CALMET as employed in the ClearSky a smoke dispersion forecast system; and WRF-Fire, a fire physics scheme for WRF, developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which includes a fire behavior model with fire/atmosphere dynamic feedback. This proposal is a direct response to task statement 7. Fire Weather Forecast Accuracy of JFSP FS-RFA010-0001. The combination of different high resolution modeling methods with data analysis and evaluation for three very different terrain features will provide a rich and complete basis for analyzing how these high resolution methods can be used in concert with current forecast models to yield a much more detailed and accurate fire forecast.

Principal Investigator: Brian K. Lamb

Agency/Organization: Washington State University-Pullman

Branch or Dept: Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Jason M. Forthofer

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire, Fuel & Smoke Science Program

Federal Cooperator

Peter R. Robichaud

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Federal Fiscal Representative

Peter R. Robichaud

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Northern Rockies







Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    7458 Training Session Modeling surface winds with WindNinja
    7459 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Observations of surface winds over an isolated mountain and in a steep river canyon.
    7460 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Evaluation and development of a wind model for wildfire applications in complex terrain.
    7462 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Wind simulations using WindNinja
    7463 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Scalar transport and dispersion in complex terrain within a high-resolution mass-consistent wind mod
    7464 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of high-resolution wind simulation tools to improve fire weather forecasts
    7461 Training Session High speed morning winds in the Salmon River Canyon and the potential impact on wildland fire behavi
    7465 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Wind erosion of soil burned by wildfire: measurements and modeling efforts
    7466 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of high-resolution wind simulation tools to improve fire weather forecasts
    7467 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of high-resolution wind simulation tools to improve fire weather forecasts
  go to website 7468 Website WindNija Development Site
  go to website 7469 Dataset (including spatial) Wind Observation Data Big Southern Butte and Salmon River Canyon
view or print   7471 Photo Wind Data Collection Site Salmon River Idaho
view or print   7472 Photo Wind Data Collection Field Notes Salmon River Idaho

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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