Author Topic: Fire Weather  (Read 1023 times)

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Offline RXB2

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Fire Weather
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:02:32 PM »
There could be a Fire Weather topic under General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics.  There are specially-trained meteorologists called Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) that are dispatched to most large fires.  Weather is the most important leg of the Fire Behavior Triangle that includes Fuels and Topography. The Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) network was established mainly to provide weather data for wildland fire management, and it also provides the data that feeds into the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). (I'm going to try to shoehorn my PWS data into the Fire Family Plus application so I could generate my own NFDRS indices like Energy Release Component ERC, Burning Index BI, Spread Component SC, and Ignition Component IC, but that's another topic.)
Weather (and climate) control fuel moisture, which controls fire intensity. Low Relative humidity, strong surface wind, unstable atmosphere, and drought are the four critical weather elements that produce extreme fire behavior. Weather events like frontal passages, downdrafts and downbursts from thunderstorms, mountain waves and Santa Ana winds represent some of the most dangerous fire weather phenomena and have been responsible for many fatalities over the years (Dude Fire 1990, Yarnell Hill Fire 2013, Frog Fire 2015, Chimney tops 2 Fire 2016, Thomas Fire 2017 to name just a few).
With longer fire seasons and larger, more consequential fires every year it seems, maybe a Fire Weather Topic could generate enough discussion to be interesting.