Presentation on theme: "Wildfire Smoke Forecasting NC-DAQ 7/13/2011 Photo credit: Rob Shackleford, NCDFR The DAQ Air Quality Forecast Team Nick Witcraft Chris Misenis Elliot Tardif."— Presentation transcript:
Wildfire Smoke Forecasting NC-DAQ 7/13/2011 Photo credit: Rob Shackleford, NCDFR The DAQ Air Quality Forecast Team Nick Witcraft Chris Misenis Elliot Tardif Cassie Mentha
Why bother forecasting big smoke plumes? Smoke from wildfires contains a very large amount of fine particulate matter (also known as PM), which is very unhealthy to breathe, and also smells really bad. Remember when smoke settled over the Raleigh area a few weeks ago? Its important to tell where the wildfire smoke is going to go, and about how much of it there will be.
So how can we tell where the smoke plume is now, and what are the concentrations?
We also get an idea of how much smoke there is based on reports from officials on the ground who are fighting the fire. More smoke means more particle pollution over a greater area. Photo Credit: Donnie Harris, USFWS
Where is the plume heading? Based on the forecast winds.
HYSPLIT Use HYSPLIT model to generate forecast plumes Along with predicted winds, gives an idea of where smoke will head
We put all of this information together to issue special Air Quality Alerts to areas that may be affected by the smoke. These Air Quality Alerts are carried to the public by the news media, the National Weather Service, and NCDAQ press releases.