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?
Visible satellite imagery
MODIS Satellite Imagery July 4, 2011
Pains Bay burn scar on MODIS
Monitoring stations can tell us where the smoke plume is by how high the PM concentrations are. June 21, 2011 – Smoke from Pender fire reaches Raleigh
Special monitoring stations are set up around the fire to aid in tracking and forecasting smoke plumes Stumpy Point, NC – May 31, 2011
We can get an idea of where the plume is going, and how dense the plume is, based on surface observation and visibility information.
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.