Inclusion of Biomass Burning in WRF-Chem: Impact of Wildfires on Weather Forecasts
A plume rise algorithm for wildfires was included in WRF-Chem, and applied to look at the impact of intense wildfires during the 2004 Alaska wildfire season on weather forecasts using model resolutions of 10km and 2km. Biomass burning emissions were estimated using a biomass burning emissions model. In addition, a 1-D, time-dependent cloud model was used online in WRF-Chem to estimate injection heights as well as the final emission rates. It was shown that with the inclusion of the intense wildfires of the 2004 fire season in the model simulations, the interaction of the aerosols with the atmospheric radiation led to significant modifications of vertical profiles of temperature and moisture in cloud-free areas. On the other hand, when clouds were present, the high concentrations of fine aerosol (PM2.5) and the resulting large numbers of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) had a strong impact on clouds and microphysics, with decreased precipitation coverage and precipitation amounts during the first 12 hours of the integration, but significantly stronger storms during the afternoon hours.