Forecasters are giving feedback to improve GSD’s experimental High Resolution Rapid Refresh-Smoke (HRRR-Smoke)

Experimental model getting real-time test with Western U.S. wildfires

HRRR Model Fields - Experimental image

The development of the HRRR-Smoke modeling system is conducted in collaboration with researchers from ESRL GSD, ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/NESDIS, NASA and Brazil. This project is funded by the JPSS Proving Ground program (www.jpss.noaa.gov/community_proving-ground.html).

August 2, 2016

NOAA Incident Meteorologists (IMETs), Air Resource Advisors, and NWS San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey forecasters have been using ESRL Global Systems Division’s (GSD) experimental HRRR-Smoke model to help advise the public about air quality and visibility issues caused by western U.S. wildfires. Developers are collecting feedback from users to improve the model before it is considered for transfer into operations.

The HRRR-Smoke air quality modeling system simulates the emissions and transport of smoke from wildfires detected by the VIIRS/JPSS satellite fire product in high spatial resolution (3km) over the CONUS domain. Currently the model is run every 6 hours (00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC) to produce smoke forecasts for next 36 hours. The forecast products of near-surface and vertically integrated smoke concentrations are visualized on a GSD web-site in real time: http://rapidrefresh.noaa.gov/HRRRsmoke/

The HRRR-Smoke model is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled to chemistry. The dynamics and physics packages and the settings for the meteorology of HRRR-Smoke are identical to the version of the HRRR model running for weather forecast at NOAA/ESRL/GSD. A scientist from ESRL/Chemical Sciences Division is helping with model evaluations and specifying emissions. The latest non-smoke version of the HRRR model is scheduled for implementation at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction later this summer.

The coupled structure of the HRRR-Smoke modeling system also enables studying impact of smoke on meteorology in real-time to help improve numerical weather prediction in future.

The development of the HRRR-Smoke modeling system is conducted in collaboration with researchers from ESRL GSD, ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/NESDIS, NASA and Brazil. This project is funded by the JPSS Proving Ground program (www.jpss.noaa.gov/community_proving-ground.html).

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093

Photo of wildfire smoke over California mountains

Smoke plumes from the current Soberanes Fire not far from San Francisco, CA (photo courtesy of NBC Bay Area)