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A Coupled HIGH-RESOLUTION Modeling System To Simulate Biomass Burning Emissions, Plume Rise and Smoke Transport In Real Time Over The Contiguous Us


Wildfires can have huge impact on air quality and visibility over large parts of the US. It is quite challenging to accurately predict wildfire air quality given significant uncertainties in modeling of biomass burning (BB) emissions, fire size, plume rise and smoke transport. We developed a new smoke modeling system (HRRR-Smoke) based on the coupled meteorology-chemistry model WRF-Chem. The HRRR-Smoke modeling system uses fire radiative power (FRP) data measured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. Using the FRP data enables predicting fire emissions, fire size and plume rise more accurately. Another advantage of the VIIRS data is the fire detection and characterization at­ high spatial resolution during both day and nighttime. The HRRR-Smoke model is run in real-time for summer 2016 on 3km horizontal grid resolution over CONUS domain by NOAA/ESRL Global Systems Division (GSD). The model simulates advection and mixing of fine particulate matter (PM2.5 or smoke) emitted by calculated BB emissions. The BB emissions include both smoldering and flaming fractions. Fire plume rise is parameterized in an online mode during the model integration. In addition to smoke, anthropogenic emissions of PM2.5 are transported in an inline mode as a passive tracer by HRRR-Smoke. The HRRR-Smoke real-time runs use meteorological fields for initial and lateral boundary conditions from the experimental real-time HRRR(X) numerical weather prediction model also run at NOAA/ESRL/GSD. The model is initialized every 6 hours (00, 06, 12 and 18UTC) daily using newly generated meteorological fields and FRP data obtained during previous 24 hours. Then the model produces meteorological and smoke forecasts for next 36 hours. The smoke fields are cycled from one forecast to the next one. Predicted near-surface and vertically integrated smoke concentrations are visualized online on a web-site: In this talk, we discuss the major components of the HRRR-Smoke modeling system. We present modeled smoke fields for some major wildfire cases over the western US in 2016 and discuss the model performance for those cases.

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December 01, 2016

This publication was presented at the following:

2016 - AGU fall meeting
Americal Geophysical Union
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