We present a new real-time smoke modeling system, the High Resolution Rapid Refresh coupled with smoke (HRRR-Smoke), to simulate biomass burning (BB) emissions, plume rise and smoke transport in real time. The HRRR is the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory’s 3km grid spacing version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model used for weather forecasting. Here we make use of WRF-Chem (the WRF model coupled with chemistry) and simulate fine particulate matter (smoke) emissions emitted by BB. The HRRR-Smoke modeling system ingests fire radiative power (FRP) data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite to calculate BB emissions. The FRP product is based on processing 750m resolution “M” bands. The algorithms for fire detection and FRP retrieval are consistent with those used to generate the MODIS fire detection data. For the purpose of ingesting VIIRS fire data into the HRRR-Smoke model, text files are generated to provide the location and detection confidence of fire pixels, as well as FRP. The VIIRS FRP data from the text files are processed and remapped over the HRRR-Smoke model domains. We process the FRP data to calculate BB emissions (smoldering part) and fire size for the model input. In addition, HRRR-Smoke uses the FRP data to simulate the injection height for the flaming emissions using concurrently simulated meteorological fields by the model. Currently, there are two 3km resolution domains covering the contiguous US and Alaska which are used to simulate smoke in real time. In our presentation, we focus on the CONUS domain. HRRR-Smoke is initialized 4 times per day to forecast smoke concentrations for the next 36 hours. The VIIRS FRP data, as well as near-surface and vertically integrated smoke mass concentrations are visualized for every forecast hour. These plots are provided to the public via the HRRR-Smoke web-page: https://rapidrefresh.noaa.gov/HRRRsmoke/. Model evaluations for a case study are presented, where simulated smoke concentrations are compared with hourly PM2.5 measurements from EPA’s Air Quality System network. These comparisons demonstrate the model’s ability in simulating high aerosol loadings during major wildfire events in the western US.
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