Meteorological models

Mesoscale meteorological and regional dispersion models with ever greater resolution are being run operationally by meteorological data sources world-wide, for example, in the USA, NCEP and globally, AFWIN. In addition, understanding of and technology for linking mesoscale meteorological simulation models with local scale models is improving as meteorological applications routinely utilise these technologies. Research in the atmospheric science community has improved the ability to simulate atmospheric behaviour on all scales from global to local. Current progress is being made in moving simulation and prediction abilities down in scale along with development of the new tools discussed here. As a result, there is an ever increasing coalescing of approaches, technologies and capabilities, such that cooperation with the atmospheric sciences research community will be more fruitful in the future provided that it is co-ordinated.

Developed by the Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory to model the immediate effects of a fire including emission estimates and damage to trees.

Managing smoke in US wildlands and forests 7.3 Dispersion models

Currently there are a variety of models available and proposed for routine use in smoke management. In a Smoke Emission and Dispersion Modelling training program used by the Forest Service, models for fire fuel consumption, emissions, dispersion and visibility were presented. Specific models mentioned include: the Emissions Production Model (EPM); First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM), Simple Approach Smoke Estimation Model (SASEM), the Ventilated Box Model, VSMOKE, VSMOKE-GIS, TSARS Plus, CALPUFF and NFSPUFF. Specific training was conducted for using the emissions models, SASEM and NFSPUFF.

The Interagency Working Group on Air Quality Modelling (IWAQM) consisting of representatives from EPA, USDA/FS, USDOI/NPS, USDOI/FWS and State regulatory agencies, has developed preferred modelling schemes for dealing with the unique challenges presented to regulatory modelling by sources located in the mountainous terrain of the western USA, often causing impacts on class I areas farther than 50 km away. (Class I areas are a specific collection of national parks and wilderness areas in the United States which are afforded special air quality protection under the US Clean Air Act) The group acknowledges the need for both meteorological models as well as dispersion models. IWAQM is developing formal regulatory guidance on the use of CALMET and CALPUFF as the preferred models for this purpose. CALMET is a meteorological processor model driven by observations and simulated meteorological data from MM5. CALPUFF is an atmospheric dispersion model designed for use in complex terrain that accounts for aqueous phase chemical reactions and estimates visibility degradation. Soon to be accomplished will be the automatic integration of outputs from smoke emission models and the integration of forecast meteorology.

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