National FCAMMS Map product
aka Smoke Guidance Maps Product
- Direct link to Product Listing (don't forget to set your location)
Output parameters (forecast for 7 days by default and available at higher resolution for 3 days):
[click name for definition]
- Mixing height
- Transport wind speed and direction
- PM2.5 ground concentrations
- Haines index (low, medium, and high)
- These maps are produced daily by the National FCAMMS. They are intended to show regional and national scale conditions affecting smoke transport and dispersion. Outputs include meteorological conditions such as Mixing Height and Transport winds, as well as derived quantities such as Ventilation Index and the Haines Index.
- These quantities are directly computed from the National Weather Service model runs. There are two different runs used - the "NAM" run which is at finer resolution (12-km grid) but only goes out for 3 days into the future, and the "GFS" run which is at a courser scale (30-km grid) but extends out further to 7 days. In general the NAM results will be more accurate, but the two model runs are linked and so should show similar features for their period of overlap.
- In addition, a smoke dispersion run is done using fire data from the SMARTFIRE system, fuels from FCCS, consumption from CONSUME3, and dispersion from HYSPLIT, as enabled by the BlueSky Modeling Framework. This smoke data is based on an assumption of persistance - that the fires burning yesterday will continue to burn - and should be treated as general guidance only due to the inherent uncertainties involved in smoke modeling.
- This same data is used in the Smoke Guidance Point Forecast product which presents the data from a single point in a tabular manner.
How to use
- The quantities of Mixing Height, Transport Winds, and Ventilation Index all directly influence smoke transport and dispersion. Generally higher is "better" in the sense that it means less, or more dispersed, smoke on the ground and therefore reduced concentrations.
- The smoke forecast presents PM2.5 concentrations as modeled. To better understand the uncertainties involved, tools like the BlueSky Playground are useful.
Navigating the product
- The product is presented as an animated map. The animation shows the evolution in time of the forecasted fields. Time controls are available in the upper section of the product.
- On the left side of the webpage is the controls for what regional map to view, english or metric units, the model run to look at, and more. Further down are the available fields. Clicking on these changes the map to reflect that field.
- Maps are downloadable by right-clicking and then choosing "Save image."