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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-197
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-197
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Evaluation of Global Fire Weather Database re-analysis and short-term forecast products

Robert D. Field1,2 Robert D. Field
  • 1Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, 10025, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, 10025, USA

Abstract. Daily Fire Weather Index (FWI) System components calculated from the NASA he Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA2) are compared to FWI calculations from a global network of weather stations over 2004-2018, and short-term, experimental (8-day) daily FWI forecasts are evaluated for their skill across the Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World for 2018. FWI components from MERRA2 were, in general, biased low compared to station data, but this reflects a mix of coherent low and high biases of different magnitudes. Biases in different MERRA2 FWI components were related to different biases in weather input variables for different regions, but temperature and relative humidity biases were the most important overall. FWI forecasts had high skill for 1–2 day lead times for most of the world. For longer lead-times, forecast skill decreased most quickly at high latitudes, and was most closely related to decreasing skill of relative humidity forecasts. These results provide a baseline for the evaluation and use of fire weather products calculated from global analysis and forecast fields.

Robert D. Field
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Robert D. Field
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Latest update: 23 Sep 2019
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Short summary
This paper compares fire weather indices calculated from the NASA MERRA2 reanlaysis to those calculated from a global network of weather stations, finding that, globally, biases in reanalysis fire weather are influenced firstly by temperature and relative humidity, and, in certain regions by precipitation biases. Fire weather forecasts using short-term NASA GEOS-5 weather forecasts are skillful two days ahead of time. This skill decreases more quickly with longer lead times at high latitudes.
This paper compares fire weather indices calculated from the NASA MERRA2 reanlaysis to those...
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