Arctic Transport Potential Forecast

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Daily Arctic Transport Potential Based on
US NWS GFS Forecast

Data visualization and modeling setup done in partnership with Mazama Science.

Figure Caption:  Each map shows daily transport potential based on the U.S. National Weather Service Global Forecast System meteorological model output.  Trajectories are released at seven heights (0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 5000 m above ground level [agl]) every 1×1 degree for land areas in the contiguous U.S. (CONUS), Canada, and Eurasia.  For any source location, if any trajectories reach the Arctic Circle within 96 hours, the results are color coded by the lowest trajectory level reaching the Arctic. Red = trajectories at 1000 m or less reach the Arctic;  Yellow = trajectories within 1001-2000 m reach the Arctic;  Grey = trajectories 2001-3000 m reach the Arctic.  For the bigger scale maps (North America, Eurasia, Europe, Russia) trajectory lines are also shown and color coded.

How to interpret

Larger fires generally have the ability to inject smoke higher in the atmosphere than smaller fires.  However, both large and small fires can inject smoke into lower layers of the atmosphere, depending on the fire behavior experienced.  Therefore, the color coding of the maps can be generally thought of in terms of the lowest size fire with the capability of reaching the Arctic:  Grey = only larger fires can loft emissions into parts of the atmosphere that can reach the Arctic;  Yellow = medium size (and larger) fires can loft emissions that can reach the Arctic;  Red = smaller fires can loft emissions that can reach the Arctic. What constitutes a large, medium, or small fire here depends on numerous factors (including fuels, ignition sequence, stability of the atmosphere) based on the ability of the fire to generate a convective column (plume) of a certain height;  these designations should be interpreted based on local fire behavior knowledge.  However, moving a planned fire from a “Red” day to a “Yellow” or “Grey” day will generally decrease the likelihood that that fire’s emissions can reach the Arctic.