National FCAMMS Point Forecast Product

aka Smoke Guidance Point Forecast Product

Available Output:

Output parameters (forecast for 7 days):Point Forecast Example
[click name for definition]

General Discussion

  • This product extracts, for the location in question (if accessed from the portal site, the location that the is set in the portal), a table of values from the current weather and smoke forecast model run.
  • Outputs include meteorological conditions such as Mixing Height and Transport winds, as well as derived quantities such as Ventilation Index and the Haines Index.  PM2.5 ground concentrations are taken from a national smoke model run that uses current wildfire locations. 
  • Meteorological quantities are directly computed from the National Weather Service “GFS” model run. The “GFS” run which is at a ~35-km grid extends out to 7 days.  For the first three days, output is available at 3 hour intervals, for the remaining 4 days output is available at 4 hour intervals.
  • The 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 modeling is based on an assumption of persistence – 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 and models are used in the Smoke Guidance Regional Map product which presents the data graphically as maps.

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 a simple HTML text table.
  • Rows are time (listed in real-world time, starting with the beginning forecast hour and listed every 3 hours for the first 3 days and every 6 hours for days 4-7)
  • Columns are different variables.  
  • Right click to save the webpage (saving as text will lose formatting), or take a screen capture.  
  • Example output shown below.Point Forecast Example