The Weather Conditions for Desired Smoke Plumes at a FASMEE Burn Site

TitleThe Weather Conditions for Desired Smoke Plumes at a FASMEE Burn Site
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLiu, Y
Secondary AuthorsGoodrick, S
Tertiary AuthorsAchtemeier, G
Start Page259
Keywordsfield campaign, modeling, smoke and air quality, smoke plume and drainage, super-fog, technical reports and journal articles, wildland fire

Weather is an important factor that determines smoke development, which is essential information for planning smoke field measurements. This study identifies the synoptic systems that would favor to produce the desired smoke plumes for the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE). Daysmoke and PB-Piedmont (PB-P) models are used to simulate smoke plume evolution during the day time and smoke drainage and fog formation during the nighttime for hypothetical prescribed burns on 5–8 February 2011 at the Stewart Army Base in the southeastern United States. Daysmoke simulation is evaluated using the measured smoke plume heights of two historical prescribed burns at the Eglin Air Force Base. The simulation results of the hypothetical prescribed burns show that the smoke plume is not fully developed with low plume height during the daytime on 5 February when the burn site is under the warm, moist, and windy conditions connected to a shallow cyclonic system and a cold front. However, smoke drainage and fog are formed during the nighttime. Well-developed smoke plumes, which rise mainly vertically, extend to a majority portion of the planetary boundary layer, and have steady clear boundaries, appear on both 6 and 7 February when the air is cool but dry and calm during a transition between two low-pressure systems. The plume rises higher on the second day, mainly due to lighter winds. The smoke on 8 February shows a loose structure of large horizontal dispersion and low height after passage of a deep low-pressure system with strong cool and dry winds. Smoke drainage and fog formation are rare for the nights during 5–8 February. It is concluded that prescribed burns conducted during a period between two low-pressure systems would likely generate the desired plumes for FASMEE measurement during daytime. Meanwhile, as the fire smolders into the night, the burns would likely lead to fog formation when the burn site is located in the warm and moist section of a low-pressure system or a cold front.