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A synoptic climatology for forest fires in the NE US and future implications for GCM simulationsAuthor(s): Yan Qing; Ronald Sabo; Yiqiang Wu; J.Y. Zhu
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 4(4): 217-224.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionWe studied surface-pressure patterns corresponding to reduced precipitation, high evaporation potential, and enhanced forest-fire danger for West Virginia, which experienced extensive forest-fire damage in November 1987. From five years of daily weather maps we identified eight weather patterns that describe distinctive flow situations throughout the year. Map patterns labeled extended-high, back-of-high, and pre-high were the most frequently occurring patterns that accompany forest fires in West Virginia and the nearby four-state region. Of these, back-of-high accounted for a disproportionately large amount of fire-related damage. Examination of evaporation and precipitation data showed that these three patterns and high-to-the-south patterns all led to drying conditions and all other patterns led to moistening conditions. Surface-pressure fields generated by the Canadian Climate Centre global circulation model for simulations of the present (1xCO2) climate and 2xC02 climate were studied to determine whether forest-fire potential would change under increased atmospheric CO2. The analysis showed a tendency for increased frequency of drying in the NE US, but the results were not statistically significant.
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CitationTakle, Eugene S.; Bramer, Daniel J.; Heilman, Warren E.; Thompson, Metinka R. 1994. A synoptic climatology for forest fires in the NE US and future implications for GCM simulations. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 4(4): 217-224.
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