Wildfire smoke modeling

In an effort to understand and forecast wildfire smoke, my research team uses a variety of modeling tools such as (HYSPLIT-STILT) and the Weather Research and Forecast model coupled with a fire spread model (WRF-SFIRE).

HYSPLIT-STILT is a trajectory-based model that can determine where air has come from for a specific area of interest. We often refer to this area of interest as the STILT "receptor". Using a receptor-based modeling framework, we can determine the origin of smoke, evaulate fire emission inventories, or even isolate how fires could be impacting air quality on decadal timescales.

WRF-SFIRE is a state-of-the-art smoke and fire model that can simultaneously make forecasts for meteorology, fire growth, the fire plume rise, and downwind smoke dispersion. WRF-SFIRE is an especially useful tool for simulating local-scale smoke transport during episodic events, or for elucidating complex interactions between smoke, mountain meteorology, solar radiation, and cloud microphysics.

An example of a smoke simulation for Northern Utah can be seen below where the colored-filled contours represent WRF-SFIRE simulated PM2.5 concentrations, while the colored-filled circles represent PM2.5 concentrations measured by nearby air quality stations deployed along the Wasatch Front.

Research Group I am part of the Land-Atmosphere Interactions Research (LAIR) group in the Department of Atmopsheric Sciences at the University of Utah. More information about the group can be found here...

Contact info The University of Utah
Department of Atmospheric Science
WBB Room 713