USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Improving meteorological data and forecasts for prescribed fire burn day decisions for the Lake Tahoe Basin

Proposal [pdf]

Lead Researchers:

Timothy Brown, Desert Research Institute; Narasimhan ‘Sim’ Larkin, USFS Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station


This proposal addresses the issue of developing and/or improving meteorological data and monitoring tools for use in forecasting and making burn day decisions for prescribed fires. The products and deliverables from this project will include for the Lake Tahoe Basin: 1) a 100-m gridded climatology of surface wind; 2) a 4-km mixing height climatology with associated transport wind; 3) a 100-m surface and upper level climatology; 4) 100-m resolution gridded operational forecasts of surface wind; 5) new weather station observations during the project period for an elevation transect within the Tahoe Basin; and 6) a customized smoke prediction website tool. These deliverables are developed from a suite of existing tools including the operational CANSAC forecast system at the Desert Research Institute, the Bluesky smoke prediction framework, WindNinja and field weather instruments. The project was developed in response to identified needs of improved meteorological information for burn day decisions after consultation with Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, California Air Resources Board, and USFS Predictive Services personnel.

Relation to Other SNPLMA Projects

The project will be coordinated to inform related SNPLMA Round 10 science projects, including "Management options for reducing wildlife risk and maximizing carbon storage under future climate changes, ignition patterns, and forest treatments", "Distribution of ozone, ozone precursors and gaseous components of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Lake Tahoe Basin", and "The Tahoe Climate Information Management System (TahoeClim)".

Expected date of final products:

April 2011

Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:52:07 PM