Contact Brian Potter
I am presently working on a variety of projects. I am examining how dry air and high winds several thousand feet above the ground can influence fire behavior. I have a project exploring extreme fire behavior, and just what that term means. I am working to understand how the atmosphere interacted with the major wildfires in Victoria, Australia, in February 2009. I am also working with several collaborators to understand the potential role of water vapor in fire plumes.
In general, my research interest is understanding the complex meteorology associated with wildland fires. That includes how weather conditions create severe wildfires and how these wildfires alter the winds and meteorology around them. Within that broad area, areas of particular interest to me include historical gaps in fire weather research; the many scales of atmospheric processes that influence fire behavior; and the sensitivity and uncertainty of fire behavior models and tools.
My past research has included work on the energy involved in fires, including that of the atmosphere, and how that does or does not predict fire behavior. I have worked on a number of projects examining the Haines Index, a commonly used index of the potential contribution of the atmosphere to erratic fire behavior. I have also worked on questions related to the temperature, wind, and moisture environment under the forest canopy.
Why This Research is Important
If I cannot understand how answering a question would protect lives or property, I don't study it. All of the questions I am exploring relate to a fire's behavior in the region where firefighters are active, to the space where aircraft may be helping fight the fire, and, to an extent, to the areas affected by the smoke produced by the fire. I try to focus on what can be predicted far enough in advance that the information can help protect firefighters, resources, and people's health and property.
- University of Washington, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, 1994
- Carleton College, B.A. Physics, 1986
Featured Publications & Products
- Clements, Craig B.; Zhong, Shiyuan; Goodrick, Scott; Li, Ju; Potter, Brian E.; Bian, Xindi; Heilman, Warren E.; Charney, Joseph J.; Perna, Ryan; Jang, Meongdo; Lee, Daegyun; Patel, Monica; Street, Susan; Aumann, Glenn. 2007. Observing the dynamics of Wildland grass fires: Fireflux - a field validation experiment.
- Winkler, Julie A.; Potter, Brian E.; Wilhelm, Dwight F.; Shadbolt, Ryan P.; Piromsopa, Krerk; Bian, Xindi. 2007. Climatological and statistical characteristics of the Haines Index for North America.
- Woodall, Christopher W.; Charney, Joseph; Liknes, Greg; Potter, Brian. 2006. Linking Fuel Inventories With Atmospheric Data for Assessment of Fire Danger.
- Potter, Brian E.; Charney, Joseph J.; Fusina, Lesley A. 2006. Atmospheric moisture's influence on fire behavior: surface moisture and plume dynamics..
- Woodall, Christopher W.; Charney, Joseph J.; Liknes, Greg C.; Potter, Brian E. 2005. What's the fire danger now? Linking fuel inventories with atmospheric data.
Publications & Products
- Werth, Paul A.; Potter, Brian E.; Clements, Craig B.; Finney, Mark A.; Goodrick, Scott L.; Alexander, Martin E.; Cruz, Miguel G.; Forthofer, Jason A.; McAllister, Sara S. 2011. Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume I for fire managers.
- Chubarova, Nataly Ye.; Prilepsky, Nickolay G.; Riebau, Allen R.; Shoettle, Anna W.; Musselman, Robert; Uliumdzhieva, Natalia N.; Yurova, Alla Yu; Potter, Brian; Rublev, Alexei N.; Zhmylev, Pavel Yu; Karpuhina, Elizaveta A. 2003. A natural fire experiment in Central Russia: meteorology, radiative and optical properties of atmosphere and resulting effects in sub-boreal forest plants..
- Heilman, Warren E.; Bian, Xindi; Charney, Joseph J.; Potter, Brian E. 2003. Combining the Haines Index and turbulent kinetic energy for fire-weather predictions..
- Potter, Brian E.; Goodrick, Scott; Brown, Tim. 2003. Development of a Statistical Validation Methodology for Fire Weather Indices.
- Potter, Brian E.; Goodrick, Scott; Brown, Tim. 2003. Development of a statistical validation methodology for fire weather indices..
- Potter, Brian E. 2003. Impact of Released Fual Moisture on Atmospheric Dynamics.
- Potter, Brian E. 2003. Impact of released fuel moisture on atmospheric dynamics..
- Charney, Joseph J.; Bian, Xindi; Potter, Brian E.; Heilman, Warren E. 2003. Low Level Impacts on Fire Evolution in the Mack Lake and Other Severe Wildfires.
- Charney, Joseph J.; Bian, Xindi; Potter, Brian E.; Heilman, Warren E. 2003. Low level jet impacts on fire evolutions in the Mack Lake and other severe wildfires..
- Charney, Joseph J.; Bian, Xindi; Potter, Brian E.; Heilman, Warren E. 2003. Mesoscale Simulations During the Double Trouble State Park Wildfire in East-Central New Jersey on June 2, 2002.
- Heilman, Warren E.; Bian, Xindi; Charney, Joseph J.; Potter, Brian E. 2003. National Fire Plan--Eastern Area Modeling Consortium: Research, product development, and partnerships..
- Potter, Brian E.; Goodrick, Scott. 2003. Performance of the Haines Index During August 2000 for Montana.
- Charney, Joseph J.; Bian, Xindi; Potter, Brian E.; Heilman, Warren E. 2003. The role of a stratospheric intrusion in the evolution of the Double Trouble State Park wildfire ..
- Potter, Brian E. 2002. A dynamics based view of atmosphere-fire interactions.
- Potter, Brian E.; Strong, Terry. 2002. Comparison of Simulated Stem Temperatures and Observed Air Temperatures with Observed Stem Growth in Forest Openings.
- Potter, Brian E.; Borsum, Dan; Haines, Don. 2002. Keeping Haines Real - Or Really Changing Haines?.
- Potter, Brian E.; Martin, Jonathan E. 2001. Accuracy of 24- and 48-Hour Forecasts of Haines' Index.
- Andresen, J.A.; McCullough, D.G.; Potter, B.E.; Koller, C.N.; Bauer, L.S.; Ramm, C. W. 2001. Effects of winter temperatures on gypsy moth egg masses in the Great Lakes region of the United States..
- Potter, Brian E.; Teclaw, Ronald M.; Zasada, John C. 2001. The impact of forest structure on near-ground temperatures during two years of contrasting temperature extremes.
- Heilman, Warren E.; Hom, John; Potter, Brian E. 2000. Climate and atmospheric deposition patterns and trends.
- Potter, Brian E. ; Croft, Paul J. 2000. Spatial Variation In Growing Season Heat Sums Within Northern Hardwood Forest Canopy Gaps.
- Potter, Brian E.; Cate, Thomas W. 1999. A climatology of late-spring freezes in the northeastern United States..
- Potter, Brian E.; Zasada, John C. 1999. Biomass, thermal inertia, and radiative freeze occurrence in leafless forests.
- Potter, Brian E. 1996. Atmospheric mesoscale simulations of regional wildland fire episodes: looking for weather-related factors and scales of interaction.
|Understanding Extreme Fire Behavior||2012|