US Forest Service Air Temperature Inventory
     
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Rocky Mountain Research Station
 RMRS Science Program Areas
 Air, Water and Aquatics Science Program
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 Monitoring Mountain Air Temperatures in the Northwest US
 Project Partners
 High Resolution Wildfire Danger Forecasting
 Modeling the distribution of trees and shrubs
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Northern Region
Federal Building
200 East Broadway
P.O. Box 7669
Missoula, Montana
59807-7669

 

INFO: (406) 329-3511
FAX: (406) 329-3347
TDD/TTY: (406) 329-3510

 

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Rocky Mountain Research Station Home > Science Program Areas > Air, Water and Aquatics > Monitoring and Modeling Mountain Air Temperatures in the Northwest US and Canada (R1)

 

Monitoring and Modeling Mountain Air Temperatures in the Northwest US and Canada

Microclimate - Air Temperature Image

Surface air temperature variation is central to our understanding of climate and is a primary driver of a range or hydrologic and ecological processes. Climatic variation with terrain (“topoclimate”) can be quite large in regions of complex topography. The USFS has initiated an interagency effort to monitor surface air temperature variation in mountainous regions of the western US. Networks of inexpensive air temperature sensors have been deployed in forested areas across a range of topographic settings. This collaboration between the Rocky Mountain Research Station and USFS Region 1 fire management is funded for 3 years and will sample air temperatures at more than 2000 sites across the Northern Rockies. The long-term goal of the project is to develop partnerships with other state and federal agencies and existing monitoring programs in order to develop a more sustainable mountain air temperature monitoring program. High spatial resolution air temperature data have been used to develop methods for downscaling weather observations and gridded General Circulation Model data sets to the scale of terrain. These historical and future projections are being used to develop high-resolution wildfire danger forecasting models and to improve our understanding of species occurrence, growth and productivity in mountainous regions of the west. Co-location of air temperature sensors with stream temperature monitoring sites will facilitate a better understanding of how warming temperatures will differentially influence summer stream temperatures. Links to related projects that will integrate these data can be found below.

 

 

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Air Temperature Project Partners


Forst Service Shield logo

 

 

Dr. Zachary A. Holden, USFS Scientist

 

 

Phone: 406-329-3119
Email: zaholden<at>fs.fed.us

     
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Dr. Anna Klene, University of Montana - Department of Geography

 

Phone: 406-243-4347
Email: anna.klene<at>umontana.edu

     
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Sam Cushman, Research Landscape Ecologist

 

Phone: 928-556-2177
E-mail: scushman <at> fs.fed.us

     
Partners and Collaborators:    

Idaho Fish and Game LogoNational Park Service Logo

 

Lolo NF LogoClark Fork Coalition Logo

 

Gretchen Moisen (FIA)

Bob Rhoads (FIA)

John Abatzoglou (University of Idaho)

Sam Cushman (RMRS)

Dan Isaak (RMRS)

Charlie Luce (RMRS)

Andrew Hudak (RMRS)

Nicholas Crookston (RMRS)

Brett Roper (USFS WO)

Michael Lucid (Idaho Game and Fish)

Taylor Greenup (Lolo NF)

Clint Muhlfeld (USGS)

Jessica Page (NPS)

Chris Servheen (USFWS)

Wayne Kasworm (USFWS)

Deborah MacKillop (BC Forestry)

The Clark Fork Coalition  

RMRS LogoUSGS Logo

 

University of Idaho LogoUS Fish & Wildlife Logo

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High Resolution Wildfire Danger Forecasting


Wildfire Danger Forecasting

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Fire danger rating systems commonly ignore fine scale, topographically-induced weather variations. These variations create heterogeneous fuel moisture and fire danger conditions across the landscape. By understanding and modeling fine-scale fuel moistures and potential energy release of fuels, we should be able to improve our understanding of the potential behavior and effects of wildfires. Development of improved, higher spatial resolution wildfire danger forecasting tools will ultimately improve our ability to use fire as a management tool and improve firefighter safety.

 

Project Partners:

 

Zack Holden, USFS Region 1

William “Matt” Jolly, USFS Fire Sciences Laboratory

Patti Koppenol, USFS Region 1 Fire & Aviation Management

Bill Avey, USFS Region 1 Fire & Aviation Management

 

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Modeling the distribution of trees and shrubs in the Northern Rocky Mountains


Modeling the distribution of trees and shrubs

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Temperature and precipitation strongly influence the occurrence and productivity of vegetation. However, modeling these variables at fine scales poses a major challenge in complex topography. Using models derived from dense networks of air temperature and humidity sensors, we are developing improved biophysical layers with which to predict occurrence and regeneration of trees and shrubs across USFS Region 1 (Idaho, Montana) and southern Canada.  High spatial resolution predictions of species occurrence will help address questions about how to better manage forests in variable and changing climates.

 

Project Partners:

 

Zack Holden, USFS Region 1

Solomon Dobrowski, Dept. Forest Management, University of Montana

Alison Mysneberge, University of Montana

Deb MacKillop, Canadian BC ministry of forests

John Abatzoglou, University of Idaho

 

 

 

 

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Relevant Temperature Links and Maps


Stream Temperature Modeling and Monitoring

 

Stream Temperature Monitoring and Modeling

 

Air Temperature Based Thermal Stream Habitat Model

Climate Change Resource Center

 

Climate Change Resource Center

 

Air Temperature Locations Map

 

 

Air Temperature Monitoring Site Locations Map

 

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Publications and Posters


The Missing Mountain Water: Slower Westerlies Decrease Orographic Enhancement in the Pacific Northwest USA

 

 

Luce, C.H., Abatzoglou, J.T. and Holden, Z.A., 2013. The Missing Mountain Water: Slower Westerlies Decrease Orographic Enhancement in the Pacific Northwest USA. Science, 342(6164): 1360-1364.

 
Holden 2011 Publication thumnail

 

 

Holden, Zachary A.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Luce, Charles H.; Baggett, L. Scott. 2011. Empirical downscaling of daily minimum air temperature at very fine resolutions in complex terrain. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 1066-1073.

 
Holden 2011 Publication thumnail

 

 

Holden, Zachary A.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Luce, Charles H.; Baggett, L. Scott. 2011. Empirical downscaling of daily minimum air temperature at very fine resolutions in complex terrain. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 1066-1073.

 
Holden 2011 thumbnail

 

 

 

Holden, Z. A.,  M. C. Crimmins, S. A.  Cushman and J. Littell, (2011). Empirical modeling of temporal and spatial variation in nocturnal warm season temperature across two North Idaho Mountain ranges, USA. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.   

 
Publication Image

 

 

Rieman, B.E., D.J. Isaak, D. Myers, S. Adams, C. Luce, D. Horan, D. Nagel. 2007. Anticipated effects of climate warming on bull trout within the Interior Columbia River Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 136: 1552-1565.

 
Utility of Full-Year Temperature Data - stream temperature monitoring

 

 

 

Massive air and stream temperature sensor networks for studying microclimatic variation in mountain landscapes of the northwestern U.S. Poster presented at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, Calif., 13-17 Dec.   

 
Holden 2011 Publication thumnail

 

 

 

Holden, Z. A. and W.M. Jolly (in review).  Modeling topgraphic influences on fuel moisture and fire danger in complex terrain to improve wildland fire management decision support.   

 

 

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Monitoring Mountain Air Temperatures in the Northwest US - Northern Region/Region 1 - USDA Forest Service
Last Modified:  Thursday, 12 June 2014 at 18:18:51 CDT

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