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RMRS-GTR-119: A review of the Forest Service Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) network


Zachariassen, John; Zeller, Karl F.; Nikolov, Ned; and McClelland, Tom. 2003. A review of the Forest Service Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) network. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-119. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 153 p + CD.

The RAWS network and RAWS data-use systems are closely reviewed and summarized in this report. RAWS is an active program created by the many land-management agencies that share a common need for accurate and timely weather data from remote locations for vital operational and program decisions specific to wildland and prescribed fires. A RAWS measures basic observable weather parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation as well as "fuel stick" temperature. Data from almost 1,900 stations deployed across the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii are now routinely used to calculate and forecast daily fire danger indices, components, and adjective ratings. Fire business applications include the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS), fire behavior, and fire use. Findings point to the fact that although the RAWS program works and provides needed weather data in support of fire operations, there are inefficiencies and significant problem areas that require leadership attention at the National level.

Keywords: weather data, fire business, fire use, National Fire Danger Rating System, NFDRS, fire danger, RAWS, forest fire, wildland fire, weather observations, prescribed burns

Please note: The data for Appendix V: "Instrument Specifi cation Survey Air Resource Specialist, Inc. contract #: 53-82FT-7-03" is on a CD-ROM and not available on this Web site.


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Title: RMRS-GTR-119: A review of the Forest Service Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) network
Electronic Publish Date: December 17, 2003
Last Update:
December 16, 2005

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