The Meteorology of Western U.S. Wildfires

During the past decade, there have been a number of major wildfires over the western U.S. and particularly in California.  This research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, includes an in-depth examination of the large and regional scales meteorological conditions associated with major California wildfires.  In one published study, we examined the meteorology behind the 2017 Wine Country Fires, north of California.  In another recently completed paper, we described the meteorological origins of the 2018 Camp Fire. 

WRF Model Vertical Cross Section of Winds Associated with the Camp Fire. The western slopes of the Sierra Nevada are shown

In addition to studying the meteorology of specific major fires, we have examined the nature of Diablo Winds, the easterly and northeasterly winds associated with major wildfires over central and northern California, summarized in a recent paper. 

A future project will be to examine high-resolution regional climate simulations over California, to understand the implications of global warming on the conditions associated with wildfires over central and northern California.  An additional project will study the implications of global warming for wildfires over western Washington and Oregon.