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Fire Weather, a new approach

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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

Just to keep the WeatherZone rating in perspective; it is basic all derived from the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) & RFS (Rural Fire Service).

But it is for the entire Northern Tablelands Region which covers over 34,000 km².
That's a bit over 3/4's the size of the Netherlands, (41,000km²??).

Add to that the fact that the Geography within the region varies greatly.
We see an average Winter Max Temp of about 19°C here;
Armidale, which is a little over 100km away as by the Crow is a good 8 to 10° lower.

Phil.

Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

Very Smoky here in the past 24 hours.

Red Sunrises & hazy days.
Mostly carried in from fires within a 150km radius.

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HansR
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

Phil23 wrote:
Tue 29 Oct 2019 9:38 am
Very Smoky here in the past 24 hours.

Red Sunrises & hazy days.
Mostly carried in from fires within a 150km radius.
The first two fires are less than 100 km away from you, I measured it from the Fires Near Me page. It is interesting the WeatherZone (yes, I take your remark into account ;) ) still only has a blue (high) warning. We're now levels apart.

I think that can be explained, because the Australian (McArthur) FWI has in it the presence and typology of the forest/vegetation. My model does not, it is purely meteorological. That is an interesting display of what is going on! There is not so much forest around you meaning the danger level remains low? That would be an interesting question to the authorities. Actually, I asked WeatherZone for comment, pointing them to your site.

Cheers, Hans
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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

I think the biggest variation is due to the effect that the WeatherZone index covers such a vast area.

I've travelled the entire local area & really the geography can be at all extremes.

Inverell, Glen Innes, & Armidale for example are entirely different in their vegetation & climatic conditions,
but the official index covers all of those areas.


Phil.

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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

Please note: in Phil's Backyard there is the first - five days ahead - prediction for a purple (Catastrophic) phase. The warning for today is Orange and that is completely in line with the Weatherzone warning (which I cannot catch with the date in one small image). Inverell is at the moment the only station in the real fire season although at Sangonera (Spain, similar climate), there is a prediction for a longer yellow warning period. That seems extraordinary for the season. Despite the rains which fell recently elsewhere in NSW, in Inverell it was minimal and the drought continues. The catastrophic warning is in line with those observations.

Basically, the catastrophic level means that there is no more water to evaporate, everything is dry as dry can get and it needs just a spark (or a lightning) to ignite. A warning is not fire yet, let's hope it does not ignite.

All other stations are actually on green (low) warning level, outside the fire season.

If we are talking behavioural testing, I would say pwsFWI stands the test remarkably well looking at the weather conditions and the official warning levels.

If we look at the Fires near me page, we see that the nearest fire to Inverell is 35 km and that it is 'Out Of Control'. This is well within the range of Phil's weatherstation and I regard this as a confirmation of the pwsFWI validity.
It seems the season now really has started (see the other two images). Wishing well to all in the region!
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beteljuice
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by beteljuice »

@Hans

The key pointer is the last forecast colour (was it flashing ?) and not white or current level.
Is this intentional ?
Image
......................Imagine, what you will KNOW tomorrow !

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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

@beteljuice: No not intentional. Seen it, fixed it but not released yet.
Thnx
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

Note that this is the first day with a catastrophic warning level at Inverell (Phil's Backyard) and on that day, 20 minutes after I woke up and had a view at the fires-near-me site, I saw that a fire had broke out at Gwydir Hwy, about 4 km west of Phil's Backyard. Hope it does not spread but with NW winds that is very well possible.

I will not supply a news real and daily updates on the NSW fires here, but I must mention, that the prediction of the purple warning level coincides exactly with the other warning systems (Note that the local warning level of Weatherzone is still 'only' red). And despite the misery and dangers involved, I must say that the fires in the neighbourhood of Inverell, come as a programmers success. I am happy about that. Even when realising that pwsFWI represents a warning level and not a fire occurrence, there must be a correlation between fire occurrence and warning level. I would say that has been firmly established now (or at least strongly indicated).

https://meteo-wagenborgen.nl/wp/tag/pwsfwi/
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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

HansR wrote:
Tue 12 Nov 2019 7:40 am
I saw that a fire had broke out at Gwydir Hwy, about 4 km west of Phil's Backyard. Hope it does not spread but with NW winds that is very well possible.
Know all about that one...…

Just up the road 100's of metres from my son's boss's place.

RFS turned up & put it out.
Found 3 blokes with beers sitting around a tree they were burning in a front yard.

Idiot factor???

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HansR
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

@phil: Yes the idiot factor. In my experience the human factor is the biggest factor as cause of fire. Intentionally or not. Carelessness.
Therefore awareness about the forest, weather conditions and damage to the environment is important but even then... :roll:
Hope the situation will get better soon.
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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

It's an unusual feeling sitting up here, playing the waiting game.

We expect a fire or two each year & it's rare when they don't happen.

Location is the thing, and we have a few places nearby that are simply powder kegs, just waiting to go.
Clive state forest near the airport partial went back in January.

It will probably go again, but the one that concerns me the most is Gooniwigal, which is much closer to town.
Smells of smoke here this morning, even though most of the current fires are quite a distance away.

Phil.

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HansR
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

Phil23 wrote:
Sat 16 Nov 2019 8:46 pm
It's an unusual feeling sitting up here, playing the waiting game.

We expect a fire or two each year & it's rare when they don't happen.
There is some very dry and hot weather coming up so be careful what you wish for. The good thing is that if there is no fire around your place, people apparently are careful in and around the prairies and forests. Important, because nature knows few ignition sources. Most fires are started by humans, simply accidental mostly, sometimes because they like fire or like to see the fire brigade in action.

In France, here I lived, they caught an arsonist: a man in his 50's, a vineyard owner, married, 4 children, village counsilor. The guy had everything, but set forests on fire because he liked the action and the planes. He got arrested and lost everything. Understanding man when it is about fire is hard.

Good luck next week, wind and very low humidity is the cause of catastrophic warning level.
Hope your water pump works.
Cheers Hans
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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

HansR wrote:
Sun 17 Nov 2019 2:09 am
Important, because nature knows few ignition sources.
Yes,
Just lightning & broken glass (from humans), but it can still be present for years & then de disturbed & uncovered.

Lightning....
I mentioned Gooniwigal; but then there's the Old Bundarra Rd area.
That area has huge lightning attraction potential due to the geology & high presence of magnetite in the soil in the area.

I used to refer to it as "Dead Modem Alley" in the dial-up days, as I was guaranteed to me replacing dozens of modems out there during the storm seasons
In France, here I lived, they caught an arsonist: a man in his 50's, a vineyard owner, married, 4 children, village counsilor.
Had a similar situation here about 11 years ago. A volunteer fire fighter.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/volunte ... -68xv.html

Not good at all.


Phil.

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HansR
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by HansR »

It's the same everywhere. :cry:
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Phil23
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Re: Fire Weather, a new approach

Post by Phil23 »

Just after Sunrise,

Looking East from one of my Weather Cams.
Capture.JPG
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