Evaluation of MM5 model resolution when applied to prediction of national fire danger rating indexes
Weather predictions from the MM5 mesoscale model were used to compute gridded predictions of National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) indexes. The model output was applied to a case study of the 2000 fire season in Northern Idaho and Western Montana to simulate an extreme event. To determine the preferred resolution for automating NFD RS predictions, model performance was evaluated at 36, 1 2, and 4 km. For those indexes evaluated, the best results were consistently obtained for the 4-km domain, whereas the 36-km domain had the largest mean absolute errors. Although model predictions of fire danger indexes are consistently lower than observed, analysis of time series results indicates that the model does well in capturing trends and extreme changes in NFDRS indexes.