Meteorological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia: 30 May 2000

Meteorological Conditions and Firein South East Asia

30 May 2000


The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 29 and 30 May 2000 for the South East Asian region: “Scattered showers over northern Sumatra and over most areas in Kalimantan. Isolated hot spots were observed over central Sumatra. The region remained generally free of smoke haze.” Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are also available.

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Fig. 1. and 2. Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Fire Map, 29 and 30 May 2000
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

The same meteorological service also provides rainfall-record charts for selected locations in Sumatra and Kalimantan with information about the mean annual rainfall and the actual monthly and weekly records for this year.

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Fig. 3. and 4. Rainfall charts for Sumatra and Kalimantan
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

The latest NOAA14 satellite image shows fire locations in Sumatra. The in the image so called “Hot spots” can be identified as red dots.

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Fig. 5. Latest NOAA Satellite image of Sumatra, 29 May 2000
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

Fires were detected from the AVHRR infrared channel 3 of the NOAA12/14 satellite. The map shows their approximate positions, as indicated by small red dots. Grey shaded areas indicate regions of significant cloud cover. The number of dots is not directly equivalent to the number of fires. A large fire could cause a number of adjacent pixels to be identified as hotspots. Hence the number of fires could be less than the number of hotspots.

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Fig. 6. – 9. Latest Sumatra and Kalimantan NOAA Hotspot Charts on 29 and 30 May 2000.
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global and Asia-Pacific Experimental Climate Prediction Center (ECPC)  Fire Weather Forecasts (Fig.4-9). These examples allow a quicklook and provide daily and weekly total forecasts, and forecasted monthly totals (for this month). For background information refer to the ECPC products description page.

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Fig. 10.-15. Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), next week (center) and the predicted FWI total for next month (right) for the Western Pacific and the Pacific Ocean. The daily forecast refers to 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) time; the weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted total refer to 00:00 hrs UTC, which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia (updated: 30 May 2000).
(Source: ECPC)

The ASEAN Fire Weather Information System (ASFWIS) is a co-operation between ASEAN and the Canadian Forest Service. It provides maps describing the current fire weather situation in South East Asia. This system is based upon the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) (for further infomation to the CFFDRS refer to ASFWIS). Studies have shown that the CFFDRS is applicable outside of Canada. Currently it is also used in a modified form in New Zealand (see References). In New Zealand the Fire Weather Indices Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and the Initial Spread Index (ISI) represent the fire danger in the scrublands. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC) is also applicable in South East Asia, because it potentially describes the moisture state of the upper peat layers in peat and peat swamp forests. All three parameters may serve as a suitable indicator of forest fire danger in South East Asia.

According to the ASFWIS for 29 May 2000 these parameters show various fire weather conditions over South East Asia.

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Fine Fuel Moisture Code

Duff Moisture Code

Drought Code

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Initial Spread Index

Buildup Index

Fire Weather Index

Fig. 16. – 21.  Output maps of the ASFWIS (update: 30 May 2000)

The ASEAN Haze Action Online provides the following information:

  • Monitoring: Hyperlinks to institutions involved in regional monitoring and prediction of fire and smoke haze
  • Haze News: ASEAN Transboundary Haze Update (updated daily)
  • Intranet: Information and possible participation in the ASEAN Haze Action Online Intranet Information Services (for associated registered participants)
  • Mobilization Plan: Model Fire Suppression Mobilization Plan
  • Inventory: Inventory and analysis of forest and land fire suppression capabilities
  • Haze Forum: Communication platform on fire and smoke-haze issues in the ASEAN region
  • Calendar: Fire and haze-related events can be identified by a search modus

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provided a fire overview map for Sumatra on 29 May 2000.

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Fig. 22. Fire Overview Map of the FFPCP project in Palembang, 29 May 2000. Scattered cloudy. A few hot spots were detected in central Sumatra.
(Source: FFPCP)

The weather conditions in the region since the early March 2000 have been mostly wet. Daily hotspot counts have been low. However, with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon in the second week of May, weather conditions turned drier and this resulted in a flare-up of hotspots activities over central Sumatra. Daily hotspot counts went up from a low 20 or less over the area to reach a high of 196 on 14 May 2000.

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Fig. 23. Daily count of high temperature events between 14 April and 16 May 2000.
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

For further information, please also have a look to the current and archived IFFN Country Notes.


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