GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia

RegularFire and Weather Update

05 July 2002


The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 04 July 2002 for the South East Asian region: “Partly cloudy with isolated showers over the ostparts of the region.Isolated hotspots were observed over southern Sumatra and eastern Kalimantan.” Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are also available.

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Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Fire Map, 04 July 2002
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

NOAA-AVHRR 12 Hot Spot Detection on Kalimantan  04 July 2002.
This Daylight picture is a composite from infrared and visible satelliteimageries.
Colours are added to help identify and highlight various features. Generally,
smoke haze shows up in shades of yellow which may appear in streaks fanning
out from a small source or as large fuzzy patches. “Hot spots” can beidentified
as red dots. As the imageries are taken from satellites, overlying clouds ifpresent
will invariably obscure areas with smoke haze and hot spots. Strong reflectionof sunlight
can also give rise to reddish shades over sea areas. These are not related tohot spots.
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

Review of Regional Weather and Smoke Haze
Some pockets of dry weather have started to develop over northern and central Sumatra and over a larger part of the northern half of Borneo in January as the northeast monsoon rain-belt progresses further south of the Equator over Southern Sumatra and Java island. The number of hot spots, however, was small on most days.
(SOURCE: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

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Fig.1: Daily Hot Spots Counts over Kalimantan in June 2002
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

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Fig.2: Daily Hot Spots Counts over Sumatra in June 2002
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

Weather and Haze Outlook
Tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were near normal to slightly above normal in September 2001. Most forecasts of advanced centres indicate SSTAs to increase slightly to above normal (+ 0.5º C ) by the end of the first quarter of 2002. This could indicate the possibility of the onset of a weak El Nino episode in the second half of 2002.
The region is expected to transit from the current Southwest Monsoon Season to inter-monsoon conditions in October and November. While brief periods of dry weather could still occur, particularly over southern Sumatra and Kalimantan in October 2001, most parts of the region should begin to experience increased thundery shower activities in the coming months. These should bring about an end the potential of any smoke haze in the region for the rest of 2001.

The Meteorological Service of Singapore 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 last year.

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Rainfall charts for Sumatra and Kalimantan
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global andAsia-Pacific ExperimentalClimate Prediction Center (ECPC)  Fire Weather Forecasts.These examples allow a quicklook and provide daily and weekly total forecastsand forecasted monthly totals. For background information refer to the ECPCproducts description page.

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tomorrow this week this month

Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for  thisweek (left) and the predicted
FWI total for next month (right) for the Western Pacific (1-3) and the PacificOcean (4-6) regions.
The weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted total refer to 00:00 hrsUTC,
which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrsnoon UTC (Greenwich)
corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia.
(Source: ECPCFire Weather Index Forecast)

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

According to the ASFWIS for 02 July 2002  these parametersshow 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

Output maps of the ASFWIS, 02 July 2002
(Source: ASFWIS)

South East AsiaFire Monitoring by ANDES
The Asia Pacific Network for Disaster Mitigation using Earth ObservationSatellite (ANDES) provides daily fire maps of mainland and insular South EastAsia. The latest maps can be accessed through the ANDESwebsite. The map below shows the latest fire map of mainland SE Asia(Thailand, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodia, Viet Nam).

ANDESfire location map of mainland SE Asia
Date: 04 July 2002. The map is generated on the basis of two satellite sensors
(NOOA-AVHRR, DMSP/OLS).
Source: ANDES

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP)
The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) closed on 30 November 2001. The South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project (SSFFMP) is expected to start in June 2002 and will continue the work of FFPCP.
Meanwhile the daily fire map (hot-spot) and monthly drought index for Sumatra will continue to be updated from time to time. The last map is dated 04 July 2002.

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Fire overview map for Sumatra (04 July 2002)
(Source: FFPCP)

Haze Prevention Group
The industrial initiative to combat haze in SE Asia started to develop a website in February 2002. The website will include information about the objectives of this industrial initiative and the projects that are implemented to reduce wildfires and haze in pilot projects in Indonesia.

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 Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM) in Samarinda provides regulary updated  hot spots maps of Kalimantan.

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


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