GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia: 11 July 2001

Meteorological Conditions and Firein South East Asia

11 July 2001

The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 10 July 2001 for the South East Asian region: “More hot spots with patches of slight to moderate smoke haze were detected over central Sumatra. Hot spots were also observed over western Borneo.” Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are also available.

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Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Fire Map, 10 July 2001
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

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NOAA-AVHRR 12 Hot Spot detection on Kalimantan and Sumatra(10 July 2001)
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

Apart from brief periods of dry weather, the Southwest monsoon season in the region has been mostly wet up to third week of June 2001. However, weather conditions have become drier towards the end of June 2001 and into the first 3 days of July 2001. Consequently, hotspots counts over Sumatra and Kalimantan in May and June 2001 have been low with a large number of days with few or no hotspots detected. However, since the 1st July 2001, the number of hotspots has increased significantly from 81 to 154 on 2 July 2001 over Sumatra and from 14 to 77 over Borneo.
(SOURCE: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

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Hot Spots Counts over Sumatra and Kalimantan
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

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)

NASA’s Earth Observatory

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Fires burning in Malaysia and Indonesia, MODIS satellite image, 9 July 2001
(Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory)

Official NASA comment to this MODIS image: “A number of island nations in the eastern Indian Ocean were shrouded in thick haze produced by a large number of fires burning in Malaysia and Indonesia last week (July 8-14, 2001). Hundreds more fires were being set even as the thick cloud of smoke already severely reduced visibility across the region. Officials warned that the level of pollution was getting dangerously high and unhealthy. The fires are being set primarily by plantation owners, taking advantage of the current dry season, to clear forested lands and to burn away the surface peat in swamp areas.
The pall of haze reaches as far north as Thailand on Asia’s mainland, stretches southward over the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and spans across the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo from west to east. Visibility was reduced to about 500 m (1,640 feet) in some of the hardest hit areas, as school children were sent home and told not to play outside, and many who work outside must wear masks to protect them from the smoke.
This true-color image shows the portion of Malaysia located on the mainland Asian peninsula (upper right), and part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and south. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is visible as the greyish-brown region on the western shore of the peninsula, while Singapore sits on the peninsula’s southern tip (mostly hidden by clouds in this scene). Red pixels show the locations of many fires and dark grey pixels show the smoke and haze resulting from the flames. The bright white wisps toward the upper lefthand corner of the image are clouds.
This image was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA’s Terra satellite, on July 9, 2001.” Source and copyright: NASA Earth Observatory.

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

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tomorrow this week this month

Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), this week (center) and the predicted
FWI total for this month (right) for the Western Pacific (1-3) and the Pacific Ocean (4-6) regions.
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.
(Source: ECPC Fire Weather Index Forecast)

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provided an Hot Spot overview map on 9 July 2001

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Fire overview map for Sumatra (9 July 2001)
(Source: FFPCP)

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

Outlook for drought and  El Niño: See GFMC early warning report of  21 February 2001: Drought Warning for Indonesia but no El Niño expected.

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

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