GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia

Meteorological Conditions and Firein South East Asia

9 August 2001

The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 8 August 2001 for the South East Asian region: “Generally cloudy with unsettled weather over our region except for Java Island. Hot spots were detected in western Kalimantan.” Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are also available.

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Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Fire Map, 8 August 2001
(Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore)

The South-west Monsoon has gone into a temporary dry phase since the beginning of July 2001. Such an occurrence is quite normal at this time of the year. While this could be interrupted by occasional shower activities in the region, the reduced rainfall since the beginning of July has resulted in a significant increase in the number of fires and areas of smoke haze in central and northern Sumatra ( see following figure showing the number of hotspots detected over Sumatra and Kalimantan * ). The prevailing south-southwesterly to south south-easterly winds have carried the smoke haze over the Malacca Straits, parts of northern Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand.
* Note : On the 10th July, hotspot counts has been reduced significantly due to the presence of increased cloud cover over central Sumatra. (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)

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 next month

Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), this week (center) and the predicted
FWI total for next 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 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 8 August 2001 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


Output maps of the ASFWIS, 8 August 2001
(Source: ASFWIS)

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provided an Hot Spot overview map on 8 August 2001

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Fire overview map for Sumatra (8 August 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

The Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM) in Samarinda provided an hot spots map of Kalimantan on 26 July with 6 hot spots detected.

sea_07302001_iffm_a.gif (3892 Byte)

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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