GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia

SouthEast Asia

RegularFire and Weather Update

27 November 2002

The Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore provides a daily updated schematic of areasaffected by fires and smoke haze within the South East Asian region.Additionally, regional surface winds are displayed.

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Latest map of surface winds andsmoke haze/hot spots observed over cloud-free areas
(Source: Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore)

Forecastsof winds and surface pressure for the South East Asian region basedon Numerical Weather Product Models are also providedby Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore.

The Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM) in Samarinda provides regulary updatedmaps generated by NOAA-AVHRR showing active land-use fires and wildfires inBrunei and the Indonesian and Malaysian provinces on BorneoIsland.

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Latest fire overview map for Borneo
(Source: IFFM FireMaps)

For more detailed information, see also: Weekly fire situation report of EastKalimantan (summary), compiled and analyzed by the Provincial Fire Management Center, Samarinda.The complete(detailed) report willbe sent on request. Contact:

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 within the second half of the year 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.

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Latest fire overview map for Sumatra
(Source: FFPCP)

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).

LatestANDESfire location map of mainland South East Asia.
The map is generated on the basis of two satellite sensors (NOOA-AVHRR, DMSP/OLS).
Source: ANDES

Review of Regional Weather and Smoke Haze
(Meteorological Service of Singapore  21 October 2002)

Below average rainfall continued to be recorded in most parts of Kalimantan and southern Sumatra in September 2002. The rainfall was as much as 75% below normal in these areas.  The dry weather conditions caused increased occurrences of forest and land fires over these areas.  Kalimantan and parts of southern Sarawak was affected by moderate to thick smoke haze. Sporadic occurrences of fires and smoke haze were also observed in southern Sumatra. Hotspots counts reached a high of 746 in Borneo on 17 September 2002, while in Sumatra the number of hotspots reached a high of 277 on 19 September 2002 (see figure).

Dailyhot spots counts over Kalimantan and Sumatra from 1 September to 13 October 2002

Weather conditionscontinued to be dry in southern Sumatra and Kalimantan in the first 2 weeks ofOctober. Consequently, the fires continued to persist over these areas. Theprevailing south to south-easterly winds brought light to moderate smoke hazeover Singapore, southern Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

Weatherand Haze Outlook
(Meteorological Service of Singapore  21 October 2002)

Weak to moderate ENSO conditionscontinued to prevailed in the central Pacific in September with theSouthern Oscillation Index being consistently negative since March 2002.Sea-surface temperature anomalies have remained greater than 1° C throughoutthe central equatorial Pacific between 170° E and 130° W in Setember 2002. Mostclimate models continue to indicate that the current weak to moderate El Niñois likely to persist in last quarter of 2002 into the 1st quarter of2003.

The month of October should continue to see drier-than-average conditionsover southern half of the Indonesia, including Kalimantan. However,increasing cloudiness and shower activities are expected in the month ofNovember in the region with the onset of inter-monsoon conditions. The wetterweather conditions should help to prevent further escalation of the fires insouthern Sumatra and Kalimantan. However with the expectation of thecurrent weak to moderate El Niño to persist into early next year, the potentialfor drier than normal conditions and fires especially in East Kalimantan remainsmoderately high.

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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next week


Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for  thisweek (left) and the predictedFWI 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.

The updated ASFWIS maps show fire weather, fuel conditions andfire behaviour parameters for 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

Latest output maps of the ASFWIS
(Source: ASFWIS)

Haze Prevention Group
The industrial initiative to combat haze in SE Asia provides a website which includes information about the objectives of this industrial initiative and projects implemented to reduce wildfires and haze 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

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

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