Weather Conditions and Warm Air Masses in Southern Sakha During Active Forest Fire Periods
Hiroshi Hayasaka*,, Koji Yamazaki**, and Daisuke Naito***
*Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University
N21 W11, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021, Japan
**Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
***Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia
Forest fires are a common and destructive natural disaster in Russia. Weather conditions during active forest fire periods in southern Sakha (Eastern Siberia) at high latitudes (58–65°N, 120–140°E) were evaluated. Periods of high fire activity during 2002 to 2016 were identified using MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer) hotspot data by considering the number of daily hotspots and their continuity. Weather conditions during the top seven periods of high fire activity were analyzed using atmospheric reanalysis data for upper (500 hPa) and lower levels (925 hPa). Our results showed that active fires occurred under varied weather conditions and it was difficult to find common weather patterns at both upper- and lower-levels during the seven most active fire periods. Furthermore, it was apparent that the northward movement of warm air masses (cTe: continental temperate) from lower latitudes (∼40°N) toward southern Sakha tended to exacerbate fires mainly due to strong wind conditions during the seven most active fire periods. In particular, on peak hotspot days, warm air masses from the south existed commonly near southern Sakha. This northward movement of warm air masses can be used to forecast fire and predict future fires in the region.
-  R. Roffey, “Climate change and natural disasters,” FOI-R–3874–SE, Report of Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), 2014.
-  E. N. Valendik, “Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Forest Fires in Siberia,” J. G. Goldammer and V. V. Furyaev (Eds.), “Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia,” pp. 129-138, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996.
-  “IPCC, 2013. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” T. F. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S. K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex, and P. M. Midgley (Eds.), Contribution of Working Group I to the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2013, http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ [accessed January 21, 2018]
-  E. I. Ponomarev, V. I. Kharuk, and K. J. Ranson, “Wildfires Dynamics in Siberian Larch Forests,” Forests, Vol.7, No.125, doi:10.3390/f7060125, 2016.
-  A. Hasegawa, M. Gusyev, and Y. Iwamiet, “Meteorological Drought and flood assessment Using the Comparative SPI Approach in Asia under Climate Change,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.11, No.6, pp. 1082-1090, 2016.
-  R. D. Field, A. C. Spessa, N. A. Aziz, A. Camia, A. Cantin, R. Carr, W. J. de Groot, A. J. Dowdy, M. D. Flannigan, K. Manomaiphiboon, F. Pappenberger, V. Tanpipat, and X. Wang, “Development of a Global Fire Weather Database,” Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., Vol.15, pp. 1407-1423, 2015.
-  M. Forkel, K. Thonicke, C. Beer, W. Cramer, S. Bartalev, and C. Schmullius, “Extreme fire events are related to previous-year surface moisture conditions in permafrost underlain larch forests of Siberia,” Environ. Res. Lett., Vol.7, No.4, p. 044021, 2012.
-  H. Hayasaka, “Recent Large Scale Fires in Boreal and Tropical Forests,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.2, No.4, pp. 265-275, 2007.
-  H. Hayasaka, H. Tanaka, and P. Bieniek, “Synoptic-scale fire weather conditions in Alaska,” Polar Science, Vol.10, No.3, pp. 217-226, 2016.
-  H. Hayasaka, “Recent Vegetation Fire Incidence in Russia,” Global Environmental Research, AIRIES, Vol.15, No.1, pp. 5-13, 2011.
-  N. P. Gillett, A. J. Weaver, F. W. Zwiers, and M. D. Flannigan, “Detecting the effect of climate change on Canadian forest fires,” Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol.31, Issue 18, doi:10.1029/2004GL020876, 2004.
-  J. T. Abatzoglou and A. K. Crystal, “Relative importance of weather and climate on wildfire growth in interior Alaska,” Int. J. of Wildland Fire, Vol.20, pp. 479-486, 2011.
-  G. Bell, “Special Climate Summary, April-July 2004, Hot in Alaska, Cool over Central North America, Wet in South-Central U.S.,” http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/alaska.pdf [accessed October 27, 2015]
-  G. Wendler, J. Conner, B. Moore, M. Shulski, and M. Stuefer, “Climatology of Alaskan wildfires with special emphasis on the extreme year of 2004,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol.104, No.3-4, pp. 459-472, 2011.
-  M. Fauria and E. A. Johnson, “Large-scale climatic patterns control large lightning fire occurrence in Canada and Alaska forest regions,” J. Geophys. Res., Vol.111, G04008, doi:10.1029/2006JG000181, 2006.
-  M. M. Fauria and E. A. Johnson, “Climate and wildfires in the North American boreal forest,” Phil., Trans. R. Soc., B, Vol.363, Issue 1501, pp. 2317-2329, doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.2202, 2008.
-  W. R. Skinner, B. J. Stocks, D. L. Martell, B. Bonsal, and A. Shabbar, “The association between circulation anomalies in the mid-troposphere and area burned by wildland fire in Canada,” Theor. Appl. Climatol., Vol.63, pp. 89-105, doi:10.1007/s007040050095, 1999.
-  W. R. Skinner, M. D. Flannigan, B. J. Stocks, D. L. Martell, B. M. Wotton, J. B. Todd, J. A. Mason, K. A. Logan, and E. M. Bosch, “A 500 hPa synoptic wildland climatology for large Canadian forest fires 1959–1996,” Theor. Appl. Climatol., Vol.71, pp. 157-169, 2002.
-  H. Hayasaka, M. Fukuda, and K. Kushida, “Recent Large-scale Forest Fires in Boreal Forests and Climate Change –Discussion Based on Forest Fire and Weather Data in Alaska and Sakha–,” J. JAFSE, Vol.57, No.3, pp. 45-51, 2007 (in Japanese).
-  E. Nunohiro, K. Katayama, K. Mackin, and J. G. Park, “Forest and Field Fire Search System Using MODIS Data,” J. Adv. Comput. Intell. Intell. Inform., Vol.11, No.8, pp. 1043-1048, 2007.
-  “MODIS Collection 6 Active Fire Product User’s Guide,” https://cdn.earthdata.nasa.gov/conduit/upload/3865/MODIS_C6_Fire_User_Guide_A.pdf [accessed August 20, 2018]
-  E. Kalnay, M. Kanamitsu, R. Kistler, W. Collins, D. Deaven, L. Gandin, M. Iredell, S. Saha, G. White, J. Woollen, Y. Zhu, M. Chelliah, W. Ebisuzaki, W. Higgins, J. Janowiak, K. C. Mo, C. Ropelewski, J. Wang, A. Leetmaa, R. Reynolds, R. Jenne, and D. Joseph, “The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project,” Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol.77, pp. 437-470, 1996.
-  University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, “The COMET® Program,” Blocking High (Associated Weather), last updated on June 24, 2009, http://www.meted.ucar.edu/norlat/satfeatures/blocking_patterns/blocking_high.htm [accessed May 9, 2019]
-  S. Kobayashi, Y. Ota, Y. Harada, A. Ebita, M. Moriya, H. Onoda, K. Onogi, H. Kamahori, C. Kobayashi, H. Endo, K. Miyaoka, and K. Takahashi, “The JRA-55 reanalysis: General specifications and basic characteristics,” J. Meteorol. Soc. Japan, Vol.93, No.1, pp. 5-48, doi:10.2151/jmsj.2015-00, 2015.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.