Data Resources

  1. Sources of Digital Weather and Fire Records
  2. Creating a FireFamily Plus Database for Weather Analysis
  3. Critique and Edit in FireFamily Plus

Sources of Digital Weather and Fire Records

FAMWEB Fire and Weather Data

Provides access to all archived daily fire weather records for NFDRS stations in the United States, both manual and automated. It also is the source of fire occurrence data for all federal agencies and some state agencies. These files are formatted for easy import into FireFamily Plus. Updated annually.

FAMWEB Fire/Weather Data Extract

Provides user requested access to archived and current weather records from NFDRS stations in the United States. Hourly records are stored for the most recent years and all daily records archived in the Weather Information Management System (WIMS) are available. Fire occurrence records are available as well. File formats are compatible with FireFamily Plus import. Updated daily.

Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA)

Provides hourly data as well. Enter a WIMS ID into this application to quickly export all hourly records dating back to when the solar radiation sensor was installed on that station. Updated monthly.

Western Region Climate Center

Provides an archive to all Satellite (GOES) enabled RAWS stations. It is the most complete archive of hourly observations for the RAWS network. The interface provides many display alternatives (wind rose, summary tables, frequency distributions, and station metadata). The data lister provides for data download of archived data with a user password. Updated hourly.

Mesowest

Provides access to hourly data for a wide variety of weather stations across the United States.  Outputs include map displays, tables, and graphs.  For users that want to download quantities of data, consider Mesonet API where both ad-hoc queries and programmable requests can be formatted. Updated hourly.

Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM)

Provides a range of products for a variety of networks around the world.

Local Online Resources

These and other resources should be considered and may be found by asking local managers and experts.  Some examples include:

Creating a FireFamily Plus Database for Weather Analysis

Consider these steps when creating a FireFamily Plus database for your analysis area.  You will want hourly data if you intend to use NFDRS 2016 fuel models, components, and indices.  And this order will ensure that you get data with updated snowflag inputs. 

  1. Download historic hourly data in FW13 file format from 2018 forward from the National Fire and Aviation Management (FAMWEB) website.  Select Weather from Fire/Weather Data Extract to access download links. You will need the WIMS station ID number to request the download. This information will be current as managed by local dispatch office procedures.
  2. Download historic hourly weather data in FW13 file format from the CEFA site. This data is current through 2017. You will need the WIMS station ID number to request the download.
  3. Station catalog files can be found on the National Fire and Aviation Management (FAMWEB) website. Select Weather from Fire/Weather Data Extract to access download links.  You will need the WIMS station ID number to request the download.
  4. Create new FFP database or open an existing one as needed.
  5. Import station catalog into the database.  It should update the record that may be there.
  6. Import FAMWEB historic weather record into the database for stations of interest first.
  7. Import CEFA historic weather record into the database for stations of interest. Do not overwrite data from step 6.
  8. Review the station catalog and the weather record span and continuity.

Critique and Edit in FireFamily Plus

FireFamily Plus is fire and weather analysis available at the Fire, Fuel, Smoke Science Program and can be used effectively to review and edit archived weather records obtained from the sites listed above. The following steps can help evaluate the weather record for time span, accuracy, and completeness, once the records are imported:

  1. Evaluate the Active Working Set for the archive to determine if the record has a sufficient time span (15+ years) for climatological analyses.
  2. Evaluate the completeness of the record by evaluating the data count for the archive. Does the station collect records year round? If not, what period of the year appears to have a relatively complete record?
  3. Evaluate individual data elements to determine the archive’s accuracy. Look for outliers among the basic data observations (temp, RH, wind speed, precipitation, max and min values) by sorting records in ascending and descending order to locate erroneous values.
  4. Evaluate data elements and calculated components and indices by displaying climatology graphs (max, min) and individual years to find erroneous trends and outliers.
  5. Evaluate the wind rose to determine whether the station’s wind observations (speeds and directions) are representative of the fire situation being analyzed.

It may be appropriate to edit the records, which can be done in the View Observations table. Before changing archived observation, the record in question should be compared to those of surrounding stations. Any changes made, should be documented for the local fire management agency.

 

 

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2019-10-31