Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fort McMurray Smoke Warnings


The Map Room has a nice round-up of maps related to the devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The round-up includes links to a collection of Landsat satellite images of the fire and a number of static maps which have overlaid the extent of the fire on other locations around the world.

Today Environment Canada has released an air quality alert warning about the poor air quality and reduced visibility caused by smoke from the wildfires. The FireSmoke Smoke Forecasts map could be useful for Alberta residents who are worried about the health effects from Fort McMurray wildfire smoke.

The Smoke Forecasts map provides smoke forecasts for Canada based on the BlueSky Canada system. This system attempts to predict wildfire smoke levels based on meteorological forecasts, wildfire location and fuel consumption. The FireSmoke Smoke Forecasts map provides hourly smoke forecasts for the next 51 hours based on the BlueSky Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System.

FireSmoke does warn that the model is experimental and is "subject to uncertainties in weather forecasts, smoke dispersion and fire emissions". You can read more about the BlueSky Canada Wildfire Smoke Forecasting System here (PDF).
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