Characterizing the role of moisture and smoke on the 2021 Santa Coloma de Queralt pyroconvective event using WRF-Fire
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Masih Eghdami; Timothy W. Juliano; Pedro A. Jiménez; Branko Kosović; Marc Castellnou; Rajesh Kumar; Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • atmospheric moisture
  • black carbon
  • fuel moisture
  • organic carbon
  • pyroconvection
  • pyroconvective clouds
  • wildfire
  • wildfire modeling
  • WRF-Fire
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 15, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 68155


Smoke from wildfires or burning biomass directly affects air quality and weather through modulating cloud microphysics and radiation. A simple wildfire emission coupling of black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) with microphysics was implemented using the Weather Research and Forecasting model's fire module. A set of large-eddy simulations inspired by unique surface and upper atmospheric observations from the 2021 Santa Coloma de Queralt Fire (Spain) were conducted to investigate the influence of background conditions and interactions between atmospheric and fire processes such as fire smoke, ambient moisture, and latent heat release on the formation and evolution of pyroconvective clouds. While the microphysical impact of BC and OC emissions on the dynamics of fire behavior is minimal on short time scales (<6 hr), their presence increased the cloud water content and decreased the rain rates in our case study. In our case study, atmospheric moisture played an important role in the formation and development of pyroconvective clouds, which in turn enhanced the surface winds (8%) and fire spread rate (25%). The influence of fuel moisture on the pyroconvective cloud formation is smaller when compared with the atmospheric moisture content. A better representation of cloud processes can improve the mesoscale forecasts, which is important for better fire behavior modeling.

Online Link(s):
Eghdami, Masih; Juliano, Timothy W.; Jiménez, Pedro A.; Kosovic, Branko; Castellnou, Marc; Kumar, Rajesh; Vila-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi. 2023. Characterizing the role of moisture and smoke on the 2021 Santa Coloma de Queralt pyroconvective event using WRF-Fire. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 15(5):e2022MS003288.