Mapping Weather Patterns for Fire Prevention with Surfer
Here in dry Colorado, we're very aware of the risks of annual summer forest fires (around 40,000 acres of the state are currently ablaze). In the Canadian province of Quebec, which faces similar fire danger, they have found ways to leverage technology as a tool for managing the fire risks in the area. They use the analytics and gridding functions in Surfer to dramatically enhance the quality of weather data in its forest fire information system.
The Quebec Forest Fire Protection Society's weather office staff wrote algorithms to interpolate weather conditions between stations on 1.2-kilometer grids, much smaller than the massive polygons once used. The interpolations take into account weather reports at each station and those around it and then factor in meteorological influencers, such as elevation changes and distance from water bodies. The result is a province-wide map representing realistic weather conditions on a very fine scale and generated automatically every hour. Without Surfer, the automated interpolation and mapping performed on an hourly basis would have to be conducted in a full-feature GIS package at considerably greater expense.
For more details, read the full Customer Success story here.
Number of consecutive days since the last rainfall of at least 2.8 millimetres.
Forecast relative humidity based on four different numerical weather models.
Drought code values overlaid with aerial fire detection patrol corridors
Four panel chart of nighttime weather for potential fire starts.