Welcome to the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal -- a real-time monitoring tool for weather and fire risk information.

In October 2017, the Portal was expanded from only North Carolina to cover the 13-state US Forest Service southern region. Along with adding data across the southeast US, other updates to the Portal include faster loading times and a mobile-friendly design.

The Fire Weather Intelligence Portal works best in recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Some features of the Portal may not be supported in Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions. Point data can still be displayed on the map in these older versions, but users should update their browsers for optimal results.

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Just like your browser window might have tabs to view different web pages, the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal has tabs to view Past Conditions, Current Conditions, and Forecast Conditions. On each of these tabs, you can select an observation time, station-based point data, and a gridded dataset. You can view different times and datasets on each tab.
When you first load the Portal, it will attempt to detect and zoom to your location on the map. To use this feature, you may have to grant it access to your approximate location.

Alternatively, in the Map Details menu, you can select a state or county, or pan and zoom the map to select a custom location. In this menu, you can also switch between a terrain map and street map background, and toggle various reference layers such as county lines.

You can pan the map by single-clicking and dragging, and zoom in by double-clicking, using your mouse wheel, or using the zoom controls in the top left corner of the map.
On the Past Conditions tab, you can choose any date and time between January 1, 2002 and the current date.

On the Current Conditions tab, the most recent hour is shown. At 15 minutes past the hour, the observation time will "switch over"; e.g., at about 4:15 pm, the Current Conditions tab will stop showing data from the 3 pm hour and start showing data from the 4 pm hour.

Note that if you choose any point-based NFDRS parameters, the most recent 1 p.m. observations will be shown. NFDRS data for the current day will become visible after 3:15 pm ET.

On the Forecast Conditions tab, you can choose a time up to 72 hours in the future. NFDRS point forecasts from the National Weather Service are available for the following day only.

Every 10 minutes, data on the Current Conditions and Forecast Conditions tabs will reload so the most up-to-date information is always displayed.

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On the left of the tabs at the top of the page is an option to toggle the main menu. This menu contains links to related pages and resources, including:
If you want to view the same location and parameters each time you open the Portal, you can use the Bookmarkable Link option to copy and save a URL including your currently selected options.
You can investigate the data availability for a particular station using the Station Status page. This page may help you diagnose whether stations have missing data over a particular time period, and view individual observations for each station. Data is available at the following timescales:
  • Monthly: For each month in a specified period, you can view the percentage of days with NFDRS data available . Click on a monthly percentage to view the daily observations for that station and month. This option will only show stations that are manually edited in WIMS.

  • Daily: For each day in a specified date range, you can view the percentage of hours with data available. Click on a daily percentage to view the hourly observations from that station and day.
In the grid of data availability, stations are sorted alphabetically by county.

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Available point data includes the standard parameters measured at weather stations, such as temperature and precipitation, as well as calculated National Fire Danger Rating System parameters. Here are some things to keep in mind about a few of these parameters:
At RAWS and most ECONet stations, the 6 meter (20 foot) wind speeds and gusts are used. At ASOS and AWOS stations, the log wind profile method is used to estimate the 6 meter winds based on the observed 10 meter winds.
Only RAWS and ECONet stations measure solar radiation.
Only ECONet stations measure soil temperature and soil moisture. A related parameter, Saturation Index, is based on the soil moisture and porosity.
Point-based parameters such as KBDI, Burning Index, ERC, etc. are calculated according to the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). Calculations are done once per day, for the 1 pm (1300) observation, in the WIMS database.

NFDRS data only appears in the Portal for stations and observations that are manually reviewed within WIMS.
When viewing point data on the map, you can click on any station to display a meteogram -- a graph of the weather history at that location -- beneath the map.

You can load up to three meteograms at a time for a station. Change the parameter and time period displayed using the "Meteogram Options" above each meteogram.

By clicking and dragging across a range of dates/times on the meteogram, you can zoom in to that period. Double-click on the meteogram to zoom back out.

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Gridded datasets from a number of different sources are available in the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal.
On the Current Conditions tab, you can view active fire perimeters provided by the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group (GeoMAC). Click on a fire perimeter for more details.
On the Current Conditions tab, you can view the latest watches and warnings issued by National Weather Service offices across the country. Click on an advisory for more details.
The gridded Lightning Strike Density dataset shows the location and intensity of lightning at a ~5 kilometer resolution. Data is available for Current Conditions and Past Conditions since October 2010.
Radar imagery indicating the location and intensity of precipitation is available on the Past and Current Conditions tabs. Infrared satellite imagery, which shows the presence of cloud cover, is available on the Current Conditions tab.
The Precipitation Estimate dataset is based off of radar data (at ~5 kilometer resolution) calibrated using surface rain gauges. Research at the State Climate Office shows that this data is often just as accurate as weather station rain gauge measurements, and it provides coverage over the entire state instead of just points where gauges are located.

This product is also used to calculate several drought indices. The Standardized Precipitation Index, or SPI, is a commonly used drought index based on the precipitation over a selected number of months. Positive SPI values indicate wet conditions while negative SPI values indicate dry conditions.

A gridded version of the Keetch-Byram Drought Index is also available. This product is based on the Precipitation Estimate dataset and gridded temperature estimates from PRISM and RTMA. That means this product is not an interpolation or weighted average of point-based NFDRS observations. Because of this, the gridded KBDI data won't always perfectly agree with the station data, but it does help show the pattern where no stations are available.

At times, you may see strange or large differences from one grid cell or pixel to ones around it. These are generally artifacts from the source data, such as places where the radar beam was blocked. When using these maps, it's often best to look at the general pattern over a county-based or larger region to avoid confusion about differences from one grid point to the next.
High-resolution gridded analyses are available for air temperature, dew point and wind speed at 2.5 kilometer resolution. These are from the Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA) product, which is produced by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Protection.

Gridded analyses are available for Current Conditions and Past Conditions since May 2013.
On the Forecast Conditions tab, you can view gridded forecasts from the National Weather Service's National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). Available fields are air temperature, dew point, relative humidity, wind speed and cloud cover, all at approximately 5 kilometer resolution.

The NDFD maps can sometimes look like an interesting patchwork, with obvious and seemingly unnatural boundaries between higher and lower values. This is often because each NWS office's forecast may differ slightly from the offices around it, so when all of their forecasts are assembled, there might not be smooth transitions between forecast areas.

NDFD data is available at three-hour intervals up to 72 hours in the future. If you choose a forecast hour for which NDFD data is not available, the closest hour with available data will be used.

We also receive forecast data from the National Weather Service office in Greer, SC. This includes fire-specific parameters such as the Lavdas atmospheric dispersion index, the Low Visibility Risk Index, and the ventilation rate. This data is restricted to that NWS office's region, which includes the southwestern part of North Carolina.
The State Climate Office of North Carolina runs a version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meteorological computer model. Selected output from this model, including mixing height, is available up to 72 hours in the future.

Two different versions of model output are available: one at 15 kilometer resolution for the continental US, and one at 4 kilometer resolution centered over the Carolinas.

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