Resources for NCFS

Through our decade-long collaboration with NC Forest Service, we have developed several web tools to help them better monitor conditions at specific weather stations and regions across the state. This page serves as a gateway to these tools.

NFDRS Data Viewers

Modeled after a similar regional tool from SACC, a pair of tools are available showing a summary of observed and forecasted fire danger and weather variables for stations in North Carolina, organized by NC Forest Service district. These offer a useful way of assessing local conditions across a number of indicators. Note that the observed data viewer switches to showing today’s observations at 2:15 pm EST/3:15 PM EDT, and the forecast data viewer switches to showing tomorrow’s forecasts at 4:15 pm Eastern.

A screenshot of the NFDRS forecast data viewer tool

Weekly Outlook tool

This tool shows 7-day forecasts from the National Weather Service in a matrix-based display, color-coded using historical percentiles on days with fire activity or as determined by other key thresholds. Days on which at least four indices are expected to reach extreme levels could be critical fire days. This tool is currently available only for Fire Danger Rating Areas in North Carolina.

A screenshot of the Weekly Outlook tool

Station Status tool

If weather or fire danger observations are missing for a particular station in the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal, the Station Status tool can help investigate recent data availability and determine whether it’s a one-time observation outage, an ongoing issue with a station not reporting, or a network-wide concern. When responding to a wildfire or preparing for a prescribed burn, this tool can also help you assess the reliability of stations near the burn site and make sure they have enough recent data to accurately measure the fire risk and behavior.

A screenshot of the Station Status tool

RAWS Quality Control Viewer

Many of the quality control routines we originally developed for our ECONet are also now run for RAWS weather stations in North Carolina. These quality checks are summarized in daily email summaries sent to district Forest Service staff and station managers, and should help identify failing sensors and data outages as soon as they occur. To further help investigate the quality control flags for a given station, parameter, and date range, we developed a Quality Control Viewer tool for NC RAWS stations.

A screenshot of the Quality Control Viewer tool

Hazard Assessment Tool

In North Carolina, fire risk is often assessed across Fire Danger Rating Areas, or regions with similar topography, vegetation, and climate. Using historical fire danger information from weather stations in these regions, the NC Forest Service has determined seasonal hazard breakpoints, which help set the fire readiness plan or decision levels. The Hazard Assessment Tool offers a convenient way for NC Forest Service staff to view these levels for a region based on forecasted fire danger on a particular day.

A screenshot of the Hazard Assessment Tool