Fire weather is one application where real-time, local weather can be critical. Dyacon offers a weather station that is a practical solution for users that need a reasonable solution that they can install and maintain.
Our staff scientist and DyaconLive developer has designed a number of reports that can be created from Dyacon weather station data. These reports include:
General Report — A simple report of wind, humidity, temperature, and pressure.
Grower’s Report — Shows grow-degree days, which is a measure of crop growth conditions.
Irrigation Report — Uses evapotranspiration and precipitation measurements to create a net water usage chart.
And now …
Fire Weather Report — Analyzes temperature, humidity, insolation, wind speed, and precipitation to determine wildfire risk.
Fire Weather Risk Report
In general, as fuels become dryer, the potential for ignition and spread increases. Fire weather stations can be used to assess this risk. But some of these systems can be quite complex, requiring specialized instruments or knowledge. The National Fire Danger Rating System is one system that is used in the US.
Dyacon Fire Weather report implements the Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI) using a standard Dyacon MS-140 configuration with added rain gauge. The KBDI is a cumulative indicator of soil and plant dryness that correlates to wildfire danger. It uses air temperature, humidity, wind speed, and precipitation data to determine drought conditions. In other words, vegetation that has higher moisture content is harder to burn. The KBDI helps users see the effect of dry air, high winds, high temperatures, and low precipitation over time.
Why not just measure soil moisture directly? Sensors measure the point where they are placed. Soil conditions can vary widely across a region. Modeling the soil conditions can be more effective than a direct measurement. This is especially true when you consider that soil sensors are prone to installation errors, soil desiccation, and rodent damage.
The report includes several charts that show trends as well as current conditions, such as the effect of recent rain or high winds. This helps property managers, wildland mangers, fire fighters, electric power providers, or HOA boards make judgements with real-time data.
The Dyacon Fire Weather report may be a helpful in scheduling prescribed burns or giving a green light to neighborhood activities.
Oh, and if you really want to geek out on the details behind the Dyacon Fire Weather report, you might enjoy the Dyacon Fire Weather Report App Note.