End User representatives
This project is using high-resolution modelling, together with a range of meteorological data, to better understand and predict important meteorological natural hazards, including fire weather, tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. The outcomes from the project will contribute to reducing the impact and cost of these hazards on people, infrastructure, the economy and the environment.
Specific areas within the project include studies on the Blue Mountains bushfires of 2013; ember transport by fire plumes; pyrocumulus cloud simulation and prediction, and heavy rain and tropical cyclone formation.
One major area of focus has been on the use of a sophisticated large eddy model of fire plumes to investigate two important phenomena associated with such plumes: long-range ember transport or spotting, and the formation of pyrocumulus cloud. Substantial progress has been made in these areas.
The second major area has been the analysis of the meteorology during the October 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires. This work relies on a very high resolution simulation of 17 October, when major fire spread occurred and a substantial number of houses were lost.
A separate case study has also been selected for modelling and analysis, in consultation with end-users. In April 2015, a major East Coast Low affected the New South Wales central coast, producing strong winds, major flooding, high seas and coastal erosion. Over 200,000 houses lost power, and tragically four deaths occurred.
Modelling this event takes the novel approach of utilising a high-resolution ensemble of model simulations, so that predictability of the event, as well as its meteorology, can be analysed. Such ensembles will be the core of future severe weather prediction, and this study will provide clues to both meteorologists and emergency services personnel as to how best use this new source of information.
Specific outcomes of this project will:
- Improve the scientific understanding of severe weather phenomena in Australia.
- Improve the knowledge of how to best predict these phenomena, including model configuration and interpretation.
- Contribute to the post-event analysis and lessons learned of selected severe events that occur during the course of the project.
- Inform the development of numerical weather prediction systems specifically for severe weather.
To improve our understanding of and ability to predict severe weather, including for bush fires, tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, through the use of high-resolution modelling in conjunction with available observations.
The Bureau of Meteorology seeks Australian collaborators to participate in a new 10-year international high impact weather project to develop improved hazard prediction capabilities. Its aims align on an international level with those of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.
High resolution simulations over the Blue Mountains Region on 17 October 2013 show several interesting meteorological features.
Large-eddy simulations of bushfire plumes are combined with firebrand trajectory calculations to estimate the effects of in-plume turbulence on firebrand transport. In-plume turbulence substantially lengthens the maximum spotting distance AND increases the lateral and longitudinal spread of firebrand landing positions.
Pyrocumulonimbus clouds have been linked to highly dangerous fire behaviour.
|Resilience to clustered disaster events on the coast - storm surge||Dr Scott Nichol||Geoscience Australia|
|Fire spread prediction across fuel types||Dr Khalid Moinuddin||Victoria University|