Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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New Report: The Monthly Drought Code as a Metric for Fire Weather In Southeast BC

PCIC researchers have evaluated the monthly drought code as a simple metric for fire weather and created a suite of future projections of fire weather for southeast British Columbia. The objective of this research was to examine both changes to fire weather intensity and the uncertainties in future projections of fire frequency. PCIC's researchers found that there are significant correlations between the monthly drought code and the annual area burned at all five locations that were tested and that the monthly drought code is a simple, but effective metric for simulating wildfire severity that requires comparatively little input data. The complex terrain and relatively low density of meteorological stations in southeast BC makes simulating fire weather in this region difficult. Because of this, fire weather simulation in this southeast BC provides a rigorous test of the monthly drought code. The results of this research suggest that, given its performance and the small amount of input data needed, the monthly drought code could be useful as a metric for fire weather for regions throughout North America.

The report, Evaluation of the Monthly Drought Code as a metric for fire weather in a region of complex terrain and uncertainties in future projections, and a Summary Report are available in our Publications Library.