- high-resolution modeling of the atmosphere over complex terrain
- fire-atmosphere interactions at fuel part fire-atmosphere interactions at fuel particle- to atmospheric meso-scales
- observations and predictability of short-lived atmospheric boundaries
Natalie’s research involves measuring and modeling the atmosphere over complex terrain in support of wildland fire applications. She is a co-developer of and project manager for WindNinja, a high-resolution wind model used by wildland fire personnel. Some recent research projects include development and evaluation of a PM emissions model for simulating post-fire wind erosion; incorporating enhancements to the thermal parameterizations, initialization methods, and numerical schemes used in WindNinja; and evaluation of numerical weather prediction models for forecasting short-lived atmospheric boundaries, such as thunderstorm outflows. Natalie is also involved with wildland fire management as a Public Information Officer on the Type 2 Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team.
Natalie also maintains https://weather.firelab.org/ that supports fire weather tools tools and applications under development at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab.
Selected Publications & Products
Please visit Natalie's ResearchGate page for a more complete listing of publications https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Natalie_Wagenbrenner/research
Wagenbrenner, N.S., Forthofer, J.M., Lamb, B.K., Shannon, K.S., Butler, B.W., 2016. Downscaling surface wind predictions in complex terrain with WindNinja. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16: 5229–5241. doi: 10.5194/acp-16-5229-2016.
Butler, B.W., Wagenbrenner, N.S., Forthofer, J.M., Lamb, B.K., Shannon, K.S., Finn, D., Eckman, R.M., Clawson, K., Bradshaw, L., Sopko, P., Beard, S., Jimenez, D., Wold, C., Vosburgh, M., 2015. High-resolution observations of the near-surface wind field over an isolated mountain and in a steep river canyon. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 15: 3785–3801. doi: 10.5194/acp-15-3785-2015.
Forthofer, J.M., Butler, B.W., Wagenbrenner, N.S., 2014. A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management: Part I. Model formulation and comparison against measurements. Int. J. Wildland Fire. doi: 10.1071/WF12089.
Forthofer, J.M., Butler, B.W., McHugh, C.W., Finney, M.A., Bradshaw, L.S., Stratton, R.D., Shannon, K.S., Wagenbrenner, N.S., 2014. A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management: Part II. An exploratory study of the impact of simulated winds on fire growth simulations. Int. J. Wildland Fire. doi:10.1071/WF12090.