The Weather Information Management System (WIMS) is a mission critical, national system, managed and maintained by USDA, Forest Service's Fire and Aviation Management (F&AM) branch for interagency use. WIMS serves as the processor for the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS), using weather observations and NWS forecast to generate indices, including Burning Index (BI), Energy Release component (ERC), Staffing Level (SL) and the Adjective Rating.
FMI staff provide technical liaison to F&AM program managers to adapt new science into the NFDRS model in WIMS. In 2014 they worked F&AM program managers and contractors to:
- Implement the Growing Season Index in the WIMS test environment. Developed by FMI staff scientist, W. Matt Jolly, it will replace the current NFDRS live fuel moisture model in 2016.
- Implement a seven-day forecasting scheme in the National Weather Service (NWS) for forecasting NFDRS indices in WIMS. Scheduled to go into production in January 2015, this replaces the next-day forecasting process that has served NFDRS for 40 years.
- Implement the new FW13 data exchange format into the Kansas City Fire Access Software (KCFAST) and Fire and Weather Data web applications. Last year the FW13 format was implemented in WIMS, FireFamilyPlus, and the long-term repository of hourly RAWS data at the Western Region Climate Center.