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WindWizard

Microscale wind simulator using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software.

Image: logoWindWizard is a computer model designed to calculate the effect of topography on local wind flow. Outputs from the model are wind speed and direction every 100-300ft over the terrain. Simulations can be completed on a laptop computer in about 1 hour. Wind information at this detail is not available from the weather service. The wind simulations are not forecasts but rather simulations of what the wind flow would be under different general (synoptic) wind speed and direction scenarios.

The User can essentially pick the scenario they want to simulate; it might be based on forecasts, local observations or historical weather patterns. This high resolution wind information has been used to identify areas and/or conditions that may produce high fire intensity and spread rates and for identifying locations where fire spotting might occur. It also increases the accuracy of FARSITE predictions.

Note: WindWizard is no longer supported by the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab as the underlying software is not readily available. Much of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling within the WindWizard framework will be added to WindNinja within the next year and will be released as free software.

For incident support, please contact the WindNinja Incident Support Team.

Modified: Feb 24, 2015

Select Publications & Products

Forthofer, JM, Butler, BW, Wagenbrenner, NS (in press). A comparison of two approaches for simulating fine-scale winds in support of wildland fire management: Part I –model formulation and comparison against measurements. Int. J. Wildland Fire.

Forthofer, JM, Butler, BW, McHugh, C, Finney, MA, Bradshaw, LS, Stratton, R, Shannon, KS, Wagenbrenner, NS (in press). A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management: Part II - impact of simulated winds on fire growth simulations. Int. J. Wildland Fire.

Forthofer, J. M. 2007. Modeling wind in complex terrain for use in fire spread prediction. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, Thesis. (528 KB; 123 pages)

Butler, B.W., Forthofer, J.M., Finney, M., Bradshaw, L.S. and Stratton, R., 2004. High resolution wind direction and speed information for support of fire operations. In: Agiurre and Celedonio (Editors), Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO., Denver, CO; Proceedings RMRS-P-37CD, pp. 990.