Estimating Fire Radiative Power Using Weather Radar Products for Wildfires


Saide PE, Krishna M, Ye X, Thapa LH, Turney F, Howes C, Schmidt CC. Estimating Fire Radiative Power Using Weather Radar Products for Wildfires. Geophysical Research Letters [Internet]. 2023;50 (21) :e2023GL104824.


Abstract Satellite-based Fire radiative power (FRP) retrievals are used to track wildfire activity but are sometimes not possible or have large uncertainties. Here, we show that weather radar products including composite and base reflectivity and equivalent rainfall integrated in the vicinity of the fires show strong correlation with hourly FRP for multiple fires during 2019–2020. Correlation decreases when radar beams are blocked by topography and when there is significant ground clutter (GC) and anomalous propagation (AP). GC/AP can be effectively removed using a machine learning classifier trained with radar retrieved correlation coefficient, velocity, and spectrum width. We find a power-law best describes the relationship between radar products and FRP for multiple fires combined (0.67–0.76 R2). Radar-based FRP estimates can be used to fill gaps in satellite FRP created by cloud cover and show great potential to overcome satellite FRP biases occurring during extreme fire events.


e2023GL104824 2023GL104824