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Evaluating the Observed Variability in Temperature, Relative Humidity and Wind Speed in a Region with Complex Terrain †

IPMA, Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, 1749-077 Lisbon, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 79;
Published: 15 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)
Wildfires in mountainous terrain can be extremely challenging to address. Apart from the difficulty in reaching the fire itself, steep slopes and the characteristics of the fuel play a key role in this complex problem. Additionally, the vertical variability of temperature, humidity and wind speed may also be significant and therefore contribute to unpredictable fire behaviour [1,2]. In the framework of the FireStorm research project, four weather stations were installed, at different elevations, in the main ridge of Mainland Portugal, in a region prone to forest fires. Two additional weather stations, from the Portuguese Meteorological Service’s official network of surface observations, are also used in the project. These six weather stations provide an extremely useful set of data, as they can monitor the slope, from the valley up to the mountain top. In both cases, the difference in elevation, between the highest and lowest weather stations, is roughly 1000 m. The goal of this work within the FireStorm project is to monitor the area and assess which meteorological conditions enhance the likelihood of large vertical variability in near-surface weather data. The data will also allow for the verification of operational weather forecasts, namely from ECMWF and the Convective Scale Model AROME [3,4], which have, respectively, a horizontal resolution of 9 and 2.5 km. This verification will ultimately allow one to quantify the uncertainty that using this meteorological data has when used as an input to fire propagation models.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, J.R.; methodology, J.R. and M.L.; visualization: J.R. and P.S.; resources: J.R.; writing—original draft: J.R. and M.L. and writing—review and editing: J.R., M.L., P.S., I.N. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the research projects supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation—FCT: “FireStorm: Meteorology and fire storm behavior” under the reference PCIF/GFC/0109/2017.9.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.


The installation of the portable surface weather stations was only possible with a very close and fruitful cooperation between IPMA (Jorge Neto, João Rio, Ilda Novo), the Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics—ADAI (Luís Reis, Daniela Alves and Professor Domingos Xavier) and the Local Municipalities of Lousã and Seia.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Werth, P.A.; Potter, B.E.; Clements, C.B.; Finney, M.A.; Goodrick, S.L.; Alexander, M.E.; Cruz, M.G.; Forthofer, J.A.; McAllister, S.S. Synthesis of Knowledge of Extreme Fire Behavior: Volume I for Fire Managers; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: Corvallis, OR, USA, 2011; 144p.
  2. Viegas, D.X.; Almeida, M.A.; Ribeiro, L.M.; Raposo, J.; Viegas, M.T.; Oliveira, R.; Alves, D.; Pinto, C.; Rodrigues, A.; Ribeiro, C.; et al. Análise dos Incêndios Florestais Ocorridos em 15 de Outubro de 2017; ADAI/LAETA, Centro de Estudos sobre Incêndios Florestais (CEIF), Coimbra University: Coimbra, Portugal, 2019. (In Portuguese) [Google Scholar]
  3. Seity, Y.; Brousseau, P.; Malardel, S.; Hello, G.; Bénard, P.; Bouttier, F.; Lac, C.; Masson, V. The AROME-France Convective-Scale Operational Model. Mon. Weather. Rev. 2011, 139, 976–991. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Brousseau, P.; Seity, Y.; Ricard, D.; Léger, J. Improvement of the forecast of convective activity from the AROME-France system. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 2016, 142, 2231–2243. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rio, J.; Lopes, M.; Silva, P.; Novo, I. Evaluating the Observed Variability in Temperature, Relative Humidity and Wind Speed in a Region with Complex Terrain. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 79.

AMA Style

Rio J, Lopes M, Silva P, Novo I. Evaluating the Observed Variability in Temperature, Relative Humidity and Wind Speed in a Region with Complex Terrain. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):79.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rio, João, Manuel Lopes, Pedro Silva, and Ilda Novo. 2022. "Evaluating the Observed Variability in Temperature, Relative Humidity and Wind Speed in a Region with Complex Terrain" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 79.

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