Associations between Australian climate drivers and extreme weekly fire danger

Rachel Taylor*, Andrew G. Marshall, Steven Crimp, Geoffrey J. Cary, Sarah Harris, Samuel Sauvage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: We investigate the associations between major Australian climate drivers and extreme weekly fire danger throughout the year. Methods: We use a composite-based approach, relating the probability of top-decile observed potential fire intensity to the positive and negative modes of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean Dipole, Madden-Julian Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode, split-flow blocking and Subtropical Ridge Tasman Highs, both concurrently and at a variety of lag times. Key results: The chance of extreme fire danger increases over broad regions of the continent in response to El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole events, the negative mode of the Southern Annular Mode, split-flow Blocking Index and Subtropical Ridge Tasman High, and Madden-Julian Oscillation phases 5, 6, 2 and 8 in Austral summer, autumn, winter and spring respectively. These relationships exist not only concurrently, but also when a climate event occurs up to 6 months ahead of the season of interest. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of considering the influence of diverse climate drivers, at a range of temporal lag periods, in understanding and predicting extreme fire danger. Implications: The results of this study may aid in the development of effective fire management strategies and decision-making processes to mitigate the impacts of fire events in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberWF23060
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023

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