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Statistical downscaling with spatial misalignment: Application to wildland fire PM_2.5 concentration forecasting

by   Suman Majumder, et al.

Fine particulate matter, PM_2.5, has been documented to have adverse health effects and wildland fires are a major contributor to PM_2.5 air pollution in the US. Forecasters use numerical models to predict PM_2.5 concentrations to warn the public of impending health risk. Statistical methods are needed to calibrate the numerical model forecast using monitor data to reduce bias and quantify uncertainty. Typical model calibration techniques do not allow for errors due to misalignment of geographic locations. We propose a spatiotemporal downscaling methodology that uses image registration techniques to identify the spatial misalignment and accounts for and corrects the bias produced by such warping. Our model is fitted in a Bayesian framework to provide uncertainty quantification of the misalignment and other sources of error. We apply this method to different simulated data sets and show enhanced performance of the method in the presence of spatial misalignment. Finally, we apply the method to a large fire in Washington state and show that the proposed method provides more realistic uncertainty quantification than standard methods.


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