Arizona wildfires spread smoke 1,000 miles; 94L little threat to develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on June 07, 2011

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Smoke from Arizona's third largest fire on record, the massive Wallow fire, has now blown downwind over 1,000 miles to Iowa. The fire, which is 0% contained, is expected to rage full-force for at least three more days due to unfavorable weather. Hot, dry, and windy weather is predicted again today over Eastern Arizona, where NOAA has issued red flag warnings for critical fire conditions. A large trough of low pressure is anchored over the Southwest, and several disturbances rippling along this trough will bring strong southwesterly surface winds of 20 - 30 mph, with gusts near 35 mph, through Thursday. Extremely low humidities of 5 - 15% and hot summer temperatures are also expected, creating a dangerous fire weather situation. Yesterday, Luna, New Mexico, located about 50 miles northeast of the fire, had wind gusts in excess of 30 mph for 8 hours, temperatures near 80°F, and humidities as low as 12%. During the day yesterday, the fire grew from 300 square miles to 365 square miles, 30% of the size of Rhode Island. A separate fire burning in Southeast Arizona, the 163-square-mile Horseshoe Two fire, is the state's 5th largest fire on record. According to the Interagency Fire Center, 3.5 million acres have burned in the U.S. so far this year, the most on record for this early in the year--and more than double the 10-year average from 2001 - 2010 of 1.4 million acres. Extreme to exceptional drought conditions over most of Texas, New Mexico, and Eastern Arizona are largely responsible for the record fire season.


Figure 1. Active wildfires and smoke as visualized at 9am EDT June 7, 2011 using our wundermap for the U.S. with the Fire layer turned on. Smoke from the Wallow fire and Horseshoe Two fire in Arizona extended more than 1,000 miles, covering most of the Midwest.


Figure 2. Smoke billows from the rapidly growing Wallow fire in Eastern Arizona in this image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on June 6, 2011. The fire beneath the smoke is outlined in red. A large pyrocumulus cloud spawned by the fire is visible along the Arizona-New Mexico border. Pyrocumulus clouds are produced by the intense heating associated with fires or volcanic eruptions. Image credit: NASA Natural Hazards website.

Caribbean disturbance 94L little threat to develop
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (Invest 94L) in the Western Caribbean near Jamaica is looking much less organized this morning, but is still capable of bringing heavy rains as it pushes slowly northwards at less than 5 mph. Satellite estimates of rainfall for the 24-hour period ending at 8pm EDT Monday night run as high as 5 inches for northeastern Nicaragua and Honduras, with 2 - 4 inches falling over portions of Jamaica and southeast Cuba. Satellite loops show a decrease in the heavy thunderstorm activity and organization of 94L in recent hours, and the storm's low-level spiral bands and upper-level outflow are very poorly defined. The storm's center of low pressure is located about 100 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman Island. Water vapor satellite loops show the Caribbean is quite moist, and water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 28 - 28.5°C, which is 2°C above the threshold needed to support development of a tropical storm. Wind shear has edged into the high range, 20 - 25 knots, which has probably contributed to 94L's deterioration.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of 94L.

Since 94L is so large and poorly organized, today's mission by the Hurricane Hunters has been cancelled. The storm is moving slowly to the north, into a band of very high wind shear of 30 - 50 knots that lies over Cuba and the southern Bahama Islands. The SHIPS model predicts shear will rise above 30 knots by late tonight, which will make development into a tropical depression difficult. This morning's 00Z and 06Z model runs were unimpressed with 94L, with most of them showing little or no development. The 00Z run of the NOGAPS model predicts that a gap may open up in the shear sufficient for the storm to organize into a tropical depression late this week, but this is looking increasingly unlikely. At 8am EDT today, NHC gave 94L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. Regardless of development, 94L is capable of bringing heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Haiti through Thursday. These rains will probably spread northwards into the Bahama Islands, and possibly South Florida, by Thursday or Friday.

Jeff Masters

Wallow Fire (azmtnmama)
Wallow Fire
AZ Smoke in Colorado Springs (colosprgs)
Past several days Pikes Peak and foothills covered in smoke. Photo taken at 3:30pm.
AZ Smoke in Colorado Springs
Wallow Fire (azmtnmama)
Wallow Fire

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Can someone post the TCHP for today,and the SST chart.And please don't let it be from wunderground...




Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting aquak9:
From NPR:

"This is a very dangerous situation for us," said Wally Covington, a researcher at Northern Arizona University. "You can't buy enough fire equipment," he said. "You can't hire enough firefighters, when you have the landscape so loaded with fuel as we have it today."


Those reasons given are what caused the horrific Victorian bush fires. Extremely high fuel levels and low humidity and strong winds. 181 people died in the Victoria Bush fires.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
ok, now I've washed my car and posted an ON-TOPIC, BLOG-RELATED post. I ordered a set of bongos from EBay, too.

What else can I do to get it to rain here?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 177 Comments: 26643
Quoting druseljic:
Thanks, 436!!


Not a problem. It freaked me out when I first saw it happen before.

Another thing I've noticed is has anyone noticed the amount of what appears to be mid level dry air that is around td 1e? So far its managing to fight it off but if it was to spin up quickly it may ingest some of it. It's going to be fun to track over the next couple days. It's one of the storms that the professors at my college teach us to love to track. One that probably wont ever hit land and hurt anyone.
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Can someone post the TCHP for today,and the SST chart.And please don't let it be from wunderground...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17810
Quoting j2008:
Do you all think were going to get a string of Cape Verde Storms this year like we had last year?
No sir, not this year.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Thanks, 436!!
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"sufferings from illusions" sounds like a nice place to be...........

the sun decided to come out here in n. cali, good thing too cause my garden was starting to get upset.

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From NPR:

"This is a very dangerous situation for us," said Wally Covington, a researcher at Northern Arizona University. "You can't buy enough fire equipment," he said. "You can't hire enough firefighters, when you have the landscape so loaded with fuel as we have it today."

Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 177 Comments: 26643
Quoting DestinJeff:
I have noticed a significant amount of lightning with these west-bound storms over NW FL the last several days. Especially last Saturday.

Wonder why that seems to be ?


The chart is causing all the lightning...you should know that...duh! :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting druseljic:
Now the floaters are back to showing 94L with an "L" over the low if you click the fronts box. Earlier today for quite a while it was showing as "H".

Can anybody explain this to me? TIA


Sometimes they glitch and lows become highs. I've seen it one time where every low on the map even the ones along fronts were highs while the highs were lows. Just an error.
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impressive spin up of convection just south of mobile,al as seen on visible
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


The only chance for it is if it happens to find a pocket of low shear in the GoM, which is highly unlikely due to the jetstream. There won't be much left of it by the time it gets up there anyway. Hopefully there will still be some water with it though.


If it goes in the gulf it may remain trapped till the flow changes enough to just shunt it across cuba into south florida. Well what's left at that time.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


If there is a circulation, it is mid level or upper level.
Link


Look at this. A mid level circulation doesnt spin the lower level clouds like that. This is the classic signature of a poorly defined elongated sheared but lower level circulation.
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Quoting HurricaneKing:
Either way this is on its death bed for any development for now. Now if something random happens like the nam is showing then we may see its return in a few days. Though that is fairly unlikely at this point.


The only chance for it is if it happens to find a pocket of low shear in the GoM, which is highly unlikely due to the jetstream. There won't be much left of it by the time it gets up there anyway. Hopefully there will still be some water with it though.
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Now the floaters are back to showing 94L with an "L" over the low if you click the fronts box. Earlier today for quite a while it was showing as "H".

Can anybody explain this to me? TIA
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Either way this is on its death bed for any development for now. Now if something random happens like the nam is showing then we may see its return in a few days. Though that is fairly unlikely at this point.
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


It does if you know how to look at the layers. You can see the midlevel in the convection and the lower level elongated but b/w the 2 areas of convection. This storm still hasnt quite lost the persistant weak low level circulation that has been around since the beginning.


If there is a circulation, it is mid level or upper level.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
I'll check in tomorrow, everyone have a good evening/night.
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Another AWESOME batch of pictures of the Chilean volcano eruption.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Link
Of note there is also a vigorous spin at around 14.5N/80W though void of much convection.


Now that is a dying mid level circulation.
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Quoting j2008:
Do you all think were going to get a string of Cape Verde Storms this year like we had last year?


We'll get a few rolling off in August/September, but neutral years tend to have slightly less Cape Verde storms, more centred in the west Atlantic and Caribbean.
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Seriously, give up on that 94L. It's done.


+1
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting cyclonekid:


Visible satellite doesn't confirm a low level circulation center. It shows a circulation, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's low-level. Ex: an upper-level low pressure system


It does if you know how to look at the layers. You can see the midlevel in the convection and the lower level elongated but b/w the 2 areas of convection. This storm still hasnt quite lost the persistant weak low level circulation that has been around since the beginning.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Its seems it me that the Late 94L is not so late anyomore now located at AL, 94, 2011060718, , BEST, 0, 178N, 816W, 20, 1007, DB,
may go further south if so then 9$L may not be done may try to redevelop and if it does it will most likely compleate that loop and come back around Jamaica the start to head off to the WNW again maybe this time it could grab hold of the shield of Upper Level Anticyclone near 15/16N then we maybe talking about a suprise storm that everyone thought was dead ("I am a Phoenix, I will rise from the ashes")


Seriously, give up on that 94L. It's done.
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Its seems it me that the Late 94L is not so late anyomore now located at AL, 94, 2011060718, , BEST, 0, 178N, 816W, 20, 1007, DB,
may go further south if so then 9$L may not be done may try to redevelop and if it does it will most likely compleate that loop and come back around Jamaica the start to head off to the WNW again maybe this time it could grab hold of the shield of Upper Level Anticyclone near 15/16N then we maybe talking about a suprise storm that everyone thought was dead ("I am a Phoenix, I will rise from the ashes")
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
418. j2008
Do you all think were going to get a string of Cape Verde Storms this year like we had last year?
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
Link
Of note there is also a vigorous spin at around 14.5N/80W though void of much convection.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Station 42057
NDBC
Location: 17.003N 81.501W
Conditions as of:
Tue, 7 Jun 2011 21:50:00 UTC

Winds: SW (230°) at 3.9 kt gusting to 7.8 kt
Significant Wave Height: 2.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 4 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSW (202°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.75 in and steady
Air Temperature: 79.2 F
Dew Point: 75.6 F
Water Temperature: 83.1 F

View Details - View History

SW winds tells me there is circulation between this buoy and Grand Cayman
I notice the 18 z surface map has the circle around the 1007 mb low larger indicating that the loLinkw is getting bigger
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Station 42057
NDBC
Location: 17.003N 81.501W
Conditions as of:
Tue, 7 Jun 2011 21:50:00 UTC

Winds: SW (230°) at 3.9 kt gusting to 7.8 kt
Significant Wave Height: 2.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 4 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSW (202°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.75 in and steady
Air Temperature: 79.2 F
Dew Point: 75.6 F
Water Temperature: 83.1 F

View Details - View History

SW winds tells me there is circulation between this buoy and Grand Cayman
NHC might leave it at 10% since it still has convection over the center.
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Station 42057
NDBC
Location: 17.003N 81.501W
Conditions as of:
Tue, 7 Jun 2011 21:50:00 UTC

Winds: SW (230°) at 3.9 kt gusting to 7.8 kt
Significant Wave Height: 2.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 4 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSW (202°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.75 in and steady
Air Temperature: 79.2 F
Dew Point: 75.6 F
Water Temperature: 83.1 F

View Details - View History

SW winds tells me there is circulation between this buoy and Grand Cayman
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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The last winsat has the a better defined serculation
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Quoting cyclonekid:


Visible satellite doesn't confirm a low level circulation center. It shows a circulation, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's low-level. Ex: an upper-level low pressure system


or mid-level (most likely).
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


Looking at the visible it still has a decent lower level circulation but the shear is just too high.


Visible satellite doesn't confirm a low level circulation center. It shows a circulation, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's low-level. Ex: an upper-level low pressure system
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407. j2008
Quoting HCW:
94L is a killer and with 23 deaths in Haiti

If it ever gets a name it would surely be retierd.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
Heavy Rain in the northern leewards islands ...

Please, 10 inches !
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
It might stand a little chance if it was moving NE but going NW it will run into 60kt shear. Shear is rising to the NW of us in the Yucatan channel.


Actually it is moving/drifting to the E or maybe ENE, circulation directly south of us now, anyway we'll see what the 8pm update says, I could very well be wrong or sufferings from illusions :)
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404. j2008
Quoting HurricaneKing:


Looking at the visible it still has a decent lower level circulation but the shear is just too high.

If it can hang on to that for a while it might have a chance later in the month.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
403. HCW
94L is a killer and with 23 deaths in Haiti
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did you guys see that gfs has this thang headed for louisiana by next week! will dat wind shear eat this thing up anyone?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It's circulation is not good. In fact, i'd be surprised if it had one at all.


Looking at the visible it still has a decent lower level circulation but the shear is just too high.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

You might be right, but personally I think 94L is getting its act together, it has a good circulation, better than the last few days, it has not waned in convection and the shear is still low in its location due to very slow movement, I say maybe 20-30% at 8pm.Just my opinion of course
It might stand a little chance if it was moving NE but going NW it will run into 60kt shear. Shear is rising to the NW of us in the Yucatan channel.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Burst of covection very near the center of 94L


Poor Jamaica.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting stormpetrol:

You might be right, but personally I think 94L is getting its act together, it has a good circulation, better than the last few days, it has not waned in convection and the shear is still low in its location due to very slow movement, I say maybe 20-30% at 8pm.Just my opinion of course


It's circulation is not good. In fact, i'd be surprised if it had one at all.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Hey, I see we have TD1E. 94L looks bad.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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