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 Levi32:
After the rainfall from 94L clears out in a few days, it will be waiting time again for another 10-15 days before we will probably have another shot at possible development, again in the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico. This is favored not only climatologically, but by the MJO pattern that should be in place by June 20th. Also working for us is the fact that the central Atlantic TUTT starts developing during these middle two weeks of June, and can help set up the kind of upper-level anticyclones that can incubate monsoonal-type development. 94L did not have this kind of incubator.


So basically, whatever tries to develop will have a much better chance that 94L did, right?
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It's yesterday's news at this point, I guess, but here's a security camera video of the Massachusetts tornado. Not great quality, but it tells a great story.:

Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13537
After the rainfall from 94L clears out in a few days, it will be waiting time again for another 10-15 days before we will probably have another shot at possible development, again in the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico. This is favored not only climatologically, but by the MJO pattern that should be in place by June 20th. Also working for us is the fact that the central Atlantic TUTT starts developing during these middle two weeks of June, and can help set up the kind of upper-level anticyclones that can incubate monsoonal-type development. 94L did not have this kind of incubator.
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292. HCW
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Ones by my neighborhood are huge and have deep root system, they've been there for over a decade. They are completely brown...
Oh my! That is bad. I've never seen a Crepe Myrtle brown due to lack of rain. I've got a while one in my front yard and even with our long dry period,it showed no sign of stress or browning... Hope you get some rain soon and it's not too late to save them.
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Quoting 69Viking:
Wow, I grew up in Southern MN and right now my home town and Minneapolis are both sitting at 98 degrees! The old record for today WAS 95!
think we cracked 100F in MPLS today, not sure yet if that's official. we've had much worse humidity to contend with before, but this is tough to acclimate to from what we'd been experiencing through most of spring so far.
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Quoting midgulfmom:
In New Orleans, the city planted some landscape trees last year but they are turning brown also. They hadn't had a chance to establish a deeper root system which would have helped. Over a million in tree purchases may be lost. On the news a few days ago. I hope today's showers aren't too late to help.


Ones by my neighborhood are huge and have deep root system, they've been there for over a decade. They are completely brown...
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Meteorology Tutorial: Diurnal Phases


a weather456 production

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128307
In New Orleans, the city planted some landscape trees last year but they are turning brown also. They hadn't had a chance to establish a deeper root system which would have helped. Over a million in tree purchases may be lost. On the news a few days ago. I hope today's showers aren't too late to help.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Seeing those Crape Myrtles turning brown and dying is horrible, the ones in the medians of road with extra heat coming off concrete. Amazing


The ones down here definitely aren't, there is pink everywhere!
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Trend keeps up, may end up like 2009 and 2010, nothing comes to the US, that means the replenishing RAINS may never come again. The gulf coast turns into a desert along the beach like near the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Agreed. But in past days conditions were way more favorable than they are today.



I don't think it will develop, just interesting is all.
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Seeing those Crape Myrtles turning brown and dying is horrible, the ones in the medians of road with extra heat coming off concrete. Amazing
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I feel grateful but guilty that I've gotten some rain. Crunchy grass and dying Crepe Myrtles...WOW! Hope you get some soon...
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And, of note, past days have seen waning convection at this time.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


There is no hint at a circulation...When the NHC does their outlook, they will keep it at 10%, or drop it to ~0%. Conditions are way too unfavorable for this system to develop.


Say what you will but I am going to give 94L a few more hours. It might be on the verge of surprising us all. The area near the southern tip of Cuba seems to be merging with the low itself near Jamaica. This area it seems to be moving has had about a 5 kt increase in wind shear but this area would be more favorable than the area just north and west of it.

Link
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Quoting DookiePBC:


It's crazy in Palm Beach right now. I honestly don't remember the last time it rained. I joked a couple of days ago about switching to a desert type yard complete with pebbles and cacti...looking at some of the yards in my neighborhood, I think we're getting close to that!!



Crapemyrtles here in SE TX along the coast are dying! turning brown, I've never seen those do that...

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Quoting pottery:

.



Deep convection back at the center. Don't think we'll see any development, just interested in our rain futures :-)
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Booming all around...no rain as of yet. I think it might miss me on the westbank across from Audubon Park. By radar looks like it's not moving much.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


The rain deficit in Palm Beach is over two feet now. Yes, that is feet, not inches. It will be over 32" if we go June without rain, normal is 8.20" for the month. Not likely to go through June without rain however.


It's crazy in Palm Beach right now. I honestly don't remember the last time it rained. I joked a couple of days ago about switching to a desert type yard complete with pebbles and cacti...looking at some of the yards in my neighborhood, I think we're getting close to that!!
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Yea but in order for temps to get to 100 or higher dewpoints drop into the 60s, and that makes a difference in the feels like temp. Actually worse when dewpoints are in the upper 70s and temps in the mid-upper 90s
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NASA TV

Expedition 28 Crew Set for Today's Launch

Launch @ 4:12 EDT

Russia's Sergei Volkov, NASA's Mike Fossum and Japan's Satoshi Furukawa will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome today and arrive at the International Space Station on Thursday.

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Quoting Patrap:


Indeed pott,,I mark all my territory just to be sure.

:):))
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Quoting RitaEvac:
FYI, Houston hit 105 degrees for 2 consecutive days. Sunday and Monday.

I heard so.
That's way too hot for me.
My systems start shutting down at 95. At 100 there may be no hope for restart...
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Quoting pottery:

Sounds intriguing.
Let us know how you make out.

Temps at my house peaked at 93.5 today after a 95 yesterday.
Looking at all that stuff across the Islands and wondering....



Oh, I am not staying up for it, lol. Just curious what it looks like when I wake up.
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Quoting pottery:

Dont go too far with the Dog today, Pat.
Running distance from Home should be your perimeter!


Indeed pott,,I mark all my territory just to be sure.
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FYI, Houston hit 105 degrees for 2 consecutive days. Sunday and Monday.
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Quoting largeeyes:


Isn't that more like 2 and a half inches?


The rain deficit in Palm Beach is over two feet now. Yes, that is feet, not inches. It will be over 32" if we go June without rain, normal is 8.20" for the month. Not likely to go through June without rain however.
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Quoting Patrap:
Boomer outside,,yes indeed



Dont go too far with the Dog today, Pat.
Running distance from Home should be your perimeter!
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Quoting BenInHouTX:

Sorry, I was only talking about today. We got some decent rain the last two days as well. It was quite refreshing.


Work in Woodlands, live in Spring, Only decent rain was night before last,(when the wife left the car window down of course...)These storms are intense but small in most cases. A half mile has made the difference more than once these past 2 days....
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Quoting wolftribe2009:
Yes, sat images are showing the system appears to be getting better organized. I think we will have 30% or greater by 11 PM.


There is no hint at a circulation...When the NHC does their outlook, they will keep it at 10%, or drop it to ~0%. Conditions are way too unfavorable for this system to develop.
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Hi everyone

Not much time to post today, maybe later.

94L is on the way out as I posted last night and yesterday afternoon. Today's windsat pass only shows a line of convergence in the windfield which is little more than an area of generally low pressure with no organization to speak of.

Shear is on the rise steadily so it looks like curtains for 94L

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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



I remain curious about the overnight hours tonight.

Sounds intriguing.
Let us know how you make out.

Temps at my house peaked at 93.5 today after a 95 yesterday.
Looking at all that stuff across the Islands and wondering....
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Boomer outside,,yes indeed


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Yes, sat images are showing the system appears to be getting better organized. I think we will have 30% or greater by 11 PM.
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202
WUUS54 KLIX 071923
SVRLIX
LAC051-071-087-072030-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0138.110607T1923Z-110607T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
223 PM CDT TUE JUN 7 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL JEFFERSON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...TIMBERLANE...METAIRIE...HARVEY...
WESTERN ORLEANS PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...NEW ORLEANS...EAST NEW ORLEANS...
NORTHWESTERN ST. BERNARD PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHALMETTE...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 218 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
NEW ORLEANS...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 5 MPH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
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Quoting largeeyes:


Isn't that more like 2 and a half inches?


It's more like 20+"
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Good evening all. I see that Invest 94L is still a very disorganized mess, not likely to become anything more than a rain-maker as it moves N or NNW. Elsewhere, I see that 91E has achieved TD status, and is likely to become a hurricane. With favorable conditions, I can't argue with that forecast. I think it could end up becoming a high-end Category 1 hurricane before it begins to weaken.

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Quoting sammywammybamy:
SFL needs rain Bad!


Isn't that more like 2 and a half inches?
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Hey, lol, it has convergence for the first time ever.

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.
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Wow, I grew up in Southern MN and right now my home town and Minneapolis are both sitting at 98 degrees! The old record for today WAS 95!
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well be back at five warm today i guess its not to be 1500 post blog today


Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Tuesday 7 June 2011
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 29.84 inches
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 4

Temperature: 79.2°F
Dewpoint: 66.6°F
Humidity: 65 %
Wind: SE 8 mph
Humidex: 92
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841

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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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