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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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: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting stormpetrol:
Pressure down to 1006 mb at east End weather stationLink



I remain curious about the overnight hours tonight.
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Link
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
SFL needs rain Bad!


Yeah we do. Gotta get those clouds in the Atlantic moving westward though first, lol. LP in the C-Atl has us on lockdown.
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T.C.F.W.
01E/TD/A
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Pressure down to 1006 mb at east End weather stationLink
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Can't believe that complex has been going on that long down in Matagorda and SW Brazoria counties, talk about steady soaking rain there.
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Flow is now off the gulf here in SE TX, as the storms were moving inland today. Looks like the fountain has been shut off now as nothing is happening.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Jacee park

Yeah, I sometimes spend my lunch break there in the park. Just stepped outside for a second and there are clouds to the east, but the sun is shining here.
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Quoting BenInHouTX:

Very close. I'm just off of Seamist between 11th St and 18th St.


Used to go to that Pizza hut on W 18th and Whataburger at 610 and W 18th, lol
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Quoting BenInHouTX:

Very close. I'm just off of Seamist between 11th St and 18th St.


Jacee park
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Quoting RitaEvac:


How close is that to 610 and 290?

Very close. I'm just off of Seamist between 11th St and 18th St.
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Quoting Stats56:


Odd, I work in Greenspoint and live in The Woodlands. Both got some decent rain the past two days. Hope it is your turn today.

Sorry, I was only talking about today. We got some decent rain the last two days as well. It was quite refreshing.
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Quoting BenInHouTX:
I work just inside 610 on the west side above I-10, and we haven't got any rain here yet.


How close is that to 610 and 290?
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Beat the old record by nearly 10", that is absolutely insane.
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Here is the excerpt from the National Weather Service Summary: Driest season on record

West Palm Beach only received 10.45 inches of rain between October 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. This is 22.64 inches below normal for the period and is the driest October to May period on record for the city, beating the old record of 13.23 inches set back in 1971.”

The rainy season outlook for this year is for a wetter than average season.

It looks like we may be stuck in this dry pattern for at least another week, but hopefully the atmosphere will moisten up after that. Still, it will take a while (and a lot of rain) before we start to feel any relief from this drought.

Giovanna Drpic of wptv. contributed to this report.
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Winds up, pressure down:

EP, 01, 2011060718, , BEST, 0, 115N, 1001W, 30, 1005, TD, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 200, 90, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ONE, M,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
Tornado damage in Massachusetts at $90 million and climbing

Deadly tornadoes that tore through Massachusetts last week caused at least $90 million of damage, making it the most costly single natural disaster in state history, officials said on Tuesday.

The price tag was expected to climb even higher once auto-related damage and commercial devastation costs are tallied, officials said.

"It takes a little bit longer for the commercial side of claims to come in, so we don't really have any kind of picture of that yet," said Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Article...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
Quoting BenInHouTX:
I work just inside 610 on the west side above I-10, and we haven't got any rain here yet.


Odd, I work in Greenspoint and live in The Woodlands. Both got some decent rain the past two days. Hope it is your turn today.
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West Miami-Dade grass fire notable on South Florida visible loop.
Link
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I under stand upper shear winds effect the storm formation but does the mid shear effect them the same?
Seems to me it would but thought i'd ask anyway.

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Use the SEARCH box at the top of this Page and insert,"Montreal"
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
An off-top:Can someone give me predictions of weather in Montreal(Canada) this weekend?
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Link
Puerto Rico long range radar. Although rotation is evident, the surface circulation is not well defined.
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Quoting BenInHouTX:
I work just inside 610 on the west side above I-10, and we haven't got any rain here yet.

Jersey Village for work, and Tomball for home... STILL waiting on that liquid stuff to fall. (in other news, it POURED on east I-10 and 610 earlier)
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Quoting NRAamy:
hi junky...

:)


Hey! Just catchin' up! How's things?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Jesus, I don't think I got the rain at my house, over an inch I'm guessing here at work
I work just inside 610 on the west side above I-10, and we haven't got any rain here yet.
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even the little pressure system that moved through north Florida, now in southern Mississippi, started some rotation yesterday. But it has hit the coast now.

Is the band of storms, east of Florida likely to stall?

the smoke maps are NICE! I can see the source of the smoke, choking me out.

thanks FEMA for the new HAZUS-MH software!
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Station Crew set for Launch today

Three new Expedition 28 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa -- are set for launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft at 4:12 p.m. EDT (2:12 a.m. Wednesday, Baikonur time).
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Hi pottery. The NE Caribbean is very wet today as impulses from our almost dead 94L rotate from the WSW. There may be a weak mid-level circulation near St Croix moving slowly ENE.

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Wind shearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

94L WV Loop dee Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Any takers on the e pac system becoming stronger than cat 1 given its current environmental conditions muaahhhh.
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Is that a pinhole eye?

Yep. But it doesnt count. It's badly bloodshot.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24906
209. 7544
cmc back and agrees with the nam and ngp hmmmmmm
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I am wondering if 94L might be trying to re-form it's center near the tip of southeastern Cuba? That large blow up of thunderstorms there is still holding together better than any area in the Caribbean. This is so close to 94L is why I am saying this. I don't think there are any radars out of South Cuba but does anyone have any info on wind patterns there which might show something?
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Looks like we could see the gulf stream aide in redevelopment, the models seemed to have shifted east some.

Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Posts 1-198.
Ditto.
I agree.
Or not.
As the Case might be.

Good Afternoon.
Another Hot day, scattered cloud. Sweat Prevails.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24906
opps


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Jesus, I don't think I got the rain at my house, over an inch I'm guessing here at work
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it looks like it is a midlevel low pressure off the coast of PR.. however that does not mean that if we have a huge blow up of storms we wont see this become a TD or even TS as this can grow toward the surface.. I would watch it
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716


Link
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Good to see you, cchs


Thanks. Good to see you too.
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i'm surprised they even gave it a 10% chance, more like 1%.

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Quoting 7544:
cool if it hold so fla can get a good amount of rain correct ?

AS THE SYSTEM MOVES
SLOWLY NORTHWARD OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.


Hard to determine the rain amounts South Florida could get from this system considering the models still aren't in good agreement on the evolution of the system and the timing of the migration northbound. The NAM shows a closed low coming over South Florida late Thursday and moving through quickly. ECMWF slows the system down and has a Friday and Saturday event with remnant moisture and vorticity in the area afterwards. The GFS is pretty conservative and doesn't show much rainfall and shows the main bulk of the disturbance splitting off to the SW Atlantic and the Central GOM.
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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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