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

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

Share this Blog
6
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 197 - 147

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wind Shear decreasing over past 24 hours near Puerto Rico
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
193. 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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

Yea I see those winds on the radar, I also see something trying to form although it doesn't have a closed circulation. Definitely west (270) winds on the S side of it and some north (0) winds forming on the W side of it.


Should not use radar imagery to determine the formation of low pressure. Visible and RGB imagery as well as ASCAT and surface observations are the way to go in determining the formation of low pressure and so far, there is little evidence of formation at this point.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Not a surprise at all:

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE JUN 7 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

AN ELONGATED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED OVER THE NORTHWESTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA CONTINUES PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN
UNFAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM...AND THERE IS A LOW
CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINS
COULD CAUSE FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES OVER PORTIONS OF HAITI...
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...JAMAICA...AND CUBA AS THE SYSTEM MOVES
SLOWLY NORTHWARD OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GOMEX: Gulf Of Mexico
GOM is my version sorry for the mass confusion but their will be a 50/50 chance that i'll cause mass confusion agian or not.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NHC says 10%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
186. 7544
Quoting Hurrykane:


That, and it's not even related to 94L.


but could it be fueling 94l at this point tia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wolftribe2009:
Could any of you get me a link to wind shear readings for the Caribbean? That way I know how much in in the area.
Link

Click on Data and Imagery, hurricane/tropical storm images and then 24 hour images etc in the Atlantic basin
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Could any of you get me a link to wind shear readings for the Caribbean? That way I know how much in in the area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jasonweatherman2010:
i see a low pressure spin next to Puerto Rico confirm to.


Quoting alfabob:

I see something on radar Link


All the surface observations in the area are reporting southerly winds from the Dominican Republic across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There is no low associated with this disturbed weather.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Why is there a BanTech and a BeanTech?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think 94L is organizing quite nicely this afternoon , lets see how long it will last, it still has a decent shot at becoming a name storm in my opinion.
I told a co-worker this morning that I have a feeling today is the day 94L will begin better organization. Convection pretty steady over the coc.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
178. 7544
so will the new blob to the east over cuba connect with 94l and become one big blob dispite the shear hmmmm getting intresting now .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the awesome list, Hurrykane -- I saved that to Word on my desktop!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think 94L is organizing quite nicely this afternoon , lets see how long it will last, it still has a decent shot at becoming a name storm in my opinion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I coulda swore XTRAP stood for "X-ray Tracking of Really Awesome Precipitation"...

Ya learn sumthin' every day!

;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"CMC is Crack Monkey Clown. " cracked me up. Concerning tropical cyclogenesis.... the CMC frequently is "Crack Monkey Clown". (I used to know it as "Constantly Making Cyclones")

hahahahahaha!!!

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
925 vort has also increased with 94L within the convective activity on the SE side if the broad LLC at 17.4N 81.8W slowly moving to the ESE850 vort as also increased slightly in the same area 700 vort is now also in the same area but weak 500 vort still missing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hahaha jeffs

"I don't wanna work, I wanna bang on de drum all day.."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
What is GOM?

Gulf Of Mexico. CONUS is CONtinental United States. LBAR is Laughter Beer And Ribs, CMC is Crack Monkey Clown.

XTRAP is a model but I don't know what it stands for.
"CMC is Crack Monkey Clown. " cracked me up. Concerning tropical cyclogenesis.... the CMC frequently is "Crack Monkey Clown". (I used to know it as "Constantly Making Cyclones")
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Hmmm, we should start a massive fire in SE TX to create pyrocumulus clouds, so it will create rain....


They only seem to create more lightning not rain. We had a massive one over Santa Fe last night and only lightning no rain. The smoke is awful here. Hard to breathe at night as almost no one has air conditioning here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
Don't be surprised if 94L chances are bumped up at to 30% again at 2pm est.


I agree
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
lunch is done be back at 3 for 15
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52252
Don't be surprised if 94L chances are bumped up at to 30% again at 2pm est.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CatfishJones:
85. Please tell me that you are joking. Especially about frustration. Drums are musical instruments unless you have a talking drum and are trained in the art of speaking across long stretches of African geography with it. Incidentally, relieving your stress at the cost of pissing off your neighbors is simply not nice. Go buy a voodoo doll and scatter some bones on a table. It's less disruptive.
It is an American Indian drum and is not very loud. I did try this that year and it rained. Since I only experimented with it that one time I guess you could call it a coincidence. But our drought did break that year. It did take me a few tries over several days, but it did work. Remember that people have tried all kinds of sound, fireworks, rockets, etc to cause rain. When it rained the methods were given credit, when it didn't then they were discredited. I put it in the league of praying for rain. People still do that. I guess the difference is that when people pray for rain and don't get it that there is a higher power whose intentions are never clear to us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52252
tropical/general weather information
Link

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52252
Hello Kitty ... you have wumail
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What is the shear looking like in the GOM? I'm at the baby-step start to trying to read the shear maps. TIA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


Yeah, the rotation is evident.

Quite an interesting feature.


Oh Wow! That is impressive! That to me is a major concern when looking for the next tropical depression to form. All my eyes are going to continue to be on this area now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PurpleDrank:


will TD1E make it to the gulf and hit New Orleans?
No, all storms are headed for a shower in Florida.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting aquak9:
What is GOM?

Gulf Of Mexico. CONUS is CONtinental United States. LBAR is Laughter Beer And Ribs, CMC is Crack Monkey Clown.

XTRAP is a model but I don't know what it stands for.


Thank you and I found what GOM was a few posts later when someone else referred to it with image of the gulf :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:


way too easy...



LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 197 - 147

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.