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 RitaEvac:
Ohhhhhhhh my GOD, cell developing near radar site near my house, come on blow up over my house

I'm pullin' for ya Rita! Fingers and toes crosses
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I better leave all the link publishing to u guys and gals who know what they are doing.I was just blown away when I saw the water temps in the GOM.Continue on keeping us informed of any possible trouble for the Gulf Coast.You are all the greatest.
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144. JLPR2
Quoting benirica:
Link

Rotation over eastern Puerto Rico. Local meteorologist, Ada Monzón reports that stations along the east coast of Puerto Rico confirm a low pressure is forming in this area.
Thoughts?


Yeah, the rotation is evident.

Quite an interesting feature.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Would love some rain here in Dare County NC...my husband has been fighting a 40,000 acre wildfire here for a month without a hint of rain.
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142. HCW
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.


Xtrap means extrapolation it's the current direction that the storm is moving. It's not really a model :)
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Levee failure raises concerns

By Nancy Gaarder and Andrew J. Nelson
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITERS



HAMBURG, Iowa — The partial collapse of a levee near here — the first levee failure on the lower Missouri River since upstream dam releases were increased — underscores how vulnerable levees can sometimes be.

Area levee board members interviewed Monday said the levee that failed was considered to be in good shape and was not yet stressed by the full load the river is going to deliver. The failures occurred at the base of the levee, not at the top.

On Monday, officials provided more glimpses into how historic this year's flooding could be.

Kevin Grode of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the amount of water flowing through Missouri River reservoirs is expected to exceed the dams' designed capacity for flood storage. Based on a flood in 1881, the reservoir system was designed to handle 40 million acre-feet of inflows. This spring-summer runoff (March through July) is projected to be around 44 million acre-feet.

Also on Monday, federal officials said Missouri River flooding this summer could rival what has already been seen this year along the Mississippi River and what occurred along the Missouri River in Missouri in 1993.

While no one knows why the levee near Hamburg partially collapsed, local officials said levees along the river are prone to similar problems.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been advising officials up and down the river to redouble their inspection efforts.

Levee problems are not unusual. Significant damage occurred last year near Percival, Iowa. In the Kansas City area, officials are hurriedly repairing damage caused by last year's high water so that the levee is ready to handle the rising flows.

The Hamburg levee partially collapsed in two spots southwest of town just across the border in Missouri, prompting a mandatory evacuation of about 20 percent of the community, or about 240 residents.

Residents of the town have been working together to get everyone to higher ground.

Eugenia Jacobson said her landlord is lending her family his semitrailer truck to move and store her stuff.

“He knows we don't have any family, and he's been good to us,” she said. “We couldn't find a storage place any place.”

The truck was mostly loaded on Sunday, and she prepared to move to her new home: a camper at a nearby campground.

“If it wasn't for the people of Hamburg, I don't know what we would do. We would have just picked up our clothes and our cat and high-tailed it somewhere,” she said. “We're just praying that it isn't as bad as they say it's going to be.”

Area levee officials said they were surprised that an otherwise reliable levee failed at a manageable flood stage.

By the end of next week, releases from Gavins Point Dam will be nearly double those flowing past the levees when the breaches occurred.

“This could be a warning (for others),” said Glen Stenzel, a member of one of the local levee boards in the area. “This levee has never caused us any trouble before. I've always been secure with it.”

Erik Blechinger, a spokesman for the Corps of Engineers in Omaha, said breaches this early were unexpected.

“These (breaches) may be localized. It may be that these two had a weak spot, but it's hard to speculate,” he said.

The corps also has been working with local officials on a levee problem across the river from Brownville, Neb.

The top official for the corps' Omaha District said the early failure of the Hamburg levee doesn't set a precedent for the others. “I don't think this is an indication of what we'll see and how other levees will perform,” said Col. Robert Ruch, commander of the Omaha district.

Corps officials have estimated that a 1,700-mile stretch along the Missouri River will probably experience some level of flooding in the months ahead.

The problems that plague levees are well-known and common: possible weaknesses from previous years' high water, burrows from animals or a vein of fill material that's vulnerable to erosion.

Ask anyone who knows these levees well and they'll say a combination of factors probably played a role, including a common foe: badgers.

“There's a good chance animals — varmints — might have had something to do with it,” said Charlie Zanker, who works with levees in the area. “In the past couple of years, we've had an absolute barrage of varmints.”

Badgers and other animals burrow into a levee, creating an opening for water that then can further erode the structure.

Stenzel was on-site at the first breach when the second occurred nearby on Sunday. He said he saw nothing before the breach that indicated a vulnerability.

Stenzel said he heard an exclamation from someone else there, turned and saw water beginning to pool on the dry side of the levee. “About the time I got my eyes focused,” he said, “the berm next to the levee dropped about three feet.”

The levee then spit a chunk of sod and dirt about 25 feet into the field, which was followed by a gush of water.

Stenzel said he looked into the river near the breach and saw a whirlpool about 12 feet in diameter with a vortex swirling about a foot deep.

“That'll raise the hair on the back of your neck,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, the levee collapsed in that spot, effectively sealing — albeit temporarily — most of the leak.

The corps, believing that the levee is destined to fail and flood thousands of acres, has pulled its crews from the site. And against the agency's advice, Ruch said, local officials continued to attempt repairs. The corps, however, does continue to work on a backup levee closer to town that it believes will hold and protect Hamburg.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1102, nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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sst's in gom
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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.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25506
138. HCW
Much needed rain for my friends in SE Texas


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Quoting blsealevel:


Yep, just thought I'd put that out their.


Yea I agree. I live in South Georgia and saw this feature last night in the GOM. I wasn't all that impressed and now it seems to be losing some of it's thunderstorm act; as well there are 30-50 kt wind shear over the gulf as stated by Dr. Masters
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Im happy to report in the caribbean the shear is much to strong for anything to develop...i can't see anything based on the charts and info i have for at least 12 days...So we can all relax until then...The GOM is veryhostile right now to much dry air for anything to develop there either...So everyone have a great upcoming weekend with no worries for the tropics..9and 94 L HAVE BEEN DESTROYED...
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2011-06-07 06:00:00

Link
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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Any idea why this appears when CFS is selected and before the loop loads? ... "CAUTION! CARE SHOULD BE USED WHEN USING THIS MODEL"


This might be the area now forming near 15 N and 64 W which is the area some blog posters have pointed out above.
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Use the "preview comment" link next to the Post Comment to see how your doing.

Good luck too.
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Thank you Patrap and emcf30 i am gonna go practice it thanks again
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Interesting little feature off the NE coast of Honduras.


Headed right toward the LLC center of 94L which can clearly be see at around 18/82
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Night aussie,..rest well down under.

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Have a good day all. I'm off to bed. Stay safe, Play safe.
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Look at the SST's in the GOM they r in the 29 and 30's in the Northern Gulf WOW

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-rb.ht ml

Sorry dont know how to post link you can click on


See Pat's post above
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
2011-06-07 06:00:00

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Quoting blsealevel:
Beware of the swirly things in the GOM.

Link


What is GOM?

Oh and some of the red is getting blown away on the feature off puerto rico according to the latest rainbow sat run. However, the area I mentioned above just between Cuba and Haiti has also caught my eye and it seems to be holding together for the moment. Even the low of 93L is starting to show an increase in thunderstorm activity :-)
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TD1-E formed!
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Look at the SST's in the GOM they r in the 29 and 30's in the Northern Gulf WOW

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-rb.ht ml

Sorry dont know how to post link you can click on
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Quoting benirica:
Link

Rotation over eastern Puerto Rico. Local meteorologist, Ada Monzón reports that stations along the east coast of Puerto Rico confirm a low pressure is forming in this area.
Thoughts?


Thank you for the information. I did notice the blow up off thunderstorms in that region. There appears to be some spin to it as well. Accuweather.com has a graph the last couple days highlighting the potential for two areas to develop and this feature you were speaking about was one of them. There is also a pretty nice blow up just between Haiti and Cuba.

However, My thoughts lean more to "Wind Shear". Does anyone know how much is in these areas? I would just be concerned that any blow up in thunderstorm activity has been getting disrupted by wind shear over the past week.
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Looks like it will be drying out a bit in the Caribbean also in the near future....The MJO is starting to move into the Pacific basin towards the next several weeks:

TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
642 AM EDT TUE JUN 07 2011

MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW HIGH CLOSING OVER PUERTO RICO/USVI LATER IN THE WEEK. THIS IS TO GRADUALLY STRENGTHEN THE SUBSIDENCE CAP ACROSS THE ISLAND
CHAIN/EASTERN CARIBBEAN. MOISTURE IS TO START ERODING FROM THE SOUTHEAST AS EARLY AS WEDNESDAY EVENING...AND TROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON A DRYER AIR MASS IS TO ENVELOP THE CENTRAL/EASTERN
CARIBBEAN-HISPANIOLA/PUERTO RICO.

AS MID UPPER RIDGE STRENGTHENS...PREVAILING EASTERLIES ARE TO GRADUALLY RETURN TO THE CENTRAL/EASTERN CARIBBEAN LATER IN THE
WEEK. EARLY IN THE PERIOD STEERING FLOW IS GOING TO BE FROM THE SOUTHWEST...BUT THROUGH FRIDAY EXPECTING WINDS TO BACK TO THE SOUTH-SOUTHEAST. MOST ACTIVE CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TODAY AS DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE LIFTS ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN WATERS TOWARDS
SOUTHERN PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLES. ENOUGH MOISTURE/INSTABILITY WILL REMAIN THROUGH TOMORROW AFTERNOON TO FAVOR A ROUND OF LATE MORNING/AFTERNOON SHOWERS...BUT WILL NOT BE NEARLY AS INTENSE AS
ACTIVITY FOR TODAY. RESIDUAL SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED THROUGH THURSDAY...WITH MODELS THEN SHOWING A GENERALLY DRY PATTERN ESTABLISHING LATER IN THE WEEK.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


rains coming


Keep, I along with NCstorm have been discussing that possibility for the past few days. I was guessing around the 13th or so. Hope it pans out. Will give FL some much need rain. I believe if something does try to build it will hang around the N Bahamas for a couple of days before it moves out.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
Quoting ncstorm:


Crownweather was talking about this feature this morning..their thinking is that this could develop


I was talking about 94L but, both have a chance.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

To much dry air for anything to get going in the GOM


Yep, just thought I'd put that out their.
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Quoting blsealevel:
Beware of the swirly things in the GOM.

Link

To much dry air for anything to get going in the GOM
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Thanks, he's my drinking buddy too :) The dogs and cats HATE him because he oinks all night long, especially if they swat or bite him (hand puppet with a voice box in it) ... my friend for life.

OMG.....

I need one...


seriously....

do you know who makes it?
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
this is the link for the CFS forecast model show 1 storm develops between the Leewards and CV rolls into the the Caribbean passes south of Jamaica then on top of the Cayman Islands and in the gulf

Link


Any idea why this appears when CFS is selected and before the loop loads? ... "CAUTION! CARE SHOULD BE USED WHEN USING THIS MODEL"
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Beware of the swirly things in the GOM.

Link
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


rains coming

Oh I so hope that happens. Especially needed to put out all those fires and fill the everglades.
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Quoting NRAamy:




LOVE IT!!!!!!

:)



Thanks, he's my drinking buddy too :) The dogs and cats HATE him because he oinks all night long, especially if they swat or bite him (hand puppet with a voice box in it) ... my friend for life.
In all seriousness though, my son is a drummer and we have the full set of drums set up in the one room, so I don't think KW Girl is talking drums like that, per se, but rather them little hand held things ... which do make a HUGE difference in sound ... just for what its worth (heck, my neighbors LOVE to hear the kids practice, even the cops show up and listen ...)
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Scientists have spotted the iconic surfer's wave rolling through the atmosphere of the sun.

The waves hold clues as to how energy moves through that atmosphere, known as the corona, and may help explain why it can be 1000 times hotter than the surface of the sun. The size of the United States, these waves are still almost too small to see from Earth.
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Link

Rotation over eastern Puerto Rico. Local meteorologist, Ada Monzón reports that stations along the east coast of Puerto Rico confirm a low pressure is forming in this area.
Thoughts?
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rains coming
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


It's because it separated from the trough by PR. Had this happened yesterday we would most likely had a TS this morning.



Crownweather was talking about this feature this morning..their thinking is that this could develop
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nice one, Aussie!!!

:)
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Weather Underground Blob Watchers Anonymous Group meeting.





Those blob watchers are way too laid back Aussie...lol
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plus a watched pot never boils ya know, lol.
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Weather Underground Blob Watchers Anonymous Group meeting.



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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.
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Seems to be all or nothing with rain this year.

No kidding!!!

a year of extremes for sure....
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Quoting NRAamy:
damn, dashboard cowman, those are a lot!!!!!!!!!!!


Seems to be all or nothing with rain this year.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Though lacking a huge amount of convection , this is best defined I have actually seen the LLC on Satelite with 94L and its basically stationary.


It's because it separated from the trough by DR. Had this happened yesterday we would most likely had a TS this morning.

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hi junky...

:)
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Mornin' all! I thought this was an interesting read...
Understanding The Energy Of Tornadoes http://bit.ly/kYywMr
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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.