Winds diminish for Arizona's fire; flooding from 94L kills 23 in Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on June 09, 2011

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The powerful winds that have fanned Arizona's massive Wallow fire into the state's second largest fire on record will diminish today, and the forecast for Eastern Arizona calls for more modest afternoon winds of 15 - 20 mph through Saturday. For the first time this week, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has not issued red flag warnings for critical fire conditions in Eastern Arizona, and firefighters should be able to make progress battling the Wallow fire, which is 0% contained. Yesterday, Luna, New Mexico, located about 50 miles northeast of the fire, had wind gusts in excess of 30 mph for almost 7 hours, temperatures near 80°F, and humidities as low as 5%. The fire has grown steadily this week--300 square miles on Sunday, 365 square miles on Monday, 484 square miles Tuesday, and 608 square miles on Wednesday. Its current size is about 50% of the size of Rhode Island. The fire is close to beating the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire (732 square miles) as Arizona's largest fire in recorded history. Smoke from the Wallow fire has now blown downwind over 2,000 miles over the Atlantic Ocean, as seen using our wundermap for the U.S. with the Fire layer turned on. Smoke caused "Unhealthy" levels of air pollution (code red on the Air Quality Index) over much of new Mexico Wednesday. A separate fire burning in Southeast Arizona, the 167-square-mile Horseshoe Two fire, is the state's 5th largest fire on record, and is 50% contained. According to the Interagency Fire Center, 3.6 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. During May, 1.8 million acres burned, the greatest May fire acreage burned in the 12-year record. Extreme to exceptional drought conditions over most of Texas, New Mexico, and Eastern Arizona are largely responsible for the record fire season.


Figure 1. Smoke from Arizona's Wallow fire passed over the Washington DC area at a height of 5 - 9 km during the day on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. NASA Goddard's micropulse lidar in Greenbelt, Maryland took a vertical profile of particles in the atmosphere during the day. A lidar (short for LIght Detection And Ranging) is a laser detection system that bounces light waves off of particles in the atmosphere to determine where clouds and elevated pollution layers exist. During the afternoon hours, the lidar also detected large amounts of air pollution particles near the surface (orange colors) after 18 UTC (2pm EDT.) Air quality in the Washington D.C. area during the day on June 8 for particles was Moderate (84 on the Air Quality Index, code yellow), and was Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Air Quality Index of 150) for ozone pollution. The University of Maryland Smog Blog is where I got this image from, and is a good place to get daily discussions of air pollution.


Figure 2. Smoke billows from the rapidly growing Wallow fire in Eastern Arizona in this image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite at 1:25pm MDT June 8, 2011. The actively burning fire front (outlined in red) surrounds a vast area of charred land. High winds propelled the fire, igniting spot fires as much as three miles ahead of the fire front. Image credit: NASA.

Flooding from 94L kills 23 people in Haiti
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (94L) that brought heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti early this week is no more, but at least 23 people are dead and six missing in Haiti due to torrential flooding rains from the disturbance. Satellite-estimated rainfall amounts indicate 8 -10 inches of rain fell over Haiti's southwestern peninsula this week. The heaviest rains from the remains of 94L lie just north and west of Haiti, and may be capable of bringing 1 - 3 inches of rain to Haiti, the Bahamas, and eastern Cuba today. The NOGAPS model is suggesting the remains of 94L could reorganize into a strong tropical disturbance this weekend off the coast of South Carolina, but none of the other models are showing this. The NOGAPS model has had a poor track record handling the evolution of the wind shear pattern this week, and I'm not expecting any major regeneration of 94L. Wind shear is very high 30 - 50 knots in the region between Cuba and South Carolina, making development very unlikely. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Adrian.

First hurricane of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season forms
Hurricane Adrian is putting on an impressive bout of rapid intensification, and has emerged as the season's first hurricane in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Adrian is in an ideal environment for intensification, with light wind shear and ocean temperatures of 30°C (86°), and will likely become a major hurricane later today. Adrian is expected to remain far enough offshore the coast of Mexico to not pose a threat to that country, at least for the next three days. June hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific are much more common than in the Atlantic.

NOAA's pre-season prediction of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 16, calls for below average activity, with 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 75% of the median. The 1981-2010 averages for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season are 15 - 16 named storms, 8 - 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

Jeff Masters

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Smokey Moon 2 (gilg72)
This was later at 1109PM when there was heavier smoke from the Ariz Fires.
Smokey Moon 2

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Levi's blog explains The Gulf of Guinea cooling and how that impacts Cape Verde generated storms very well for us 'regular folks.' Just adding that the higher the ICTZ the easier it is for spin to occur (away from the equator).
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Finally have good percent chances of rain in S Fla. For Miami 40% chance today and 50% chance tomorrow. Not bad.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
Quoting FLdewey:
Yes, the rainy season has started.

Wait.

No... that was a bird.


Hard to think we are in "rainy season" right now. However, it was determined that we had enough consecutive days a few weeks back with some showers and storms developing on the Gulf sea breeze that it fit a rainy season pattern. Granted, now there's no rain. The 70 dewpoint was used in the past as it was a good indication but you can still have a sea breeze pattern with convection developing without consistent 70 dewpoints.
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI

Game 5 tonight... who is going to lead the series 3 games to 2?? I pick the Canucks :)






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1210. Buhdog
Rainy season in SWFL IMHO has not been consistent since 2004 and 2005. Since our barrage of canes...its been ULL's, subsidence from lows to our south, or fronts dipping down and switching our flow "backwards". You have had to actually wear a watch to tell time in the summer... we need someone to pump the ridge back to where it used to be.
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Quoting pottery:

Sorry. I cant help there.
But if you have any questions about Gramophones, me or Grothar can assist.


For the iPhone, I like Hurricane by Kitty Code. It is $3.99 but well worth the price....
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From posts 1182 (Levi32) and 1194 (Hydrus) -- THANKS for those; you've given me hope that SW Florida isn't going to have to live under this constant wind shear for the entire rest of the summer!

Seriously, thanks for those. Those of us down here who watch the weather closely are going a bit mad of late. Every day this dry wind starts blowing and the clouds die of anemia, my soul just sinks. Along with the rest of SoFla, I know I am past ready for that ULL to go find some other place to dwell!

Thanks, guys; very informative....

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Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5135
1206. Jax82
Adrian, just a donut with no one around to eat it.


You can see the AZ wildfire too
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
Just in case nobody has already noticed, check out the Gulf of Guinea in June 2005.




Seems like good evidence that a cool Gulf of Guinea can lead to an active hurricane season. Waters down there were much cooler at this stage in 2005 though.
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1204. Levi32
Interesting how the Caribbean vertical instability remains below normal so far. Normally during a season like this, it will be below normal in the early spring and then shoot up to near and above normal by May.

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1203. snotly
Yo Adrian, can you say Annular... Yo, forget about it.
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1202. Grothar
Quoting FtMyersgal:

Thanks much Grothar. I found this very helpful in adding my understanding of how the mets use the data out there to forcast their tropical predictions.


You are welcome. Glad you found it interesting. I learned a bit from it myself.
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Quoting IKE:
According to someone on the blog it started 5 weeks ago.
usually starts by now,jeff always says fl's rainy season starts in may,he says that every year,lol....the rainy season should have ready start though,for real...
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1199. Levi32
Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:


Thank you so much for that most informative Tidbit. And I learned a whole lot and now know to watch the Gulf of G. Did not know why until I watched this. For those of us that lurk (and learn), we do so appreciate all information from all of you on this blog. Levi, if your observations pan out, looks like US might have a direct hit or more this season with stronger than usual storms. Hope not. Oh, and let's all keep those in Haiti in our prayers for the loss of life from 94L. That poor country has just suffered so much.


Thanks. I appreciate it.

And yes, thoughts and prayers go out to Haiti. It's terrible that they have to deal with yet another wave of flooding deaths.
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1198. emcf30
Quoting BobinTampa:


It's a positive sign. Anything falling from the sky shows that gravitational conditions in your area are suitable for rainfall.



That's one way to look at it LOL
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 10th, with Video


Thank you so much for that most informative Tidbit. And I learned a whole lot and now know to watch the Gulf of G. Did not know why until I watched this. For those of us that lurk (and learn), we do so appreciate all information from all of you on this blog. Levi, if your observations pan out, looks like US might have a direct hit or more this season with stronger than usual storms. Hope not. Oh, and let's all keep those in Haiti in our prayers for the loss of life from 94L. That poor country has just suffered so much.
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Quoting emcf30:


I got some ash falling from the sky yesterday in O-Town, Does that count?


It's a positive sign. Anything falling from the sky shows that gravitational conditions in your area are suitable for rainfall.

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1194. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

Sorry. I cant help there.
But if you have any questions about Gramophones, me or Grothar can assist.
This model seems to confirm what Levi said in his Tropical Tidbit...Link
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1193. cg2916
94L is back up!

AL, 94, 2011061000, , BEST, 0, 201N, 813W, 25, 1008, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0,
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1192. cg2916
*gasp* OMG! A 10% blob north of the Caribbean!

Wait a minute, that's energy associated w/ 94L. The floater is labeled 94L!
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Ty HCW, I'll check them out!
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Greetings,

Espanola fire got a name on the Fire Detection Maps in Florida today. Looks like the wind is giving my area a smoke break today.

We need a soaker slow tropical depression here and across the whole south.

Sooner or later, they are going to stop calling this a drought in the South and just call it the new climate.
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1188. pottery
Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
So nobody has any good ideas for which iphone/ipod app I should try for monitoring hurricane season?

Sorry. I cant help there.
But if you have any questions about Gramophones, me or Grothar can assist.
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Quoting Grothar:
I am just posting this for the general blog. It is the illustrated analysis for the 2011 Hurricane season that came out last week. It is a summary of the data compiled by Drs. Gray and Klotzenbach. It gives a nice detailed explanation of how they arrive at their predictions. It will really answer a few questions we all have

Link

Thanks much Grothar. I found this very helpful in adding my understanding of how the mets use the data out there to forcast their tropical predictions.
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1186. HCW
Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
So nobody has any good ideas for which iphone/ipod app I should try for monitoring hurricane season?


Hurricane Tracker and the Myfox Hurricane app also don't forget Radarscope with a sub to Allison House for lightning data and storm tracks. If you have any other questions feel free to shoot me a Wuemail

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yes... I have it, but it's more for just a local forecast and stuff. I was looking more for something specific for the tropics. Just something that would basically have the lastest updates from the NWS on active storms and maybe some tracking maps for them, and if possible the latest satellite/radar shots. I've got an app that covers every radar in the continental US. It even as the storm velocity (wind) radar views and everything, so there's got to be a good app out the for hurricanes too.
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OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
430 AM CDT FRI JUN 10 2011

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

GMZ089-101530-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 AM CDT FRI JUN 10 2011

.SYNOPSIS...LOW PRES IN THE NW CARIBBEAN WILL WEAKEN INTO A
TROUGH AND MOVE N INTO THE FAR SE WATERS LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
SAT...THEN BECOME DIFFUSE SUN. A RIDGE ALONG 30N WILL MOVE INTO
THE N CENTRAL GULF ON SUN.

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1183. emcf30
Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
So nobody has any good ideas for which iphone/ipod app I should try for monitoring hurricane season?

WU has a mobile app. Have you tried that. Not familiar with any other specific tracking apps.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
1182. Levi32
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 10th, with Video
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Well, at least thanks for letting me know someone is listening. LOL :)
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Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
So nobody has any good ideas for which iphone/ipod app I should try for monitoring hurricane season?


sorry about that, I am not ignoring you, I saw your post but I cannot help you. One of the more "techy" ones will have to advise.

Gams
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Morning All.

Simon & Garfunkel said it best I think.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
So nobody has any good ideas for which iphone/ipod app I should try for monitoring hurricane season?
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1177. emcf30
Quoting BobinTampa:



I got about 20 or so drops on my windshield on the way home from work yesterday. It's safe to say, the rainy season has officially begun!

Enjoy!


I got some ash falling from the sky yesterday in O-Town, Does that count?
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
1175. Grothar
Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
We got 3 inches plus here in central KS yesterday. You want me to send you some!?


Yes, but do not send anything in an envelope. We found out they leak.
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Good morning all. I see 94L has sorta come back to life today. But, all the moisture appears to be on the East side and does not look like FL will get any of this.
So, how all you folks down South in the Carib (and to the East of 94L), please step outside at an agreed upon time, face West, take a deep breath and blow it out...may take several blows. Hopefully, enough hot air will push that sucker towards Florida.
My dead, brown grass thanks you. Have a fantastic day!
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1172. aquak9
Quoting SirOutlaw2010:
We got 3 inches plus here in central KS yesterday. You want me to send you some!?

Yes, FedEx overnite, I'll pay.
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Good morning my weather geek friends,

it is so sad to see all that rain just off to the east of SE Florida and we need it so badly..

I see 94L is back up so maybe something will spin up from it this time..
but to my eyes looks like all the stormy weather is off to the NE of the center?
is that what is going on here??


Will be lurking as i can from work.
You all enjoy your Friday.

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There is the cool Gulf of Guinea.



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1169. Grothar
I am just posting this for the general blog. It is the illustrated analysis for the 2011 Hurricane season that came out last week. It is a summary of the data compiled by Drs. Gray and Klotzenbach. It gives a nice detailed explanation of how they arrive at their predictions. It will really answer a few questions we all have

Link
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We got 3 inches plus here in central KS yesterday. You want me to send you some!?
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Quoting weaverwxman:
we got 34 dropin in N. Miami yesterday, so we got you beat Bob....


See? It's happening everywhere!
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we got 34 dropin in N. Miami yesterday, so we got you beat Bob....
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1165. aquak9
No duck! No pond!

No Rainy Season!
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Quoting IKE:
According to someone on the blog it started 5 weeks ago.



I got about 20 or so drops on my windshield on the way home from work yesterday. It's safe to say, the rainy season has officially begun!

Enjoy!
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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.