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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Quoting hurricanejunky:
This morning we take a look back at the 2004 Hurricane Season with an hour long video that gives us the emergency management perspective of the Florida landfalling hurricanes of 2004: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Tell me what you think...

The Hurricanes Of 2004


Excellent job hurricanejunky!!!! I'd forgotten how intense Frances and Jeanne were and how much destruction they caused. Am a St. Lucie County resident and was an ER nurse that worked many days before, during, and after those storms. I really took for granted all of the community resources we had until we didn't have them anymore, at least for the first few days (which is when the situation is most intense, of course). Definately appreciate all the help that was sent to us! It is tough being a victim AND a provider during those times, but we were sent National Guards, FEMA nurses, and volunteers that helped us keep our perspective and sanity! Glad I only had to do it twice and not all four times like the emergency management teams!

Very well done!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Oh no...


You know what to do....
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Severe Thunderstorm Watch 452 issued.
Link

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 452
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
235 PM EDT THU JUN 9 2011

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

MUCH OF CONNECTICUT
NORTHERN DELAWARE
MASSACHUSETTS
FAR NORTHEASTERN MARYLAND
NEW JERSEY
SOUTHERN NEW YORK
SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
RHODE ISLAND
COASTAL WATERS


EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 235 PM UNTIL
1000 PM EDT.

HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 80 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70
STATUTE MILES EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 20 MILES EAST OF BOSTON
MASSACHUSETTS TO 25 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF WILMINGTON DELAWARE.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU2).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 450...WW 451...

DISCUSSION...A BAND OF SEVERE STORMS FROM NRN PA NEWD INTO VT/NH
WILL CONTINUE TO ORGANIZE INTO ONE OR MORE LINES OF STORMS AND MOVE ESEWD INTO THE EVENING HOURS. A COLD POOL IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP IN ASSOCIATION WITH THESE LINE/S...WHICH WILL ENHANCE THE FORWARD MOTION OF THE LINE. ONCE THE LINE/S BEGINS TO INCREASE THEIR FORWARD SPEED...THE POTENTIAL FOR WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS...INCLUDING WINDS FROM 60 TO 80 MPH...ARE LIKELY. LARGE HAIL IS ALSO EXPECTED...ESPECIALLY WITH STORMS THAT DEVELOP AHEAD OF THE LINE.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 2 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 70
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 550. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 28030.

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CMC and NGP models picking up on something off the East Coast

CMC


NGP
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Nothing like a-cranking up the ignore list on a Thursday afternoon.

How's it going all? I see Adrian made that expected run at major status and is now a Category 3 storm.


It's unbelievable, isn't it?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Nothing like a-cranking up the ignore list on a Thursday afternoon.

How's it going all? I see Adrian made that expected run at major status and is now a Category 3 storm.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24018
9 days in folks.....just 9 days in and already people are calling it a bust...shhheeeesh
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wanted to add to twhcracker question... the important thing to watch for is what the conditions are that steer the storms when there is a storm in the area. Timing is critical. A pattern that would steer a Cape Verde cyclone directly into Florida for example could exist for two months, but if there is no Hurricane to be steered the pattern is meaningless. Charley slammed into SW Florida because an early season trough just happened to be in the right place as Charley turned north in the Gulf. History shows most Tropical Cyclones that enter the Gulf pass west of the southwest coast of Florida and vent their fury from the Florida panhandle to Mexico. In 07 we watched as two Cat 5 monsters traveled the whole length of the Caribbean but couldn't turn north because of the strong high pressure system to the north that happened to be in place at just the right time to protect Florida and the gulf coast. In 2004 and 2005 we watched as Charley, Dennis, Katrina, and Rita were able to get into the Gulf because they were not blocked. Regardless of how strong a Tropical Cyclone is, it always follows the path of least resistance. It's not "where" a Hurricane is, but "when".
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A little moisture trying to move in the metro area

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so close and yet so far
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Quoting hurricane23:


No one can tell you with any confidence how many storms will be named or where individual storms will track in the upcoming season. However, we can identify atmospheric and oceanic flow patterns of the current year and look back to previous years with similar patterns (analog years). From analog years, we can derive some insight as to where storms may form and track in 2011.

Adrian


Adrian, looks like you're getting stronger, maybe pushing out some dry air? ;)
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Quoting emcf30:

oinhole is a new classification from last night and this morning. But yea when you loop the image it does look cool

lol
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Severe Thunderstorm Watch #452
This is the one for 1-95 urban corridor. No detailed watch page available yet though, just issued.
Link
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Quoting twhcracker:
if all the analog years had such similar atmospheric conditions, then why were each of them so different when it comes to where they made landfall? Did it have something to do with the bermuda high?


No one can tell you with any confidence how many storms will be named or where individual storms will track in the upcoming season. However, we can identify atmospheric and oceanic flow patterns of the current year and look back to previous years with similar patterns (analog years). From analog years, we can derive some insight as to where storms may form and track in 2011.

Adrian
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Oinhole? I know what you meant, but it's just hilarious.

oinhole is a new classification from last night and this morning. But yea when you loop the image it does look cool
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Quoting emcf30:


Looks like two oinhole eyes

Oinhole? I know what you meant, but it's just hilarious.
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Looks like two oinhole eyes
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Quoting emcf30:


But it does appear he his getting his act together. Starting to look nice

Yeah. Nice looking storm.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

His eye isn't as clear as it was earlier today, though.


But it does appear he his getting his act together. Starting to look nice
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Its that time again
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Mesoscale Discussion 1154 for much of urban corridor of the Northeast. Watch should be issued shortly.
Link

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1154
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1245 PM CDT THU JUN 09 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...MUCH OF THE NORTHEASTERN URBAN CORRIDOR...FROM
WASHINGTON D.C./BALTIMORE INTO THE BOSTON AREA

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 091745Z - 091915Z

MUCH OF THE NORTHEASTERN URBAN CORRIDOR IS BEING MONITORED FOR A NEW
SEVERE WEATHER WATCH ISSUANCE...WHICH MAY BE NEEDED BY 19-20Z.

STRONG/SEVERE STORM DEVELOPMENT IS NOW WELL UNDERWAY ACROSS UPSTATE
NEW YORK...IN ADVANCE OF A COLD FRONT ASSOCIATED WITH LARGE-SCALE
TROUGHING SLOWLY ADVANCING EASTWARD ACROSS EASTERN CANADA...AND EAST
OF THE LOWER GREAT LAKES REGION. AIDED BY MODEST DEEP LAYER
WESTERLY FLOW /20-30 KT/...UPSCALE CONVECTIVE GROWTH APPEARS LIKELY
DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS...AS IT SPREADS EASTWARD INTO A MOIST AND
INCREASINGLY STRONGLY HEATED BOUNDARY LAYER NEAR PRE-FRONTAL
TROUGHING IN THE VICINITY OF THE URBAN CORRIDOR. A CONSOLIDATING
AND STRENGTHENING SURFACE COLD POOL ASSOCIATED WITH AN EVOLVING
SQUALL LINE PROBABLY WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY STRONG...POTENTIALLY
DAMAGING WIND GUSTS. IT APPEARS THAT THIS MAY IMPACT THE GREAT NEW
YORK CITY METROPOLITAN AREA AND WESTERN/CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS BY
21-22Z...THE BOSTON AREA SHORTLY THEREAFTER...AND PERHAPS
PHILADELPHIA/SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY INTO THE BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON
D.C. AREA TOWARD 23-00Z.

..KERR.. 06/09/2011


ATTN...WFO...BOX...OKX...ALY...PHI...BGM...AKQ...C TP...LWX...

LAT...LON 42577261 42747196 42717118 42157055 41617086 41007195
40587320 40027376 39387418 38067563 38127692 38057795
37827854 38097946 38687907 39567696 40137663 40417646
41267502 42077355 42577261
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Oh no...
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Francis DolarhydeLink
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Hooray for 94L's scattered guts!
looks like southeasterly flow is heading for us in florida
our drought phase may be breaking up.

no end in sight for the southwest, hotter and dryer than we'll ever be in FL. Our fire season does not compare.

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Quoting FrancisDolarhyde:


A robin red-breast in a cage, puts all of Heaven in a rage. Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state... fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.

? That ain't right.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

What does that even mean? ROFL!!


I don't understand it either. It's that time of year again though.

I'll be back later.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting Neapolitan:
EP, 01, 2011060918, , BEST, 0, 143N, 1045W, 100, 960, HU, 64, NEQ, 25, 20, 20, 25, 1008, 180, 25, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ADRIAN, D,


Still at 115 mph...
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219. Jax82
Well the rain is halfway to Miami from Cuba.

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Quoting FrancisDolarhyde:


A robin red-breast in a cage, puts all of Heaven in a rage. Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state... fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.


...ummm....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Maybe I was wrong about Adrian peaking, it seems like it wants to get its act together. If it does, it only has until tomorrow afternoon or earlier. Still optimistic about the Cat. 3 thing, but whats done is done. They are the boss people, we are just amateurs.


His eye isn't as clear as it was earlier today, though.
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Still at 115 mph.

EP, 01, 2011060918, , BEST, 0, 143N, 1045W, 100, 960, HU, 64, NEQ, 25, 20, 20, 25, 1008, 180, 25, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ADRIAN, D,
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Maybe I was wrong about Adrian peaking, it seems like it wants to get its act together. If it does, it only has until tomorrow afternoon or earlier. Still optimistic about the Cat. 3 thing, but whats done is done. They are the boss people, we are just amateurs.

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TWC has got it wrong again!

That red should be shifted south into NYC, DC ...

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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.