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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1014. Grothar
Quoting pottery:

Hey! I didnt know that one, you kayak.


I always wanted to send this to Aussie. It is a sentence with the most prepositions.


What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for?

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1013. pottery
Quoting Huracaneer:


When the storms get closer will shall have

radar sagas

Very clever!

94l is pouring down on Cuba for hours now...
any reports out of there?
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Quoting pottery:

Hey! I didnt know that one, you kayak.


When the storms get closer will shall have

radar sagas
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Something has to give sooner or later Grother, it has to.


The drought will pass. Eventually.
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1010. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
night kman my friend unless i miss ya on the way out
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1009. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
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1008. Grothar
Quoting ProgressivePulse:



I did read that and that is why I dug deeper into ours. The nano-filtration is actually the first of it's kind in the World, I did not know that. Kinda neat out of little ole Jupiter. There was a team from the plant sent to Japan after the earthquake.


I am going to read up on that. We have to do something here. Wonder why the rest of the state isn't doing something? It could be a whole new industry.
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Based upon what I'm seeing with the computer models and with the evolving pattern that may support the NHC thinking with the Caribbean disturbance, as the dominant ridge over the Southeast US slowly moves southeast and out over the SW Atlantic, this will allow the upper level trough currently over the GOM to migrate northwestward and replace the ridge. As this happens, the upper ridge over the Caribbean expands some possibly enveloping the disturbance which would indeed bring marginally favorable upper level winds.

Also based on this pattern, one would believe that given the southeast motion of the ridge and the northwest migration of the trough, it would open a valley for the disturbance to head north to northwest over Florida or just off the Florida East Coast.

This could indeed allow for enhanced rains over the area that very much need it.
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337 FirstCoastMan:
em
Baseball has spring training. Players work on fundamentals, roster spots are firmed up. The games "don't count". Does the same apply to the Atlantic hurricane season?Similar to the baseball season, the hurricane season "heats up" to its peak in the months of August, September and October. June, of course, sits a couple months prior to the peak.


Catching up on posts - loved the anaolgy to spring-trining baseball and June tropical prognostications.
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Something has to give sooner or later Grother, it has to.
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1004. pottery
Quoting Grothar:


A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

Hey! I didnt know that one, you kayak.
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1003. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting Grothar:


Wow, I never knew that. Interesting article. I am up that way a lot. We have been having a lot of trouble with salt water intrusion. Don't know if I sent the link to you or not. Once the Biscayne Aquifer goes, we are finished. Read it when it's not so late.

Link



I did read that and that is why I dug deeper into ours. The nano-filtration is actually the first of it's kind in the World, I did not know that. Kinda neat out of little ole Jupiter. There was a team from the plant sent to Japan after the earthquake.
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1001. pottery
Quoting Grothar:


I thought that was Elba. Who do you think you're playing with, pot. LOL

heheheh
It was too close to let it pass...
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1000. Grothar
Quoting pottery:

Able was I, 'ere I saw st. Albans...


A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
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Quoting pottery:

Able was I, 'ere I saw st. Albans...


I thought that was Elba. Who do you think you're playing with, pot. LOL
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Good night folks.

Back tomorrow
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Quoting Levi32:


I enjoy our discussions greatly as well. This storm was a bust for me lol. I enjoy going out on bold limbs with the EPAC systems that aren't threatening anybody. It's a good exercise. I thought I had this one, but nature outsmarted me.


We all have busts. Early in the season the skills are rusty LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


We used to go to St. Albans a lot many years ago. The kids were always finding fossils around the lake. Never did see Champ though.

Able was I, 'ere I saw st. Albans...
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Quoting kmanislander:


No harm in having an opinion. Dry air does not necessarily mean that an upgrade is premature but I have a lot of respect for your views. Some of the best exchanges I have had have been with you and amongst most on the blog you have the best technical skills.


I enjoy our discussions greatly as well. This storm was a bust for me lol. I enjoy going out on bold limbs with the EPAC systems that aren't threatening anybody. It's a good exercise. I thought I had this one, but nature outsmarted me.
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Wow, I'm away for a couple days and Adrian turns into gorgeous annular Cat4 storm!!!
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Quoting Levi32:


They say upper-level winds will become marginally favorable soon. I assume they mean because the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico is ever so slightly retrograding westward, which I suppose they think will lower the wind shear a bit, but I don't see it lowering enough to allow real consolidation of anything.
we shall see these things like to make people look stupid
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
yep but i believe when the rains come they will come with a vengence


I wouldn't doubt that one bit. It happens.
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm right here Kman :o

I do still think Adrian wasn't a Cat 3 at the time of upgrade, but definitely became one during the course of the day. Dry air entrainment was quite evident on every analysis map that is out there, but Adrian seems to have pulled through and built a beautiful core after struggling very much during the first half of the day.


No harm in having an opinion. Dry air does not necessarily mean that an upgrade is premature but I have a lot of respect for your views. Some of the best exchanges I have had have been with you and amongst most on the blog you have the best technical skills.
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Tiny thunderstorm went over my house in Largo (near Tampa Florida), one peal of thunder 10 minutes of intense rain and it's over. The thing could not have been much bigger than a mile across as seen on the radar, but rain is rain. Hope 94L brings more of the liquid sunshine.
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Quoting listenerVT:


It does sometimes, in Spring especially, but it's usually just for a few days at a time, maybe a week. 100' is flood stage and it got up around 103.7" at one point...a new record.


We used to go to St. Albans a lot many years ago. The kids were always finding fossils around the lake. Never did see Champ though.
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm right here Kman :o

I do still think Adrian wasn't a Cat 3 at the time of upgrade, but definitely became one during the course of the day. Dry air entrainment was quite evident on every analysis map that is out there, but Adrian seems to have pulled through and built a beautiful core after struggling very much during the first half of the day.

86 degree water will do that...
Incredible performance by Adrian today.

Good to see you.
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Quoting Grothar:


Ft. Lauderdale, Or better known now as the Great Red Spot.



yep but i believe when the rains come they will come with a vengence
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Based upon what I'm seeing with the computer models and with the evolving pattern that may support the NHC thinking with the Caribbean disturbance, as the dominant ridge over the Southeast US slowly moves southeast and out over the SW Atlantic, this will allow the upper level trough currently over the GOM to migrate northwestward and replace the ridge. As this happens, the upper ridge over the Caribbean expands some possibly enveloping the disturbance which would indeed bring marginally favorable upper level winds.

Also based on this pattern, one would believe that given the southeast motion of the ridge and the northwest migration of the trough, it would open a valley for the disturbance to head north to northwest over Florida or just off the Florida East Coast.

This could indeed allow for enhanced rains over the area that very much need it.
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Forecasts on systems like 94L are often wrong, the smaller, weaker weather systems are guesswork.

The climate models can't generate the random variation of the real atmosphere.
NHC puts 94L at 20%, not insulting them to form opinions on an iffy system with poor odds. Like betting pennies, its low stakes.


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Quoting kmanislander:


I saw quite a few bloggers on here this morning saying the NHC had screwed up upgrading to a CAT 3. Dry air entrainment and all of that.

Where are they now ??


I'm right here Kman :o

I do still think Adrian wasn't a Cat 3 at the time of upgrade, but definitely became one during the course of the day. Dry air entrainment was quite evident on every analysis map that is out there, but Adrian seems to have pulled through and built a beautiful core after struggling very much during the first half of the day.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Got .25 inches yesterday, winds took it away today.

Fortunately, Jupiter is on the cutting edge in desalination. They we're one of the first to have desal and we're the first in the US to install nano filtration. Things get tough you can drive up and get a drink Gro, it's some of the best water in the country.


Wow, I never knew that. Interesting article. I am up that way a lot. We have been having a lot of trouble with salt water intrusion. Don't know if I sent the link to you or not. Once the Biscayne Aquifer goes, we are finished. Read it when it's not so late.

Link
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Well heck, I was ready to call 94L totally RIP and here it comes again like a zombie. Levi does not think it has a very good chance and I agree, BUT, it refuses to die even against unfavorable shear. Are there any models that develops 94L?
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Well, I gotta get back to work...

Will check in on Adrian and 94L tomorrow.

Take care, all y'all!
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Looks annular from those pics.

Another rare moment.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting centex:
Thanks, any idea what they are thinking at NHC? They really don't say anything good but give it 1/5 chance. For example they say - UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY UNFAVORABLE FOR ANY SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT TO
OCCUR.

Does this mean the shear is forecast to relax?


They say upper-level winds will become marginally favorable soon. I assume they mean because the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico is ever so slightly retrograding westward, which I suppose they think will lower the wind shear a bit, but I don't see it lowering enough to allow real consolidation of anything.
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978. SLU
Quoting pottery:
SLU post 915.
What a fabulous post.
Intriguing stuff!


Thanks a million :)
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Back tomorrow folks. Quiet in our part of the world.
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Quoting Grothar:


I didn't know Lake Champlain ever flooded.


It does sometimes, in Spring especially, but it's usually just for a few days at a time, maybe a week. 100' is flood stage and it got up around 103.7" at one point...a new record.
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It would seem that change from unfavorable to marginal upper winds in very disorganized system does not warrant 20% chance. They must be factoring in something esle.
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swirlingeddie...
How I wish I could send you some of our rain!

We've had so much flooding that roads are closed, homes and businesses are ruined, and crops have had to wait to be planted because the fields are underwater. Year to date we've had 25.54" of rain whereas 13.40" is average.

What we need is "all things in moderation"!
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wow, in my opinion, Adrian is impressive. I still haven't heard from my boss but I'm assuming he's okay. He's in Manzanillo, Mexico.
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Quoting sheramio:
Been readin' this blog since Katrina, never posted, but my brother in Wichita told me 'bout this and I thought you guys might be interested:

WICHITA, Kansas -- Last night Wichita experienced a very rare weather phenomenon known as a “Heat Burst.” At 12:22 a.m. the temperature at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport was 85 degrees. At 12:44 the temperature spiked to 102 degrees. This was a 17 degree increase in only 20 minutes. Winds also gusted between 50 and 60 MPH. The heat burst winds and temperatures rapidly dissipated as they spread across Sedgwick and Southern Butler Counties.

A heat burst is caused when rain falls into very dry air, high up in the atmosphere. The rain quickly evaporates as it falls through the dry parcel of air and that parcel cools rapidly. This dense mass falls rapidly toward the ground, heating up as it compresses. When this hot ball of air hits the ground it spreads out in every direction creating very strong, warm and dry winds.

About an hour before the heat burst, wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour battered the Wichita metro area. This was due to outflow winds from severe weather south of the city, and not related to the heat burst. (from KSN Wichita Channel 3)


Welcome to the blog.
And keep posting things like that. It's great.
Never heard of that before.
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Quoting listenerVT:
Welcome sheramio, and thanks for the "Heat Burst" post!

That is very interesting! It seems to be a season for strange occurrences. Here in NW VT we are breaking all sorts of records (from precip to temp) and Lake Champlain has been above flood stage for about 6 weeks now. I've never seen that before in my 30 years here. It's gotten so we don't even notice the flood warning icons anymore.


I didn't know Lake Champlain ever flooded.
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, I'll take all the help I can get. Thanks. Heard it was still very dry up by you. I hope this thing cuts us a break and drops a little on us.


Got .25 inches yesterday, winds took it away today.

Fortunately, Jupiter is on the cutting edge in desalination. They we're one of the first to have desal and we're the first in the US to install nano filtration. Things get tough you can drive up and get a drink Gro, it's some of the best water in the country.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


haha, gotta love how they disappear or pretend they never said it :)

They sit around with no experience under their belt judging weather experts who spend half their life in school to get where they are.

Personally, I find that just a tad ridiculous, don't you think?

There's nothing wrong with disagreeing, I disagree with the NHC and other meteorologists too sometimes. But there are some people here that seem to make it their aim to criticize those more knowledgeable then them. I don't like that, at all..


The NHC have the analytical tools and expertise that we arm chair analysts don't have.However, they have made a bum call here and there but overall they are very good. Our problem on the blog is that many tend to jump the gun based upon a short term observation. I know I have but I try to discipline myself to take a more balanced observational approach.
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Quoting Levi32:


I doubt 94L has much of a chance here.
Thanks, any idea what they are thinking at NHC? They really don't say anything good but give it 1/5 chance. For example they say - UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY UNFAVORABLE FOR ANY SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT TO
OCCUR.

Does this mean the shear is forecast to relax?
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Quoting Levi32:


True, but I wonder if that's not what helped Adrian survive in the first place, and whether that can actually make a hurricane annular by destroying the spiral bands. It's pretty close to annular on the latest microwave:



Many EPAC storms look like that. I really never knew why. Like these





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SLU post 915.
What a fabulous post.
Intriguing stuff!
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NHC probably is overstating 94L's chances, even at 20%. GFS show no closed low forming at all, it stays elongated and gets absorbed by a frontal boundary by 114 hrs. But I'm rooting for it, we need the rain!

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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.