Arizona's fire danger to increase Saturday; Adrian hits Category 4

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT on June 10, 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 remain relatively modest on Friday, and the forecast for Eastern Arizona calls for afternoon winds of just 10 - 15 mph. On Thursday, Luna, New Mexico, located about 50 miles northeast of the fire, had sustained winds that peaked at just 12 mph, with gusts to 22. These are the lightest afternoon winds the fire region has seen all week, though firefighting efforts were hindered by very low relative humidities that reached 5% on Thursday. Firefighters were able to make progress Thursday, and the Wallow fire is now 5% contained. Unfortunately, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center forecasts that critical fire conditions will return on Saturday and Sunday, with strong southwest winds of 15 - 20 mph, gusting to 35 mph. The return of critical fire conditions this weekend means that the Wallow fire will likely become Arizona's largest wildfire in history, a distinction currently held by the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire (732 square miles.) The Wallow fire has grown steadily from 300 square miles on Sunday to 603 square miles on Thursday--about 50% of the size of Rhode Island.


Figure 1. Smoke from Arizona fires, including the Wallow Fire, continued traveling toward the northeast on June 8, 2011. As the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image at 12:10 Central Daylight Time, thick smoke stretched from New Mexico and Texas northeastward to Illinois. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

94L bringing heavy rains to the Bahamas
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (94L) that brought heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti early this week reorganized slightly overnight, and is now bringing heavy rains to the Bahama Islands. The storm killed at least 23 people in Haiti earlier this week, due to torrential flooding rains. Satellite-estimated rainfall amounts indicate 8 -10 inches of rain fell over Haiti's southwestern peninsula this week. None of the reliable computer models is showing development of 94L into a tropical depression, and NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% chance of developing by Sunday. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots in the region between Cuba and South Carolina, making development unlikely. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Adrian taken at 10:15am EDT June 10, 2011.

Annular Adrian becomes the first major hurricane of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Hurricane Adrian put on an impressive bout of rapid intensification Thursday, intensifying into the season's first major hurricane in the Eastern Pacific. Adrian is the globe's 6th Category 4 or stronger tropical cyclone of the year. Adrian is expected to remain far enough offshore the coast of Mexico to not pose a threat to that country. Gradual weakening is likely through the weekend, since Adrian will be tracking over cooler ocean waters. Adrian's decay will be slower than usual for a hurricane, since it has become what is called an annular hurricane. Annular hurricanes feature a large eye surrounded by a very thick eyewall, with no spiral rain bands. The very thick eyewall makes annular hurricanes resistant to weakening due to wind shear, dry air, or cool waters. Annular hurricanes are rare; only 3% of all Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones become annular, and 1% of all Atlantic ones.

A record 100-year flood on the Missouri River
The greatest flood in recorded history is occurring along sections of the Missouri River, which runs from Montana to St. Louis, Missouri. On Thursday, the river hit 28.0' feet at Williston, North Dakota, surpassing the record flood height set in 1912. The river is expected to continue to rise to 1.4' above the 1912 mark by Tuesday. This week, the Missouri River at Omaha, Nebraska surpassed the level set during the great 1993 flood, and the river's height is currently the 2nd greatest on record, 9' below the mark set in 1952. Water releases at the six flood control dams on the Missouri River are now at more than double their previous all-time highs; these dams were built between 1940 and 1964. This great 100-year flood on the Missouri River is just beginning, and is likely to cause major damage over the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Volunteers (dhennem)
Filling sandbags at the Hamburg, IA elementery school.
Volunteers
Albuquerque Smoke-Free for Now (olzab2)
Arizona's Wallow fire blankets Albuquerque in smoke for days, but we got a real "breather" at last on 6/8/11
Albuquerque Smoke-Free for Now
Sun Setting on Heavy Smoke (gilg72)
814 PM. Sun slipped down lower than the heavy clouds, but very heavy smoke. Almost didn't see it. Smoke comes from an over 100,000 acre fire in SW Az.
Sun Setting on Heavy Smoke

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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


yep looks pretty big too, how long has that plume been there?

Here's a short animation. Pretty obvious:

Link
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1627. Patrap
5 outta 7 since Monday,yup

I feel all giggly still
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1626. emcf30
Quoting Patrap:
Das Boomage..




What is that like 4 or 5 days in a row near the same spot?
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Those are pretty strong earthquakes to precede an eruption. Could be quite a large one, plume shows up nicely on satellite already.
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There have been a few quakes between 5.1 and 4.8 in the past few hours near Eritrea.

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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL POLK COUNTY IN FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 715 PM EDT

* AT 646 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 6 MILES
SOUTH OF WAHNETA...OR 7 MILES EAST OF BARTOW...AND MOVING SOUTHEAST
AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
WAHNETA.
LAKE WALES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF
YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. THIS STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE SERIOUS
INJURY AND SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.
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1622. Patrap
Das Boomage..


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1621. Levi32
Quoting blsealevel:


thats what i had pictured in my head but it dont look like a snowball lol although very intreasting had no idea about heat burst but 15 to 20 degrees in 20 to 30 min.
the air had to be screaming


The idea is to think of a "parcel" of sinking air, as it's easier to think of a small chunk of air than the entire airmass. That chunk of air shrinks in size as it sinks, like a snowball, if that's not a terrible analogy.
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1620. barbamz
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


yep looks pretty big too, how long has that plume been there?


It started a bit more than two hours ago.
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Quoting PcolaDan:
Possible volcano eruption in Eritrea where the earthquakes have been.



yep looks pretty big too, how long has that plume been there?
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Quoting PcolaDan:
Possible volcano eruption in Eritrea where the earthquakes have been.



Looks like a big one to
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1617. barbamz
Your next tropical wave might be mixed with some volcano stuff. Seems to be a larger eruption in Eritrea.
http://sat24.com/et?ir=True
Follow the Eruptions Blog:
http://bigthink.com/ideas/38811#comments
O.K. I've just seen, Dan was quicker. Hi, Dan!
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Quoting alfabob:

Hmm that's weird, well I figured it would be easier to draw a diagram of what I've been trying to say. Not enough information for me to be decisive about it, but the timing of things gives me a strong opinion about what happened.


thats what i had pictured in my head but it dont look like a snowball lol although very intreasting had no idea about heat burst but 15 to 20 degrees in 20 to 30 min.
the air had to be screaming
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Possible volcano eruption in Eritrea where the earthquakes have been.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Photobucket
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This weather station is a half mile from my house in SW Fort Lauderdale.We had .06" of rain in June until today. We had .08" of rain so far today.Whoo hoo we more than doubled our total for June.I've lived here for 40 years and I've never seen it this dry in June.Add the fact that we've had record low rainfall since October water levels are lower than I've ever seen in March or April.
Link
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Quoting Levi32:


When an area of increased upward motion moves over Africa, thunderstorm activity is increased and heat is released, lowering surface pressures and strengthening the monsoonal circulation there. This helps draw the African monsoon trough and the African Easterly Jet farther north over the continent. Since tropical waves develop within the AEJ, their exit latitude is shifted northward.
sweet, thanks
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting Neapolitan:
I don't know how well (or whether ) the previous version showed up, so here--again--a one-hour window into how this afternoon's thunderstorms toyed with us here on the dry, dry Southwest coast of Florida:



Nea- Same story up here. They've been blowing up just to the east of here and then moving off to the east away from us.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I don't know how well (or whether ) the previous version showed up, so here--again--a one-hour window into how this afternoon's thunderstorms toyed with us here on the dry, dry Southwest coast of Florida:

It looked fine in the first version. The time lapse was nice. That's a nice view in time-lapse or regular time. I have a similar view, and the way my patio is protected I was able to clearly see that backside of Wilma's eye rip into the homes for a few hundred yards before it hit me. A very cool shot of the strong rotation and precipitation. Hopefully there won't be a next time, but if there is I'll try to make a film like yours.
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Their must be a rain shield over where i live in west palm beach (D4 drought) i just watched a hail storm that was suppost to move from south central florida to my area turn into a light drizzle.
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1606. Levi32
Quoting TomTaylor:
Also, Levi, this post was from last night (1227), was wondering if you could answer it when you get the chance



you had mentioned something about the MJO affecting the exit latitude of t waves, and kori and I couldn't figure out why last night


When an area of increased upward motion moves over Africa, thunderstorm activity is increased and heat is released, lowering surface pressures and strengthening the monsoonal circulation there. This helps draw the African monsoon trough and the African Easterly Jet farther north over the continent. Since tropical waves develop within the AEJ, their exit latitude is shifted northward.
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1605. Levi32
Quoting TomTaylor:
Exactly, so what and you and alpha disagreeing on?

I'm not sure I understand where the disagreement is


Well he thinks something special and unique was involved with the Kansas heat burst, something to do with the lower stratospheric temperature near the tropopause. I think it was a regular heat burst, but more of what I'm asking him has to do with the specific dynamics he's bringing up. I enjoy plumbing the depths of some of these physics.

I also showed the soundings from Topeka which make the ECMWF analysis he's showing look inaccurate.
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Also, Levi, this post was from last night (1227), was wondering if you could answer it when you get the chance

Quoting TomTaylor:
ok thanks for your input, and I agree that the MJO still helps t waves develop into tropical storms. One last thing before I sign off, how does the MJO affect t wave exit latitude?


you had mentioned something about the MJO affecting the exit latitude of t waves, and kori and I couldn't figure out why last night
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
1603. Levi32
Quoting SouthALWX:
heat burst: (noun) "the opposite of an overshooting top"
lol no really, as the air sinks it warms adiabatically. If it has enough velocity it can overshoot the equilibrium level and impact the surface. Where's the confusion coming from? There may be a predetermined condition that instigates the event aside from thunderstorms, but the process itself is believed to be well understood.


I do think this event was a regular heat burst.
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Quoting Levi32:


The kind of compression that happens in a heat burst is adiabatic compression, which occurs when a parcel of air is sinking downward towards the ground. The air pressure on the parcel from the air surrounding it increases as it gets closer to the ground. This pressure squeezes the parcel into a smaller volume, just like compacting a snowball in your hands.
Exactly, so what and you and alpha disagreeing on?

I'm not sure I understand where the disagreement is
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
I don't know how well (or whether ) the previous version showed up, so here--again--a one-hour window into how this afternoon's thunderstorms toyed with us here on the dry, dry Southwest coast of Florida:

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heat burst: (noun) "the opposite of an overshooting top"
lol no really, as the air sinks it warms adiabatically. If it has enough velocity it can overshoot the equilibrium level and impact the surface. Where's the confusion coming from? There may be a predetermined condition that instigates the event aside from thunderstorms, but the process itself is believed to be well understood.
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Just went for a walk. It's beautiful!!!
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.
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1597. Levi32
Quoting blsealevel:


Ok; so what would cause the air to be compressed anddd never mind, I'm still trying to understand how to read a weather map I probably wouldnt understand anyway lol



The kind of compression that happens in a heat burst is adiabatic compression, which occurs when a parcel of air is sinking downward towards the ground. The air pressure on the parcel from the air surrounding it increases as it gets closer to the ground. This pressure squeezes the parcel into a smaller volume, just like compacting a snowball in your hands.
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Nice to go outside and see it dark and cloudy and not 90 degrees!
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Lol Canes. How are you doing buddy?


I'm doing well Geoffrey, how are you?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Lol Canes. How are you doing buddy?
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102 today and down to 101 now. Not a cloud in the sky. Difference between being in a drought with temps in 80s and 90s and having temps 100 to 105 and higher every day.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting Levi32:


Ok so let's do this: The ECMWF analysis clearly shows that the warm plume covered all of Kansas by 12z June 9th. Let's compare the soundings of 12z the 8th, before the event, and 12z the 9th, after the warm plume had moved overhead, at Topeka (that's the closest sounding to Wichita). I see very little difference between the two. I told it to show us up to 10mb so the stratosphere is visible as well. I don't even see the presence of the warm plume much above 100mb either. The ECMWF analysis is model-based, after all, and is subject to error, so it's possible that it's not entirely accurate.

Topeka, KS sounding on 12z June 8th, 2011:



Topeka, KS sounding on 12z June 9th, 2011:





Ok; so what would cause the air to be compressed anddd never mind, I'm still trying to understand how to read a weather map I probably wouldnt understand anyway lol

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1590. Grothar
BBL

Hope we all get wet. Of course it hasn't rained in 8 months and tonight we are going to an outdoor restaurant.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Hi Gro...no rain yet, but looking good!
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Nice outside...dark and gloomy.
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1587. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Are you getting anything where you are?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
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1585. Levi32
Quoting alfabob:

Interesting, do you have one for the 10th? The only reason I think the plume is so extensive is because the readings from the tropopause line up exactly with the heat wave on the surface.


Here's 12z the 10th. The main difference is the moisture profile, which is more unstable, but the temperature profile in the upper levels is not very different.

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1583. JRRP
NAM




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Quoting islander101010:
and a model was predicting something out of that area about a wk ago by tomorrow there should be some convection in the nw carib.


Sure hope so, we need rain, even though they say be careful what you wish for :)
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1581. Levi32
Quoting alfabob:

But the plume of heat most likely wasn't only at the tropopause. The interaction between the two layers would of course act like a front if near equivalent in magnitude; but since the layers of heat were most likely strong and dispersed throughout multiple heights in the atmosphere, it is likely that it completely dispersed the cool air (which is what collapsed the tstorms). If there is a slow moving weak pocket of cool air, and a fast moving plume of hot air both in the upper layers; I would expect the heat to be forced in the downwards direction (as well as many other directions because it has no where else to go).


Ok so let's do this: The ECMWF analysis clearly shows that the warm plume covered all of Kansas by 12z June 9th. Let's compare the soundings of 12z the 8th, before the event, and 12z the 9th, after the warm plume had moved overhead, at Topeka (that's the closest sounding to Wichita). I see very little difference between the two. I told it to show us up to 10mb so the stratosphere is visible as well. I don't even see the presence of the warm plume much above 100mb either. The ECMWF analysis is model-based, after all, and is subject to error, so it's possible that it's not entirely accurate.

Topeka, KS sounding on 12z June 8th, 2011:



Topeka, KS sounding on 12z June 9th, 2011:



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Quoting stormpetrol:
Looks like the blob off Panama & Costa Rica earlier drifted WNW into Nicaragua & Honduras and now might might emerge off the Nicaragua/Honduras border with a possibility of moving ENE, hopefully so, we need more rain , its sizzling here!Link
and a model was predicting something out of that area about a wk ago by tomorrow there should be some convection in the nw carib.
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Looks like the blob off Panama & Costa Rica earlier drifted WNW into Nicaragua & Honduras and now might might emerge off the Nicaragua/Honduras border with a possibility of moving ENE, hopefully so, we need more rain , its sizzling here!Link
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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.

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