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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT on June 10, 2011

Share this Blog
5
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1529 - 1479

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44Blog Index

1529. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Is Grothar back from his racket brawl? It''s in the 90's down there. I worry about him. You know how those seniors get when things don't go their way. You should of seen him after a bingo game didn't go his way.


Twit!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
1528. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
over the last four hours there have been 11 ratters in the red sea region showing red
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

what up in the red sea area
a lot of multi active shakers


Those are around the Nabro volcano.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1526. Levi32
Quoting alfabob:

Yea I saw the wiki on it, think it might just be coincidental that what happened had similar qualities to a heat burst. It wasn't the compression that created the heat, because the heat was already there. Instead this plume of heat was closer to the tropopause which is suppose to be above any type of convection. The timing on the plume coming through at the same time this occurred is just to significant.


100F air near the tropopause?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VTG:
So close, OH so close. Maybe 2 miles away.

It just poured here in Ferry Pass. For a while it looked like the clouds were going to fall apart, but they somehow held together long enough to start producing rain.


Got some for about 5 minutes. Hope it holds together. Just north of the airport.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

Yea I saw the wiki on it, think it might just be coincidental that what happened had similar qualities to a heat burst. It wasn't the compression that created the heat, because the heat was already there. Instead this plume of heat was closer to the tropopause which is suppose to be above any type of convection. The timing on the plume coming through at the same time this occurred is just to significant.

Now i see what you're saying, i was confused by your last post. So the real question is not where the heat came from, but how it was brought down to the surface? Interesting indeed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:




Great news for SFL, they really needed it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23609
1522. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

what up in the red sea area
a lot of multi active shakers
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just N of I4 will not see rain today in E. Hillsborough. :-(

Maybe I'll be wrong.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23609
1520. VTG
So close, OH so close. Maybe 2 miles away.

It just poured here in Ferry Pass. For a while it looked like the clouds were going to fall apart, but they somehow held together long enough to start producing rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
current pop-ups....little more it seems...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1518. Levi32
30-day SST Anomaly forecast:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FLC011-122015-
/O.CON.KMFL.SV.W.0028.000000T0000Z-110612T2015Z/
BROWARD FL-
351 PM EDT SUN JUN 12 2011

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 415 PM EDT
FOR SOUTH CENTRAL BROWARD COUNTY...

AT 345 PM EDT...A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGIST REPORTED
STRONG WINDS OF AT LEAST 60 MPH ALONG WITH QUARTER SIZE HAIL
OCCURRING OVER WESTERN PEMBROKE PINES WEST OF INTERSTATE 75. QUARTER
HAIL HAS ALSO BEEN REPORTED IN MIRAMAR. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED OVER
MIRAMAR AND PEMBROKE PINES...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE VERY STRONG WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60
MPH...LARGE HAIL...DEADLY LIGHTNING...AND VERY HEAVY RAINFALL. STAY
INSIDE AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Someone flush a boat toilet out at 23n,57w? ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
It's pouring with rain at the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal. So much so the race has been red flagged.

But race will be restarted,and I think DRS should be useable in the rain.I also think Kobayashi can win this race.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So close, OH so close. Maybe 2 miles away.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1511. emcf30
This year is the coolest the Gulf of Guinea since 2005.
2011

2010

2005 Cooler than 2011

2004, Another Cool GOG
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
Quoting Levi32:


Well first of all the effect of the Gulf of Guinea is a relative one. For example, if both the Gulf of Guinea and the Sahara Desert (or the eastern Atlantic) are cold, then the relative difference is still the same as if both were neutral, or both were warm. It is the anomalous difference that drives the feedback mechanisms.

So, there is a time series constructed from the difference between eastern Atlantic SST anomalies and Gulf of Guinea SST anomalies. When it is positive, it means the eastern Atlantic is anomalously warmer than the Gulf of Guinea, which usually means the GOG is colder than normal and the eastern Atlantic is warmer than normal. One can see that some big years like 2004, 2005, and 2010 all had very positive values, but some non-years also had a positive index, like 1983, 1992, and 1997. Those inactive years stick out as El Nino seasons. Therefore, it does not always mean high activity to have the GOG cold, but if it is paired up with other favorable factors, such as La Nina, it usually enhances tropical activity a lot.



In other words, the other factors have to be favorable, not only have a cold GOG to then have more tropical activity. Thank you for that explanation.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14055
Quoting islander101010:
the little low tropical wave at 58w 22n is still spinning and in fact it seems alittle deeper this afternoon
I would concur.Lets see what happens when it enters the Carib.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Checking out Radars in Florida, quite a few scattered storms throughout the state. Then check out radars in Texas, nothing, no clouds due to High Pressure kicking our butts. :) Glad Florida is getting some storms though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:


Yea here is the link if you want to watch the tropopause in motion. I think those thunderstorms collapsed due to the heat coming in from the pacific over the last week or so. It is dry upper-level heat so it would make sense if there were some storms from adjacent cold air and then this plume rushed in and collapsed them. Maybe a new weather phenomena? I know down-burst can happen along with atmospheric vertical mixing, but 100 after mid-night.. but my point is that a heat burst is suppose to be from collapsing thunderstorms which induce heat via compression. This is something different, unless they never realized that a plume of heat in the tropopause could cause a "heat burst".

Wikipedia has an article on heat bursts with some other examples.. From the way it sounds, the perfect conditions must be met.
Link
- Rain falling high up in the atmosphere into very dry air.
- This rain evaporates quickly as it falls through the dry air, cooling rapidly.
- The now dense airmass Falls rapidly to the ground, heating up as it compresses.
- Upon hitting the ground, the airmass spreads out in all directions spreading very strong, dry, hot winds.
Obviously similar to a downburst.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1506. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
A couple of questions for Levi about the Gulf of Guinea vs hurricane season activity. Is every time the GOG gets cold, it turns active in the Atlantic and viseversa,when it warms,there is less activity?

Or it has occured that even if it gets cold there, the tropical activity is not plenty?


Well first of all the effect of the Gulf of Guinea is a relative one. For example, if both the Gulf of Guinea and the Sahara Desert (or the eastern Atlantic) are cold, then the relative difference is still the same as if both were neutral, or both were warm. It is the anomalous difference that drives the feedback mechanisms.

So, there is a time series constructed from the difference between eastern Atlantic SST anomalies and Gulf of Guinea SST anomalies. When it is positive, it means the eastern Atlantic is anomalously warmer than the Gulf of Guinea, which usually means the GOG is colder than normal and the eastern Atlantic is warmer than normal. One can see that some big years like 2004, 2005, and 2010 all had very positive values, but some non-years also had a positive index, like 1983, 1992, and 1997. Those inactive years stick out as El Nino seasons. Therefore, it does not always mean high activity to have the GOG cold, but if it is paired up with other favorable factors, such as La Nina, it usually enhances tropical activity a lot.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1505. emcf30
Gulf of Guinea can be an important factor on how active or not the CV seasons may be. The thing is that when it turns cool,then the ITCZ lifts more northward than normal( which we are currently observing} and the Sahel region moists up causing the tropical waves to be stronger as they emerge the African coast. Also, the cooling of the Gulf causes less sal events that causes the CV season to be active, again, because of the moist Sahel. Last year, the western Sahel was very wet and that is likely contributing to increased soil moisture and less dust so far in 2011. On the contrary,when the Gulf of Guinea warms,the effect is to cause the ITCZ to stay on average or even below normal latitudes during the summer months.Also,the West Sahel area turns drier, and also contributes to much more sal events.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The size of the Wallow fire now is approximately 694 square miles.

Yes. The largest in state history was 2002's Rodeo-Chediski blaze, which burned about 735 square miles. According to a spokesman at today's press conference, firefighters will need to burn at least another 150,000 acres before Wallow is contained, which would put the fire somewhere around 850 square miles (the size of a rectangle 29 miles on each side) before it's all said and done.

The Wallow Fire is the fifth one in Arizona larger than 100,000 acres since 2002. Before then, the largest known wildfire in Arizona was the Lone Fire in 1996, which burned 61,370 acres.

Three of the ten largest fires in Arizona history are currently burning: Wallow, Horseshoe Two, and Murphy Complex Fire.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13465
1502. Torgen
Sorry I'm late! Adrian surprised me (I'd forgotten we'd started.)

*buckles in for another season*

Well, my yard in Tampa crunches when I walk on it, and the local personal weather station is recording a heat index of 100F. Could *really* use some rain. I'd settle for an overcast day so I can finish painting the gables I had to replace on both ends of the house. :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A couple of questions for Levi about the Gulf of Guinea vs hurricane season activity. Is every time the GOG gets cold, it turns active in the Atlantic and viseversa,when it warms,there is less activity?

Or it has occured that even if it gets cold there, the tropical activity is not plenty?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14055
Windward Islands Weather info map.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting pottery:


Love the "ping-pong pan" at the start there.
Great old music.
What is your Instrument of choice, Shen?
I mess around on the guitar some. I have a special spot for the steel drum because the first time heard it I was sitting in Washington Square Park, NYC. I heard this incredible music and went to find it. This fellow had set up under the replica Arc de Triomphe there and was playing his heart out. Was not busking as had no "hat" set out and waved me away when I pulled out a dollar. Found out later that he had a specific time he practiced there most days because he loved the acoustics of the arch and no one complained. I can find the large bands wearing after a while because though it is possible for the right builder to get one fairly much in tune with itself (this guy must have been special because he had made his own after arriving in NYC it rare for them to be in perfect tune with each other and the discordant tones tend to mute the bell like timbre which first attracted me to the instrument. I don't play it but in the right hands it is stupendous.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Seems the U.S.A is either flooded or in drought or in Extreme drought? I do know the water temps in the Gulf off Texas are alot higher than normal because we have been 10 degrees above average for several months. All this heat and humidity coming thru Texas is a player in the weather elsewhere. Only difference is the Humidity in Texas is only at the lower levels, at the higher levels the air is bone dry. Not sure what it will take to change this? Strong tropical system maybe?


Yeah its ridiculous, we have that same issue here. But the same high pressure that's suppressing rain in Texas will also keep tropical cyclones away. What you guys and us Floridians need is a pattern change. Much of Texas is a dry state but far eastern Texas from what I know is much wetter and similar to Florida's subtropical climate, so imagine Houston is really suffering. South Florida is absolutely horrible, where they normally average 10 to 12 inches in June they are hardly getting anything. Florida is normally like a rain forest during the wet season, which is extremely crucial to our climate because like 75% of our rain comes during this period to help give Florida that jungle appearance. If we don't get torrential rains soon everything starts to burn.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
The GFS ensembles are now again starting to show the kind of pattern that could lead to tropical mischief in the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico during the last week of June. Ridging (green colors) over eastern North America, if far enough north, tends to incubate the tropical circulation cell to its south, and upward motion is being indicated in the west Caribbean by below-normal 500mb heights (blue colors). These heights are not low because of colder temperature, but because of upward motion initiating the release of latent heat into the upper troposphere, expanding the air column and lowering the 500mb height level.



Great analysis! Lets hope that will mean weak tropical cyclones bringing heavy rain to Florida and Texas, as well as a consistent wet season pattern in Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:
Its so weird that I had 13 inches of rain in the last week of March here, normally the heart of the dry season, yet sitting here in freaking mid June and everything is getting scary dry in what is normally the first rain season month... How weird.
Seems the U.S.A is either flooded or in drought or in Extreme drought? I do know the water temps in the Gulf off Texas are alot higher than normal because we have been 10 degrees above average for several months. All this heat and humidity coming thru Texas is a player in the weather elsewhere. Only difference is the Humidity in Texas is only at the lower levels, at the higher levels the air is bone dry. Not sure what it will take to change this? Strong tropical system maybe?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurrykane:






Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IceCoast:


That shows the isolation of the heat wave quite nicely. It sure is an interesting phemonem . Per NWS this is what caused it.

The burst of hot air in the middle of the night was likely the result of showers and storms which dissipated about 30 to 60 minutes prior to the heat burst being felt. The rainfall evaporated as high level air descended from the dying storms. This air compressed and warmed significantly as it descended...resulting in a hot blast of air at the ground. Environmental conditions with the presence of dry air aloft have to be just right to produce the rare occurrence of a heat burst.

Do you guys know about chinook winds? Also very interesting and a good read!
Link


Yeah I forgot to mention, that situation is very similar to chinook winds.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1490. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting alfabob:
Since shear is so low and sst above average, there might be some activity this week without the aid of MJO. High pressure should be building back in soon and I can still see the LLC NE of PR and that wave moving into the east Caribbean. They just need to make it past the upper-level shear and then will have a chance to develop.
only thing there is the V and we can see that scrap with system north of it about only thing out there for now nothing more nothing less

what you expect its only day 12 already had lets see
90(mar) 91 92(april) 93(may) 94 cat4 (june) not bad steady as she goes full speed ahead
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Its so weird that I had 13 inches of rain in the last week of March here, normally the heart of the dry season, yet sitting here in freaking mid June and everything is getting scary dry in what is normally the first rain season month... How weird.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

I bet it has something to do with this plume of heat that happened to pass over the area when it occurred.



That shows the isolation of the heat wave quite nicely. It sure is an interesting phemonem . Per NWS this is what caused it.

The burst of hot air in the middle of the night was likely the result of showers and storms which dissipated about 30 to 60 minutes prior to the heat burst being felt. The rainfall evaporated as high level air descended from the dying storms. This air compressed and warmed significantly as it descended...resulting in a hot blast of air at the ground. Environmental conditions with the presence of dry air aloft have to be just right to produce the rare occurrence of a heat burst.

Do you guys know about chinook winds? Also very interesting and a good read!
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like the storm coverage for extreme South Florida is at least looking good. Now, all we need is for this to cover the rest of Florida everyday. Actually, we need some sort of disturbance to bring a good 6 to 12 inch widespread rains, and then scattered to numerous sea breeze storms each day like we normally get after. That may sound like a a lot to ask for but its something that we normally call normal wet season weather around here. We just need that normal to come back and replace this abnormal junk...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1486. pottery
See you guys and gals Anon...
I am off to the Airport.
To meet a Very Special Person.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
the little low tropical wave at 58w 22n is still spinning and in fact it seems alittle deeper this afternoon
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Texas would be very happy to see this if it pans out in 10-15 days. The ECMWF ensembles are indicating a break in the tropical ridge over the western Gulf of Mexico by Day 10. If any kind of tropical moisture moves into place in that region, it's possible that it could move up and give Texas some water.



:) That sounds good.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IceCoast:
Not sure if this has been posted as it's a few days old, but very interesting regardless. A strong heat wave hit Wichita Kansas shortly after midnight June 9th sending temperatures soaring to over 100 degrees. This 15 to 20 degree temperature jump took place in a matter of 20-30 minutes. The NWS there has a great write up and explanation of this.
Link


Very interesting indeed! We covered this phenomenon in school, however, I have never seen such a dramatic example like that. Very interesting!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1479. pottery
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


He sent me pics. No one got out without blotter injuries.

Well, That should take the heat off me some....
heheheh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1529 - 1479

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
68 °F
Overcast