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 Patrap:
No ,,actually he was still kinda on the run from the Spanish at that time.

He sold them Bum sextants to Columbus..


Hey, he found the place anyway, didn't he. So stop complaining.
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In case some of you missed this last night. Dr. Masters came on and posted this. Really interesting and a little shocking. You got to see it.



Link
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The GFS is still advertising a storm in the Gulf in the long range. It is interesting looking at the evolution of this. A westward moving tropical wave slows in the Western Caribbean as it approaches the Yucatan and rounds the edge of the upper high. The end of June might be interesting.

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No ,,actually he was still kinda on the run from the Spanish at that time.

He sold them Bum sextants to Columbus..
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Quoting emcf30:
To add to Grothar's comment

The longest drought on American soil began before there was a US, in 1276, and it lasted 38 years, until 1314. The most well known drought in US history, and tied for being one of the longest was the drought that caused the dust bowl and the Great Depression, from 1931-1936. This drought also set the record for the two driest years in US history, 1934 and 1935.

Drought History










Didn't know that.
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Quoting Grothar:
Excerpt from Storm Center.

Did you that the longest drought in known history lasted 400 years, from 1571 to 1971 in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

(I can remember wondering when it would end)
Was that when you still had your pet dinosaur?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Thank you plaza- I don't think almonds or olives will grow in North Fla, too cold of winter...maybe further south...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 175 Comments: 26476
Quoting Grothar:


I wouldn't trust Accuweather. Didn't you see the blog last night when Dr. Master came on and posted that link for us?


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jun/08/de ath-valley-weather-stats-were-fabricated/

Will have to fix the space in "death".
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Quoting Grothar:


I wouldn't trust Accuweather. Didn't you see the blog last night when Dr. Master came on and posted that link for us?
Weather at a Glance






Weather Station

Owen Roberts (MWCR)


Elevation

10 ft

Station Select




Now



Scattered Clouds


Temperature

86 F

Feels Like 99 F


Wind(mph)

7


Sunrise / Set

5:46 AM

7:03 PM








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wow!! something going on with 65 west
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Dynamical Models MJO Forecast
Link
thanks for that link, never seen it before

Quoting pottery:

This is why I keep saying that Historical weather statistics may prove to be completely irrelevant in the near future.
There are all sorts of new influences working Globally that affect Weather, and we have not begun to understand them, far less factor them into the equation.

Sahara Dust is a good example.
The research is still not conclusive re; it's affect on T-Waves and so on.

The study of Weather and Climate is a particularly difficult one since we absolutely cannot duplicate conditions in the Laboratory....
idk about completely irrelevant, but I do agree with what you are saying. The atmosphere and it's interaction with the Earth's other systems are ridiculously complex. I honestly don't think we will ever have it all perfectly mapped out.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
I know its difficult to change and adapt but it might be time to consider planting some almonds and olives in the place of your ornamental trees.
We had a drought in southern Spain in about 1995 and it only rained 8 days in the whole year we got about 6 inches in total where I lived,whole year, the oranges and lemons survived,oleanders yukas etc and they can all cope with a lot of rain as well.
I would agree with Grother though, your real big problem might be medium term salt water intrusions and over population caused by national immigration.
You have surly got to get some rain out of this season I hope??
Arizona also looks like hell.
Sympathies to everybody affected.
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Quoting Grothar:
Satellite view of Arizona fires.




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Quoting stormpetrol:


Right now at 6:10pm local time according to Accuweather on my BB though actual temp 86 degrees, the heat index is 104, humidity is outrageous, earlier it is was 111, the actual heat index is what I mean when i say it feels so hot


I wouldn't trust Accuweather. Didn't you see the blog last night when Dr. Master came on and posted that link for us?
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To add to Grothar's comment

The longest drought on American soil began before there was a US, in 1276, and it lasted 38 years, until 1314. The most well known drought in US history, and tied for being one of the longest was the drought that caused the dust bowl and the Great Depression, from 1931-1936. This drought also set the record for the two driest years in US history, 1934 and 1935.

Drought History








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Satellite view of Arizona fires.


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Quoting Grothar:


How hot?


Right now at 6:10pm local time according to Accuweather on my BB though actual temp 86 degrees, the heat index is 104, humidity is outrageous, earlier it is was 111, the actual heat index is what I mean when i say it feels so hot
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Excerpt from Storm Center.

Did you that the longest drought in known history lasted 400 years, from 1571 to 1971 in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

(I can remember wondering when it would end)


Atacama aside, the most memorable U.S. drought was known as the Dust Bowl, which took place on the Great Plains from 1931 to 1936.

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When was 94L reactivated? Thursday night? Or was it Wednesday night?
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Dear friends just north of Florida.. may we borrow some of your rain?

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Quoting stormpetrol:
I'm 46 years old and I can't remember it being this hot here in Grand Cayman in my life,just didn't get enough rain here from 94L.


How hot?
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Went to Topsail Beach today (NC), and even though 94L isn't a system, it sure is creating very high surf.
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957. IKE
384 hour 18Z GFS offers hope. If you believe it, please post tonight's winning lottery #'s here in Florida...


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting PlazaRed:


Not to mention the spurs but i did!

Some say that every day without rain is a day nearer to a downpour.
Others comment every day without rain is a day nearer to a desert, I think on of Them was Carl Sagan?


I am seeing palms dying from lack of water for the firt time. By this time, everything should be green down and and growing. Not so.
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I'm 46 years old and I can't remember it being this hot here in Grand Cayman in my life,just didn't get enough rain here from 94L.
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Evening Everyone! Once upon a time there was a thing called rain. THE END. :) Our 50% chance today dropped to 30% :( It is so much drier this June than last. I work outside and it has felt much cooler than it is, just because it's been so bone dry. We really need some rain.
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it's not just in Florida. Here in Wilmington we've had 13 straight days without rain, and before that we had a streak of 10 days without rain. We'd probably be in severe exceptional drought if it weren't fore that 25 inches of rain we got back in september.
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I don't know... I think 1998 was worse.

This too shall pass.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Gulf coast burning up and drying to death


I posted this earlier, Evac, but look at that dry air in the SW and Texas. Endless.


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This is what really hurts. Look at this link. We may joke around and everything, but I haven't seen anything like this since the early 1970's here. And I don't think it was this bad. What is remarkable is that we haven't had more fires.


Link
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Looks like the folks at NWS MLB think the wet season start will not be next week... how about the week after!

Gotta go turn on the sprinks...
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Quoting Grothar:



I just hope we don't have to start wearing those boots and hats, though.


Not to mention the spurs but i did!

Some say that every day without rain is a day nearer to a downpour.
Others comment every day without rain is a day nearer to a desert, I think on of Them was Carl Sagan?
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947. IKE

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
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Quoting Grothar:



I just hope we don't have to start wearing those boots and hats, though.

Will look real Cool, strutting around Palm Beach like that...
Yessiree!
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Gulf coast burning up and drying to death
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Quoting StAugustineFL:


Rob, off topic but after I joined WU you helped me with posting images and links. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate it. Thank you.


Saw this just as I was about to close the lid.

You are very welcome. Anytime I can assist anyone here, just drop me a WU mail. I've gotten plenty of help with weather stuff here so it is the least I can do.

BTW YouTube has changed and the tutorial I did on my blog is out of date. Will try to get that updated this week.
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So dry up here in NCFL, I've brush fires on three sides now. Lots of smoke. First time I've seen the wunderground local forecast say 'smoke' instead of 'clear' or 'partly cloudy'.
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Those dinner-plate-sized belt buckles look uncomfortable, too, Gro.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 175 Comments: 26476
Quoting Levi32:
According to NCEP reanalysis, the last very dry decade in Florida was the 1970s. However, that decade had the opposite multidecadal signals (PDO and AMO) that we have now, which suggests that they may not be the root of the issue. It's an intriguing problem.

This is why I keep saying that Historical weather statistics may prove to be completely irrelevant in the near future.
There are all sorts of new influences working Globally that affect Weather, and we have not begun to understand them, far less factor them into the equation.

Sahara Dust is a good example.
The research is still not conclusive re; it's affect on T-Waves and so on.

The study of Weather and Climate is a particularly difficult one since we absolutely cannot duplicate conditions in the Laboratory....
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Sorry, I wasn't ignoring anyone on the blog today. I was off most of the day. I saw some questions posted to me earlier and I want to answer them now.

1. I don't think so
2. There is an outside possibility
3. What link?
4. If the current trends hold, it could happen.

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For all the areas that need rainfall, I truly believe that nature will even things out. Not sure when, but it will happen.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11512
Doesn't make sense to me, are the models just getting confused because there were some other isolated regions of activity? Looks like the magnitude should be larger than what any of them are saying.
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Quoting aquak9:
That is sad, Rita. I fear Florida is gonna end up like central Texas in a year or two.



I just hope we don't have to start wearing those boots and hats, though.
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We need a storm here in TX, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I'm willing to sacrifice.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
Is 2001 an analog year for this hurricane season?? It looks like it could be.

Just wondering.


Good ones are 1996, 1999, 2000?, and 2008. 2008 is running close as far as the ONI and SST Anomalies.
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Quoting alfabob:
I'm thinking MJO will be back quicker than the models are saying. Looks very similar to what they did last time, as they were saying that no activity was going to occur. Even the plots of previous activity were incorrect, and some still are. Around June 18th-20th seems like a good estimate for when activity will pick up, models say a week or two later though.



Dynamical Models MJO Forecast
Link
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Quoting aquak9:
That is sad, Rita. I fear Florida is gonna end up like central Texas in a year or two.


Those were well established with a good root system, can tell by looking at them by how big they were, and they had ground cover on the ground which should of protected the soil moisture even more for them. And it's only getting worse.

And...1-2 inches of rain fell late this morning just a few miles from me and this location.....nothing for us
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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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