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 wxhatt:


We have been reduced to a few pop-up late day showers in the drought stricken southeast...


I know, and Texas cant even get a pop-up....but I'm staying optimistic :)

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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Come on pop-ups.....:)



We have been reduced to a few pop-up late day showers in the drought stricken southeast...
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NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' Dawns With California Launch


A Delta II rocket launches with the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft payload from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Friday, June 10, 2011. The joint U.S./Argentinian Aquarius/Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC)-D mission, set to launch June 10, will map the salinity at the ocean surface, information critical to improving our understanding of two major components of Earth's climate system: the water cycle and ocean circulation. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

ScienceDaily (June 10, 2011) - NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' dawned June 10, 2011 with the launch of an international satellite carrying the agency-built Aquarius instrument that will measure the saltiness of Earth's oceans to advance our understanding of the global water cycle and improve climate forecasts.

The Aquarius/SAC-D observatory rocketed into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket at 7:20:13 a.m. PDT (10:20:13 a.m. EDT). Less than 57 minutes later, the observatory separated from the rocket's second stage and began activation procedures, establishing communications with ground controllers and unfurling its solar arrays.

Initial telemetry reports show the observatory is in excellent health. The SAC-D (Sat%uFFFDlite de Aplicaciones Cient%uFFFDficas) observatory is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina's space agency, Comisi%uFFFDn Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE..........................

Link

NASA Goes Below the Surface to Understand Salinity
Link
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A magnitude5.4quake struck yesterday ~14miles(~23kilometres) at 107degrees(ESE) away from the TokaiDaini* nuclear powerplant in IbarakiPrefecture.
The lone red dot to the east represents a magnitude5.2quake that struck 2weeks ago ~22miles(~35kilometres) away

The northernmost red dot shows the site of the FukushimaDaiichi meltdowns.
The red dot ~7miles(~11kilometres) south of that represents FukushimaDaini.
And the southernmost red dot is located in centralTokyo.

Of interest mostly because there is some thought that the Fukushima and Ibaraki fault complexes may now be as stressed as the Miyagi fault complex was before the GreatTohokuEarthquake, and may have been further destabilized by that magnitude9.0quake.

* At which another meltdown was only narrowly averted during the GreatTohokuEarthquake due to failures of two back-up diesel generators, then a failure of the primary coolant pump during the immediate aftermath of the quake and tsunami
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Come on pop-ups.....:)

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Upper Level Winds

Currently very unfavorable.
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After-midnight 'heat burst' surprises Kansas
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
This could be the start of the end for Adrian


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I think the ULL to our west has won the pushing match, and 94L is not going to move directly over. Might get some better rain chances as it passes, but the big rain event we hoped for..not happening yet.
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Quoting overwash12:
Was it a waterspout?


No, it was definitely just a little rope tornado poking out from a cloud over land. It twisted around for a few minutes and then disappeared. It was a few miles inland.
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Are we Definite that the ULL alongside W. Florida is going to move away?
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Next one?

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Quoting sonofagunn:
A tiny rope tornado appeared under one of the storms West of Tampa today around 2:30 PM. It only lasted 3-4 minutes and never came close to the ground. Very unusual, and interesting to see in such a small storm.
Was it a waterspout?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Looks weaker, like 125 mph/130 mph.


Yes. ATCF just updated; it's now at 125mph, or Cat 3:

EP, 01, 2011061018, , BEST, 0, 154N, 1081W, 110, 956, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 25, 20, 25, 1010, 250, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ADRIAN, D,
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Going down...

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A tiny rope tornado appeared under one of the storms West of Tampa today around 2:30 PM. It only lasted 3-4 minutes and never came close to the ground. Very unusual, and interesting to see in such a small storm.
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109. Jax82
How much longer can the loop current hold until an eddy forms?
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Quoting 7544:
they relocated 94l lol will the models also shift east now away from so fla tia


In my opinion, 94L has company with another low. Seems to be an area of disturbed weather with a couple of low level vorticies embeded within.

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Adrian Looks a little ragged but they are like a spinning top and takes a little while to wind down..
the 5 o'clock might show that weakening
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Adrian may be weakening, but he's doing it v-e-r-y slowly. ATCF says nothing has changed from six hours ago:

EP, 01, 2011061018, , BEST, 0, 154N, 1081W, 110, 956, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 25, 20, 25, 1010, 250, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ADRIAN, D,


Looks weaker, like 125 mph/130 mph.

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105. 7544
they relocated 94l lol will the models also shift east now away from so fla tia
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Low shear values to the north of 94L

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Quoting jeffs713:

I see what you did there...


Glad you see the humor. It's depressing when the number one news story is what is in Palin's emails.
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Local NWS in Wilmington, NC

so the cold front should be in NC by sunday..will 94L make it here it before then or sit and stall at florida and miss it alltogether?

PCP ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLD FRONT WILL NOT EXTEND TOO FAR OUT
AHEAD OF FRONT AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT SEE SHWRS/TSTMS UNTIL LATE
SUN WITH MOST PCP OCCURRING OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY MON MORNING. THE
ONLY EFFECTS OF THE TROPICAL LOW/WAVE WILL BE TO PRODUCE A MORE
EASTERLY WIND FLOW OUT AHEAD OF IT SUN AFTN BUT THIS WILL PROBABLY
NOT REACH OUR AREA. THE NAM IS STILL REMAINING THE MOST AGGRESSIVE
WITH THIS SYSTEM BRINGING IT CLOSEST TO THE COAST WITH WINDS
SHIFTING AROUND TO THE NE SUN AFTN. NONE OF THE ASSOCIATED
MOISTURE MAKES IT ON SHORE AS IT GETS STEERED OFF TO THE EAST
NORTHEAST AS COLD FRONT MOVES EASTWARD TOWARD THE COAST LATE SUN.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Palin's dump overtaking Anthony's weiner on the news cycle. I guess nothing else going on in the world.

I see what you did there...
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Adrian may be weakening, but he's doing it v-e-r-y slowly. ATCF says nothing has changed from six hours ago:

EP, 01, 2011061018, , BEST, 0, 154N, 1081W, 110, 956, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 25, 20, 25, 1010, 250, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, ADRIAN, D,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13529
99. IKE
Unimpressive on rain in the SE USA....


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Quoting ncstorm:
anyone know how fast 94L is moving?


Here is a good link to the interactive satellite:

.Vis-Satellite

you can choose "high" zoom factor and animate some 20 frames to see 94L. Not sure how fast it's moving though
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The rain is not reaching S Fla. Its drying out beforehand. Rain chances lowered in my area today from 40 to 20%. Sat is still 50% but at this point its up in the air too.
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Palin's dump overtaking Anthony's weiner on the news cycle. I guess nothing else going on in the world.
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anyone know how fast 94L is moving?
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abuntdant moisture will move north and meet up with a frontal zone...

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Quoting intampa:
refering to the post about the climate in florida and the change and water ,it is very true. you can forget anyone doing anything about the future. dont even admit that the climate is changing and dont even think about broaching the subject of taking care of the earth and its resources. you will be laughed out of the state and called a communist a liberal a radical a socialist a fascist a racist a troop hating anti american anti bible anti god obama supporting fool.
Well aren't you, if you hold such an unpatriotic notion that the future wellbeing of the nation is not totally entwined with that of corporate interests.
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Quoting largeeyes:
What about us in NC, are we chopped liver? We have a severe drought ongoing too and wouldn't mind a bit of the wet stuff.....


Don't worry it's coming!
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Whats also intreasting not that it has anything to do with anything is that the storms grew larger as the months went by.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:


The cold front will likely stall out over the Carolinas and will likely not be enough to pull the disturbance out to sea just yet.
Good to se you posting still. What transpired withe the computer issue?
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Quoting largeeyes:
What about us in NC, are we chopped liver? We have a severe drought ongoing too and wouldn't mind a bit of the wet stuff.....


We probably are. :\
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
What about us in NC, are we chopped liver? We have a severe drought ongoing too and wouldn't mind a bit of the wet stuff.....
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Two low level swirls to keep an eye on...

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Adrian weakening, 94L unlikely to develop. Not much to report today.. other than it will once again be dry to the bone in Florida today with only a few seeing showers.
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Quoting blsealevel:


Composite satellite image of intense hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma from different dates in 2005. The storms all made landfall at various locations around the Gulf of Mexico, causing nearly $180 billion in damage. Image courtesy of Univ. of Wisconsin-CIMSS and UCL.


Poor Dennis pales in comparison to all the other hurricanes XD
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
Inciweb says the Wallow Fire is now up to about 409,000 acres, or nearly 640 square miles--the same as a square 25 miles on a side.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13529


Composite satellite image of intense hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma from different dates in 2005. The storms all made landfall at various locations around the Gulf of Mexico, causing nearly $180 billion in damage. Image courtesy of Univ. of Wisconsin-CIMSS and UCL.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is it usually this quiet?


Strange ant it?
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Is it usually this quiet?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
Quoting TaylorSelseth:
Did Adrian's CDO shrink overnight? he looks TINY!!!


It's because he is now an annular hurricane.

Good afternoon all.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033

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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.