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 pottery:

See post 1902.
what you think?


It does indeed look to be above the deck. The way it looks reminds me of most other early morning sat images I've seen of columns.

But yes, we shall definitely see how much of the light is tricks and how much is true!
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1928. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting BahaHurican:
Whatever it is, that plume is way higher than the surrounding cloud cover.... even shape-wise it seems anomalous....

I can't believe this hasn't been picked up by anybody else besides wx / vulcanologist bloggers...
i picked up on it the moment i recorded 11 quakes in 4 hrs earlier this afternoon PcolaDan knows i spoke to him first of it and he took it the rest of the ways but that doesn't matter this thing looks to be a big and maybe even bigger event to come
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52265
1927. pottery
Quoting RobDaHood:


Appears so. low sun angles can play tricks though and I'm no expert at this. Also, truth be told my eyes are so tired right now that I could be looking at a pile of cotton balls :o)

LOL.
OK, but to me it seems that the shadow is getting 'further away' from the plume as we look northwest.
Suggests to me that the plume is gaining altitude as it goes.
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1926. Patrap
Uploaded by rvermill47 on Jun 12, 2011

After getting multiple earthquake reports centered in Ethiopia is suspected to be a potential volcanic eruption. This has not been verified, but looks to be Nabro, a volcano that has no recent eruption data.
*Satellite data is copyright of www.sat24.com*


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1925. Skyepony (Mod)
The eruption is certainly in the tropics, so the potential to cool temps for a few years is possible. Too early yet to say if it will blow enough high enough to have that effect.

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Quoting KoritheMan:
I'm not as well versed in volcanology as I am meteorology, but I imagine the only potential effects it will have on the Atlantic hurricane season is possible cooling of sea surface temperatures in the eastern Atlantic region. We normally experience that with our seasonal SAL outbreaks, anyway.
I was thinking that SAL was forecast to be below normal this season... this eruption could, at least potentially, replace the SAL for a portion of the season, thereby dampening storm formation possibilities.... intriguing idea, if nothing else.
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1923. pottery
SKYE,
where does the ash from those fires end up?
On the Arctic ice by any chance?
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Quoting Bitmap7:

That has to be a 1000KM long.


Longer than that, and its still seems to be coming out of the source at the same rate.
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Levi, any indication of a shockwave cloud under that cloud deck? its impossible for me to tell...
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1920. Bitmap7
Quoting Levi32:
03:30 UTC:


That has to be a 1000KM long.
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My vaguest recollections also seem to imply that the higher the altitude of the ejecta, the more likely it is to have a longer-term cooling effect on N hemisphere temps.... but I think Levi is right... unless whatever it is has the potential to fall out downwind... it's still too early to even make serious gestimates because we don't even yet know what is being ejected, never mind how much.

Still pretty impressive to look at, however....
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Quoting pottery:

See post 1902.
what you think?


Appears so. low sun angles can play tricks though and I'm no expert at this. Also, truth be told my eyes are so tired right now that I could be looking at a pile of cotton balls :o)
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1916. Skyepony (Mod)
Doom for Siberia.. it's gonna cost if Russia has another bad growing year.


Russia sent emergency fire-fighting aircraft over Siberia's Taiga forests and residential areas to battle 200 new wildfires raging over the past 24 hours, the Emergency Ministry said Saturday. Twenty-two major ones have been reported, officials said. Since summer began, there have more than 5,500 forest fire outbreaks in Siberia, the government agency reported, with 210,000 hectares (518,921 acres) ablaze, three times more than in 2010. Russian Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is heading to the affected areas, said the most devastating fires are now raging in remote parts of Central and Eastern Siberia, as well as the Far East. Shoigu said there are concerns of a repeat of last year's disaster, when a persistent drought and fires raged across the country, claiming more than 60 lives, destroying one-third of all crops and forcing Russia to ban grain exports. "Wildfires (in Siberia) are greater in area compared to last year's fires by more than two times," he told Russian State TV on Saturday. An I1-76 plane, bases at Bratsk airport, has carried out five flights to drop tons of water over the Chunsk district. An amphibious Be-200 and a Mi-8 helicopter are also engaged, Itar-Tass reported. Siberia Gov. Dmitry Mezentsev has declared a state of emergency in the entire area as the situation appeared to be increasingly "deteriorating," the agency reported. Siberia's ecosystems have become a main concern for climate scientists. Home to forests known as Taiga, or the boreal forest, scientists have registered major environmental changes in the Taiga as a result of global warming. Last year, a multinational emergency task force came to Russia aid as wildfires roared against thousands of hectares, mostly in the nation's western provinces.
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1915. pottery
Quoting beell:
pottery, Levi, and shore;

I did qualify this sunrise as "somewhat" reassuring.

I'm counting on momentum!

Ah!

:):))
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I'm not as well versed in volcanology as I am meteorology, but I imagine the only potential effects it will have on the Atlantic hurricane season is possible cooling of sea surface temperatures in the eastern Atlantic region. We normally experience that with our seasonal SAL outbreaks, anyway.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19127
1913. Levi32
Quoting shoreacres:


When it finally does, would it be proper to say the sun also rises?

;-)


Hmm...lol.
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1912. beell
pottery, Levi, and shore;

I did qualify this sunrise as "somewhat" reassuring.

I'm counting on momentum!
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1911. Levi32
03:30 UTC:

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Yep... newest one answered my question. Looks huge!
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1909. pottery
Quoting RobDaHood:


Exactly. Depends on what is being spewed, how much, and for how long. All Volcanoes are different. Good Question though Baha. My first thought on this was that it is at the right latitude to potentially impact the cane season.

See post 1902.
what you think?
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1908. Torgen
I'm sure folks have already found the animated satellite, but for those who haven't, this has vis and IR: http://www.sat24.com/en/et?ir=false
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Quoting pottery:

Really hard to tell, so early.
Is it Ash? Smoke? Cloud? Each would have a different result (if any, depending on how much)


Exactly. Depends on what is being spewed, how much, and for how long. All Volcanoes are different. Good Question though Baha. My first thought on this was that it is at the right latitude to potentially impact the cane season.
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1906. pottery
Quoting PcolaDan:


Could also be a fissure eruption pumping out SO2

True as well.
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Quoting dogsgomoo:
First time posting on this blog. But you folks are on the ball! Kudos.

Also now at 03:15 UTC. The visible sat sure looks like a plume, the shadow looks so distinct! Amazing.
Welcome, traveller.

I wonder how visible that is to the naked eye... I mean from how far away.... should definitely be visible from the Red Sea, say to passing shipping, yes?
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1904. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, I gather is very early to say if the Atlantic Hurricane season will be affected by this eruption. But what impact it may have on tropical waves that are still inside Africa if any?


Again it really does depend. The only thing I will say is that if it really is a big eruption, most of the particulate matter is going up to the 200mb level or higher, and it looks like it is based on the plume's orientation with the upper winds. Particles up that high I don't see affecting tropical waves all that much.
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Quoting Levi32:


But it hasn't risen quite yet for us Beell ;)


When it finally does, would it be proper to say the sun also rises?

;-)
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1902. pottery
Quoting dogsgomoo:
First time posting on this blog. But you folks are on the ball! Kudos.

Also now at 03:15 UTC. The visible sat sure looks like a plume, the shadow looks so distinct! Amazing.

The shadow looks to be on top the cloud deck ?
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Quoting pottery:

Really hard to tell, so early.
Is it Ash? Smoke? Cloud? Each would have a different result (if any, depending on how much)


Could also be a fissure eruption pumping out SO2
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Levi, I gather is very early to say if the Atlantic Hurricane season will be affected by this eruption. But what impact if any it may have on tropical waves that are still inside Africa being on the latitude that they move?
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1899. Levi32
Quoting beell:


Well, that's somewhat reassuring.
: -)


But it hasn't risen quite yet for us Beell ;)
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1898. pottery
Quoting druseljic:
It's been the topic of this blog for a bit now, what are the real implications of this eruption? Still learning, so help me out... TIA

Really hard to tell, so early.
Is it Ash? Smoke? Cloud? Each would have a different result (if any, depending on how much)
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First time posting on this blog. But you folks are on the ball! Kudos.

Also now at 03:15 UTC. The visible sat sure looks like a plume, the shadow looks so distinct! Amazing.
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1896. Levi32
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Levi, think the next image will make it look even bigger?


Perhaps. Sun angle can do marvelous things.
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1895. Levi32
Quoting druseljic:
It's been the topic of this blog for a bit now, what are the real implications of this eruption? Still learning, so help me out... TIA


It must be stressed that it entirely depends on exactly how big the eruption is. Judging it by satellite images is harder than it seems. We need flyovers by geologists to see what's really going on. Possible implications can be determined once we know how major this eruption is.
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Quoting Levi32:
03:15 UTC:

Whatever it is, that plume is way higher than the surrounding cloud cover.... even shape-wise it seems anomalous....

I can't believe this hasn't been picked up by anybody else besides wx / vulcanologist bloggers...
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1893. pottery
Quoting BahaHurican:
Taz, ATM I am more interested in the relatively short term effects it might have on developments in the tropical ATL.... at that latitude, any particles that drift west might at least potentially interact with AEWs heading west towards the ATL [future Twaves]. It'll be quite interesting to see what if anything happens because of the ash plume....

Could possibly put some dust where the SAL is supposed to be.....
Interesting point, Baha.
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It's been the topic of this blog for a bit now, what are the real implications of this eruption? Still learning, so help me out... TIA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Taz, ATM I am more interested in the relatively short term effects it might have on developments in the tropical ATL.... at that latitude, any particles that drift west might at least potentially interact with AEWs heading west towards the ATL [future Twaves]. It'll be quite interesting to see what if anything happens because of the ash plume....
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Levi, think the next image will make it look even bigger?
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1889. Levi32
03:15 UTC:

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1888. JRRP
.
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1887. pottery
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Not to trust you with rum?

well, yeah. that would be unwise....
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1886. Bitmap7
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Quoting BahaHurican:
We were talking about that earlier too. IIRC from discussions of Ejakxxxxxxxxx [Sooooo can't spell that Icelandic name....] last April, volcanic eruptions in the tropics are more likely to impact wx patterns than those in close to the poles, given the earth's circulation patterns. We were speculating earlier, but there's still too much unknown about it to say what this particular eruption could cause....



ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114062
Quoting BahaHurican:
We were talking about that earlier too. IIRC from discussions of Ejakxxxxxxxxx [Sooooo can't spell that Icelandic name....] last April, volcanic eruptions in the tropics are more likely to impact wx patterns than those in close to the poles, given the earth's circulation patterns. We were speculating earlier, but there's still too much unknown about it to say what this particular eruption could cause....



ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114062
1883. pottery
Quoting beell:


Well, that's somewhat reassuring.
: -)

heheheh.
But it has not risen HERE !!!
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Newest Image makes it look a lot bigger.
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Quoting pottery:

They could'nt forecast a Volcano in Ethiopia....
what do THEY know?


They are great at selling cruises and phone apps, though!
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1880. pottery
Quoting Tazmanian:
could this volcano chang the weather?

If it spews enough stuff, possibly.
But it would need to be plenty more than what we are currently seeing.
It would change local weather surely!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
could this volcano chang the weather?
We were talking about that earlier too. IIRC from discussions of Ejakxxxxxxxxx [Sooooo can't spell that Icelandic name....] last April, volcanic eruptions in the tropics are more likely to impact wx patterns than those in close to the poles, given the earth's circulation patterns. We were speculating earlier, but there's still too much unknown about it to say what this particular eruption could cause....
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About JeffMasters

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