Drought continues; Yellowstone fires could become more frequent; 90L set to develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:58 PM GMT on July 27, 2011

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Southern Drought Continues

Temperatures continue to soar into triple digits in the Southern Plains this week, and are expected to remain well above average for at least the next month. High air temperatures and low humidity (because of the low soil moisture) will continue to maintain drought conditions in the South unless we see some Gulf-landfalling tropical cyclones—a good remedy for a such an extreme drought.

This year's drought in the South is unprecedented by many definitions. Last year at this time, 0% of the contiguous U.S. was in exceptional drought. Last week, the exceptional drought region covered 11.96%. The area of contiguous U.S. in exceptional drought conditions has never been this high since the Drought Monitor record started in 2000. The highest it had been before June of this year was 7.85% in August of 2002.


Figure 1. Temperature anomaly (difference from average) in degrees Celsius for the period July 1 through July 25 (top) and soil moisture anomaly in millimeters (bottom) on July 25 (from the Climate Prediction Center).

In late June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 213 counties in Texas (84% of the state) as primary natural disaster areas. As I mentioned yesterday, the Texas drought and wildfires are one of the nine billion-dollar disasters of 2011 so far. The National Climatic Data Center estimated that this event had cost up to $3 billion as of June 16. This number is surely rising every day that the South doesn't see rain.

New study concludes Yellowstone wildfires could become more frequent

In a study published this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have concluded that global warming could have a serious impact on the severity and frequency of wildfires in the Yellowstone region (an area where the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming come together). Historically in this region, fewer than 5% of wildfire occurrences account for 95% of the total area burned. But in a global warming scenario, they found that fire activity could become more severe and more frequent, causing the ecosystem to change dramatically.

Using climate conditions and historical fire data from 1972 to 1999, it was possible to link certain environmental thresholds (temperature, humidity, etc) to past wildfire events. Then by employing the output of various climate models, fire frequency can be forecast well into the future. Figure 2 illustrates the result from one of the climate models they used in the study, and the upward trend of fire activity over the next 100 years. In 1988, a particularly hot and dry year, 36% of the park burned. The study uses this year as a baseline to compare future events.


Figure 2. Figure 2B from the manuscript. Observed burn area (blue line) median of predicted area burned (black dotted line), and ranges (light and dark orange) aggregated over the Yellowstone area defined by the study by Westerling et al. (Source).

What was once a low-probability event could become a high-probability event by mid-century. Fires that have only happened every 100 to 300 years in the past could now be occurring every 30 years in the future. The results of this research has implications for sub-alpine forests across the globe. Warming temperatures and decreasing humidity will lead to more wildfires, and will cost billions of dollars to fight them, if we choose to do so.

Invest 90L

90L has moved west overnight and looks ripe to develop today. While the upper level circulation (500 mb) is very much displaced, the lower level circulation looks strong and coherent through the system's mid-levels (850 and 700 mb). Thunderstorm activity continues to organize, and it appears that a surface circulation is developing. Moisture remains high in the system (around 4.5 g/kg specific humidity) and wind shear should be somewhat favorable as it crosses through the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of track, the statistical models have generally been favoring a Brownsville landfall scenario, but the dynamical models have been inching north over the past day or so. The HWRF is in line with the ECMWF deterministic today, with landfall near Corpus Christi.



The Hurricane Hunters have a mission scheduled for 18Z today (2pm EDT) to investigate whether or not 90L has a closed surface circulation. If it does, given the amount of organized convection and moderate wind speeds (around 34 mph in the latest invest update), the Hurricane Center will probably call this system at least Tropical Depression Four.

If 90L develops this afternoon, I will have another update to look at track and intensity forecasts.

Angela

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Quoting metwombly:
Ok, every time I hit ignore user, it brings me to a different page, about a blog I haven't started. Help?


You should see a list of "ignored" individuals... the person you're ignoring should appears, so just click the "Update ignore list" and go back to the blog.

Hope that helps.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Wow really who does this like honestly dont just read it but think about it...like seriously dude pardon my french and i dont care if i get banned but you need to go out and get laid or something if your life is that pathetic that you think this is funny then thats just plain horrible...be back later guys i cant take this anymore...please admin do something its making me not even wanna come back to this site anymore! Very unpleasant!
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Time: 18:47:00Z
Coordinates: 22.5833N 87.8333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 977.4 mb (~ 28.86 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 292 meters (~ 958 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1010.5 mb (~ 29.84 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 41° at 7 knots (From the NE at ~ 8.0 mph)
Air Temp: 24.0°C (~ 75.2°F)
Dew Pt: 16.5°C (~ 61.7°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 8 knots (~ 9.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 7 knots (~ 8.0 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 2 mm/hr (~ 0.08 in/hr)
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Quoting Slamguitar:
When I try to ignore this fool it doesn't work, just sends me to my profile and I come back to see the spam still here. What gives?



to put some one on Ignore this hit ingore under that bloger name then hit update ingore then then come back too dr m blog and your done
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Just move on, nothing to see here...;)
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Does anyone favor the NOGAPS track of 90L/Don? (Computer Models-wunderground.com) We could SURE use some rain in NW Louisiana, too!
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22N/87W COC IMO
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Quoting Ameister12:
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TROLL WARNING
NATIONAL TROLL CENTER JEFF MASTER'S BLOG
247 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011

THE NATION TROLL CENTER HAS ISSUED

* A TROLL WARNING FOR DR. JEFF MASTER'S BLOG

* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

* AT 247 EDT A TROLL NAMED TODDANDREWS1 WAS REPORTED TROLLING DR. JEFF MASTER'S BLOG, SPAMMING UNNESSESARY AND STRANGE COMMENTS.

* TAKE YOUR NECESSARY TROLL PRECAUTIONS. REPORT AND IGNORE ANY TROLL YOU NOTICE IMMEDIATELY.


EAS Spotter's Activation is Required.

Where should i take shelter?
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90L is quite mysterious...it has to have one tight little core.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
He has hacked wunderground... cant get rid of him.
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hey doc could you hhave someone ban this toddandrews1 person
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TROLL WARNING
NATIONAL TROLL CENTER JEFF MASTER'S BLOG
247 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011

THE NATION TROLL CENTER HAS ISSUED

* A TROLL WARNING FOR DR. JEFF MASTER'S BLOG

* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

* AT 247 EDT A TROLL NAMED TODDANDREWS1 WAS REPORTED TROLLING DR. JEFF MASTER'S BLOG, SPAMMING UNNESSESARY AND STRANGE COMMENTS.

* TAKE YOUR NECESSARY TROLL PRECAUTIONS. REPORT AND IGNORE ANY TROLL YOU NOTICE IMMEDIATELY
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792. j2008
Quoting WxLogic:


Th HH is pretty much there... yet nada!!!. This is very sneaky system to say the least.

Small and sneaky, sounds like som sorta spy storm. We gotta keep our eyes on em for sure.
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Anyone know where I can download KML or KMZ for GEarth for live hurricane/storm tracking with cone of uncertainty? Or provide a link?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




they are sleeping at the desk i give them a some in too wake up i will send a bear in there may be 2 that would wake them up
isn't keeper an admin?? I thought I saw him on a few mins. ago!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
789. JLPR2
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
based on the ukmet it takes it to the lower tx coast


You got a link? I have been searching for a page with the UKMet model but haven't been successful. :\
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785. JRRP
es la primera persona que pongo en mi lista de ignorados
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When I try to ignore this fool it doesn't work, just sends me to my profile and I come back to see the spam still here. What gives?
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Ok, every time I hit ignore user, it brings me to a different page, about a blog I haven't started. Help?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
If storm goes to Upper TX coast, most of TX not gonna get anything, Coastal bend (central coast) is the only hope, but I got news, most of TX is not gonna get rain from this vort system. Hopefully I'm wrong
I know but if it came over my house I would get a 1 day break from 110 degree heat. :) I think this system will hit northern Mexico or Southern Texas due to the High Pressure Locked in over this huge state. Nothing has moved this High in a long time, don't see a weak tropical system doing it.
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this guys killing the blog
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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.