California fires and global warming; 90L lashes Puerto Rico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:38 PM GMT on October 26, 2007

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A surface low pressure system (90L) moved over Puerto Rico this morning, and is now centered just west of the island. The surface low is entangled with an upper-level low pressure system that is bringing about 30 knots of wind shear, so no development is likely today. Long range radar of of Puerto Rico shows isolated bands of heavy rain that are not well-organized. Satellite loops show most of the heavy thunderstorm activity is to the east of the low's center of circulation, and the high wind shear is keeping this thunderstorm activity disorganized. This morning's QuikSCAT pass showed a large, vigorous circulation. Top winds were about 30 mph to the north of the center, and 90L is close to tropical depression status.


Figure 1. Latest satellite rainfall estimate of 90L.

The surface low is separating from the upper level low today, and will move west-southwest at about 10 mph. This will bring heavy rains and the threat of flash flooding and mudslides to Puerto Rico. Heavy rains of 2-4 inches in just two hours hit the Virgin Islands this morning (Figure 1), prompting flash flood warnings there. Heavy rains also hit many of the islands of the northern Lesser Antilles. Rain amounts as high as 3-5 inches are expected today over eastern Puerto Rico. Several mudslides have already been reported on the island.

The action shifts to the Dominican Republic on Saturday and Haiti on Sunday, as 90L tracks just south of the island of Hispaniola. These nations can expect rains of 3-6 inches, which could trigger life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. It is possible 90L could intensify into a tropical depression on Sunday, as wind shear will slowly fall to 20 knots. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to fly Sunday afternoon, if necessary. On Sunday, 90L will be approaching Jamaica, and the ECMWF and NOGAPS models predict that wind shear will drop to 10-20 knots. These models develop 90L into at least a strong tropical storm as it moves slowly into the Western Caribbean. The GFS model keeps wind shear 20-30 knots through the period, and does not develop 90L. The HWRF model also does not develop 90L. The GFDL is not keen on developing the system either, but does suggest that a weak tropical storm may form a week from now. I believe the most reasonable solution is the NOGAPS and ECMWF solution, and 90L will intensify into hurricane in the Western Caribbean late next week. The long-term path of such a storm is very uncertain, with the NOGAPS and ECMWF suggesting a track north into the Gulf of Mexico to threaten the U.S., and the GFDL predicting 90L will get trapped in the Western Caribbean and perform a counter-clockwise loop. If you have travel plans that take you to Jamaica or the Cayman Islands Sunday through Tuesday, or Cancun/Cozumel/Western Cuba Tuesday through Saturday next week, be prepared for the possibility of disruptions.

California's smoke
The worst of the air pollution hazard from California's fires has now passed. The smoke has thinned some, as seen on satellite images (Figure 2). The smoke made it yesterday to Fresno, in California's Central Valley, and is moving northward into Nevada and northwest Arizona today. Most of this smoke is aloft at altitudes of about 15,000 feet, but some mixing down to the surface has occurred, thanks to an upper-level low pressure system. Increases in particulate matter pollution due to smoke are expected to affect Las Vegas this weekend (Figure 1). However, the smoke will be dilute enough to keep pollution levels in the Moderate range--below the federal air quality standard.


Figure 2. Visible satellite image at 11:15 am PDT Thursday October 25, showing thinning smoke over the Pacific Ocean and much of California. Low stratus clouds are visible over the ocean, and these clouds have moved ashore into Los Angeles and San Diego this morning, triggering Dense Fog Advisories. Image credit: NASA and EPA.

Were the California fires worsened by global warming?
Dr. Ricky Rood points out in his latest wunderblog that the California fires were mostly a land-use and land-management issue. In a previous blog, he had this to say about the link between climate change and Western U.S. fires:

We do know that drought and floods, heat waves and cold snaps are all part of nature. Like the problem of urban heat waves, we have an event that already exists, and there should be a change associated with global warming. I have already mentioned that some studies have attributed the pinyon pine die off in the U.S. Southwest to the fact that the temperature in the recent drought years is higher than in previous droughts. Therefore, ground water is reduced; there is more stress on the plants. (And perhaps it is really the warmer nighttime temperatures that matter?)

There have also been papers which make a compelling argument that wild fires in the western U.S. are increasing in intensity and duration. In the paper of Westerling et al. (Science, 2006), the conclusion is drawn that this is directly related to snow melt occurring earlier in the year, a hotter and drier forest, and hence, a longer burning season. Plus they isolate the impact to be at mid-elevations in the Rockies, and hence, relatively free of land-use changes. While many newspapers reported that this work showed an increase of wild fires due to climate change, I quote directly from their paper: "Whether the changes observed in western hydroclimate and wildfire are the result of greenhouse gas-induced global warming or only an unusual natural fluctuation is beyond the scope of this work".


Jeff Masters

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443. NRAamy
2:25 PM PDT on October 26, 2007
without the "sucks" included.

thank you!! My sentiments exactly!

and how come I got banned for posting Felix, and yet some one who is a total ass doesn't??
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441. Floodman
4:23 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
I'm not a troll, I simply strongly disagree with his analysis. Is that a crime?


Disagreements are fine, but between gentlefolk...put your bludgeon away, there is no place for it here...
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440. NRAamy
2:23 PM PDT on October 26, 2007
I'm going to have to shoot a few of them as a leeson to the others, you think?


Jerry, you a member of the NRA? What would the other dead "peace and love" rock stars think?

;)
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439. IKE
4:19 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Drakoen 4:19 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Ike, so you agree with cantoriesfan?


I have no idea what 90L will do. I don't think it'll affect me directly....indirectly, it will with increased winds.

He's entitled to his opinion on any system...his thoughts on your opinion could/should have been phrased better...without the "sucks" included.
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438. Patrap
4:23 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
I cant find my tracking map! Anyone seen my tracking map?
I need a pencil too...one with a good Point and a good eraser.
Its going west Huh?..
I think its trending west.
Do you see it trending west yall?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129910
437. extreme236
9:23 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
But if the current conditions in the west caribbean remain the way they are, then it could very well become a cane depending on how long it in the area
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
436. OZarkfrompcola
4:20 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
OOPS....floodman said another s word ...SHOOT EM.....lol
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435. Floodman
4:22 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
419. NRAamy 4:18 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Jerry...he's not freaky! He's just ridin' the wild pony...I mean..it is Friday...

:)



Yes, my dear, it most certainly is...ROFLMAO, Amy riding the purple hippo to work...if you bring your roommate, you can use the HOV lane! *unsupressed giggles*
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434. ryang
5:21 PM AST on October 26, 2007
000
ABNT20 KNHC 262120
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
530 PM EDT FRI OCT 26 2007

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS NOW
CENTERED ABOUT 170 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF SANTO DOMINGO IN THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. THE SYSTEM IS NOW MOVING WEST-SOUTHWEST
ABOUT 15 TO 20 MPH. THE ASSOCIATED SHOWER ACTIVITY REMAINS
DISORGANIZED AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE CURRENTLY NOT FAVORABLE
FOR DEVELOPMENT. THE LOW IS EXPECTED TO MOVE GENERALLY
WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD OR WESTWARD AND TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION...IF
ANY...IS NOT EXPECTED UNTIL THE SYSTEM REACHES THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA IN ABOUT TWO DAYS. SHOWERS AND SQUALLS ARE EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE OVER PORTIONS THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...AND
HISPANIOLA.

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE CONTINUES OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. THERE ARE
NO SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY...SHOULD BE SLOW
TO OCCUR.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$

FORECASTER BEVEN
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433. extreme236
9:22 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
The TWO however says 90L is currently moving at 15-20 mph, meaning that it wil reach more favorable conditions more quickly, and I believe that it should slow down more once it does reach the west caribbean due to lack of steering currents
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
432. cantoriesnumber1fan
9:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
417. TampaSpin 9:14 PM GMT on October 26, 2007 Hide this comment.
411. cantoriesnumber1fan 9:11 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Drak, you have no clue and your analysis sucks. 90L will progress towards the NW Carribean and become a hurricane in 2-3 days. Your giving folks a false sense of security.

Flood--Call security....you let another troll in.....change your glasses man...lol

I'm not a troll, I simply strongly disagree with his analysis. Is that a crime?
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431. Drakoen
9:21 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
I'm not taking it to heart as i do not care a great deal about the opinions of others who express themselves in that manner as well as those who fail to notice the current conditions.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30841
429. Floodman
4:19 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
411. cantoriesnumber1fan 4:11 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Drak, you have no clue and your analysis sucks. 90L will progress towards the NW Carribean and become a hurricane in 2-3 days. Your giving folks a false sense of security.



Unnecessary and pointless...*ignore*
Invisible

Another that might be more comfortable in a different blog perhaps?
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428. extreme236
9:21 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
the 5:30 TWO is no different than the last one really
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
427. TampaSpin
9:18 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
420. Drakoen 9:18 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
413. JFV 9:12 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Drakoen quick question, what are the chances of 90L still affecting southwest florida in the long term? Thanks in advance

possibly. Just a wait and see.


Drak--Come on man its gonna be at least a Cat 6. its half way there isn't it just ask Cantorie.......LMAO
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425. extreme236
9:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
I definatly dont believe 90L will be a cane in 2-3 days, but I wont rule out a cane with 90L in the long term IF it develops, however something IMO could develop from it but its WAY TO EARLY to determine intensity
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
424. InTheCone
5:19 PM EDT on October 26, 2007
geez Drak. -

A bit of honest analysis is getting some folks dander up!!
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422. Floodman
4:18 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Flood--Call security....you let another troll in.....change your glasses man...lol



I'm going to have to shoot a few of them as a leeson to the others, you think?
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421. Drakoen
9:18 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Ike, so you agree with cantoriesfan?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30841
420. Drakoen
9:17 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
413. JFV 9:12 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Drakoen quick question, what are the chances of 90L still affecting southwest florida in the long term? Thanks in advance


possibly. Just a wait and see.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30841
419. NRAamy
2:15 PM PDT on October 26, 2007
Jerry...he's not freaky! He's just ridin' the wild pony...I mean..it is Friday...

:)
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418. InTheCone
5:08 PM EDT on October 26, 2007
Amy -

You go girl!! I think you may go, but my heart goes with you. You folks have had a terrible time.
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417. TampaSpin
9:12 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
411. cantoriesnumber1fan 9:11 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Drak, you have no clue and your analysis sucks. 90L will progress towards the NW Carribean and become a hurricane in 2-3 days. Your giving folks a false sense of security.


Flood--Call security....you let another troll in.....change your glasses man...lol
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416. NRAamy
2:13 PM PDT on October 26, 2007
CNN Money -- NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil prices spiked above $92 a barrel Friday on tensions in the Middle East and renewed concerns about supply.

great....looks like I'll be riding my purple hippo to work...
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415. IKE
4:12 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
No sense beating around-the-bush cantoriesnumber1fan.

Couldn't you have been a little nicer about it?????
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412. Floodman
4:11 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
I don't know, Amy...I like it; cute and, I don't know, freaky?
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409. TampaSpin
9:06 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
The girl been doing DRUGS....i told ya to stop snorting the black stuff its bad...:)
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408. NRAamy
2:05 PM PDT on October 26, 2007
I know Jerry...I couldn't help it....too much goin' on this week...I might as well go out with a bang...
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407. TampaSpin
9:04 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
Amy what Gif program location do you have ....
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406. Floodman
4:04 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
405. NRAamy 4:03 PM CDT on October 26, 2007


"Bring Felix back!"



Oh, Amy...
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404. ryang
5:02 PM AST on October 26, 2007
My tropical update...
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403. OZarkfrompcola
3:58 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
Great....Just Great.....i'm gone for awhile and Amy uses the f word and Floodman uses the s word...SNORT.......lol
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402. TampaSpin
8:59 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
399. NEwxguy 8:58 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
see ya,all,have a good weekend,will be in Florida this weekend,see everyone on Tuesday.


Have a good flight....i keep the rain off until you arrive....lol
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401. IKE
3:57 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
35 days and it's over....unless another 2005 happens.....

The 18Z NAM shows the strong winds over the SE USA developing from the high and the Caribbean low....

Link
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400. Drakoen
8:59 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
394. NEwxguy 8:54 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
good job Drak


thank you.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30841
399. NEwxguy
8:57 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
see ya,all,have a good weekend,will be in Florida this weekend,see everyone on Tuesday.
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398. InTheCone
4:57 PM EDT on October 26, 2007
Well put Flood!!
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397. Floodman
3:55 PM CDT on October 26, 2007
389. FLSWEDE 8:42 PM GMT on October 26, 2007
26/1515 UTC 16.7N 68.8W TOO WEAK 90L
latest reading on 90L only modle that shows something to S FL is the NOGAPS even EU modle backing off, seems you people use wish casting more then forecasting seen this over and over on here the last few years.


Then perhaps another blog would be more to your liking?
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396. InTheCone
4:50 PM EDT on October 26, 2007
When the tropics are slow - as they have been for quite awhile now - I think that we all may get a bit over zealous in our analysis of what there is out there to look at.

It is kind of the point of the blog - tropics and all.

Most of us are known to eat large servings of black feathered critters when the naked swirls don't develop!! Then we start looking for the next one - lol!!
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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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